Special Holiday Issues

Choosing Soul Over Mind

Praying on Rosh HaShanah poses a challenge to a devoted Jew for whom god is not on a throne.

Special to The Jewish Week

I am not a learned Jew. I am neither “religious” nor secular. I grew up in a religious household, and studied for a short time in a Jerusalem seminary. And though I eventually decided Orthodox Judaism was not a good fit for me, I did not entirely abandon Judaism either.

The author will be in synagogue on Rosh HaShanah, “using the prayers others are saying as the backdrop to my own meditation.”

Grappling With Prayer

A new crop of books offers insights
into making a spiritual connection.

Staff Writer

Although Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur are familiar times for most Jews, the machzor, or High Holy Days prayer book, is terra incognita. The Hebrew words, even when rendered into English or any other language, present a barrier: the pray-ers don’t know the prayers.

For a Jewish community that largely has embraced the precept of tzedakah, or giving charity, and respects the concept of teshuvah, or making spiritual amends this time of year, tefillah is largely unknown territory.

Rabbi Mike Comins’ “Making Prayer Real” contains contributions from nearly 50 rabbis and thinkers across the religious spectrum.

Reflections on the Days of Awe 2010

Essays and books on the themes of the High Holy Days: Tefillah, Teshuvah and Tzedakah

Illustration by Mark Podwal

Conservative Movement’s ‘Complete Heart’

New prayer book leads the field of new High Holy Day-themed books.

Special To The Jewish Week

 “I want to be written again/in the Book of Life, to be written every single day/till the writing hand hurts.”

Like the call of the shofar, those last lines of Yehuda Amichai’s poem, “I Walked Past a House Where I Lived Once,” herald the coming Days of Awe.

Several new books, including collections of essays and a new mahzor, or holiday prayer book, from the Conservative movement emphasize the themes of the holidays: new possibilities, new meanings and the resiliency of human beings and, at the same time, the very fragility of life.

“Complete Heart”: This new mahzor features many classical poems that are new to Conservative liturgy.

A Less-Sweet New Year, For Desserts, That Is

A pastry chef offers some non-traditional options.

Special To The Jewish Week

 Every kid in Hebrew school can tell you what food Rosh HaShanah is about: apples and honey. But with the widespread criticism of America’s hyper-sugared diet (see New York City’s tax on sugary sodas), the sophisticated Jewish baker can whip up something a little less traditional, and a little less sweet this year.

From chocolate babke to bread pudding and even crème brulee.

Summer Produce For The Fall Holidays

Cukes, zukes and tomatoes:
the bounty of an early Rosh HaShanah.

Editorial Intern

 The kids are barely back in school, the air conditioning is still full blast … and Rosh HaShanah is around the corner.

This year the holiday comes early in the calendar year, with the first night falling on Sept. 8. It might feel like a rush, but the quick-approaching date has an extra benefit. The fresh, seasonal and delicious fruits and vegetables that arrive with the summer heat are still around.

A New Pasture For Kosher Chickens

For young Crown Heights shochet, kashrut and ethics come together in Grow and Behold.

Special To The Jewish Week

 Maybe you’re thinking of making a pomegranate chicken dish for Rosh HaShanah — or perhaps some roasted chicken with honey.

Before you pick up your bird at Glatt Mart or Supersol, Naftali Hanau wants to tell you about an alternative option: Grow and Behold.

Naftali Hanau raises and humanely slaughters kosher chickens. But the 10 in his backyard — those are strictly for eggs.

A Bountiful Season

Nine new wines for the New Year.

Special To The Jewish Week

 For kosher wineries in the Northern Hemisphere, mid-August through mid-October is the busiest and most stressful time of the year. The vineyards must be harvested, the grapes crushed, pressed and fermented, and this year all of this must be done on a rather tight schedule working around a month of three-day holidays. But while the winemakers may be groaning, the wine consumers should be smiling, since the run-up to Rosh HaShanah is when many kosher producers release their new wines.

Rosh HaShanah 5771: A Taste of the New Year

New wines, boutique kosher chicken, summer bounty for fall holidays, non-traditional dessert options and new books as food for thought.

Art by Debbie Richman

Slaves Of History?

A student’s challenge offers new light on Jewish people’s old experience in Egypt.

Special To The Jewish Week

"In every generation,” we read in the Haggadah every year, “everyone must view himself or herself as if he or she had gone forth from Egypt.” This comes from the biblical commandment, “In that day you shall teach your child saying, ‘All of this is because of what God did for me when I went forth from Egypt.’ It was not only our forefathers that the blessed Holy One redeemed; us too God redeemed together with them. ...”

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