On Hanukkah we wish one another, Hanukkah same'ah! 'Happy Hanukkah!' Because it's a celebration, a remembrance of something good, a time in our mythic past when our ancestors saw miracles . . . and needed them.
When the Hasidim of Kotzk prayed, they did not move. Any external sign of piety was deemed pretentious. The story is told of a great student, who after one prayer session -- though someone observing from the side would not even have noticed that he was praying -- was bathed in sweat and had actually cracked two of his teeth.
Some say that the period of Judaism we are now in, its institutions and leaders, are on the verge of major transformation. Many of us don't see it coming.
Over the centuries, there have been many different ways to decorate the Torah. Like all Judaica, there is no particular style of Jewish art. Jews adapted their decoration to whatever surrounding local style they were living in. Here are some examples.
This is the time to sit with the anxiety, the ambiguity and the unknowability of our lives. This is the time to go down deep in to the deepest recesses of who we are, to find resources and riches we didn't know were there.
It's that time of year that every Jew dreads. Eight days without bread, pizza, pasta or anything else that leavens. But not in our house.