Teshuvah and The Environment

As we engage during the High Holidays in the process of teshuvah/repentance or change, we mostly focus on how we have hurt other people and how we want to be […]

Trying to Attain Perfection In An Imperfect World

“The place that those who do teshuvah can attain; — those who are completely righteous can never attain. Be-makom she-ba’alei teshuvah omdin ein tzadikkim gemurim ye-kholin l’amode.“ (Tractate Berakhot 34b) […]

Who By Water and Who By Fire

Look around you on Rosh Hashanah or Yom Kippur as the powerful, frightening piyyut (liturgical poem) of UnetaneTokef is sung during the Musaf prayer. This awe-inspiring section depicts how we […]

What Makes This Apple Cake Recipe Jewish?

My father’s family is squarely Ashkenazi: Lithuanians and Poles who came through Ellis Island, raised families in New York, some retired to Florida, others made their way west to California […]

Elul, My Favorite Month

I know, I know. The month of Elul should inspire awe and fear. I have heard stories of people in previous generations who would tremble when Rosh Chodesh Elul (the […]