Nisan, Passover, and the Ties that Bind


My teacher, Jill Hammer, posits that Passover is an initiation ritual. A ritual where we, as individuals are initiated into a tribe year after year, century after century, millennia after millenia. Really Passover is part of an extremely long initiation ritual that begins the night before Passover and ends at Shavuot — where we are […]

Shabbat Shirah: Feed the Birds


During the month of Shevat, we have a special Shabbat — Shabbat Shirah, which the Shabbat where we read Parsha Beshalach (Ex 13:17-17:16). There are many named Shabbatot during the year, Shabbat Gadol, Shabbat Shuvah, etc. etc. Shabbat Shirah is more than just a Shabbat where we read a “special” Torah portion, I mean — […]

Kislev: ReDedication


Tishrei 5773 began at sundown on November 14, 2012. I know, we’re just starting the month — not even Thanksgiving and I’m about to talk about Hanukkah. What? Well, the whole month of Tishrei is a month that allows us to make Hanukkah into something that is actually meaningful — and even important. Hanukkah is […]

Cheshvan: Shinui Ma’aseh Challenge

cheshvan challenge

Cheshvan, which starts at sundown October 16, 2012, is a month free of holidays. Because of this, Judaism often sees this as a sad or barren month. However, there is another school of thought that I want to embrace and share with the PunkTorah community. This school of thought says that Cheshvan is a month […]

Tishrei: Talking to the Dead


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. […]