Category Archives: Feasts

Passover – the waters of death and the waters of life

  Passover is here. Jewish homes are gathering for our yearly seder, the recounting of God’s deliverance from the hands of our enemies in Egypt. This is the Jewish family celebration par excellence. I have cherished childhood memories of my Ukraine-born bobbeh (Jewish grandmother) bringing out culinary masterpieces, one after another, to the festive table. […]

The Feast of Esther – anger, conspiracy, fear and rescue

Let’s move the hands of the clock back more than 2,400 years to ancient Iran. Two high-level Persian court politicians had become so angry with King Ahasuerus that they plotted together to assassinate him. The old Latin word for this plan – conspiracy – comes from the joining of ‘spiro’ (to breath) and ‘con’ (together). […]

Hanukkah – the fake news, the real news and the kosher message

Many Jewish people have a hard time figuring out what Christmas is about. When I was a young Jewish kid growing up in Catholic-Protestant Quebec, I loved the winking tree lights, the holly and the ivy wreaths, the fact that many people were getting tipsy and acting especially friendly to each other. As a musician, […]

Christmas and Pentecost – beyond the tinsel and the Torah

Growing up as a Jewish kid in Montreal, I loved Christmas. Snowy winter lawns were bejeweled at night with twinkling trees. People got tipsy and were nice to each other. What could be bad about all that? And a baby nursed in a Bethlehem stable seemed like friendly ‘family content’. Secular Westerners love the tinsel […]

Happy prophetic New Year!

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change and though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea – though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains quake at its swelling pride (Psalm 46:1-3) The Jewish people’s history is flecked with tragedy and shakings. Moyshe Rabbenu’s (Moses’) curses of […]

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