Jewish tradition is full of argument, but argument is not its essence. Judaism is a system devoted to the sacred deed.
Mitzvot in all their array — ritual, ethical, colorful, mundane, God-directed, human-centered -- mitzvot are the central stuff of Judaism. What cannot be said can be enacted. The meaning of Shabbat candles is ultimately inexpressible; lighting is the language of ritual, at once less articulate and yet deeper than any words.
Children sometimes ask, as mine did when they were younger, why, if there is a Father’s Day and a Mother’s Day, is there no Children’s Day. Although it’s not the response that I used, the classic one is that every day is Children’s Day.
Synagogues, educational groups rethinking offerings and
restructuring programs to reach a new generation.
For eighth graders enrolled in Temple Emanu-El’s religious schoolTemple Emanu-El’s religious school, the lessons this year are less aleph-bet and more ABC.
Once a month, the young teens make the short trek from Upper East Side to East Harlem to volunteer with elementary-age kids at the Association to Benefit Children, an agency that offers numerous services for disadvantaged children.