Our Sukkah without Walls

This year our sukkah is unkosher. It has no walls. According to traditional Jewish law, a sukkah is supposed to have walls – four of them, actually, though one of them can be the side of a house if it’s been built up against a house. The walls can be made out of any material, […]

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Sweet Potato Pumpkin Cazuela for Sukkot

Sukkot is synonymous with fall fruits and vegetables which are often used to decorate the sukkah. No specific foods are required but using the abundance of our local harvest replicates the Israelites bringing some of the bounty of their harvest to the Temple in Jerusalem. Making the long trek to the city, the travelers dwelled in […]

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Keep Judaism Wonderfully Weird

Years ago, a colleague of mine told me that as a rabbi, I should try to make Judaism, “cool,” At the time, I knew I was put off by this comment, but only years later do I fully understand why. What I love about Judaism is that it is generally “uncool.” In fact, it is […]

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My New Year’s Resolution: Improvement Not Perfection

If you’ve read some of my blogs related to Sukkot and Tu Bishvat or articles in the InterfaithFamily article archive, you know that the environment is an issue that my family and I care deeply about. We have an organic vegetable garden, use earth-friendly cleaning products and buy local meats and produce whenever possible. We […]

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Sukkot Reminds Us to Treat All Visitors as Honored Guests

This blog post was reprinted with permission from j., the Jewish news weekly of Northern California.  I recently visited a San Francisco synagogue for the first time. I rang the bell and a teenage girl came to let me in.  She wasn’t working there; she was just doing her homework. She welcomed me with a […]

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FoodFest: Sukkot Takes the Cake (And Eats It, too)

On Sukkot, we’re supposed to eat meals outside in temporary dwellings. Here are some recipes to prep your picnics.

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My Dream Guest List for Sukkot

I love the holiday of Sukkot! As a congregational rabbi, Sukkot—which comes just five days after Yom Kippur—offers me a welcome break after the pressure of High Holy Day sermons.  Plus, Sukkot is a lot of fun. I always have a great time putting up our Sukkah in our backyard in the days following Yom […]

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Pray for Rain

My family is looking forward to Sukkot after the serious work of the Days of Awe. As I wrote about in my essay Beyond the Lulav and the Etrog, it is an easy holiday for my interfaith family to embrace. It emphasizes the concept of gratitude, a universal sentiment that is prized by many faiths […]

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Why We Celebrate Water on Sukkot

Find out why water is such a significant symbol on Sukkot

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Nearing The End

Wow! We are about to complete the yearly cycle of reading the entire Five Books of Moses, The Torah, with only 2 more parshiot (portions) until we get to the very end of the scroll. But between now and the very last verses of the Torah, there are a bunch of holidays — Rosh HaShanah […]

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