The 30 Days of Elul

Happy Labor Day today! Yesterday was a signal day, as well, although within the framework of the Jewish calendar, rather than secular. Yesterday was the first day of the month of Elul, the final month on the Jewish calendar of years marking time since God’s creation of the world. Thirty days from now, a new Jewish year will have begun, and we […]

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The Temple Mount and the Meaning of Tisha b’Av

The Holy Temple in Jerusalem last stood 1,946 years ago. But it continues to figure large in Jewish consciousness. No fewer than three annual fast days recall its destruction; yesterday’s Fast of Tisha b’Av was the set finale. Central components of our liturgy recall the religious activities from the days when the central shrine stood; Musaf on Holy Days serves exactly that […]

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Passover and New Kitniyot Guidelines

From the Responsum: In order to bring down the cost of making Pesah and support the healthier diet that is now becoming more common, and given the inapplicability today of the primary concerns that seem to have led to the custom of prohibiting kitniyot; and further, given our inclination in our day to present an accessible Judaism unencumbered by unneeded prohibitions, more easily able to participate in the culture that surrounds us, we are prepared to rely on the fundamental observance recorded in the Talmud and codes and permit the eating of kitniyot on Pesah.

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