Milk, Symbol of Sivan


Cross-posted from It’s traditional to eat dairy on Shavuot, which begins the first week of Sivan. Because of this, we’re going to explore dairy for the month of Sivan. Let’s start with the separation of milk and meat in the Torah. What it actually says is “don’t boil a kid in its mother’s milk” […]

Adar: Enter the Purim Shpiel


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 — […]

I’m Reconsidering My Life (Why Cheshvan Is Better Than Rosh Hashanah)


The cliche is so old that it’s barely worth repeating: the High Holidays are the time when we deeply reflect on who we are, what we want, and how God ties into all of this. It’s certainly true that this is the case for a whole host of people. For me, not so much. When […]

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. […]

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 — […]