holidays

And The Seasons They Go ‘Round And ‘Round

Seeking a coherent life with the holiday cycle as our compass.

04/05/2011

When I was a child, the Jewish holidays burst upon my days with no discernible pattern or connection. In St. Louis, as a young girl, I am a Megillah, parading around United Hebrew Temple, my skinny 9-year-old self sandwiched between two yellow poster boards with “The Story of Queen Esther” glued and glittered on the front. And then, some weeks later, returning home from services with my mom and my sister — dad was at work — we ate our Passover feast: crunchy sheaves of matzah slathered with cream cheese and Welch’s grape jelly.

TANYA FREDMAN, Midbar (Desert), 2010, oil and fabric on canvas, 30” x 30”.

Text Context April 2011

How do we measure the moments, the hours, the days, months, seasons and years of our lives? In this issue on the calendar -- which heralds the beginning of spring and the arrival of Pesach -- we explore how cycles of Jewish time are marked and experienced

04/05/2011
Text Context April 2011

Is it Cruel to Force Dogs to Keep Passover?

03/31/2011
Special to the Jewish Week

Q - I've heard that pets are supposed to keep Passover. I'm fairly traditional regarding Passover and just got a dog. Isn't it cruel to force an innocent animal to change its entire diet for a whole week? It's hard enough for humans!

A- As the proud owner of two adorable standard poodles, one of whom is extremely neurotic, I can sympathize with you.

Rabbi Joshua Hammerman

Is Drunkenness on Purim a No-No?

03/17/2011
Special to the Jewish Week

Q - In an age where addiction is so widespread, is it ethical to promote drunkenness on Purim?

A. No it is not.

Rabbi Joshua Hammerman

Purim in the Digital Age

Leave it to Robert Pass, creator of the Jewish iPhone Community, to put together a comprehensive website with everything a connected, Jewish techie needs to celebrate Purim in the Digital Age. In addition to the Grogger Factory's 2010 contribution to iPurim with their virtual grogger, there are a host of other apps (some old, some new) for this year's Purim celebration. Check out the Purim page of the Jewish iPhone Community.

What Christmas Can Teach Us about Being Jewish

12/16/2010
Special to the Jewish Week

Jews don’t celebrate Christmas, but it feels like everyone else does. And this “December Dilemma” forces us, as Jews living in a Christian country, to confront some difficult questions.

First of all, what do Jews think of Christianity? This isn’t an academic question. When Christmas is front and center in streets, stores and television screens, religious differences become part of the family conversation. I can remember my own children at a young age asking me, in their own words, “why did the Jews reject Christianity?”

Rabbi Chaim Steinmetz

Chanukah Recap: Viral Videos for 5771

12/07/2010
JInsider

Chanukah 5771 has brought a bumper crop of music videos destined to become holiday classics. These viral videos became breakout hits by using comedy and quirkiness combined with genuine talent to communicate universal messages. Here is a roundup of 5771 hits along with JInsider’s “Chanukah Classic of All Time.” (All videos can be viewed at www.jinsider.com)

“Candlelight” by Maccabeats

Premise: A hip-hop twist on the Chanukah story and traditions.

“Miracle” by Matisyahu

When Santa Comes To Town

12/07/2010
Special To The Jewish Week

My 3-year-old nephew, his voice raspy from a recent cold, has been directing a long-winded narrative my way. I catch only a few words, but they startle me: Santa will be sliding down chimneys, and then there will be presents.

“Oh really?” I say, my eyebrows rising, inwardly vowing to speak with my sister.

Elicia Brown

Ham It Up On Hanukkah (Again!)

Just like the return of the clothing fashion styles of yesteryear, many things on the Web tend to make a comeback too. It seems like every few years the same hoaxes, urban legends, videos, jokes and funny photos get recycled around Cyberspace.

I noticed that this is the case with a photo of ham -- yes, ham! Through Facebook, hundreds of users are recirculating the photo of the boneless spiral ham on sale at a store with the sign "Delicious for Chanukah."

Hey, isn't this the same Hanukkah ham I saw back in '07?

Curried Sweet Potato Latkes

A South Asian twist on the classic Chanukah treat.

12/03/2010
Editorial Assistant

I love the classic potato latke. It might be one of my favorite foods of all time. And as the old saying goes – if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. So I prefer to think of this as a completely different dish, a way to try out new flavors and combinations – after you’ve already had your fill of the traditional potato pancake.

Curried Sweet Potato Latkes. Photo by Amy Spiro
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