Tag Archives: holidays

When the Party’s Over — Shemini Atzeret 5783

My friend and drumming teacher, Chris Parker, once taught me a lesson about music that has always stayed with me: “Music,” he said, “is sound organized in time.” In other words, sound without time is just noise. Time without sound … Continue reading

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Are You a Hero? — Yom Kippur 5783

By now, you’ve heard quite a bit about my sabbatical; perhaps more than you wanted to know. Apologies if that’s the case.  On Rosh Hashanah, I talked about how I tried to embrace the spirit of Shabbat by refraining from … Continue reading

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Why Are You Here? — Rosh Hashanah 5783

As a people that is well over three thousand years old, Jews have collectively lived through many eras of upheaval. We have endured revolutions and conquests; crusades, inquisitions and expulsions; the rise and fall of empires; civil wars and world … Continue reading

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Punk’s Not Dead, It’s Jewish: Shavuot 5782

I couldn’t be more excited for the new FX/Hulu miniseries Pistol, which promises to tell the true story of one of my favorite bands, The Sex Pistols. I first discovered The Pistols as a teen, when my natural disposition toward … Continue reading

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‘Earn This’: Last Day of Passover 5782

Over the course of the past year or so, I’ve committed to filling in what I call my “pop culture blindspots,” making a point to watch movies with a significant cultural footprint that I, for various reasons, haven’t seen.  One … Continue reading

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Judaism for the Wise and Wicked: Passover 5782

Questions are perhaps the defining feature of the Seder. The ceremony, with its unusual rites and symbols, appears to have been specifically designed to arouse questions, particularly from children.  To all these questions, let me add one that I want … Continue reading

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To Be, or Not To Be: Sukkot 5782

When I first became a father, I felt the predictable mix of joy, excitement, and fear. Other fathers had told me to expect all of those feelings, particularly the fear. Babies are fragile and needy and apparently don’t come with … Continue reading

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Let’s Talk About How We Talk: Yom Kippur 5782

One of the noteworthy features of our Yom Kippur liturgy is that the viddui, the list of transgressions we confess ten times over the course of this holy day, is dominated by sins of communication. Al het sh’hatanu b’vitu’i s’fatayim, … Continue reading

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Our Masks: Kol Nidrei 5782

We’ve each come up with our own tricks to make the past year and a half a little more bearable. One of mine is that, sometimes, when I’m wearing a mask, I like to pretend I’m a ninja, or a … Continue reading

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Back to the Future: Rosh Hashanah Day 1 5782

The year was 1944. As the second World War raged overseas, my grandfather (of blessed memory) was a young army private, based at Camp Croft, South Carolina. To that point, he hadn’t been deployed overseas because he served as a … Continue reading

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