Family

Agreeing to disagree: the value of religious doubt

September 18, 2017

This is the key: “I disagree with pretty much everything they’re doing when it comes to their Jewish practice. But that doesn’t make them wrong.”

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Sleeping pill snafu ends on a restful note

September 10, 2017

I’ve been under enormous pressure lately, exacerbating my chronic insomnia. But never in all my years of sleeping pill-popping did I make this goof.

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Dishwasher soap opera

August 5, 2017

When we bought our first dishwasher, we had to choose an approach per halacha (Jewish law) for how we were going keep that dishwasher kosher

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When words and belief clash

June 25, 2017

It was Friday night, and as I was preparing to say the Shabbat kiddush – the traditional sanctification of the wine – one of our guests made a surprising request: “Could I, um, make my own kiddush?” The question seemed innocent enough, but I knew what he was getting at. It was not that he […]

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The women of Jacob’s Ladder: indie artists rock the Sea of Galilee

June 4, 2017

The 41st annual Jacob’s Ladder music festival was characterized by two surprises: the event’s first-ever thunderstorm and a standout preponderance of indie folk acts fronted by women.

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Why live in Israel?

April 30, 2017

Why do Jews live in Israel? That was the question Jerusalem Post editor Yaakov Katz asked in his Friday column two weeks ago. With Yom Ha’atzmaut just around the corner, it’s a question we should all be asking ourselves. Katz sets up – and then deconstructs – two answers popular in recent years with Israeli […]

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Finding your place: New Haggadah makes Passover personal

April 16, 2017

I’m a Haggadah hoarder. Over the years, our family has collected dozens of different Haggadot for the Passover holiday. They range from the highly traditional to the decidedly modern. We have classic Haggadot with commentaries from the Me’am Lo’ez (originally written in Ladino by Rabbi Yaakov Culi in 1730), Rabbi Marcus Lehman of Mainz (late […]

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Is “Foreign Language Learning Disability” real?

April 6, 2017

Fluent in English but can’t seem to master a second language? You may have Foreign Language Learning Disability. That’s my experience with Hebrew

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Texting on Shabbat? Guidelines for the observant Jew

February 19, 2017

The growing phenomenon of Orthodox Jewish teenagers keeping what’s been called “Half Shabbos” burst into the Jewish media several years ago. “Half Shabbos” describes someone who observes all of the Sabbath regulations except one: using his or her smart phone to send text messages. Religious leaders reacted predictably to the revelation of what had been […]

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Breaking the rabbinate’s monopoly on marriage

January 2, 2017

Rabbi Chuck Davidson is on a holy mission to end the Israeli Rabbinate’s monopoly on marriage. Nearly every night of the week, Davidson conducts wedding ceremonies that the rabbinate deems “illegal.” His goal: to get arrested. That’s the only way, he says, to force the courts to rule on what he considers one of the […]

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