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Jewish Holidays

Tu B'Av and the Question of Gendered Rituals

Yesterday marked Tu B’Av, the 15th day of the month of Av, a minor Jewish holiday that Wikipedia tells me has become a Jewish equivalent to Valentine’s Day, in that it is an auspicious day for holding weddings and perhaps meeting a romantic partner. The part about weddings makes sense: Tu B’Av comes only 6 after the fast day of Tisha B’Av, and many Jews avoid holding weddings during either the three weeks or the nine days leading up to the fast, since they are considered mournful times. So, we’ve had a dearth of weddings in our community, Tisha B’Av passes, and after so much sadness, a wedding is something to look forward to. But meeting a partner on Tu B’Av? Where is the logic in that?

Jews and African Americans: Siblings in Oppression?

Explore and interrogate the identification between Jews and African-Americans against the backdrop of the Passover seder.

Moving Inward: bringing liberation movements into the Jewish community

Act out, through tableaux vivants, the ways Jews took what they had learned from the Civil Rights Movement and other liberation movements and used these insights to change the Jewish community.

Thinking about women and food on Tisha B'Av

This Tuesday marked Tisha B’Av, the 9th day of the Hebrew month of Av. Tisha B’Av is a Jewish fast day marking the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem, but over the years, it has come to serve as a symbolic day of mourning for tragedies that have befallen the Jewish people over the course of history.

More Passover Memories

The other day I blogged about celebrating Passover on my great aunt’s dairy farm outside of Baltimore.

Passover on the Farm

How many kids growing up in Baltimore City in the 1950s celebrated Passover on a dairy farm? How many little girls hunted for the afikomen in a house that had once been home to slaveholders? How many children heard the sounds of cows mooing when they opened the door for Elijah? Not too many, I reckon, but for the first 15 years of my life, our family seders were held on the dairy farm owned by my Great Aunt Sarah Mahr.

Our 10 Plagues

Letty Cottin Pogrebin, a rock-star of Jewish feminism, delivered a speech called “The Ten Plagues According to Jewish Women,” at the Downtown Seder on March 25 in Manhattan. An adaptation of this speech has been published on The Sisterhood blog, and it is fabulous. Pogrebin goes through each of the 10 Plagues and demonstrates how each symbolizes a problem facing Jewish women today.

Esther: Nice Jewish Girl, Married to a Goy?

This past weekend was Purim, and amidst the celebrating and partying one thing stood out in my mind that most people tend to ignore: the fact that the feminine hero of the story, Esther, is interma

Queen Esther’s Agunah Story

You can learn an incredible amount about different people from language.

What Queen Esther can teach us about intermarriage

“She was trying as hard as she could not to be beautiful. But she had a brightness on her, made stronger by the fact that she wanted to hide it; thinking if it was seen, somehow, it would make him choose her, and of course it did.” 

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Jewish Holidays." (Viewed on August 31, 2015) <http://jwa.org/topics/jewish-holidays>.

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