This intimidating cartoon really got to me, a moderate believer who made what I thought was a minor sacrifice to tribal loyalty—twice—over 20 years ago when I chose the traditional ceremony for my newborn sons. Of course I did not like causing my babies pain, but I had seen the ceremony several times and knew that it did not last long at all, and having just gone through childbirth, I knew pain was part of life.
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Today is Christmas, perhaps the ultimate holiday for giving, and I am reflecting on the act, ritualization, and commercialization of "giving."
In the past few weeks the media has been abuzz with commentary on the virtue or the silliness of Giving Tuesday. Social media and a consortium of charities pumped up the idea of naming the Tuesday after Black Friday and Cyber Monday “Giving Tuesday,” declaring it the beginning of “The Giving Season.”
Writer Maggie Anton, whose "Rashi’s Daughters” series has sold 175,000 copies, believes that studying Talmud is the most feminist thing a woman can do. “Knowledge of Talmud is the key to halacha,” she says. Anton asserts that modern Jewish law is made at a table full of Talmud scholars, and that women can have a seat at that table.
Are women in Chassidic communities nothing more than oppressed victims? Is the Haredi threat to civil liberties in Israel, which is represented by segregated busses, real?
I sometimes direct tourists toward 'the HP garage,' which is marked with a plaque and gets photographed a lot. It is three blocks down the street from my house.
I took these pictures last Purim to illustrate a little-discussed aspect of the aspect of hamantashen baking: Cookie cleavage.
Two people I know have had run-ins with HPV, the Human Papilloma Virus. One was a man my age that got a mouth cancer which was viral in origin.
I made my first batch of kreplach, noodle dough containing ground meat usually found in chicken soup, in 1972, with my very Greek friend Mary Mastrogeannes, when I was fourteen.
My congregation is having a big Purim Party on Sunday. They will need about 300 hamantaschen and I am bringing enough dough to make 2/3 of them.
Using "The Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother," as a jumping off point, we can finally challenge some fond assumptions of educators and parents that have gotten us into trouble in the past 30 years.