Of the three pilgrimage festivals, Sukkot is the most joyous and Passover the most popular, leaving Shavuot in the dark. Only ritual can save it.
Rabbi Joel Seltzer
Rabbi Joel Seltzer is the incoming director of Camp Ramah in the Poconos, a Jewish Summer Camp experience under the educational auspices of the Jewish Theological Seminary.
Seltzer is a contributing blogger for Haaretz Jewish World.
Egged bus company’s Omer counter was removed after criticism that it was irrelevant to passengers. Seeing the reports, as a Diaspora Jew I begin to wonder: Can’t Israelis just get along?
Israeli and American Jews are like cousins, with a shared history, but raised in different homes. We need consistent opportunities for serious dialogue between them.
Becoming a rabbi isn't what it once was, but there is one reason why today, in 2014, it is still worth it.
When asked at the supermarket checkout if 'kosher is about killing animals humanely,’ I choked. With alleged animal abuse at Tnuva, Soglowek and Agriprocessors, I couldn’t simply say, 'Yes.’
The ASA boycott of Israel is no once-off event to wave off as ‘anti-Semitic.’ The BDS movement will be here to stay, unless we get out and fight it.
'We can’t tolerate this anymore. These tragedies must end,’ the president insisted. But did we do anything to materialize his sentiment?
Pray outside, make friends, teach Hebrew and have fun. Simple, isn’t it?
What should one do when his synagogue is on the brink of shutting down?
A well-known Hasidic tale teaches us about collectivity, and that the experience of crying is part of what makes us human.
While it may not signify the Fourth of July as per the American ideal, Jewish summer camp teaches independence better than anything else.
In a post-modern age of reality television and 24-hour news media, I desire to see and understand Biblical events – even though I am not supposed to.
It is always better to count up to something important than to count down to the inevitable loneliness of zero.
Modern and - yes, let’s face it - assimilated Jews find it hard to stick out a full Passover seder, but the answer is not to capitulate, rather to renew that which is ancient and sanctify that which is new.
If we waited all year for the perfect time to give tzedakah, perhaps we would never give it at all. Therefore, why not tie the mitzvah of giving to the day which represents not order, but chaos; not perfection, but randomness.
As a student chaplain I was terrified to be assigned to the psych ward, but this time, as a rabbi, I couldn't get there fast enough.
With the last-minute move to avert the U.S. fiscal cliff and the impending Israeli election, our leaders could learn from Moses by taking off their shoes and treading on the pebbles of the people they purport to serve.
Hanukkah is the one Jewish holiday that reminds us of the human desire to find warmth within the cold, light amidst the darkness.
As a religious Jew living in America, must I participate in the democratic process, including the U.S. elections?
The Torah is not merely an intellectual tool. At its base, it is a vehicle for amazement, awe, and profound joy.
How much of our own Jewish spirituality must necessarily be sacrificed on the altar, to create a more meaningful experience for our congregants?
Both a cringe-worthy cliché and an icon of Jewish Americanism, this song shares a very simple lesson in life.
If one solitary moment of anger from our teacher Moses can have an everlasting impact on the Jewish people, then perhaps the same is true for all of us.