Expanding Minds and Grappling with Pluralism in the Arava

This article first appeared in the Jerusalem Post "Metro" section on February 26, 2016. Reprinted with permission Expanding minds and grappling with pluralism in the Arava By Hannah Katsman Nobel Prize-winning chemist Dan Shechtman, former education minister Shai … [Read more...]

Okay So This is the NaBloPoMo Test

It's  11:00 PM. It's NaBloPoMo. I made a Facebook Page for CookingManager.Com. Not only did I create it, I even followed a video tutorial to make an interactive sidebar. The sidebar isn't much, but according to Facebook none of my friends uses that application. My Facebook fan page is the cutting … [Read more...]

Pre-Shavuot Shabbat

Glossary below. Two holidays are so special that the preceding Shabbat has special significance: The Shabbat before Pesach is known as Shabbat Hagadol, and the Shabbat before Yom Kippur is called Shabbat Shuvah. The rabbi always gives a special shiur on the other two special sabbaths. Tomorrow he … [Read more...]

A long speech and a double-duty Torah reading

Chanting the Torah takes skill and preparation, so traditional synagogues assign someone to chant the weekly biblical portion. Sometimes members take turns, while some synagogues hire a professional. Lion of Zion is one such professional who often writes about the intricacies of the cantillation … [Read more...]

A Subdued Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur

A member of our shul, a mother of five, lost her fight with cancer on the first night of Rosh Hashana. When the family realized that her death was near, they checked her into the hospital and stayed with her. Had she died at home, the burial would have taken place on Yom Tov with the family walking … [Read more...]

Synagogues in mixed communities

Trilcat vents about people who object to government allocations for synagogues, yet visit on holidays or when they want an aliyah for their son's bar mitzvah. I am not sure that the people complaining about municipal allocations for religious purposes are the same as those stopping by for Ne'ilah on … [Read more...]

An Explosive Purim? *UPDATED*

An email has been going around containing a slide show about the dangers of mild explosives. The son of the producer was injured when caps exploded in his pocket.Thanks to Aidel Maidel for the technical help in embedding the document.The Jerusalem Post summarizes: [The JP, perhaps erroneously, … [Read more...]

Growing up in the middle

Yesterday I found a blog called Musings from a Square Peg. From the introduction:Recently I have begun questioning my assumptions and wondering if I should be Orthodox – and if so, what stripe. My parents, Jewish educators both, managed to imbue their children with their passion for Judaism. I feel … [Read more...]

Seven things about Sukkot

I've adapted this idea from an earlier meme called "Eight things about me." (A meme is a cross between a chain letter and a themed blog post.) I changed the number to seven, in honor of the seven days of Sukkot (Tabernacles festival).My husband likes to quote the midrash where one of the nations … [Read more...]

The Truth about Nursing in the Ezrat Nashim

Which of the following situations is disturbing, distracting, or inappropriate in shul? Cracking open a bag of Bamba for a toddler, who proceeds to distribute the contents around the shul Hansel and Gretel style. Shoving chairs right and left while pushing a monster stroller through the … [Read more...]