Anticipation. Eagerness. Expectation. Are these words we associate with the counting of the Omer? Now, I don't mean anticipation of cheesecake, blintzes, and kugel at Shavuot, although those are tasty. Maimonides said we should count the Omer "as one who expects his most intimate friend on a certain day counts the days and even the … Continue reading The Simple Act of Counting by Jennifer Nesbitt
Almost two weeks ago I reached a milestone in my life. I celebrated my 40th birthday. I use the term "celebrated" loosely, because my birthday dinner was a frantic trip to the McDonald's drive-thru so that I could make it to the PTSO meeting at the elementary school where my son was having his chorus … Continue reading When Reality Doesn’t Live Up to Expectation by Jennifer Caracelo
We are commanded to rid our homes of ḥametz for Pesaḥ. Somewhere during the physical activity of searching, gathering, and burning the ḥametz in our homes, we are drawn to inspect our own lives to find the ḥametz within. But what exactly would be our “ḥametz?” Many of us have heard teachings which equate ḥametz … Continue reading Chametz by Roni Bernstein
As we approach Passover, we begin to think of the miraculous steps that G-d took in bringing his people out of Egypt. We think of the plagues, the blood, the sea swept aside so millions walked across on dry ground. It is ancient news that our G-d is in the business of miracles. The Bible … Continue reading When G-d Doesn’t Heal You
Have you heard the term "hiddur mitzvah"? It means Beautify or Enhance the Mitzvah - we should go above and beyond as we seek to fulfill a commandment of G-d. That is why we have such gorgeous objects in our synagogues and homes that we use to fulfill G-d's commandments surrounding our observance. The sages' … Continue reading Hiddur Mitzvah
Many modern day purim spiels present the story of Esther as an ancient Persian version of the TV show “The Bachelor” where scores of women compete to win a marriage proposal from an eligible, handsome, young bachelor – going on scads of fancy dates and romantic excursions while he presents roses to the contests as … Continue reading Winner of the Persian Bachelor?
The book of Ester is a small book, a mere ten chapters. Most of us can relate the main events by heart. We imagine ourselves as Queen Ester, convinced we share her courage and faith. Do we? In our fast food immediate gratification mindset, we can quickly lose our resolve. We get anxious when we … Continue reading For Such A (Long) Time As This by Roni Bernstein