Category Archive for "Posts"

What’s YOUR Family’s Jewish History?

Do you know your family’s Jewish history? Here is mine, gleaned almost fully from a single conversation with my mother…   Both of my parents’ families hail from various regions of Eastern Europe, and all of my great-great-grandparents were likely old world Orthodox. My parents were both raised in...

Turn the Binoculars Around: A Lesson in Self-Confidence

This week is my Bat Mitzvah portion and it contains a lesson in self-confidence! In Parshat Shelach L’cha, the Jewish people send a reconnaissance team of 12 spies into Israel, in preparation for entering the land. When the spies return, they report that “…the inhabitants are powerful….  We cannot...

Is Shavuot a Made-Up Holiday? Hint: No

Many secular Jews don’t know much about the festival of Shavuot. Years ago, I even had a congregant refer to it as ‘one of those made-up holidays’! Well, I can assure you Shavuot is not a made-up holiday, and if you’d like to learn a bit about it, this...

The Torah is Not a Book, But an Inheritance

The festival of Shavuot, which begins this weekend, commemorates the spring harvest and the giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai seven weeks after the Israelites’ exodus from Egypt. It is when God and the people of Israel entered into a metaphorical marriage, or covenant. It is what we...

Count Your Blessings ~ Count the Omer

Be grateful. Count your blessings. Treat others well. Make every day count. Be kind. Take a full accounting of yourself. Be generous. Use gentle speech. Be compassionate. Remind yourself how to be a better person. Count the Omer… We are now in the period between Passover and Shavuot, one...

How Do I Count the Omer?

HOW do I Count the Omer? 1. Some begin with a meditation that states one’s intention to fulfill the commandment. This serves to focus the individual on the task at hand and to remind him/her/them of the biblical basis of the commandment: “Behold, I am ready and prepared to...

Is Passover 7 Days or 8 Days?

Passover begins March 30th with four questions, and ends with a fifth… Why is April 6th different from all other Passover nights? Answer: Because for some Jews April 6th is the eighth night of the holiday, and for other Jews Passover is over and pizza is on the menu!...

Free Jewish Books for Kids

It’s February, and what better than to put on warm, soft jammies and curl up with a good book? For those who have young children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, or friends, you should know about an amazing organization called PJ Library. PJ Library selects and sends free, award-winning books that...

Spiritual but Not Religious

In this week’s Torah portion, Terumah, God tells Moses to request donations from the people in order for the Tabernacle to be built. “[Y]ou shall accept gifts for Me from every person whose heart so moves him … let them make Me a sanctuary that I may dwell among...

A Wedding in Jerusalem … and Honeymoon Israel

What an exciting month for my family! My nephew was married in Jerusalem on December 24th, and most of our extended family was there! It was a wonderful, amazing experience that I will remember and cherish always. My nephew and new niece are religiously traditional, as was their wedding...