Tag Archives: Jewish Holidays

Community Blog Rabbi Sharon Cohen Anisfeld

Speaking Torah: Amidst fragments of shattered hope, of love betrayed, of broken promises, we ask the question: What went wrong?

This reflection is an excerpt from the Hebrew College High Holiday Companion, to be published late summer 2017, for study and reflection during the High Holidays. Learn more and sign up for our pre-order list.  Tomorrow, on the 17th day of the Hebrew month of Tammuz – or Shiva Asar b’Tammuz — we enter the saddest period in our sacred calendar.  Many observe a fast from dawn to dusk, as we begin counting the… Read Article →

Rabbinical School Divrei Torah Rabbi Nehemia Polen

Chanukah Means Accepting All that is Offered

“I dwell in possibility,” Emily Dickinson once wrote. On Chanukah, the festival of dedication, we take the possibilities of life and invest ourselves within them, making them our own. On Rosh Hashanah, we are told, our decree for the year is signed. On Yom Kippur it is sealed. On Hoashanah Rabbah, it is handed over for delivery. But only on Chanukah is the crucial last step taken: on Chanukah we… Read Article →

Uncategorized Charna

Christmas in July

“Mommy, do we celebrate Christmas?” my three-and-a-half-year-old asked me recently. I had expected—and then fielded—this question back in December when lights, trees, and plastic Santas started popping up all over town. But I was surprised it was coming up again, off-season. I told her that we do not celebrate Christmas. Predictably, she pouted. She pouted not because she understands what Christmas is or what it means to celebrate that holiday,… Read Article →

Rabbinical School Divrei Torah purim

Matanot L’Evyonim – Giving and Receiving on Purim

Adar is here! Purim, with all its joy and merriment, is on its way.   As someone who was passed over when the gene that appreciates alcoholic beverages was dispensed, I find Purim, and the way it is widely celebrated, perplexing. Looking for the Divine in Purim can be difficult. We have a meal with no kiddush or candles, a scroll with no mention of G-d, where the heroine’s very name… Read Article →

Rabbinical School Divrei Torah Israeli Flags

The Sacred and Mythic Dimensions of Yom Ha’atzmaut

Our Jewish holidays have a complicated relationship with history. On the one hand, they tell a story of occurrences in time from the creation of the world (Shabbat) through the exodus from Egypt (Pesah) the destruction of the temple (Tisha b’Av) and down to the establishment of the State of Israel (Yom Ha’atzmaut). yOn the other hand, the historical awareness of many Jewish people today negates the possibility of accepting… Read Article →