Special Coverage

Enhance the New Year with hatov v’hameitiv
BY Anna Harwood
October 1, 2014

The Rosh Hashanah meal is a festive affair. Traditions abound as to how the evening meal can bring good tidings for the year ahead. While some stick to apple and honey for a sweet new year, others recite a full array of blessings over different symbolic food types, from increasing in numbers like the seeds CONTINUE »

In his biography of King David, Rabbi David Wolpe traces the ups and downs of a golden boy who never lost God’s favor
BY David Holzel
October 1, 2014

The name David means “beloved,” and the Israelite king bearing that name was — and remains — just that. “To this day at almost every celebration, Jews sing ‘David, King of Israel, alive, alive and everlasting,’” writes Rabbi David Wolpe in this brief, lyrical biography of his namesake, Israel’s second king who ruled around the CONTINUE »

Understanding Shemitah, Israel’s agricultural Shabbat
BY Ben Sales/JTA
October 1, 2014

TEL AVIV — When Rosh Hashanah comes later this month, Israel’s Jewish farmers won’t just be celebrating the start of a new year. They’ll be marking a year in which they are prohibited from doing their jobs. Called Shemitah, the Torah-mandated, yearlong farming hiatus is felt across Israel, affecting its fields, supermarkets and, of course, CONTINUE »

Amish-made lecterns gain Jewish following
BY Allie Freedman
October 1, 2014

Schoolteacher Jerry Pepper never dreamed he would sell the lecterns known in the Orthodox Jewish world as shtenders as a side job. As the owner of Pepper’s Podiums, he started retailing solid wood products after meeting an Amish woodworker in Elkton, Ky. Inspired by his work, Pepper opened his own company five years ago in CONTINUE »

Hard-working bees help sweeten the New Year
BY Melissa Ger
October 1, 2014

The traditional Rosh Hashanah taste of apples dipped in honey, as well as the challah with honey (instead of salt) taken at meals through the end of Sukkot, invoke thoughts and prayers for a sweet New Year and for the months that follow. “The honey concept is interesting because it’s a contradiction,” observed Rochel Kaplan, CONTINUE »