High Holidays

Unbinding The Mystery Of The Akedah

09/09/2015 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

Contemporary Jews are challenged by it and rabbis stand on their head to justify it. I refer to the Akedah, Rosh HaShanah’s second-day Torah reading chronicling Abraham’s sacrificial binding of his son Isaac on Mount Moriah, and God’s last minute intervention to substitute a ram instead [Genesis 22].

Rabbi Gerald L. Zelizer

Unlocking Hearts, Minds And Rosh HaShanah Itself

09/09/2015 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

Will there be a synagogue in America this Rosh HaShanah not abuzz with conversation about the upcoming vote on the Iran nuclear deal? And from how many pulpits will those attending such synagogues not hear at least one sermon about the very same topic? Based on reports from literally hundreds of rabbis across the nation, the answer is very few. 

Brad Hirschfield

A Prayer for the New Year

09/09/2015 - 20:00
Jewish Week Online Columnist

The most ubiquitous and traditional Rosh Hashanah greeting is known to almost all Jews: L’Shanah Tovah Tikateivu V’Teichateimu; may you been inscribed and sealed (in the Book of Life) for a good year. In its few words, it alludes to the central metaphor of the High Holidays. The verdict of our divine judgment is to be recorded upon its completion, and our most fervent prayer is that it be recorded in the Book of Life, and not, God forbid, that other book…

Rabbi Gerald C. Skolnik

We Can't Ignore Iran, Or How We Talk About It, During The Holidays

09/03/2015 - 20:00
Jewish Week Online Columnist

Psychiatrists and therapists are known to commonly vacation in August, making it a notoriously bad time to have an emotional crisis. Most rabbis vacation in July, because once August comes, the gravitational pull of the High Holidays begins to assert itself, and virtually the entire synagogue world goes into pre-crisis mode. It seems to many of my colleagues to be “too close” to the holidays to leave town, even though there are at least four weeks before Rosh Hashanah.

Rabbi Gerald C. Skolnik

The Artisanal New Year

Bedouin embroidery, a stoneware honey pot, eco paper garlands for Sukkot: Our annual guide of cool (and socially meaningful) gifts.

09/01/2015 - 20:00
Culture Editor

Start off the new year of studying the Torah with a naturalist’s original and insightful observations on the text. From a noted authority on plants and herbs who lives on a small farm in the Adirondacks, “Seeds of Transcendence: Understanding the Hebrew Bible Through Plants” by Jo Ann Gardner (Decalogue Books) is infused with the author’s deep love and knowledge of the land and native flora of Israel. In her research, she spent a lot of time with the late Nogah Hareuveni, founder of Neot Kedumim, Israel’s Biblical Landscape Reserve. Her clear writing brings together the material and spiritual worlds of the text.

Claire Marin’s Catskill Honey from upstate New York.

The State Of The Jewish Union (Then, And Now)

08/25/2015 - 20:00
Editor and Publisher

Editor’s Note: On rereading this column, first written and published here in September 1996, I realized how many key concerns about Jewish life remain today, almost two decades later.

One of the most beautiful elements of the High Holy Day liturgy is that Jews pray collectively, not individually. The word “we” is central to our prayers, not “I,” whether it involves asking for God’s blessings or acknowledging our sins. We realize intuitively that there is strength in numbers and that all we have is each other.

Gary Rosenblatt

How Our Synagogue Is Attracting Young Adults

People want not only connections but also meaning.

11/19/2014 - 19:00
Special To The Jewish Week

Professors Steven M. Cohen and Jack Wertheimer shared their assessment of the “Shrinking Jewish Middle And How To Expand It” (Opinion, Nov. 14), and not surprisingly, they focused on what Conservative and Reform synagogues should do to reverse the trend. Their conclusion was that the effort should be made as well in attracting those in their 20s and 30s. What was new was the emphasis on expanding Jewish social networks that link Jews to one another by offering meaningful Jewish content, and ensuring that peers are at the same stage of life to address common challenges.

Rabbi Rachel Ain

Yom Kippur NYC: A Guide

How to find tickets for free and low-cost High Holiday services in Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens and beyond.

09/23/2014 - 20:00
Staff Writer

If you don't have tickets for High Holy Day services this year, you're not alone. Luckily there are plenty of synagogues that welcome the unaffiliated with low-cost or even free services.

Union Temple in Brooklyn is one of many congregations that have free High Holiday services. Wikimedia Commons

Mindfully Preparing For The High Holy Days

Editor's Note: We recently a new study that shows how mindfulness practice reduces stress, anxiety and depression in parents of children with special needs. Rabbi Yael Levy integrates mindfulness practice into Jewish worship and offers suggestions for how we can use mindfulness to prepare for the High Holy Days.

Q: What is mindfulness?

A Way In Rosh Hashanah E-Cards. Courtesy of A Way In

Preparing For High Holidays Services With A Child Who Has Special Needs

The time leading up to Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur is a time of introspection and intense planning. We think about the past year and reflect on how we have changed and grown. At the same time many of us are juggling work, getting kids ready for school, making travel arrangements, planning out the menu, buying brisket and baking challah.  Most of us are not thinking about how we are going to get through services. For a parent of a child with a disability this thought might be on the top of their list. There might be a feeling of apprehension about the community’s ability to welcome their family in an inclusive way.

Lisa Tobin
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