If gefilte fish was in need of an image makeover — and let’s be honest, it was — it couldn’t have done much better than having these two taking up its cause.
Abigail Pogrebin wondered what it’s like to live by the Jewish calendar. And now she’s going to try, one holiday at a time. She starts by explaining why it is so important — and difficult.
Presiding over a wedding for secular friends is one thing. Doing it on Yom Kippur felt like too big a leap, even for one who isn’t particularly observant.
Some Jews have never been big on rituals. Johnna Kaplan decided to change that a bit, starting with lighting Shabbat candles — but it wasn’t as easy as you might think.
It’s not easy to move the family Seder from the place where it’s been held for years. But at some point, a new generation has to take the plunge.
Eight days without leavened bread is no easy task for any Jew. No whole-wheat bagels with scallion cream cheese! No chewy chocolate chip cookies! No soy sauced-drenched rice! But it is especially trying for me; I am 29 years old and eight years recovered from a decade-long eating disorder. Each year, Passover’s food restrictions — a triggering behavior for any recovered bulimic or anorexic — challenges my footing.
As a Jewish woman who prefers work to cooking, the Hebrew calendar determines most of the time I spend in the kitchen. Certainly I cook year round — especially for shabbos — but for me, serious cooking happens over the Jewish holidays. While most Jewish women would probably claim Pesach as the ultimate in holiday work, I am most challenged by the fall holidays, when my professional world collides with my Jewish world.
Growing up in a predominantly Jewish upper-middle class neighborhood of Toronto and attending Hebrew day school I didn’t know a single person who celebrated Thanksgiving. Naturally, I assumed that it was a Christian holiday.
Of all the holidays I’ve never observed, Sukkot has always looked like the most fun. Growing up, I didn’t know anyone who celebrated the autumn festival; my awareness of it came entirely from reading. Sukkot would have seemed exotic if it wasn’t somehow so familiar, a combination of Thanksgiving and being allowed to sleep on the back porch.
This Sukkot, there is a religious battle going on in the city of Modi’in, Israel, and as often happens in such battles, it is being fought over women’s bodies.