Michael Snow's blog

The Diaspora's Frustration With Israel: A Good Thing

American Jews absolutely love to speak and behave as though what we think should have immediate practical and political bearing in Israel.

Women of the Wall, which agitates for prayer rights at the Kotel, has much American support. Photo courtesy Women of the Wall

Erev Shabbat: The Beautiful Moment Just Before

I remember the wet stones. When I lived in Jerusalem for a year, I spent Fridays slipping all over the place. In the hours before sunset, the Old City’s enchanting stones became slip-and-slides as young boys bearing buckets of water glazed the timeless stairways and passages, giving the holy city the last bath just before Shabbat.

Erev Shabbat is more of a struggle to create stateside than in Israel. Wikimedia Commons

The Disservice Orthodox Judaism Does

I broke gender norms, and it was delicious.

Last Wednesday, for my first time, I baked two loaves of challah for Shabbat. I participated in an enjoyable event held regularly at my campus Chabad. Baking challah and its accompanying mitzvah, our instructor helpfully explained, is traditionally a “woman’s mitzvah.”

Did I just witness gender formation? Was female identity constructed just there before my eyes and is it really so simple?

Must we check our brains at the kitchen door when we learn how to make challah? Wikimedia Commons

Why Don't Young Jews Rock The Vote?

It’s too true that we can only appreciate something once we’ve lost it. I’m talking about voting and I’m talking about my generation.

As young Americans (cue the David Bowie song – thought: maybe I don’t belong in my generation?) I was expecting extreme campaigning and political activism on campus. I go to a school that at one point earned the moniker Berkeley East. Sadly, in 2012, voter registration is just too laborious of a process for students to care.

Voting should be thrilling, but something's keeping young Jews from caring. Getty Images
Syndicate content