All tagged Holiday

5 Ways Palestinian Eastern Orthodox Easter is Unique

Since Easter is here, I wanted to let the Western world learn about some Easter traditions that are particular to the Eastern world and the Eastern Church. Although there are many Western traditions that the Eastern world has adopted, such as egg hunting, and decorating our homes with bunnies and baskets, there are still some Easter traditions that are unique to this side of the world.

Women: The Original Witnesses to Resurrection and Life

Hope, life, renewal, rebirth. These aren’t things we see much of these days with the ongoing violence and rhetoric of death. Honestly, things look pretty dismal both here and in many parts of the world. It seems the extremists are getting the stage, while the rest of us simply look on.

Choose the Light

In this dark season our hearts turn to the ever rising sun where, day upon day, it rises from the embrace of the night. So it is with our souls-mornings do come, whether misted, fogged or bright. In this season of long nights, the star from the East once rose, lit the night sky, sent Magi on their long journey, seeking and finding the promised One who came to illuminate the darkness with his presence, the promise of deliverance. He has come and his light shattered the power of darkness forever. In this place where it all began, we carry this ever bright reality in the midst of a fallen world and an increasingly perverse generation.

To the Suffering: A Holiday Message of Love

As I write this Christmas post, my heart is heavy as I’m reminded of the millions of Iraqi/Syrian refugees that will be spending this season away from their homes and families. I’m also reminded of the Palestinian mothers who will be spending this season missing their sons/daughters who have been killed in the latest round of violence in Jerusalem and the West Bank.

What About the Mothers-in-Law in the Christmas Story? Part 2

Alice: Today, as I was preparing my weekly kneidlach, my wonderful, gorgeous, handsome and talented son burst through the doors with the most amazing news! My boy, oh, he could have been so much more than a carpenter-lawyer, doctor, tax collector-he's a wonderful son!  Ah, but then he settled for Miriam and a small, provincial life in this one-camel town.  Ah well....maybe the Grandson will amount to something.

What About the Mothers-in-Law in the Christmas Story? Part 1

Goody Two Shoes:  You are not going to believe this, but last night Joseph came home and told us Mary, his fiancé, is pregnant!!! I was so shocked but I should have saved it because what came next topped the whole sorry tale...She (I can hardly utter her name-Mary)...she said God was responsible for getting her pregnant!!! How blasphemous!!! AS IF...Now I have heard some stories in the past about miracles and such, but this is ridiculous!

A Celebration of Light

Last Christmas Eve, I watched my son’s face, awash with delight as he ran up to a Christmas tree, the lights dancing and flashing around him, as voices joined in unison echoing off the walls and the dramatic ceiling, celebrating the birth of the Savior.

Yom Kippur and Eid-al- Adha: commonalities and differences

Jewish Israel has just passed through the season of the High Holidays. We’ve celebrated the New Year (Rosh Hashanah), which is not really the new year as it’s the beginning of the seventh month of the Jewish calendar, the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) and The Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot). These holidays, like the Moslem holidays, are both set according to the lunar calendar, but with differing dates. Israel’s Arab Moslem citizens have just celebrated, Eid-al-Adha (Feast of the Sacrifice).

The Yom Kippur We All Need and Guilt We All Share

This year I have heard dozens of theories tossed around about the Jewish holiday season, replete with blood moons and shmitas and other “signs,” which may or may not be significant. But I think those things are mere distractions from what is really central to seeing the healing and refreshment that we so desire and often fast for, and the guilt we all share and need to repent from.

Repentance, Renewal and Rosh HaShana

The summer always comes to an end before I realize it. We get ready for a new school year, and then the holidays come in a rush one after the next, starting with Rosh HaShana, the Jewish New Year. It, among other things, commemorates the traditional date of humanity’s creation. It is a time for increased introspection and self-examination as observant Jews gather before Rosh HaShana to recite prayers of penitence.Yet the Jewish New Year does not mark immediate physical or spiritual renewal. Instead, it is but the first day of a ten-day period, the Days of Awe, a time for collective and individual reflection, summoning us to national and personal change in direction, culminating in Yom Kippur -- The Day of Atonement.