Katz in the Hat

I watned to follow up from my original Kippah post. I’ve received some great feedback through private channels (email, face to face) and there’s been some wonderful comments over at the URJ re-post of this essay. In addition, it turns out that blogger Jesse Paikin has been wrestling with similar ideas at the same time as I have. You can read his thoughts here:... read more

Shabbat Sukkot (Lev. 22:26-23:44 & Num. 29:12-29:16)

Sukkot is upon us, so break out the backpacks, picnic tables and (if you are in the northern midwest like me) the rain gear, so that you can fulfill the commandment to “Lashev ba-sukkah” – literally “to BE in the sukkah”. The rules about what a sukkah is and isn’t are many, varied and (somewhat) interesting. They include: It must be large enough to contain a man’s... read more

Interview Season

A comment made in 2007 by Rabbi Label Lam on got me thinking about the Days of Awe in a whole new way. He states that it’s NOT about looking back or thinking about our actions over the past year, in order to make amends and repent. Rabbi Lam points out that Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur focus on looking ahead to the coming year and making a committment about what you plan to do with that... read more

TABLET: How to atone like a child

Marjorie Ingall over on just posted this great short piece which has me wondering what her maiden name was, and if she sat behind me when I was growing up at Brith Emeth. Or last year, for that matter. Click here to check out the full article. But here are some excerpts I thought hit close to home: Gently kick the back of the pew in front of you. Kick rhythmically to the cantor’s chanting,... read more

If You Only Go Twice a Year…

Of course, looking around a packed room at this time of year, you can’t help but think about people who only attend synagogue twice a year. It’s easy to fall into the trap of being judgmental, which is especially ironic given the nature of the High Holy Days – trying to connect to our best selves and commit to making real, positive changes in our lives. I found myself looking at the... read more

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