Skip directly to content

Holidays

Holidays

By Professor Arnold M. Eisen | Chancellor of The Jewish Theological Seminary

posted

Ruminations about assimilation come naturally to Jews in North America during the winter holiday season. How much should a parent insist that Hanukkah is part of public school celebrations that give students a heavy dose of Christmas? How often should one remind store clerks who innocently ask Jewish children which gifts they hope to receive from Santa this year that there are other faiths observed in our communities, and other holidays?

By

posted

in

הצדיקים הטהורים
אינם קובלים על הרשעה אלא מוסיפים צדק
אינם קובלים על הכפירה אלא מוסיפים אמונה
אינם קובלים על הבערות אלא מוסיפים חכמה

The purely righteous do not complain about darkness, but increase light. They don't complain about evil, but increase justice. They don't complain about heresy, but increase faith. They don't complain about ignorance, but increase wisdom.

Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook, Arpilei Tohar (1914), p. 2.

By JTS | The Jewish Theological Seminary

posted

Ushpizin, (literally, “guests”) is the tradition of inviting the exalted men and women of the Bible into our sukkot. Each year, since 5772, professional and novice artists including JTS students, faculty, and staff have taken the concept of ushpizin as the centerpiece and inspiration for an art installation in the famed sukkot built each year in the JTS courtyard. Part of the JTS Arts Initiative, the sukkot exhibit is managed under the guidance of Tobi Kahn, JTS artist-in-residence.    

Clockwise, from top left: Maya Orli Cohen & Rabbi Ayelet Cohen (RS ’02), Dr.

By

posted

in

[Rabbi Shimon bar Yohai and his son, Rabbi Elazar] went and hid [from the Romans] in a cave. A miracle occurred and a carob-tree and a spring of water were created for them. They would remove their garments and sit up to their necks in sand. They studied all day; when it was time for prayers they got dressed to cover themselves, prayed, and then took off their garments again, so that they should not wear out. Thus they dwelt for twelve years in the cave.

Then Elijah came and stood at the entrance to the cave and exclaimed, “Who will inform the son of Yohai that the emperor is dead and his

By

posted

in

Return us, our Parent, to Your Torah, and bring us close, our Sovereign, to your service, and return us to before You in complete repentance. Blessed are You, God, the One who desires repentance.

(Daily Amidah)

הֲשִׁיבֵנוּ אָבִינוּ לְתוֹרָתֶךָ, וְקָרְבֵנוּ מַלְכֵּנוּ לַעֲבוֹדָתֶךָ, וְהַחֲזִירֵנוּ בִּתְשׁוּבָה שְׁלֵמָה לְפָנֶיךָ. בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ, הָרוֹצֶה בִּתְשׁוּבָה:

For You do not desire the death of the condemned, but that they turn from their path and live.

Until the day of their death You wait for them. Should they turn, You will receive them at once.

(“U-netaneh Tokef”,

By

posted

in

Rabbi Yohanan said in the name of Rabbi Yossi: from where do we know that the Holy Blessed One prays? As Scripture says: “I will bring them to my sacred mountain and let them rejoice in [literally] the house of My prayer . . .” (Isaiah 56:7). It doesn’t say “the house of their prayer”, rather, “the house of My prayer”, to teach us that the Holy Blessed One prays.

What does God pray?

Pages