Is...(fill in the blank-Rosh Hashana/Chanukah/Passover) early or late this year? You never hear, wow (fill in the blank) is on time! The holidays are either too early or too late. Why do they fluctuate? Is it calendric madness?? Well...it is and it isn't. There is a simple explanation...Adar. Adar is all about keeping our lunar Jewish calendar in sync with our solar civil calendar.
We add an additional month 7 times in a 19 year cycle--approximately once every e years to realign our Jewish calendar with the secular calendar. So, one year the holidays are too early and the next year the holidays are too late, and the following year they are just early or late--not too.This additional month is referred to as Adar 1 and is placed before the real month of Adar--known as Adar 2 during the leap year. This , of course, is not confusing if you read from right to left.
This year is a leap year so there is an Adar 1 and Adar 2. Just like February 29, if you are born durin ghte month of Adar 1, you will only celebrate your birthday every 3 years...staying younger longer.
By the way....Passover is late this year. The first seder is Friday evening, April 19.
We've been asking customers what is their special childhood memory of Chanukah. Some remembered the family gathered around the pile of presents waiting for the adults to finish dinner so unwrapping of presents could begin. Another response was remembering the arguments of what goes best on latkes--applesauce, sugar or sour cream. Still others spoke about [...]
Most people lighting an electric menorah, in addition to fire safety, want to "show the flag" and will display the menorah on a window sill. Now the dilemma...does one light it left to right or right to left? My thinking is....When displaying the menorah "to raise the flag,"light the menorah so that people viewing from [...]
With Chanukah rapidly approaching (First candle December 2, 2018), the one certainty we know about lighting the Chanukah menorah is the "shamesh" is lit first and all night's candles are lit from that. Confusion reigns on what candle gets lit next.After lighting the "shamesh" and reciting the blessings (more on blessings in forthcoming blog), that [...]
Randomly ask anyone who has attended a Jewish wedding what they remember as a highlight of the ceremony, I will bet they will say the groom stomping the glass. This tradition which concludes the formal ceremony is filled with symbolism and for the groom, a bit of anxiety.Debbie and I have seen big strapping men [...]
While some ketubot are stunning works of art, the most important part of any ketubah is what it says. After all, you and your partner will be signing this document and affirming that what it reads is true, so the first thing you’ll want to do is find a ketubah with text that reflects the values you [...]
What does it mean to be Jewish in today's world? Three prominent Jewish professionals provide their insights. What do you think? Blu GreenbergTo be a Jew is to live a joyous, vulnerable, purposeful existence, mindful of the noble legacy we carry and the incredible ethics Judaism contributed to the world. It is to take enormous pride [...]
When Jodi and Alan of Marietta, Ga., began talking about plans for a bar mitzvah for their son, Zach, the idea of reading the Torah in front of 300 strangers wasn’t so appealing to him. He wanted something different. So the couple took a page from the wedding planner’s book: They invited 35 relatives and friends [...]
You're probably familiar with the Jewish wedding tradition " breaking of the glass" where the groom breaks a glass, everyone shouts "mazel tov," and the wedding's cocktail hour begins. Here are seven other Jewish wedding traditions worthy of consideration for you, whether you're planning a Jewish or an interfaith ceremony.Kabbalat Panim (Greeting Faces) Every bride wants to [...]
By Rabbi Yerachmiel GarfieldIt’s easy to get stuck on our phones — just finishing one call, one text, or checking email quickly as our children walk in the door or as we sit down to a family meal. Who hasn’t experienced the pull to our phones right after Shabbos or a minyan?We live in a [...]