Tag Archives: Passover


Getting Unstuck

For the second Shabbat of Passover. There have been many times in my life when I just felt stuck. Stuck in a job, stuck in my family’s circumstances, stuck in a particular emotional state. It just didn’t seem like anything was ever going to change. We all feel that way at some point or other in our lives. As larger groups or national entities, we can feel stuck in political… Read Article →


Behold, the Table is Set

The publication of the Venice Haggadah of 1609 was a grand event. One of the first-ever printed books to accompany the Passover seder, it boasted intricate woodcuts framing every page, illustrating the story of the Exodus as well as the domestic scenes of men and women, preparing for Passover (mostly women) and celebrating it (mostly men). Even more, it was a multi-cultural enterprise, produced with three sets of instructions and… Read Article →


The Time of Our Freedom: A Text Study for Pesach

Celebrating freedom is often a challenge. For much of Jewish history, Jews celebrating Pesach had to respond to the challenge of celebrating freedom while living as an oppressed minority. As a result, our tradition is full of teachings and stories about celebrating Pesach and connecting to the essence of freedom even in the most oppressive conditions. Celebrating Pesach in the great Jewish centers of Israel and the USA in the… Read Article →

Parsha Vayetze

The Long Journey of Cultivating Gratitude

This week, we celebrate Thanksgiving, which for many of us is less about gratitude and more about consumption, consumerism and perhaps some family discord. Dedicating time to be grateful is hard. It’s often easier to think about what we don’t have or what’s not going quite right yet than it is to stop, clear out the noise of daily life and give thanks. American culture doesn’t help us much —… Read Article →

Hebrew College Tablet Logo

The Routine Call of the Shofar

I know that we’re about to begin the month of Tishrei, the opening of the Jewish year, with Rosh Hashana, Yom Kippur and Sukkot, but humor me for a bit while I write about Pesah. In the Talmud Yerushalmi, Rabbi Levi says that “anyone who eats matzah on the day before Pesah is like a man who has sex with his fiancée in his father-in-law’s house,” i.e., prior to the… Read Article →


Eser to the Rescue: Passover Edition

Passover has always been my favorite Jewish holiday. The story of freedom, the props – 10 plague finger puppets, the inflatable matzah beach ball, the food (you know your yearly serving of gefilite fish was something to complain about BUT also an awesome way to get an extra dose of horseradish), the fashion (when your childhood dining room includes the stairs to the kids bedrooms, you have a perfect runway… Read Article →


The Omer, Extra-Time Goals, and Babies: Is Timing Everything?

When I was little, I was notoriously impatient and notoriously meticulous. I would look at older kids and want to be older. I would count down the days until vacations or camp with anticipation and diligence. I would follow the train schedule stop-by-stop on the way from Boston to Washington seeing how many minutes late or early the train was. It was frustrating, but also gave me a clear goal… Read Article →


Blessing Our Counting

In Jewish sacred time, this is the season of counting. Every day, from the second night of Passover to the festival of Shavuot, we literally count our days. The period is known as the Omer, originally rooted in the agricultural rhythms of ancient Israel, a time of both anxiety and anticipation, as farmers waited to see what the season’s first harvest would yield. Today, we mark the period of the Omer… Read Article →


Rising through the Year

This month our Rising Voices Fellows reflect on their experiences of the fellowship over the past year. Be sure to check the JWA blog each Tuesday for a new post from our fellows—and check out the great educational resources provided by our partner organization, Prozdor. As my year in the Rising Voices Fellowship comes to a close, it is time to look back on the experience and look forward to my next adventures as a… Read Article →


Freedom Stories

This month our Rising Voices Fellows explore their relationships to Passover traditions. Be sure to check theJWA blog each Tuesday for a new post from our fellows—and check out the great educational resources provided by our partner organization, Prozdor. The first books I ever fell in love with were the American Girl books. The American Girl Company as a whole was a big part of my childhood, and its influence is still with me… Read Article →