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On August 22, 2020

Elul

It’s the Jewish month of Elul, the only Jewish month with no holidays after the first day.  The only month you’re not scurrying around cooking for the holiday, cleaning for the holiday, inviting friends and family, making sure you have whatever holiday supplies you need for your household’s traditions.  The only month you have time
On July 29, 2020

Tisha B’Av – Silver Linings

Tisha B’Av comes this year on July 29-30.  Like all Jewish holidays, it lasts from sundown to sundown.  Tisha B’Av (the ninth day of the Jewish month of Av) is our catch-all mourning holiday, a 24 (or 25) hour fast.  The destruction of both Temples in Jerusalem, the crushing of the Bar Kokhba rebellion in
On July 6, 2020

Haman and Lee

Each year on Purim, we Jews read the story of Esther.  When the villain Haman’s name is read, we shout, hiss and boo to drown it out.  We write his name on the soles of our shoes and stomp them on the ground until the name disappears.  We say, “May his name be erased.”  And
On May 17, 2020

Definitely eat cheesecake

It’s always hard to be Jewish alone. It’s even harder at the holidays. We’re coming up to shavuot/sh’vues, so here are a few ideas for celebrating at home. You can find more information about the holiday and how to observe it, along with my Bobe Celia’s recipe for blintzes in God-Optional Judaism (availble from CSJO.org
On May 22, 2020

No Experience is Wasted

We keep saying, “this is a weird time.”  We keep saying, ‘this is different from anything we’ve ever experienced before.”  We keep saying, “I’m not sure I know how to cope with this.”  All those statements are true.  And also not.  Lessons from our past inform this new situation. Don’t touch your face. A guy
On March 24, 2020

The Four Children in the time of coronavirus

The first child is the curious one and asks: How is this virus spread and contained?  And we explain that the virus is spread through droplets of coughs and sneezes, and that hands can easily pick up droplets from surfaces and other hands.  We contain it by avoiding the droplets from other people and by
On December 2, 2019

Why I like Numbers

Here’s one from my old blog that I just rediscovered: Why I Like Numbers No, not that kind of number.  I mean, I like that kind of number, too.  I am, after all, an accountant.  But I mean Numbers.  The Books of Numbers.  In Hebrew, it’s called “In the Desert” which makes me like it even
On November 11, 2019

Jew-ish

Don’t say that!  Just don’t.  It is denigrating to your authenticity and it panders to the most extreme religiosity.  Someone is telling you that you are not Jewish enough.  You’re just sorta Jewish.  Jew-ish. No.  Do not fall for the Official Story – that there is only one kind of Real Judaism and everyone else
On September 28, 2019

The Jewish New Year – Why Now?

It’s a new year.  One of four.  This one is the new year we count foreign kings’ reigns  by.  (This is sort of like all race horses having January 1 for their official birthdays.)  A few months from now will be the new year for taxing trees.  In the spring, is the new  year for