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May 29, 2012 eNewsletter - Boston

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Meeting in various locations around the Greater Boston area (often outdoors!), Ma'yan Tikvah - A Wellspring of Hope is an independent congregation without walls. They encourage a meaningful connection to Judaism and personal and communal experiences with God through ritual and holiday observance, study, prayer, encounters with the natural world, care of the environment, tzedakah (rightous acts) and gimilut hasadim (loving kindness).

May 29, 2012

Dear friends,

According to the Jewish calendar, we have made it out of Egypt (Passover), we've wandered in the desert for forty years and we have just received the Torah (Shavuot). As far as holidays are concerned, we now enjoy a bit of downtime. Well, aside from the weekly holiday of Shabbat! In this newsletter, Shabbat shows up in recipes, is a common theme in a book we reviewed and is presented as a time for weddings.


Jayne Cohen offered up suggestions on how to bring Shabbat traditions into our contemporary lives. And, along with those tips, she shared recipes for several tasty dishes, perfect for Friday night dinners with family and/or friends. Read more in The 52-Day Holiday.


On the blog, Ed Case offered congratulations to newlyweds Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan. And reminded the media (who are already writing negative things about this intermarriage) that plenty of Jews are raised by Jewish dads. Read more in Mazel Tov, Mark and Priscilla.

Ari Moffic shared her experience as a panelist discussing intermarriage with clergy from different religions/faiths. Her take away was that intermarriage is more perceived as a threat to Judaism than it is to Christianity. What do you think? Read more in Clergy Panel On Interfaith Marriage.


A traditional understanding of Jewish law (halakhah) is that Jewish weddings cannot take place on Shabbat. (Because work and travel are not permitted on Shabbat, nor can Jews enter into a contract on Shabbat.) But Rabbi Dr. Reeve Robert Brenner explains why weddings should not only be permitted but should be encouraged on Shabbat by Reform rabbis. Read more in Shabbat Weddings Revisited: The Pro Side for a Change.

Good Reads

I reviewed the book 97 Orchard: An Edible History of Five Immigrant Families in One New York Tenement, which weaves together the history of five immigration waves with the food traditions each brought from the Old Country and adapted in the New World. (Bonus: recipes included!) Read more in Reading About Food and History: 97 Orchard.

Pop Culture

Nate Bloom gave us the scoop on Barbra Streisand and basketball coming to Brooklyn, Hemingway & Gellhorn on the screen, Rashida Jones' family tree and Christopher Columbus' Jewish roots. Read more in Interfaith Celebrities.

Calling all writers! Are you, or is a family member, Hindu, Muslim, Quaker, Buddhist or of another religion/faith? Do you have an interesting story to share about a ritual, life cycle event or holiday with your interfaith family/relationship? I'd love to hear your ideas for articles. Contact me with your pitches!

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Benjamin Maron, Managing Editor










The spring holiday commemorating the Exodus of the Jews from slavery in Egypt. The Hebrew name is "Pesach." Hebrew for "righteousness," it usually means "charity" or "righteous giving." In Judaism, it refers to the religious obligation to do what is right and just, including giving to those in need. A Summer holiday commemorating the receiving of the Torah on Mount Sinai, it is also known as the Feast of Weeks, as it comes seven weeks after Passover begins. A member of the Jewish clergy who leads a congregation in songful prayer. ("Hazzan" in Hebrew.) Hebrew for "my master," the term refers to a spiritual leader and teacher of Torah. Often, but not always, a rabbi is the leader of a synagogue congregation. The first five books of the Hebrew Bible (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy), or the scroll that contains them.
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