It’s a struggle so many of us are familiar with, but that doesn’t make it any easier. I’m talking about the insanity that is preparing and carving out time for the Jewish holidays when the rest…of the world doesn’t come close to standing still. You’ve heard of Christmas envy? It’s not the giant tree that I want–it’s the opportunity to spend a couple of days celebrating a meaningful holiday with my family, but without having to worry about missing work or school or activities. The holiday stress is hitting me… >> Read More
When I moved with my husband and family from Scarsdale, New York to Barrington, Rhode Island four years ago, I knew I’d be making a lot of changes.
I didn’t realize that questioning my entire…sense of Jewishness would be one of them. The first inkling that I wasn’t going to fit in easily anymore came early in September, just as Rosh Hashanah did that year. My fourth-grade daughter came home from school and announced that her classmate was having a birthday party. "Check your email! Check your email!” she… >> Read More
My first real exposure to Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur was when I was dating Matt, my future husband. I didn’t really know what observing these holidays entailed. He wasn’t flying home to visit…family during that time, and as he was working and living in my small Northern California hometown, he reached out to a synagogue in Sacramento (the nearest “big city”) to find services and a group of people to join for Rosh Hashanah dinner. The following week he fasted, and I met up with him briefly… >> Read More
This year I am leading Rosh Hashanah services for the first time, which means I have been spending a lot of quality time with my machzor (High Holiday prayer book). I've always been someone who feels…really stressed out about the High Holidays even as my belief in God wavers from day to day. The High Holidays feel really intense to me no matter where my faith is. Rosh Hashanah is, literally, Judgement Day, and that freaks me out. One part of the service that I've been working on a lot… >> Read More
Despite what the ridiculously warm forecast says here in Michigan, we’re closing in on my all-time favorite season: autumn. I try to contain my excitement until at least mid-September--and then I…let my freak flag fly. After the kids go back to school, the fall decorations are dragged from the closet, the apple orchard and cider mill are paid a visit (or two), the scarves, boots and puffy vests come out of hiding, and the pumpkin spice lattes replace the iced coffees. Move over summer, my season… >> Read More