Why Don’t Jews Like To Pray?

For many American Jews, Hebrew prayers are challenging to follow.

According to the Talmud (Rosh Hashanah 18a), the period between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, the 10 days of penitence, is the time period when God is considered to be both “found” and “close.” And it’s not uncommon for Jews to feel during the month of Elul and then the High Holiday period an itch… Read More

True To Their Words

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Elise Saltzberg is a fourth-generation Secular Jew with a capital S. “A secular Jew with a small s is often translated to mean unaffiliated and uninvolved,” explained Saltzberg, 56, of Pikesville, a founding member of the Baltimore Jewish Cultural Chavurah, a Secular Humanistic congregation founded by Rabbi Judith Seid about 15 years ago. “Growing up,… Read More

Rosh Hashanah In The Park

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Temple Isaiah in Fulton is moving its popular Rosh Hashanah family service outdoors this year to Centennial Park in Ellicott City. Last year, the Howard County congregation’s afternoon open-to-the-public family service at the temple drew close to 200 people. Now, the congregation is trying its hand at what’s called “Public Space Judaism.” “It’s really meant… Read More

Speak Easy

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It’s a daunting process, but it’s one that Beth Israel Congregation Rabbi Jay R. Goldstein inevitably faces every year. With the High Holidays right around the corner, Rabbi Goldstein, usually in the days leading up to Labor Day weekend, will park himself at his desk, spread out all of the various materials — in the… Read More

Novel Flavors

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Each Jewish New Year, as we greet each other with a joyous shannah tovah, I add a happy birthday for myself. Being born on Rosh Hashanah, a holiday with a tradition of tasting new food, as well as being the owner of The Classic Catering People, I relish in the discovery of novel flavors. Rosh… Read More

Punt The Pomegranate

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Let’s be honest, people — it’s 2013, and with rows of bottled pomegranate juice lining every convenience store refrigerator, the sight of those hundreds of little red stains-to-be on Rosh Hashanah night is just all too humdrum. So when you usher in the Jewish New Year with a new fruit this holiday season, why not… Read More

New Super-Size Kitchen Awaits Jewish Pilgrims To Uman

Jewish volunteers have finished building a kitchen the size of a basketball court in Uman, Ukraine, where they plan to prepare 105,000 meals to serve to pilgrims next month. The new kitchen, donated by philanthropist and entrepreneur Steve Bogomilsky of Florida, replaced a smaller setup used in previous years by volunteers and employees of Uman’s… Read More

Journey to Uman

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Each Rosh Hashanah, thousands of Jews travel to Uman, a small town in Ukraine, where the plumbing is outdated, the environment is hostile and the main attraction is overcrowded. Many stay in tents in close quarters with one another. But kvetching is kept to a minimum. Why? They’re all there to visit the grave of… Read More

‘Jews Are Still At Risk’

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Late last week, federal officials, along with representatives of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington formally announced at a news conference the seizure of the long-lost “Rosenberg Diary.” The book, which had gone missing following the Nuremberg Trials in the late 1940s, is a loose collection of the recollections — from spring 1936 to… Read More