Saturday, October 31st 2020   |

High Holidays

Give up the guilt: A proposal for the New Year


SAN FRANCISCO ( — Here is a radical proposal for the New Year: Forget the guilt and instead lean into what you love to become the best possible version of yourself.

The liturgy for the Jewish New Year has us taking a long hard look at all the mistakes we have made over the previous 12 months. Soul searching is good, but for the most part...

Should young families have to pay to pray?


NEW YORK ( — Have you heard the one about the young Jewish couple who have a kid while living in a big city and find themselves searching for community around the High Holidays?

You know, the couple who decide to pony up for synagogue membership at a large congregation in their city neighborhood and then subsequently become involved through the synagogue preschool, the young sisterhood and...

Some lessons from the New Year’s texts


For the past several years, and again this year, I have been honored to be chosen to read the Torah in my synagogue on the first day of Rosh Hashanah – and each year I struggle with the troubling text and try to figure out what it is saying to me.

For those who may be unfamiliar, the reading from Genesis Chapter 21 tells of how Sarah, long...

Succot: Holiday in Hershey Park


On the first weekday of chol hamoed Succot, most years, my wife and I take our four children to Hershey Park. The park, which is in Lancaster, PA., is closed to everyone but frum Jews on that day.

Lancaster is not known as a center of frumkeit — it is most decidedly “out of town — but on that day Hershey not only makes accommodations for the...

A Succot message


“All seven days one makes his sukkah permanent and his home temporary.” (Mishnah Sukkah 2:9)

Succot is a holiday that is centered on the little structures we build and eat and sleep in for a week every fall. In our tradition, the succah is referenced often, but really only in two contexts. The first is physical, referring to the huts we build yearly and for all...

Mass gathering celebrates Succot priestly blessing at Western Wall

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Some 80,000 men gathered at the Western Well for the priestly blessing for Succot during holiday prayer services.

Some 100 kohanim, or high priests, blessed the men on Sunday morning,  according to a statement issued by the office of the Rabbi of the Western Wall.

Among those in attendance were the Western Wall rabbi, Shmuel Rabinowitz; the chief rabbis of Israel; and Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat.


Succot at a glance

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 18 CHABAD LUBAVITCH (Uptown) – Succot under the Stars 7:30 p.m. CHABAD CENTER OF METAIRE – Candle lighting 6:45 p.m.; Program 7:30 p.m. CONGREGATION ANSHE SFARD –  Candle Lighting 6:44 p.m. CONGREGATION BETH ISRAEL – Mincha/Maariv services at 6:00 p.m. CONGREGATION GATES OF PRAYER – Succot program at 7:00 p.m. HILLEL AT TULANE – Shakshukah in the sukkah at 7:00 p.m. NORTHSHORE JEWISH CONGREGATION – Succot barbeque dinner...

Succot explains a cutural mystery


Succot, like perfect sweet and sour cabbage soup, has two flavors. A single holiday with two themes. We celebrate the bounty of the grape and olive harvest in the Promised Land; also we commemorate 40 hungry years of wanderings in that huge sand pile – the Sinai Peninsula – a garden that can only grow rocks.

The Chumash commands us to relive...

OP-ED: In navigating Kotel conflict, be mindful of ancient etrog riot


JERUSALEM (JTA) — The scene is familiar to us all. Women of the Wall come to the Kotel to worship in the shadow of the Temple Mount. Haredi Orthodox worshippers respond by disrupting their prayers, sometimes pelting them with eggs and other objects.

Underlying these clashes are distinctly modern issues — the conflict between liberal and traditionalist Jewish movements and the proper place of religion in the...

Colorado flooding wreaks havoc on Yom Kippur observances

By ANDREA JACOBS, Intermountain Jewish News

DENVER (IJN) — Before the start of Yom Kippur, a flood of historic proportions swallowed Boulder, Colo., and surrounding areas, displacing families, damaging synagogues and threatening services on the holiest day of the Jewish year — until determination came to the rescue.

Orthodox Boulder Aish Kodesh hit the Internet first, sending a mass email to 500 residents announcing...