My mother was a terrible cook, but she set a beautiful table. Every year at least a week before the Jewish holidays -- which, as she used to say, fell either too early or too late, but were never on time -- she'd get out her most favorite dishes.
This week we will enter the Hebrew month of Ellul, a time traditionally dedicated to preparation for the re-birthing that waits us in one month - Rosh Hashana, the New Year.
For an increasing number of Americans, even these holidays have eroded into family gatherings that no longer connect strongly to the spiritual meaning that they have in the religious cultures in which they developed.
Now that Hanukkah and Christmas are over until another year and we are wishing "Happy New Year" to everyone we see, when is, or when was, the proper time to take down holiday decorations?
To really understand Walter White, we have to go back as far as the pilot episode and maybe even a little bit more.
Here it was that I kept mouthing "sit still" to my son, and "pay attention honey" to my daughter, when Rabbi Mo, as he is fondly known, begins to tell an animated tale about smelly potatoes. This gets everybody's attention. Smelly potatoes. On Yom Kippur... a day of fasting?
For more than a week, we continue to celebrate one holiday after another, each with its own set of rituals, songs, and customs. Exhausted by the holy days already behind us, and living in a culture that distrusts ritual in the first place, what can this frenetic activity mean to us?
The Temple of the Arts in Beverly Hills has an unusual mission - to promote the spirit and teachings of Judaism through music, art, drama, dance and f...
Taking one day a year to remove ourselves from the world in order to undertake deep reflection is a very good thing. Continuing that reflection on a daily basis is even better.
A few years back, during my Logo TV days, I was asked to be Grand Marshal of Orlando Pride. This was a huge honor for me. However, that year torrential rain forced Pride to be moved a month later -- smack dab on Yom Kippur. Oy vey!
On Yom Kippur, our day of renewal, our tradition provides us with stage directions and a powerful script. The day is further enriched by the improvisational theater that we provide ourselves.
An underwater Jewish wedding, with both bride and groom in scuba gear?
Rabbis all over the world work hard to make sure that their High Holy Days sermons are uniquely theirs and that they project their unique rabbinic voice to their community.
In the Torah, we are first introduced to the term Hineni when we read about Akedat Yitzchak, the Binding of Isaac, in Chapter 22 of Genesis. When God calls out to Abraham, prior to commanding him to sacrifice his son, Abraham responds, "Hineni."
Imagine a time in the past year that you acted unskillfully. Allow yourself to feel that weight of responsibility. Think to yourself, "if I in any way was a cause of suffering, whether consciously or unconsciously, I ask for forgiveness."
Tashlik, the casting away of regrets, is by far our favorite new year tradition. It surpasses the big meal and the white clothes, the honey cake and the days off from school. I wouldn't have it any other way. Here's why.