My family and I were invited to my first cousin’s wedding. Her fiancé is Christian. The date? September 30th, which happened to be Yom Kippur.
Initially, my parents had decided not to go. After…all, who attends a wedding of their niece when it’s held on the holiest day of the year? But after careful consideration, including consulting with her rabbi, my mom decided seeing her two brothers (they live in different states, are getting on in age, and don’t get to see each other often) was more important… >> Read More
Though nobody enjoys fasting, I happen to be particularly bad at it. I’m the sort of person who needs to eat every couple of hours, even if just a small amount, and I tend to drink lots of water as…a matter of course. I therefore dread Yom Kippur each year, and that worry has only increased exponentially as I’ve added more kids to the family mix. See, back in the day, Yom Kippur was pretty doable. I’d get up that morning, spend a few hours at services, come home, pass out in bed, and… >> Read More
Tonight is Kol Nidrei, and in the approach to the beginning of Yom Kippur, I have had several people wishing me an easy fast. Automatically, I find myself responding with “G’mar chatimah tova”…and wishing them an easy fast as well. But as I respond this way, I find myself thinking – wait, isn’t the point of fasting to not have it be easy? Part of my feelings about fasting are that having an empty stomach forces you to put aside the pangs of hunger, and focus on… >> Read More
Can we stop teaching little kids that Yom Kippur is a day for saying “I’m sorry”? That seems to be the big idea that I keep hearing—from smart people! But we can do better.
I know this…might seem counterintuitive. There are lots of children’s books, songs and videos and likely many a children’s service sermon that disagrees. Yom Kippur is a day of repentance, and Jewish tradition teaches that the days leading up to it are for introspection, reflection, and apologies. We take inventory of ourselves and our behavior; we pray,… >> Read More
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