This most recent High Holy Days, I had the privilege of experiencing a dozen different synagogues in Los Angeles. They were for me days of awe -- and days of discovery.
The use of honey for Rosh Hashanah symbolizes a sweet year and dates back to biblical times, when refined sugar was unknown.
At least seven Arab worshipers on the Temple Mount were arrested following clashes that included throwing rocks at Jewish visitors to the holy site.
No real news here, but it’s not every day the president speaks directly to the Jews (except for this week, when it seems he did).
The Los Angeles Jewish Singles Meeting Place, a group that arranges small-scale events every week to connect middle-aged singles in a non-threatening environment, might seem an unlikely sponsor for community-wide services during the High Holy Days.
The digital age is changing the way we approach all aspects of life — including repentance. There is a catharsis in release, especially public release, and that’s what the founders of a slew of new digital programs and apps have tapped into during the High Holy Days. From scandalous sins to high hopes, the Internet is teeming with people looking for a platform to atone and reflect this coming New Year.
Here in Pico-Robertson, we’re bracing ourselves for the annual onslaught of kosher calories known as the Holy Month. Some people think that this time of year calls for only a few big meals. Not quite. If you’re a stickler for tradition, the actual number of Thanksgiving-level meals over the next month is closer to — I’m not kidding — about 18. And that’s not even counting the Yom Kippur pre-fast and break-the-fast meals.
“When you enter the land that YHVH, your God, is giving you as a heritage …” (Deuteronomy 26:1).
Last week I penned a column about a Bar Mitzvah party video that had been circulating on the Web. I was incensed not only at the video, but the currency it had achieved, making it appear that this was a paradigm of Jewish celebrations.
It’s Sunday night, Erev Rosh Hashanah, and Hebrew chatter fills the air of a Masonic center on Westwood Boulevard. Approximately a dozen round tables covered in white cloths fill the large room.
How life teaches us! We read the wisdom of books and study the lectures of professors and we think we are ready for what life brings us. Armed with our learning, we venture into the world and discover that the formulas of the brain don’t help bind the wounds of the heart.
Cooking has been a passion for me, and passing on my knowledge and experience to a new kosher audience is one of my greatest joys. When my two earlier books were published — “Kosher Cuisine” and “Helen Nash’s Kosher Kitchen” — that joy was mingled with regret at having to exclude so many more appetizing dishes and ideas about cuisine, nutrition and a healthful approach to everyday meals.
So this is where it all comes together — all the thought, all the planning, the testing. And the tasting, the tasting, the tasting. (That’s the best part). A simanim-inspired menu brings added challenges, but it also adds a level of meaning to your Rosh Hashanah meal. Simanim — literally it means signs or indicators — are meant to point the way to improved circumstances.
Breaking the fast has its own set of traditions. Ashkenazim usually break the fast with something salty, like herring, because they believe fish restores salt lost by the body while fasting. Herring also was the cheapest fish in Eastern Europe, where the custom originated.
Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, begins this year at sundown on Friday, Sept. 26. It is a time to gather with family and friends and enjoy special holiday foods.