I’m a congregational rabbi, so the month of August is always a bit anxiety-provoking. Whether the holidays are “early” or “late,” they are coming, and my mental checklist goes into…overdrive planning of sermons, services, and more. And this is to say nothing of the spiritual work; in the Jewish calendar, the month of Elul is meant to be one of anxiety for all of us. The shofar, sounded each day of the month leading up to the Jewish New Year, is a spiritual wakeup… >> Read More
Just how do you celebrate the Fourth of July if you are feeling deeply unsettled about the trajectory of our country?
I know I’m not the only person thinking about that this year. In a Facebook…group I follow, another parent mused about the Fourth, “It has always been a holiday my family enjoys, but I am feeling terribly conflicted about celebrating this year. I am grateful for 200 years of independence, but this year, I am not feeling proud of my country.” To be clear: I love America deeply and… >> Read More
Last summer, against our better judgement, my husband and I decided to pile into our family minivan and drive from Maryland to Massachusetts. Overnight. We climbed into the front seats at 6 p.m.,…foolishly optimistic that a near-bedtime departure would bring smooth, sleepy sailing for the three tiny, gleeful vacationers buckled in behind us. But there were so, so many things wrong with this plan. By 10 p.m., everyone was still wide-eyed. Our snack supply was nearly depleted, we’d cycled through every CD multiple times, and we were… >> Read More
I was plugging some upcoming work travel into my Outlook calendar two weeks ago when it suddenly dawned on me: Passover was seriously soon.
Like any other busy working couple, I didn’t call my…husband. Instead, I shot him a message reminding him that Friday, March 30 was the first night of Passover, and that we’d have to hit the butcher so I could make my great-grandmother’s brisket — a tradition my entire family looks forward to. A few minutes, later I got a response: “OK … but the… >> Read More
No joke: I love hosting the Passover seder.
I love feeding people — I’m both Jewish and Southern, so this is deeply engrained in me. I love educating people, and I love being Jewish, so the…seder is a perfect opportunity to gather the ones I love for a meal — a meal during which they are actually open to me sharing all sorts of fun facts, songs, and stories. If it were up to me, I’d fill every shared meal with readings and inspired discussions. That's not realistic, of course.… >> Read More