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Sukkot: Festival of Voting Booths
It is a tradition that we observe as Americans as well, as we enter into booths each fall (and occasionally at other moments during the year) in order to make our voices heard and exercise our right to vote.
On the Other Hand: Ten Minutes of Torah: Within These Three Walls - Chol HaMo-eid Sukkot
This week is Chol HaMo-eid Sukkot, the six days between the festival of Sukkot and Simchat Torah.
How We’re Creating a Family Tradition of Charitable Giving
According to Jewish tradition, tzedakah is part of our obligation to help repair the world. Making charitable contributions helps others, and in doing so, it also helps me and my sons.
Habari Gani? How My Family is Melding Kwanzaa and Hanukkah Customs
As we each shared some favorite holiday memories, my partner asked, “So what does each candle of Hanukkah symbolize?” Puzzled, I asked him to explain what he meant. “You know, like for Kwanzaa.”
Sukkot, Diversity, and Unity: How Each of Us is Like the Four Species
While all Jewish holidays serve as great opportunities to practice audacious hospitality, Sukkot has always stood out to me as the most audaciously hospitable of Jewish holidays. What other time of year do we build a temporary makeshift house through the commandment of inviting ushpizin (guests)...
Family Papers: A Sephardic Journey Through the Twentieth Century
Family Papers: A Sephardic Journey Through the Twentieth Century (Farrar, Straus & Giroux), by prominent historian of the Sephardic community, Sarah Abrevaya Stein, tells the riveting story o
Hanukkah Reconsidered: A Split in the Jewish Soul
I grew up loving this holiday – until I learned the dark side and felt like a kid discovering that there’s no Santa Claus. It turns out Hanukkah is, in part, a tale of Jew vs. Jew.
Reclaiming the Public Square with Hanukkah Lights
According to Rashi, we light Hanukkah candles to “publicize the miracle.” What exactly is the miracle we’re publicizing – and what’s the best way for us to do so today?
Eat, Drink, and Be Merry – Even in a Pandemic
Aligned with the rhythm of our earth turning on its axis, our season of returning (
What’s Different about High Holidays Challah?
In Pirkei Avot, Rabbi Elazar ben Azariah taught, “If there is no bread, there is no Torah; and if there is no Torah, there is no bread.” I love these words. They echo in my mind when I partake in two of my favorite almost daily activities, the study of Torah and the baking bread. On the holidays, these two passions intersect, as they have for generations of Jews, when I shape challah. The traditional shapes for challot (plural) can be Torah study on our very festival tables.