A Dvar Torah For Thanksgiving

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My favorite episode of King of the Hill is the Thanksgiving episode, where Bobby renounces the holiday in solidarity with John Red Corn, who teaches Bobby about the atrocities that happened to the indigenous people of the United States. Growing up is a terrible thing, because the nostalgia of your childhood gets replaced by the […]

Tishrei: Talking to the Dead

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I thought I’d kick off 5773 by exploring Judaism’s relationship with ancestor engagement, or veneration of the dead. I don’t say “worship” because we don’t do that — at least not officially. Although we seem to mention those ancestors an awful lot. Ever heard the phrase, “The G!d/dess Abraham, Issac, and Jacob,” but I digress. […]

HaShem’s Avatars: Sukkot, Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah

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While Shavuot probably deserves the title of Least Appreciated Jewish Holiday among progressive Jews, I’d also like to argue that the trifecta of Sukkot, Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah is probably a close second. Sure, some people do the sukkah, but I don’t exactly see my neighbors sleeping in them. Plus, when your sukkah has […]

Pumpkins: The Secret to Sukkot

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Sukkot is coming up, and autumn for us is all about the noble pumpkin. Pumpkin is a squash originating from America. Squash was unknown in Europe until 1492 when Columbus returned. The word squash is of Algonquin origin, a Native American language. Hard shell, mature, yellow-fleshed varieties like turban, acorn and pumpkin often referred to […]

Repenting For My Social Media Sins

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This is a very personal post, that in no way reflects how PunkTorah or any of its websites has been ran. There is some debate about whether or not our sins should be publicly accounted for on Yom Kippur. We sing Ashamnu and Al Chet on Yom Kippur as a kind of catch-all for sins […]