Tisha b’Av, A Holy Day of Sadness

A Jewish worshipper prays at the Western Wall during prayers marking Tisha B'Av, in Jerusalem

Tish b’Av, a holy day of sadness, commemorates the destruction of the first and second Temples, a day when we read the Book of Lamentations and on which many fast. Is there any benefit to living in the past, focusing on tragedy? Or can we perhaps learn a lesson from tragedy? Rabbi Michael Bernstein of […]

Bible stories about 2Pac, mall water fountains, and what happens when we lose the point

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Gather around as we tell the ancient story of 2Pac, toss coins into mall water fountains and try to figure out why we keep doing the same pointless stuff over and over again. (And some Bible just for fun.) Mall Water Fountains Like many of you, I remember my mother taking me to the mall […]

#ThowbackThursday: Converts, Cheesecake, and Other Reasons To Like Shavuot

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My Letterman-style Top Ten Reason To Love Shavuot: 10. Cheesecake Brownies. It’s like shooting heroine and cocaine at the same time..only a lot healthier and legal. Dairy and Shavuot go hand-in-hand, and since I seldom eat meat this holiday glorifies everything I love that makes me fat. 9. You get to remember who Ruth is. […]

Adar: Enter the Purim Shpiel

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Yes — it’s time for Purim!  Who doesn’t love Purim?  They tried to kill us, they failed, we kicked their @$$ to the 7th generation — LET’S PARTY!!!! Over on my own site, I waxed poetic (and ritual) about the hamantaschen.  Over at , you can find some great hamantaschen recipe.  Here at PunkTorah — […]

If You Only Come to Shul Twice a Year…

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Editor’s note: while High Holidays are nowhere near our calendar right now, this old piece is important because it showcases what Purim means, as well as some timely advice for Jews who are unaffiliated. Looking ahead toward the High Holidays, I imagine many Jews are considering (and perhaps dreading) what is – for them – […]