Life

Counterproductive Poultry

October 1, 2014, by

There is a custom, before Yom Kippur, to swing a live chicken over one’s head while reciting a brief text. The chicken is slaughtered and given to the needy. This is called “kapparos” (atonements). Not everyone does this. Many people – including yours truly – perform the ceremony using cash, which is then donated to

Edible Parsha: Rosh Hashanah Projects

September 23, 2014, by

Shabbat fun for children is given a fresh and tasty twist with Edible Parsha projects. These easy to create, hands-on treats are based within context of weekly Torah portion for children of all ages and stages. Edible Parsha is a creation by Batya Jacob, director of the International Jewish Resource Center for Inclusion and Special

On Rosh Hashanah, A Breath of Life

In the year that we are now parting with, 5774, it became dangerous once again to be a Jew. Israel, subject to sustained missile attack, discovered how hard it is to fight an asymmetric war against a terrorist group ruthless enough to place rocket launchers beside schools, hospitals and mosques. It found itself condemned by

An Eruv Tavshilin Primer

September 22, 2014, by

This year’s holiday season is fast approaching and we will be given the opportunity to perform the rabbinic edict of Eruv Tavshilin three separate times; before the start of Rosh Hashanah, before the first days of Sukkot and before the start of Shmini Atzeret. What is Eruv Tavshilin? When the second day of a holiday

It’s Not About Tzniyus

September 17, 2014, by

Some people have lately expressed the idea that the religious authorities should keep their noses out of matters of tzniyus (modesty). These people feel that when “the rabbis” (as if there’s one collective group) talk about tzniyus, it’s because they have an unhealthy obsession with it. I disagree. Tzniyus is a legitimate area of Jewish

Edible Parsha Project: Nitzavim-Vayelech

September 16, 2014, by

Nitzavim Shabbat fun for children is given a fresh and tasty twist with Edible Parsha projects. These easy to create, hands-on treats are based within context of weekly Torah portion for children of all ages and stages. Edible Parsha is a creation by Batya Jacob, director of the International Jewish Resource Center for Inclusion and

Edible Parsha Project: Parshat Ki Teitzei

September 4, 2014, by

Shabbat fun for children is given a fresh and tasty twist with Edible Parsha projects. These easy to create, hands-on treats are based within context of weekly Torah portion for children of all ages and stages. Edible Parsha is a creation by Batya Jacob, director of the International Jewish Resource Center for Inclusion and Special

Leaning to Eliyahu: Pinchas/Eliyahu and the Way Forward in Judaism

July 15, 2014, by

We live in a world of kaanaus. Zealotry and extremism fuels politics, relationships, worship. Kanaaim fail to understand how demeaning their perspective and behavior is to their fellow Jews; how degrading. In their eyes, Jews who are not like them are hardly worthy to be considered Jews at all. Has their kaanaus enriched our community

The Meaning and Symbolism of Tekhelet

June 11, 2014, by

This week’s parsha—Shelach—contains the third paragraph of Kriyat Shema, which discusses the commandment to attach tzitzit to four-cornered garments. The pasuk states: “And they shall place upon the tsitsit of each corner a thread of tekhelet… And you shall see it and remember all of the commandments of Hashem and you shall do them.” Until