When the Rabbis divided the Torah into its 54 parashiyot (portions), they generally arranged for each portion to begin with a unique or otherwise significant word that would in some way summarize major themes of the entire section.
When someone asked a friend of mine what his daughter enjoys most about living in Israel, he explained that she loves the way the country’s secular rhythms synch seamlessly with religious time in a way that doesn’t happen in North America. By way of example, he described Shabbat and holidays as characterized by closed shops, quiet streets, and low-key television programming.
Two years ago, for the first time ever, I didn’t attend a seder. A virulent infection was poisoning my body and I was fighting for my life.
“A great miracle happened there,” we say, as we spin the Hanukkah dreidel each year while eating latkes fried in oil. But what was “the miracle” of Hanukkah? Our tradition recounts more than one.
It was over brunch on our fourth date when I told him, "This can't go anywhere...I’m Jewish and you’re not." After years of Jewish camp, Hebrew school and lectures from my parents, I was fairly certain that the eleventh commandment was “Thou shalt meet a nice Jewish boy, get married and have beau
The family of five sons who led the revolt against the Hellenization of Jerusalem and became the heroes of the Hanukkah story.