All tagged Judaism

4 Daughters and 5 Questions

In many holidays, women play a secondary or supporting role and the gender balance is largely skewed in favor of patriarchy. Yet, if you look at the Passover story, one could very easily frame the holiday within the context of women’s heroism.  Think of Yocheved (the mother of Moses), Shiphrah and Puah (the midwives who defied Pharaoh’s order to kill the male Hebrew children), Miriam (Moses’ sister who cleverly arranged for Moses’ protection, and later a prophetess to her people), Tzipporah (who saved her husband Moses when God wanted to kill him on the way back to Egypt for not circumcising his son) and Pharaoh’s daughter (named Bithiah in Jewish tradition, who drew out Moses from the Nile, named him and fostered him).

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.

Palestinians(Arabs) role in the Israeli Elections Campaign

As we approach the Israeli elections day, each party has a limited period of time to share their vision and goals to the public. Posters, advertisements, online commercials and flyers are being distributed to inform and convince voters. As a member of the Palestinian minority in Israel with a right to vote, I want to know what each party has to offer me and my minority in the state. 

Challenging Religious Conceptions, a Midrash

We have seen so much negative rhetoric and violent action justified in the name of the nation and in the name of God.  When we allow ourselves to voice words of violence, words of celebration at the other’s tragedy, words calling for the destruction of each other, we allow these words to take root in our hearts, and this violence in our hearts has opportunity to pass to our hands.  Words that speak no peace, can seek no peace, can bring no peace.