One sliver lining of quarantine has been spending quality time with my Japanese father and Israeli mother.
Can we, or do we, see past the labels to create an inclusive community where those born in the margins need not remain there? The story of Ruth raises issues that are atypical from much of our biblical narrative, and Gleanings: Reflections on Ruth, a new anthology of modern commentaries on Ruth, edited by Stuart Halpern (Yeshiva University Press/Koren Publishers 2019), seeks to answer some of those questions.
Because I primarily ate rice pudding at these diners, the dish always felt more connected to my Midwestern roots rather than my Jewish heritage. But while researching dishes to include in The Jewish Cookbook—my forthcoming collection of global Jewish recipes—I discovered that rice pudding has a definitive place in the Jewish kitchen, particularly within Sephardi cuisine.
Sephardic memory and tradition at Shavuot.
A Greek-Sephardic custom until the Nazis decimated the community, will the ‘bread of the seven heavens’ soon be the crumbs of history?
In our Sephardic community, our roots being Ottoman Rhodes, we make a few special dairy foods for the occasion; sutlach, a creamy rice pudding is one, and burekas, a community and family favorite, is another.
One of the things I like to emphasize about my KosherSoul side is that both the Jewish and African diasporas have been absorbed and have absorbed all of the places we have been.
The journey to Judaism was not easy. After about two and half years of regularly attending services, on January 1, 2006 both my son and I went to the mikvah and took on Jewish life on a higher level.
1 in 6 contemporary Jews are new to Judaism. How are we supposed to welcome these converts? Rabbi Juan Mejia, a convert himself, provides a modern reading of the biblical story of Ruth to find some guidance.
“I believe that the Book of Ruth is my story,” says Devorah. “Ruth is always referred to as a Moabite. Even though she says, ‘Where you go, I’ll go, and your people is my people.’
Perhaps along with its other names, the holiday of Shavuot, might come to be known as the Celebration of Compassion.
At Shavuot, as we remember the story of Ruth, the first convert, we also remember that every student who comes to us for conversion is different and has a unique and very personal story.
At the end of this month, we’ll celebrate Shavuot, and we’ll read the Book of Ruth. We boast that this story is about welcoming the stranger, about the pure intent of the Jew-by-choice, about the love for Judaism a convert has.
Their stories were remarkable; we felt privileged to hear and witness them. Each personal journey was both a struggle and an epiphany.
Sponsored by Be’chol Lashon (“In Every Tongue”) of the Institute for Jewish & Community Research, the free festival was geared toward Jews who don’t fit the profile of white Yiddishkeit European. The day featured workshops, children’s activities, food and drink, a book fair and the pleasure of truly diverse Jewish company.