Have you ever heard the sound of the shofar? Its sounds is one that you would remember, whether the short blasts or the longer sustained blast that goes on over many seconds. This ram’s horn sounds one hundred notes a day during Rosh Hashanah, the celebration of the Jewish New Year.
Many things can drastically and suddenly change our lives. With the economy, we all know people who were doing well (or at least okay) who lost their job and as a result their whole world changed. Another person's life may be changed when their spouse is injured in a car accident or diagnosed with cancer. And for another person, the change may be the result of relocating to a new town for the promise of a great new life.
Attending a religious event like Passover that's unfamiliar to you can be stressful, especially when you're worried about making a good impression on your boyfriend or girlfriend's family. Here are some tips that will ensure that it all goes smoothly.
You and your guy have been dating for a few months and are still getting to know each other. Is he "The One?" Maybe, but you're either not 100 percent sure — or don't want to scare him off by laying all your cards out on the table. How do you go about handling holidays like Easter or Passover?
I never thought I'd be the type of woman to date a religious guy. A Reform Jew by upbringing, my family ate bagels, lox, and pickled herring on Sundays, lit our Menorah every Hanukkah, and sat through services on the High Holy Days. I learned how to pronounce the word afikomen. My mom referred to my face as a beautiful punim and hoped that someday I would meet a nice mensch and get married.
For many Orthodox Jews, the concept of not touching—known in Hebrew as Shomer Negiah, literally translated as "observant of the laws of touching"—is nothing new. The idea behind Shomer Negiah is that sex should be kept as something special that happens between a husband and a wife. Sex outside of marriage is a no-no. Anything that could possibly lead to sex outside of marriage is also a no-no. Think of it as an attempt to avoid any possible slippery slopes. No pun intended.
Ivanka Trump is a grown damn woman and can choose some things for herself. One of those things is sort of religion. It looks like she is converting to Judaism ahead of her marriage to media / real estate dude Jared Kushner. Super. The Donald is probably psyched about what sort of exclusive clubs this can get him into.
New mommy and up-and-coming actress Isla Fisher has postponed her wedding to actor/comedian Sascha Baron Cohen. Now before you go getting your panties in a bunch, there's actually a good reason. Isla, like many famous women before her, is converting to Judaism before she marries Cohen. Great, except she's also in the middle of shooting the highly anticipated (well, by fashionistas and chic lit fans at least) Confessions of a Shopaholic and doesn't have the time to devote herself to her Torah studies.
Is religion an essential factor to the foundation of a strong family? Torang Sepah tells the story of how love brought her to a new spirituality. "Six months after we married, we began discussing the idea of conversion. Ron and I had both been raised in secular homes, and he felt connected to Judaism on a cultural, rather than religious, level. I, on the other hand, have never really felt tied to Islam. I believe in gay marriage—and I believe that a woman can do anything a man can do. I don’t think there’s a lot of room in Islam for liberal, or even moderate, viewpoints. With Judaism, I felt like there was still a way for me to be progressive. Though Ron told me early on that he didn’t need me to change religions, I decided I wanted to convert—for love, and for the family we would raise."
The husband and the in-laws—they can be a combustible combination. Introducing your boyfriend to your parents and family is difficult no matter what, especially if you're Jewish and he's not and your parents don't want you marrying a goy. But interfaith marriage doesn't have to be all bad, as Amy Sohn learned. In this excerpt from her book Altared, Amy shares her personal account of finding the one and then trying to sell him to her parents.