Under the glare of the midday desert sun, I gaze at the life teeming below me. From my perch on the ramparts, I can see the sun sparkling off the brilliant gold of the Dome of the Rock. Jewish men and women are bowing and crying and caressing the cool stone of the Kotel. Children […]
The package arrived on a cold Friday afternoon, a nondescript bundle shoved into my mailbox. The unremarkable packaging and unglamorous delivery method disguised the tightly packed questions, doubts, and implications contained inside—all in the form of a long black skirt. I had told myself I wanted a long black skirt for a variety of practical […]
This past week’s parsha (Torah portion), “B’Shalach” (Exodus 13:17-17:16), is a rich and event-filled text. We witness the physical and spiritual movement of the Israelites out of slavery and into freedom. This transition, as we have seen in the preceding weeks, was not accomplished easily. It has taken ten plagues, culminating in the death of […]
This essay was inspired by the following article: “Conservative Judaism turns 100 and Works to Reverse its Decline.” Back in 2009, when my fiancé and I were searching for a synagogue to attend in New York, the experience was a little reminiscent of “Goldilocks and the Three Bears.” The Reform temple around the corner? Very […]
For many people, September is a time of endings. The weather cools, the days shorten, leaves turn brilliant colors, then fade and die. For students, teachers, and anyone else involved in the world of education, September is simultaneously a time of beginnings. With the start of a new school year, the opportunities for new friends, […]
In the parsha for last week, Parashat Eikev, Moses instructs the Israelites on how to enter the land of Israel. The general idea is that if the Israelites observe God’s commandments, they will be rewarded: they may enter, possess, and flourish in the land. Only one small obstacle stands in their way. The land that […]
Growing up in a small town in upstate New York, my community mainly consisted of people like me: Caucasian, Christian, and middle class. Throughout most of my childhood, I existed in a comfortable bubble populated by people who shared my experiences and values. This bubble was abruptly popped, however, when I matriculated at the regional […]
Sarah Fein is a PhD student in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies at Brandeis University in Waltham, MA. Her work focuses on the role of women and gender in the Hebrew Bible and its later interpretation.