We have a new podcast by Jeremiah Collins about his Grandmother Alda in Romania during WWII.
Note: jLab is for blog posts about creative, fun, or interesting Jewish or congregation-related topics. To submit a post, you must be a member of our congregation, and the topic must be Jew-ish, related to our congregation or the wider Jewish community. If you have something to share, please submit it here. Every two years, […]
Most portrayals of Jews in fiction are weak. It doesn’t matter if they’re on television, the stage or in print, Jewish characters seem to fall into a few broad classes. Token Jews show up for ethnic diversity. Sometimes, nothing about them seems Jewish other than the mention that they are. Sometimes, they drip Yiddishisms and Jewish steriotypes, but their purpose is to be Jewish, not to convey anything about Jews other than the fact that they’re different.
Now that the chanukkiyot are packed away, the candlewax has been scraped from window sills, the dinners, the Season’s post cards, the gift wrappings, champagne corks and fireworks are behind us, what we have left to reflect on are not only our expanded waistlines but the family relationships we built during the winter Holiday Season.
The portion opens with a crisis: Isaac marries Rebecca and they, like Abraham and Sarah, are confronted with infertility. It only takes three verses to paint a complete picture of their marriage, their challenges and their much-wanted pregnancy.
It’s not just the tryptophan in the turkey; there is an unmistakable mellowness to a Thanksgiving dinner that feels Shabbosdik: where people take the time to relax, talk, eat and savor the company of loved ones. Not only that, it is one of the few American holidays where this country – of incessant consumption and entrepreneurism – shuts down, in the best possible way.
My oldest and I have had several philosophical conversations on the nature of ‘truth’: he asks me whether fairytales are real, and I have responded to him that things may not be real – as in factual and empirical – but can still be true – as in the values they hold and the ideas they drive.