Archives

Preparing for the High Holidays

First, let me address the issue of whether the High Holy Days are “early” this year. For the Gregorian calendar, yes, it is early. Note that the Gregorian calendar was put into effect for the entire Catholic world by Pope Gregory XIII in 1582 with a papal bull.  For the Jewish calendar, no, the dates are…

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Preparing for the High Holy Days

Cantor Linda Hirschhorn emailed her congregation, Temple Beth Sholom of San Leandro, about the practice of reciting a Psalm in preparation for the High Holy Days.  She said: Starting this Sunday, August 8th— which is Rosh Hodesh Elul —  until the end of the high holidays, Psalm 27 is recited in the daily morning and evening…

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Getting Comfortable in the Jewish World

A wise psychotherapist compared a non-Jew living in a Jewish community to a tourist visiting a new country. Dr. Perel is herself a transplant from Belgium to the United States. She uniquely positioned to view two cultures from inside and outside. Often Jews are so accustom to being the outsider that they are frantic to…

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Juneteenth and Black Jews

We have a new federal holiday! Juneteenth.  The Jewish social justice organization, Bend the Arc, emailed their constituents this information:   This Saturday, June 19, marks the 156th anniversary of Juneteenth, commemorating the day when the news of abolition finally reached enslaved Black people in Texas. On June 19, 1865, Union troops arrived in Galveston…

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Shavuot: Make a tradition & keep learning

(Image by S. Hermann & F. Richter from Pixabay ) Shavuot begins at sundown this Sunday. Shavuot is a bit of a puzzler holiday. The Torah has very little to say about it. Most of what we know of ancient practices comes from the Mishnah. It was born as an agricultural holiday and acquired greater meaning in time….

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All Jews are One Family

(Mt. Meron by Lior Golgher • ליאור גולגר – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2277766) Last night there was a tragedy in Israel, people were killed in a terrible accident in the midst of their celebration of Lag B’omer. Rabbi Larry Milder sent this message to his congregation. I want to point out to you…

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