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Jewish Holidays

Loving Judith

Gentileschi’s rendition of Judith is a self-portrait—allowing her to wield a sword and take revenge, if only in fantasy. Judith Slaying Holofernes was the first piece of feminist art that really moved me. Even now, I get chills when I view it. I thought a lot about Judith this week, after dusting off my menorah and dutifully buying candles and gelt.

The Harm of Tshuvah: A Letter from an Abuse Survivor

People view forgiveness as the secret to healing, as if it isn’t a long painful process of flashbacks, relapsing, shame, medication, and therapy, as if there’s some easy way to heal that I have been too prideful to consider. To view forgiveness as the apex of survivors’ progress trivializes each person’s individual struggle.

Building a Home

As a former Gender Studies major, I have a lot of hang-ups about the concept of building a home. ... I don’t know what kind of Jewish household I’m going to run yet—but I do know the joys of tradition, both old and new, are hardwired in me.

Are you a Good Jew or a Bad Jew?

This anxiety of “am I Jewish enough” is part of a larger historical problem, one of power dynamics and exclusionary politics. ... The “right” or “wrong” way to be Jewish has long been a narrative controlled by those in power.

Espresso Ricotta Fritters for Shavuot

In this recipe, I’ve mixed espresso into a dairy Ricotta Fritter recipe to blend the caffeine sometimes needed for the all-night studying with the traditional Shavuot practice of eating a lot of dairy.

Ritual and Obsessions

“This is the part of your brain that holds your obsessive-compulsive disorder,” she said, her tone firm. “We can fray this cord, but we can’t just break it.” ... I imagined a dark red cable, floating somewhere in the space between my ears, demanding my attention every waking moment of the day. In light of Passover approaching, it seemed particularly cruel that I found myself struggling with the concept of freedom.

The Five Books of Miriam

At the root of The Five Books of Miriam is our great cultural urge as Jewish people—a desire to question, to be in a constant dialogue with God, with ourselves, and with each other.

Vegetarian Kuku for Passover

I offer a nutritious, delicious dinner recipe to stave off the Passover madness. It is easily made parve, so you can have it with your meat or dairy meals. It works great for large or small seder gatherings, and with vegetarians and meat-eaters alike. Kuku is an Iranian/Persian egg dish that I would describe as frittata-like.

Hamentaschen with Strawberry Balsalmic and Chocolate Tahini Fillings

Celebrating Purim involves listening to the reading of the scroll of Esther and donating to charity. It also, crucially, involves eating hamentaschen. These recipes, inspired by my favorite fillings as a child, are a combination of sweet and savory, cutting the often overly-sweet jam and chocolate fillings with a little bit more depth of flavor.

Queen Esther: Quiet Leader

Purim has always been ranked high on my list of favorite holidays. Who doesn’t love dressing up, eating hamantaschen, playing games, and winning prizes? In addition to my synagogue’s annual Purim carnival I also look forward to the megillah reading each year. I always found the story to be interesting, but as I’ve gotten older, my interpretation has evolved from one about a queen who saves her people (the Jews), to a complex narrative about a female leader.

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Jewish Holidays." (Viewed on December 15, 2018) <https://jwa.org/topics/jewish-holidays>.

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