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DAYS OF AWE-SOME VACATIONS

AFTER 21 YEARS in Israel I am finally ready to acknowledge that for many secular Israelis, Jewish holidays are mainly looked upon as a chance to take a vacation at the State’s expense. This is especially true of the fall holiday period, which for secular Israelis contains no essential observances. (Whereas over the spring holiday period, the three weeks beginning ... Read More »

ROSH HASHANAH

“WHEN I WAS a kid, that phrase was my older brother’s sneaky way of securing his place as the coin-flipping champion. After months of never winning, I involuntarily secured my place as the coin-flipping loser. Until…. One day, I took the time to think about the meaning of my brother’s phrase. Then, I realized with satisfaction that I had not ... Read More »

GUARDIANS OF THE EARTH

WOW! IT’S ALREADY Rosh Hashana. Another start to a fresh new year. Really? How can it be? It’s still so hot. In fact, it continues to feel like summer. Don’t the High Holidays normally come in the Fall? In Bereishit, Genesis, The Torah tells us that, “The Lord took man and put him in the Garden of Eden, to tend ... Read More »

A Shabbat of Heights

EACH SPRING, the Jewish Learning Institute (JLI) hosts “Shabbat in the Heights,” a weekend retreat in Crown Heights, New York, the hub of the worldwide Chabad Lubavitch movement. This year, the Chabad of Laguna Niguel community decide to take the plunge. Twelve of us headed across the country for what participant Naftali Kotler termed “a weekend… on a cloud.” “Shabbat ... Read More »

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