Category: Holidays

Celebrating Shavu’ot with Seven Species Cookies

Celebrating Shavu’ot with Seven Species Cookies

What better way to celebrate Shavu’ot than by making a delicious treat from these seven species?
Sorrow, Psalms and Freedom

Sorrow, Psalms, and Freedom

Slaves in the US were given a Bible without Psalms, with no access to the stories of freedom. How does this impact a Jewish understanding ...

Shavuot 5784: Tiny Tikkun

Shavuot is often considered a holiday of converts. Our Tiny Tikkun collects some texts on conversion to study with a friend or on your own.
Common Terms in Torah Study

Common Terms in Torah Study

The Exploring Judaism team has prepared this printable sheet of common terms you might encounter in your Torah study that might help you out.
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.
I fought in Jerusalem in 1967: A Yom Yerushalayim Reflection

I fought in Jerusalem in 1967: A Yom Yerushalayim Reflection

Fifty-seven years have passed since my company fought in the streets and alleys of Jerusalem, yet I remember it as if it happened yesterday.
Mysteriousness of the Makom

Mysteriousness of the Makom

The mysteriousness of the makom comes into view when looking at all of the divine places, especially mountains, in our literature.
Remembering and Observing United States Memorial Day

Remembering and Observing United States Memorial Day

Remembering and observing United States Memorial Day can be found in the remembrance and observance of Shabbat.

Ten Torah Resources You Should Know

Here are our top ten Torah resources you should know, including Conservative/Masorti organizations and resources for kids and families!
Gathering Our People: Yom HaZikaron and Yom Ha’Atzma’ut

Gathering Our People: Yom HaZikaron and Yom Ha’Atzma’ut

While I express my love for Jewish tradition, I am also holding the Jewish people in my hands and giving them a kiss as well.

A Yom HaZikaron like no other… God-willing

Yom HaZikaron is different this year. Our troops are still falling and getting wounded. The sense of loss and mourning is not theoretical.
Through My Children’s Eyes: Yom HaAtzmaut & Yom HaZikaron

Through My Children’s Eyes: Yom HaAtzmaut & Yom HaZikaron

Rabbi Rackover reflects on Yom HaZikkaron and Yom HaAtzmaut: For the first time, my daughter was afraid to share her Jewish identity. My heart broke.
Yom Ha-Atzma'ut: Sow With Tears, Reap with Joy

Yom Ha-Atzma’ut: Sow With Tears, Reap with Joy

Yom Ha-Atzma’ut in 2024, as in 1948, is a time of rejoicing and weeping. Just as then, today, too, we have much work ahead.
Why You Should Listen to Holocaust Testimonials

Why You Should Listen to Holocaust Testimonials

As the number of Holocaust survivors declines, we must listen to their testimonials. They give us unique insight into the impact of the Shoah.
Lactaid Carrier Giveaway (Shavuot 5784)

Lactaid® Carrier Giveaway (Shavuot 5784)

Come prepared with an Exploring Judaism Shavuot Lactaid* Carrier! Exploring Judaism knows how to make Torah more digestible.
Spheres of Sustainability: Malkhut and Sovereignty

Spheres of Sustainability: Malkhut and Sovereignty

For this week of the Omer's sphere of sustainability, look at malkhut, sovereignty, as we stand at the threshold between earth and heaven.
Why Doesn’t This Sephardi Jew Eat Rice on Passover?

Why Doesn’t This Sephardi Jew Eat Rice on Passover?

There is a powerful meaning in continuing traditions that I inherited directly from my family. Kitniyot is only a part of that story.
Recovery and the Four Cups

Recovery and the Four Cups

For many of us, freedom is choosing four cups of grape juice: Look at the four cups on Passover through the lens of addiction recovery.
Spheres of Sustainability: Yesod and Foundation

Spheres of Sustainability: Yesod and Foundation

For this week of the Omer's sphere of sustainability, look at yesod, foundation. Learn about the space between physical and spiritual worlds.
Spheres of Sustainability: Hod and Thanks

Spheres of Sustainability: Hod and Thanks

For this week of the Omer's sphere of sustainability, look at hod, thanks. It is seen in the inner beauty and splendor of physical beings. 
Spheres of Sustainability: Netzach and Eternity

Spheres of Sustainability: Netzach and Eternity

For this week of the Omer's sphere of sustainability, look at netzach, eternity. Learn about using this sefirah when thinking about endurance
Spheres of Sustainability: Tif'eret and Beauty

Spheres of Sustainability: Tif’eret and Beauty

For this week of the Omer's sphere of sustainability, look at tif'eret, beauty. Tif'eret brings us into balance with everyday blessings.
A SEAT FOR THOSE WHO CAN'T COME HOME

A Seat For Those Who Can’t Come Home

This year, as we prepare the seder, we encourage an extra setting at your table—an empty chair for our family still in captivity in Gaza.
Embracing Kitniyot on Passover

Embracing Kitniyot on Passover

This essay advocates for Ashkenazi Jews to embrace kitniyot on Passover, to enhance dietary diversity and align with modern interpretations.
Spheres of Sustainability: Strength and Gevurah

Spheres of Sustainability: Gevurah and Strength

For this week of the Omer's sphere of sustainability, look at gevurah, strength. Learn about using this gevurah when we face challenges.
Spheres of Sustainability: Chesed and Goodness

Spheres of Sustainability: Chesed and Goodness

For this week of the Omer's sphere of sustainability, look at chesed, goodness. This week, stand in awe before God's world.
Spheres of Sustainability: Making the Omer Count

Spheres of Sustainability: Making the Omer Count

By looking at the spheres of sustainability, we are making the Omer count. Explore the connections between the Omer and caring for the Earth.
Pesaj en la Sinagoga

Pesaj en la Sinagoga

Hay servicios vespertinos y matutinos en Pesaj, como en todos los festivales, con algunos cambios litúrgicos.
Pessah à la synagogue

Pessah à la synagogue

Il y a des offices du soir et du matin à Pessah, comme pour toutes les fêtes, avec quelques changements liturgiques.
El Séder: Un Resumen

El Séder: Un Resumen

El Séder de Pesaj es, para muchos judíos, la fiesta ritual más importante del año.
Le Seder Un Aperçu

Le seder : un aperçu

Le seder de Pessah est pour de nombreux juifs, le repas rituel le plus important de l’année.
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.
Que Es Jametz

Que es Jametz?

La sustancia prohibida, jametz, se define como la mezcla del grano de cualquiera de las cinco especies de cereales (trigo, cebada, avena, espelta y centeno) ...
Qu’est-ce que hamets?

Qu’est-ce que le hamets?

Le hamets est toute nourriture faite à partir des 5 espèces de céréales (blé, orge, avoine, épeautre, seigle) humidifiées, et cuites après 18 minutes.
Thèmes de la Pessah et du jeûne des premiers-nés

Thèmes de Pessah et du jeûne des premiers-nés

Ces trois concepts : liberté – rédemption - printemps interviennent ensemble dans les différents aspects de l’observance de Pessah.
Temas de Pesaj, Nisán, y el Ayuno de los Primogénitos

Temas de Pesaj, Nisán, y el Ayuno de los Primogénitos

Estos tres conceptos (libertad, redención y primavera) se combinan en diferentes aspectos de la observancia de Pesaj.
Omer Mixtape 2024: Week 7 Malkhut and Shekhina

Omer Mixtape 2024: Week 7 Malkhut and Shekhina

For the Omer Mixtape 2024: Week 7 Malkhut and Shekhina, Rabbi Jenna Stein Turow put together a playlist on this sefira of king and queendom.
Omer Mixtape 2024: Week 6 Yesod

Omer Mixtape 2024: Week 6 Yesod

For the Omer Mixtape 2024: Week 6 Yesod, Rabbi Jenna Stein Turow put together a playlist on the sefira of Yesod, bonding and integrity.
Omer Mixtape 2024: Week 5 Hod

Omer Mixtape 2024: Week 5 Hod

For the Omer Mixtape 2024: Week 5 Hod, Rabbi Jenna Stein Turow put together a playlist on the sefira of Hod, gratitude and humility.
Omer Mixtape 2024: Week 4 Netzach

Omer Mixtape 2024: Week 4 Netzach

For the Omer Mixtape 2024: Week 4 Netzach, Rabbi Jenna Stein Turow put together a playlist on the sefira of Netzach, endurance and confidence.
OMer Mixtape 2024: Week 3 Tiferet

Omer Mixtape 2024: Week 3 Tiferet

For the Omer Mixtape 2024: Week 3 Tiferet, Rabbi Jenna Stein Turow put together a playlist on the sefira of Tiferet, truth and balance.
Omer Mixtape 2024: Week 2 Gevurah

Omer Mixtape 2024: Week 2 Gevurah

For the Omer Mixtape 2024: Week 2 Gevurah, Rabbi Jenna Stein Turow put together a playlist on the sefira of Gevurah, strength.
Days of the Omer Playlist

Exploring Judaism’s Omer Playlist

Exploring Judaism's Omer playlist is meant to accompany you throughout the seven weeks leading up to Shavuot: Bring a bit more music to life!
Omer Mixtape 2024: Week 1 Chesed

Omer Mixtape 2024: Week 1 Chesed

Week one of the Omer focuses on the sefira of Chesed, lovingkindness. Rabbi Jenna Stein Turow explains her playlist focused on this theme.
Omer Mixtape 57842024

Omer Mixtape 5784/2024

The Omer Mixtape 5784/2024 counts the Omer using secular music as inspiration for spiritual reflection, connected to the weekly sefirah.
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.
Reparations: The Difficulty and Bravery and Asking

Reparations: The Difficulty and Bravery of Asking

Look at reparations and the difficulty and bravery of asking, through the lens of slavery in Egypt, slavery in America, and the Holocaust.
What Can the "Push/Pull" of Purim Teach Us About Antisemitism

What Can the “Push/Pull” of Purim Teach Us About Antisemitism

What can the "push/pull" of Purim teach us about antisemitism? Esther teaches us a strategy that could help us find new ways to antisemitism.
How I Dip Maror In Charoset

How I Dip Maror in Charoset

Wrapping and dipping maror in charoset at Seder can be part of a family tradition. Explore this one to add more to your own Seder ...

The Four Questions Hotline

Welcome to the Exploring Judaism Four Questions Hotline, with Passover Cleaning Support! We are here to answer your questions.

The Secrets of Matzah

There are so many secrets hidden away within Matzah that ask to be uncovered, offering us spiritual wisdom.
Every Year We Must See Ourselves As If We Were There

Every Year We Must See Ourselves As If We Were There

Every year at Passover, we must see ourselves as If we were there in Egypt and take on what that means for ourselves.
B'khol Dor Vador In Every Generation

B’khol Dor Vador—In Every Generation

What does "b'khol dor vador—in every generation" mean in light of the events of October 7? How does this connect us to Passover?
Why Couldn't Moses Enter the Promised Land?

Why Couldn’t Moses Enter the Promised Land?

Current events help us understand why Moses couldn't enter the Promised Land and remind us the importance of innocent lives.
A Very Waystar Royco Seder: How a Show Like “Succession” Illuminates the Four Children

How a Show Like “Succession” Illuminates the Four Children

How can a show like "Succession" illuminate the Seder? Compare the Four Children of our haggadah with the four Roy children.
Back to Our Roots

Back to Our Roots

Learn about the Wicked Child of the Four Children by going back to our roots and looking at the meaning of the Hebrew word itself.
The Living Room Seder

The Living Room Seder

Hosting a living room Seder can allow us to experience a Seder closer to the way that the rabbis thought of it.
Dip Your Karpas in Salt Water and Honey?

Dip Your Karpas in Salt Water and Honey?

Dipping Karpas into salt water at the Passover Seder has a mysterious history that invites us to create new dipping and meaning opportunities!
On Passover, We Are All Jews-By-Choice

On Passover, We Are All Jews-By-Choice

On Passover, we are all Jews-by-Choice when we choose to remember what it is that brings us together for the holiday.
The Magic of Bedikat Hametz

The Magic of Bedikat Hametz

Use this guide to bring the magic of bedikat hametz to your children. It can be a fun ritual with your kids, of any age.
Slavery, Social Justice, and Family History

Slavery, Social Justice, and Family History

Reflecting on a "Pilgrimage to the South" on a Movement social justice trip as a Black Jew and how it has changed who I am.
All Who Are Hungry and In Need Come Eat

All Who Are Hungry and In Need, Come Celebrate Pesach

Through the seder, we learn the importance of hospitality and inviting all who are hungry and in need, to come celebrate Pesach.
The Seder as a Lived Experience

The Seder as a Lived Experience

We use the Seder as a lived experience by reenacting the exodus, not just recounting it. Therefore, we can all connect to Passover.
16 Facts about Purim and the Book of Esther

16 Facts about Purim and the Book of Esther

Learn 16 facts about Purim and the Book of Esther, including the language and the context of the megillah in the Tanakh.
Descendants of Kings and Scholars: Leading the Revolution

Descendants of Kings and Scholars: Leading the Revolution

Descendants of leaders steer revolutions, seen through Moshe and Mordechai. What motivates the privileged who become social justice warriors?
Embracing Change: A Call to Rethink the Passover Seder Plate

Embracing Change: A Call to Rethink the Passover Seder Plate

How and why can you create a plant-based seder plate? We embrace change during Passover, especially in rethinking the seder plate.
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.
Engaging Kids of All Ages in the Passover Seder

Engaging Kids of All Ages in the Passover Seder

Engaging kids of all ages in the Passover seder can feel daunting. Here are my top five tips for engaging everyone at the seder.
Pesah and Continued Kashrut Slavery: A Conceptual Reflection

Pesah and Continued Kashrut Slavery: A Conceptual Reflection

A conceptual reflection of Pesah and Kashrut can bring more meaning to how we follow the halakhah of food on Pesah.
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?
Passover Kashrut Questions and Answers

Passover Kashrut Questions and Answers

Answering key and specific questions about kashrut, kashering utensils, and food in the context of Passover.
The Passover Preparation Checklist

The Passover Preparation Checklist

We know that preparing for Passover can feel like a daunting task. With this handy checklist, you will be ready for Passover in no time!
Not A Haggadah Post Image

Passover Reader 5784: Not A Haggadah

Exploring Judaism's 2024 (5784) Passover Reader, Not A Haggadah, includes essays to inspire a meaningful Passover.
Adding Some Shenanigans to your Purim

Adding Some Shenanigans to your Purim

Purim is the perfect time to add some whimsy and shenanigans to your celebration. It is okay to be silly with these activities!
Doing Teshuvah Outside of Communal Prayers

Doing Teshuvah Outside of Communal Prayers

This teshuvah, written at a time when gathering was not possible, explores doing teshuvah outside of communal prayers.
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.
Charlton Heston Speaking

Charlton Heston Speaking

We can learn about leadership from Moses, as well as from Charlton Heston speaking, as he plays Moses in the Ten Commandments movie.
Why We Cover Challah at the Shabbat Table

Why We Cover Challah at the Shabbat Table

Why we cover Challah at the Shabbat table can be found when we learn about manna and the seven species of Israel.
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.
Shirat Hayam - They're playing our song!

Shirat Hayam: They’re playing our song!

Shirat Hayam connects us to a collective memory and is the proof-text that enlarges, extends, and authenticates the meaning of the prayer. 
Why I Change the Melodies: Exploring Keva and Kavanah

Why I Change the Melodies: Exploring Keva and Kavanah

By occasionally changing melodies, we draw from both Keva and Kavanah and invite ourselves into a deeper connection with our prayers.

What is a Tu Bishvat Seder?

Tu Bishvat is a holiday rooted in the Mishnah Rosh Hashanah 1:1 which outlines the four new years in the Jewish calendar. Tu Bishvat is ...
Why Tu b'Shvat Needs to be More Than a Birthday for Trees

Why Tu b’Shvat Needs to be More Than a Birthday for Trees

Rabbi Jonathan Bernhard encourages us to recommit to caring for our world and to see Tu b’Shvat as more than the “birthday for the trees.
Prayer In Honor of Martin Luther King Day

Prayer in Honor of Martin Luther King Day

A prayer in honor of Martin Luther King Day, commemorating what Dr. King stood for and about, learning from his ever-effective words.
Responsive Reading From MLK’s Words

A Responsive Reading From MLK’s Words

A responsive reading from the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., put together by Rabbi A. Nathan Abramowitz.
Conversation with Martin Luther King at 1968 RA Convention

Conversation with Martin Luther King at 1968 RA Convention

At the 1968 Rabbinical Assembly convention, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. spoke to assembled rabbis concerning how they can fight for justice.
The Weird and Wacky World of Kosher for Passover

The Weird and Wacky World of Kosher for Passover

The weird and wacky world of keeping Kosher for Passover is confusing and overwhelming, especially when you're new to it. Start here!
This is the Bread of Affliction

This is the Bread of Affliction

This is the bread of affliction: Matzah adorns our Seder plates and nourishes our souls, as well—this food is fulfilling.
The Art of Assimilating Wisely

The Art of Assimilating Wisely

Hanukkah—when we read about the Maccabees resisting assimilation and Joseph embracing it—is a time to look at the art of assimilation wisely.
Elevating in Sanctity

Elevating in Sanctity

Elevating in sanctity the celebration of Hanukah, means lighting one more candle each night. What else can we learn from this?
My Good Mensches, We Are Modern Maccabees

My Good Mensches, We Are Modern Maccabees

We are the Maccabees of our modern time and we have the responsibility to keep the Ner Tamid lit for another generation.
Jewish Pride Guides My Actions

Jewish Pride Guides My Actions

From a love of Judaism and Jewish history, my Jewish pride guides my actions, both public and private, and defines my sense of self.
How to Forgive

How to Forgive (Kol Nidrei)

When the time of Yom Kippur is upon us, we talk a lot about forgiveness. Saying "sorry" is easy—how do we forgive?
Netzach and Hod

Netzach and Hod (Rosh Hashanah)

Rabbi Friedson explains the middot—soul traits—of netzach and hod and relates the required tenacity and glory to this time of year.
Hope is a Rope

Hope is a Rope (Rosh Hashanah)

We learn from Rabbi Friedson to keep our hope in mind for this next year. Our hope is a rope, just as strong and tenacious.
Non-Fasting Sh"tz on Yom Kippur

Non-Fasting Sh”tz on Yom Kippur

When should we use a non-fasting sh"tz on Yom Kippur? This CJLS teshuvah, originally written by Rabbi Gail Labovitz, explains.
How to Keep Your Lulav From Getting Gross

How to Keep Your Lulav From Getting Gross

How to Take Care of Your Lulav and Etrog. Lulavim and Etrogim, like all perishables, need to be kept in a cool place and treated ...

How to Shake the Lulav and Etrog

Shaking the Lulav and Etrog is a core ritual for Sukkot. This guide describes how to shake it and what blessing to recite.
Shemini Atzeret, Demystified

Shemini Atzeret, Demystified

What is Shemini Atzeret and how is it connected to Sukkot? "Shemini Atzeret, Demystified" explains all of that and more.