Shavuos/Shavuot: Our Holiday of Welcome

Shavuos/Shavuot is one of the three festivals of ingathering, some of our most ancient holidays.  On these holidays – Succos/Sukkot, Pesakh and Shavuos/Shavuot,  Israelites brought offerings to the Temple to support the priests.  Those who had no animals, fruit or grain to bring could buy sacrificial animals at the Temple.  (In the Christian Bible, the […]

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April 4

April 4th is a Jewish holiday.  It’s the yortseit (death anniversary) of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. who was assassinated on that date in 1968.  Martin Luther King, Jr. was an activist not only on behalf of the civil rights movement, but was also an activist for peace and for workers’ rights.  He

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Oy, Purim

Purim is one of those holidays where we don’t tell the whole story.  (  But it is more than that we don’t tell the whole story.  It’s that we don’t see the whole people. The book of Esther, on which the holiday is based, is a historical fiction, written about 400 years after the events

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Why do we tell only half the story?

Chanukah, Purim, Pesakh – all our stories end happy. But do they, really? Let’s take a look at what happens after “they lived happily ever after.” Let’s look at the real stories of Jewish holidays and find out why we tell only half the story. We tell the story of chanukah, the retaking of the

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Why I Have Been Quiet

The situation in Israel and Gaza torments decent people of every ethnicity.  The murderous rampage of Hamas terrorists creates rage and despair among Jews everywhere, not just in Israel.  Is there no place Jews can ever be safe?  The relentless coldhearted siege of Gaza resulting in the needless deaths of civilians is heartbreaking. The Gazan

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How to Make Latkes

For your amusement (I hope) and edification, here's the instructions on making latkes from my book, God-Optional Judaism (available from or in digital form from   How to Make LatkesThe Three (or maybe Four) Great ControversiesLatkes are not the kind of food you have an actual recipe for. They’re more the kind of

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