Chanukah: Gifted

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Traditional though it might be, this year’s Chanukah gift guide is all about, well … Chanukah. We’ve found some of the prettiest, most whimsical Chanukah menorahs, dreidels and Judaica from a variety of Jewish retail establishments about town. Yup! There’s no reason at all to set foot inside a mall. What a relief! Whether you’re… Read More

Sweet & Savory

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It happened so fast. Who pressed the fast-forward button on summer? It felt as if Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur got the bum’s rush from the Jewish calendar. I went from the hot sweat of August to the cold sweat of preparing my Rosh Hashanah/Yom Kippur menus. Now, just as I take a deep breath,… Read More

Green Golan

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Israel is renowned for creating innovative solutions for dealing with a scarcity of natural resources from seawater desalination to drip irrigation. Indeed, these technologies have been sold internationally and are aiding the solution of dire water and food shortages in the developing world. Israel has now begun to focus on a new challenge, that of… Read More

Say No To Sukkot Weight Gain

Rosh Hashanah has its shofar, apples and honey. Yom Kippur has its tefillot (prayers) and fasting. Chanukah has its menorah and draidel. Pesach has its Seders. Shavuot has its Torah. Sukkot, except for several symbols, is really about the joy of eating in the sukkah and enjoying the friends and family you have invited. This… Read More

At Sukkot, Turning Oy Into The Season Of Joy

In open opposition to Kohelet (Ecclesiastes), which tells us on Sukkot “there is nothing new under the sun,” I decided to build a solar sukkah this fall. To energize my plan, I went to the 99 Cent Store to buy some solar yard lights to adapt for use on the roof. However, while driving home… Read More

Fish Farming

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When Ellen Perlman heard about aquaponics through a chance meeting, it perked up the environmentalist in her. “I am very interested in saving the planet and sustainability,” she said. “I never in my wildest dreams imagined I’d be farming fish.” After taking a course in Florida taught by James Rakocy, the father of modern aquaponics, Perlman… Read More

At Yom Kippur, A Heads-Up On Chest Thumping

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On Yom Kippur, when we beat our chests during the confession, maybe we should be knocking instead on our heads. After all, isn’t that where all the trouble starts? On this most physically demanding of Jewish days, Jewish tradition has us beat the heart side of our chests, as if to say this is the… Read More

What Is Jewish Unity?

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This year, the Torah portions Nitzavim and Vayelech were read together on Aug. 30. However, Nitzavim is considered to be related to Rosh Hashanah and Vayelech to Yom Kippur. Both parshiot have similar messages — they speak about Jewish unity. According to Torah commentators, on Rosh Hashanah (in Nitzavim), the Jewish unity referred to is… Read More

One Big Conversation

“We are One,” say the United Jewish Appeal campaign signs. A friend and colleague remarks, “Really? Isn’t it God that is ‘One’?” So I wonder, is there a connection between the oneness of God and achdut Yisrael, the unity of the Jewish people? Evidence of our disunity abounds; achdut Yisrael is apparently not descriptive. We… Read More

Prescription Or Description?

A visit to a doctor may turn out with two kinds of statements: descriptions and prescriptions. The medical description is a diagnosis. The prescription might entail following a course of treatment or, for so many of us, being told simply to watch what we eat and exercise more. In a medical setting, we generally find… Read More