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Food and Remembrance

Food and grief go together in the Jewish tradition. Shiva, the seven day period that begins after a funeral, begins with seudat havra’ah, “the meal of consolation,” and gifts other than food are discouraged. We eat to feel comforted in a time of loss. We eat to have something to do. We eat to share… Read more »

The Battle of the Sexes in Israel

Two controversial decisions are being made in Israel right now regarding the equality of the sexes. The news that encompasses more of the country is that an Israeli Defense Forces commission called for the full integration of women into the Israeli army, causing a stir among both military officials who believe the move could detract… Read more »

A Small World, After All

I’ve had, for obvious reasons, Sukkot on the brain this week. One of the themes I’ve been dwelling on, if you’ll forgive the pun, is that of the small world. When we “dwell in the Sukkah,” we’re meant to shrink our whole world down and fit it in. And whenever I stop to really notice,… Read more »

Get a Piece

What do you get when you cross sexy, meat-eschewing superstars with an attention hungry activist organization? PETA’s first ever “naked veggie testimonial PSA.” The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animal’s new flesh-filled campaign features Alicia Silverstone saying very little (and wearing less). She hops out of a pool, purrs about the benefits of being… Read more »

Vow Making in the New Year

The High Holiday season maybe technically over, but the lessons we take away will, I hope, linger a bit. I had the pleasure of spending Kol Nidrei at Rabbi Judith Hauptman’s Ohel Ayalah services, and, as expected, I had a phenomenal time. Rabbi Hauptman brings an upbeat and genuinely friendly feeling to the services; we… Read more »

Madonna and Kabbalah

Madawna? She loves us! In case it wasn’t already apparent, it is now officially official – Judaism is so hot right now. Madonna, the queen of hot-right-now, has announced herself an “ambassador of Judaism,” to Shimon Peres, no less. Oy, what would Golda Meir think? Madonna — excuse me, Esther — has been into Kabbalah… Read more »


Sukkot is coming up next week. As a self-described natural Jew, I love this harvest holiday. I love decorating a sukkah with gourds and juicy apples (or in the case of my friend Julie’s sukkah two years ago, Jackson Pollack-style splash paint). I love that it’s a time of year when Jews unabashedly sniff citrus… Read more »

Rabbis Are People, Too, Even the Abusive Ones

In his pre-Rosh Hashana Editor’s Note, Baltimore Jewish Times editor Neil Rubin reflected on what he learned in the wake of breaking the story about rampant sexual abuse in the Baltimore community. In particular, Rubin and his paper were criticized for printing the name of one alleged serial offender, the revered, deceased Rabbi Ephraim Shapiro,… Read more »

Just Not Getting It

It’s politics slightly closer to home this week—politics of the Jewish community. Specifically, the return to chauvinism. You might think I’m taking about the now-(in)famous Maxim/Israel spread, but no—we’re on to the next insulting incident for women. It seems the JNF—yep, the people who plant trees in Israel and gave you those little blue tzedakah… Read more »

Date Honey

Last week, I got a call from my boyfriend’s mother as I was walking to my local co-op. “Yosh’s dad and I went to a shiur yesterday.” she told me. “It was about honey and how the honey referred to in “the land of milk and honey,” was actually made of dates, and not from… Read more »

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