Category: Every Day

Shabbat for Jewish Pets and Their Owners

Shabbat for Jewish Pets and Their Owners

Here are a few tips to celebrate Shabbat for Jewish pets and their owners and how to enhance your family's Shabbat experience.
Temple Envy

Temple Envy

This an exploration of my "temple envy" through the emotions of grief, wonder, and desire for Jewish unity during a recent vacation to Nikko.
La Cacherout de Pessah

La cacherout de Pessah

Toutes les règles habituelles de cacherout s’appliquent à Pessah, auxquelles s’ajoutent une exigence supplémentaire : l’interdiction de hamets dans une maison juive.
Kashrut en Pesaj

Kashrut en Pesaj

Todas las leyes normales de kashrut se aplican en Pesaj con un requisito adicional: la prohibición de jametz en un hogar judío.
A Whoop and Two Challahs: Doubling Our Loaves on Shabbat

A Whoop and Two Challahs: Doubling Our Loaves on Shabbat

A whoop and two challahs! Learn why doubling our loaves on Shabbat is important and how to observe this mitzvah.
What blessing do I recite over an eclipse?

What blessing do I recite over an eclipse?

A solar eclipse is certainly a unique natural event that causes us to ponder our place in the universe. What blessing do I recite?
Fury and Fermentation: A Hasidic Teaching for Pesach

Fury and Fermentation

Learn about fury and fermentation, the concept that our anger could be spiritual hametz during Pesach and all year-round.
How to Incorporate Kitniyot into Your Passover

How to Incorporate Kitniyot into Your Passover

Though the Conservative Movement has allowed eating kitniyot on Passover, many still do not. How can we incorporate kitniyot this year?
How Mourning Changes You

How Mourning Changes You

Pulling on a conversation between Stephen Colbert and Anderson Cooper about mourning, learn about how mourning can change you.
What Are Zmanim and Why Are They Important?

What Are Zmanim and Why Are They Important?

Learning what Zmanim are and why they are important can bring a new meaning to ritual practices and the routine of our days.
Why I Love Tefillin

Why I Love Tefillin

Rabbi Lauren Tuchman writes "Why I Love Tefillin" and explores how all people can wear tefillin, based on her own experience.
Birkat Yeladim: Blessing Children

Birkat Yeladim: Blessing Children

Read more on how to preform Birkat Yeladim, the blessing over our children, and where the blessing and practice come from.
Confessions of a Fussy Kiddush Nosher

Confessions of a Fussy Kiddush Nosher

Though Kiddush in synagogue is a great for connecting with community, food options can be challenging and a limiting factor for picky eaters.
Tallit on the Bimah: Optional or Required?

Tallit on the Bimah: Optional or Required?

This CJLS teshuva explores where and when a tallit should be worn on the bimah. This also addresses women wearing tallitot.
How to Write a D’var Torah

How to Write a D’var Torah

There are many ways to write a d'var Torah. Read how this rabbi thinks about giving divrei Torah and what she thinks about while writing.
Ani Ma'amin: Conservative Judaism as a Dynamic Force

Ani Ma’amin: Conservative Judaism as a Dynamic Force

Rabbi Artson shares his "Ani Ma'amin," the credo that he recites every day as he things about Conservative Judaism as a dynamic force.
Psalms for this Time of Crisis in Israel

Psalms for this Time of Crisis in Israel

Seven psalms as a liturgical response to our individual and collective emotions, including grief, fear, rage, desperation, and others.

Prayer for Israel

Rabbis Nicole Guzik and Erez Sherman offer a prayer for Israel. This was first offered at a vigil on October 8th, 2023.
Prayer for kidnapped israelis

Prayer for Kidnapped Israelis

A prayer for kidnapped Israelis by Hamas and are being held in Gaza.
Prayer for Simchat Torah War

Prayer for Simchat Torah War

Prayer for Simchat Torah War by The Rabbinical Assembly of Israel and Masorti Israel.
Prayer for the Welfare and Return of Israel’s Captured and Missing

Prayer for the Welfare and Return of Israel’s Captured and Missing

Prayer for the Welfare and Return of Israel's Captured and Missing by the Rabbinical Assembly of Israel and Masorti Israel
What Do People Think About While Praying?

What Do People Think About While Praying?

While Judaism tells us various ways to pray, we are not told what to think: Here are three different takes on the subject.
The Meatless Menu

The Meatless Menu

Read the explanation of the recent teshuvah, Meatless Menu, about eating in non-kosher vegan and vegetarian restaurants.
Halakha and the Assessment of Risk

Halakha and the Assessment of Risk

Halakha can be used for the assessment of risk; this can be relevant for pikuach nefesh (saving a life) or kashrut.
Deja Jew, or, Asking the Question Yet Again: Why Be Jewish?

Deja Jew, or, Asking the Question Yet Again: Why Be Jewish?

Dig deeper into Jewish identity, memory, spirituality, and wisdom, exploring more into the question: "Why Be Jewish?"

Ethical Approaches to Advertising: A Jewish Perspective

The responsibility of sellers to enact ethical advertising of their products is equal to, if not greater than that of the careful consumer.

A Jewish Lens on Investing and Gambling

What special ethical concerns arise as the distinction between company owners and customers is blurred by equity investment?

Talmudic Discussions on Monopolies

Where a monopoly offers a clear benefit to consumers, Jewish tradition does sanction them on a closely regulated basis.
Signing of Business Contract

Honesty in Business

The laws that govern commerce aim to prevent the unscrupulous transfer of property or money from its rightful possessor to another person.

Shopping Intentions as an Ethical Consumer

Customers share in the responsibility for ensuring that transactions are fair, and should be upfront about their intentions as consumers.

Fair Prices: A Jewish Perspective

The Mishnah defines the fair price of an item, such that the seller earn a fair price, while not defrauding the buyer.

Commerce and Competition in Jewish Law

The Talmud sets a limited precedent for free market competition by balancing the rights of merchants with the interests of consumers.
The history of Mitzvot

The History of Tzedakah

The degree to which a person was obligated to contribute to the poor became the mark of membership in a community.

The Importance of Community Giving

Fundamentally, Jewish law offers some clear guidelines responding to the problems of poverty, the best of which is to prevent poverty itself.

Ethical Fundraising: A Jewish Perspective

Are bingo and more serious forms of gambling allowed to raise funds for synagogues and other Jewish institutions?
What do I do if I can't go to minyan when saying kaddish?

What do I do if I can’t go to minyan when saying kaddish?

Saying Kaddish for a loved one is a cherished and prized custom, but it is not the only way to remember and honor the lives ...

Three Types of Prohibited Speech According to Jewish Law

It is largely agreed upon that the types of speech encompassed by the biblical prohibition fall into three categories of increasing severity.

The Times of Day for Prayer

A Talmudic Midrash obligates prayer three times a day, instituted in honor of our three patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

Prayers and Practices of the Weekday Amidah

The Amidah is considered the central part of daily Jewish prayer, with minor variations in the text based on time of day, year and season.

The Interplay of Routine and Intention: Keva and Kavanah

Our prayers are almost always a mixture of both keva (oft-recited text) and kavanah (deeper layers of meaning).

What Prompts Change in Our Liturgy?

Changes in liturgy are born out of changes in the theological and historical life of a people, both the individual and the community.

Enhancing Prayer With Body Movement

Movement acts as part of prayer, orchestrated in traditional Jewish settings, thus putting us in touch with the ebb and flow of the liturgy.

Jewish Prayer Leaders

An individual, Rabbi, Cantor, or volunteer, skilled in singing and well-versed in Torah learning and liturgy, is appointed to lead prayers.

Creating a Sacred Physical Space

Halakhah demands that we invoke God’s name in prayer only in settings that are worthy of the sacred enterprise of prayer.

Why Prayer Matters

Tefillah is more than the sum of its parts and encompasses far more than the obligation to recite certain specific daily prayers.

The Language of Prayer

Jews are permitted to pray in any language and thus making our liturgy a link to Jews all around the world.

The Value of Using Set Prayers

By the use of set prayers, are we ipso facto guaranteeing that some will be obliged to recite words they do not find true or ...

Connecting with God Through Prayer

We hear from God through our participation in liturgical prayer, and also through the study of religious texts.

What is the Shema?

The Shema is the declaration of God’s uniqueness and unity that the Torah commands us to recite twice daily. 

Overview of the Evening Service

The Evening Service, called Ma’ariv (also called Arvit or spelled Maariv), is slightly longer than the Afternoon Service.

Overview of the Afternoon Service

The Afternoon Service, called Minḥah (or Mincha), is much shorter than the Morning Service and has no unique components. 

Overview of the Morning Service

Every day of the year, the Morning Service follows some variation of the order of the same Sharcharit prayers.

The First Prayers in the Morning Service

The prayers at the very beginning of the morning service help us to start our day with intention and gratitude.

What is a Kippah?

There is a wide range of specific customs related to the issue of covering the head, including what to cover it with.

What is a Tallit?

The tassels of the Tallit, called tzitzit (or tzitzis) in Hebrew, are explicitly intended to serve as a reminder of God’s commandments.

How is Kosher Slaughtering Performed?

To take even animal life, requires that the shochet be wholly attuned to the serious nature of the slaughter and never callous or uncaring.

Soaking and Salting Kosher Meat

After an animal has been butchered, inspected, and forbidden parts removed, the meat still needs to have as much blood removed as possible.

Restrictions on Kashering Animals

Even if an animal is killed appropriately, it is still possible for it to be considered non-kosher if that the animal was ill or maimed.

Understanding Kosher Supervision

In general, one should only consume processed foods prepared under the supervision of a rabbi or an accepted kashrut supervision agency.

When Using Tribal Distinctions, How Might Women Be Called Up for Aliyot?

While writing a teshuvah on changing our language for aliyot to kohenet from bat kohen, Rabbi David J Fine, PhD, reflects on egalitarianism.

How Can I Create a Kosher Kitchen

While daunting and labour intensive to transform a non-kosher kitchen into a kosher one each individual step is rather straightforward.

How to Kasher Kitchen Appliances

Offering guidelines on the various requirements to Kasher different kitchen appliances, both large and small.
Mujaddara on Passover

Mujaddara on Passover

How my family created and passed down cultural traditions, and how the Conservative Teshuvah on Kitniyot impacts our life outside the academy.

Why Separating Meat and Dairy is Part of Keeping Kosher

Halakhah specifically encourages us to separate meat and dairy products and prohibits us from eating them together.
Prayers of the Matriarchs of Agency, Choice, and Action

Prayers of the Matriarchs of Agency, Choice, and Action

Despite the odds, when things feel out of your control, when you feel abandoned – do not despair and do not simply pray – ACT.

Eating in Non-Kosher Homes

There are vexing questions for Kashrut observers to address, when eating in non-Kosher homes of friends and family.

What is Pareve Food?

Some foods, neither meat nor dairy in origin, are known as pareve and government standards may differ from Rabbinical definitions.

Eating in Non-Kosher Restaurants

A hallmark of Conservative Jewish practice has been the understanding that it is possible to eat in non-Kosher restaurants responsibly.

Embracing a Kosher Lifestyle

As kashrut becomes part of our lives, it feels less like a burden and more like something to observe not just at home, but in ...

Which animals are kosher?

The Torah says which animals are kosher and may be eaten (after an appropriate process) and which animals are not.

Why Keep Kosher?

Given the importance of kashrut in Jewish life, it is unfortunate that so much about it is so widely misunderstood.

Why Kosher Food Shouldn’t Have Visible Blood

The Torah requires specific methods of slaughter, inspection, and preparation before acceptable animals may be eaten.
Fixing Common Errors in a Kosher Kitchen

Fixing Common Errors in a Kosher Kitchen

Mistakes will happen in a kosher kitchen. While some are easily corrected, others require a bit more effort. Here's what you do.

How to Kasher Kitchen Dishes and Storage

Different dishes require different methods for kashering, depending how they are used and the materials that make up the dishes.

Feeding Pets in a Kosher Home

It is not forbidden for Jewish individuals to feed their pets non-kosher food, but to keep pet food away from kosher utensils and dishes.

Alcohol and Kosher Supervision

What alcohol requires a hechsher or kosher supervision? It largely depends on the process by which they are made and the ingredients used.
What do I do if my Tefillin are no Longer Black?

What do I do if my Tefillin are no Longer Black?

There were places where the tefillin were no longer black, but nearly see-through. What they needed was a good thick coat of paint.

Are Food Additives Kosher?

The Conservative and Orthodox movements differ with regard to the kashrut of certain chemical food additives.
Life exists in relation

Life Exists in Relation

If we try to look past the tangible, if we focus on the other, in relationship, we can come to see the Divine, even if ...
Image of a mezuzah and the words: Why should I put up a mezuzah?

Why should I put up a mezuzah?

Putting up a mezuzah is a millennia-old public expression of Jewish identity: a meaningful way to mark liminal times in our lives and homes.
Encountering the Shema: 7 Questions

Encountering the Shema: 7 Questions

Rabbi Mordecai Miller reflects on the Shema with 7 questions: Throughout my life, I’ve tried to understand what this sentence really means.
Tefillin: A Reminder of What is Holy

Tefillin: A Reminder of What is Holy

Rabbi Julie Schwarzwald on wearing Tefillin: As I go about my work and my mundane routine, I am regularly reminded of what is holy.
Tefillin: What, How, Who?

Tefillin: What, How, Who?

Tefillin, ritual black boxes used for prayer, are a powerful and physical way of connecting to God. Here's how to do it.
Blessings and Bodies: Praying Without the Book

Blessings and Bodies: Praying Without the Book

Jewish spirituality doesn’t live in a book. Our bodies can guide our awareness and blessing. What could this practice look like in your life?
The Mystery of “Eyn Keloheinu”

The Mystery of “Eyn Keloheinu”

What is the mystery of Eyn Keloheinu? How do we unravel the contradiction that seems to be present within this prayer?
Mikveh - Not just for niddah anymore

Mikveh: Not Just for Niddah Anymore

Moving well beyond niddah, mikveh is now used to mark any and all transitional and transformative moments.
What is the jewish afterlife

What is the Jewish Afterlife?

What does Judaism say about the afterlife? Exploring the inherent conflicts between the different ideas and why that's a good thing.
Asher Yatzar My Favorite Blessing

Asher Yatsar: My Favorite Blessing

Our bodies are wonderful and wondrous. Asher Yatsar helps us recognize our physical selves and offers a moment of gratitude to The Creator.
The Risks of Playing Jewish Geography

The Risks of Playing Jewish Geography

In the game of Jewish geography, you connect with who you don’t know by connecting through who you do know. But is the game good ...
Unpacking the Phrase: Barukh HaShem

Unpacking the Phrase: Barukh HaShem

What does “Barukh HaShem" really mean? What is the origin of this phrase? If we don’t believe in God, how do we relate to the ...
Dress to Impress Yourself…Into the Book of Life

Dress to Impress Yourself…Into the Book of Life

Sara Beth Berman teaches us: Everything you need to know about clothing the body that holds your precious soul for the High Holidays.
Candle Lighting for Rosh Hashanah

Candle Lighting for Rosh Hashanah

When and how to do Rosh Hashanah Candle Lighting. We usher in Rosh Hashanah by lighting candles, just as we do on Shabbat.
What are selichot?

What are Selichot?

Selichot are special prayers recited in anticipation of the High Holidays introducing us to the themes of the upcoming holidays.
Rituals and Prayers Recited in the Month of Elul

Rituals and Prayers Recited in Elul

The ritual preparations for the High Holidays begin a full month in advance with the onset of the month of Elul.
Seliḥot: What do we recite?

Seliḥot: What do we recite?

Seliḥot, a series of penitential prayers, are recited in anticipation of Rosh Hashanah and the Days of Repentance. Here's what to recite.
How to call Non-Binary Jews to the Torah

How to call Non-Binary Jews to the Torah

Being called to Torah is a moment of sacred encounter. Here's how to call Non-Binary Jews to the Torah based on the CJLS Teshuvah in ...

Luaḥ for Tish’ah Be’av 5782/2022

Luaḥ information for the observance of erev Tish’ah Be’av and the following day generously provided by Rabbi Miles Cohen.
The Biblical Sources and Context for Tzedakah

The Biblical Sources and Context for Tzedakah

The Torah provides many examples and legal provisions which are the foundation of our understanding of tzedakah.
Prayer Expresses Petition, Praise, Anger, and History

Prayer Expresses Petition, Praise, Anger, and History

Prayer is not just a recitation of words. But rather, prayer is an expression of a great many modes and experiences in Judaism.
aT'fillah/Prayer: A Mitzvah to Take a "Time Out"

T’fillah/Prayer: A Mitzvah to Take a “Time Out”

T'fillah, Jewish prayer, is rooted in self-judgment, reflection, and connecting to something greater than ourselves.