On any given night, I make three meals, which may sound like your house as well, except that our reasons probably differ for the assortment of choices at the dinner table. Our family keeps kosher and we practice ahimsa, which means that our five-year-old twins need to perform mental math on a daily basis weighing out what they want for dessert vs. what they want for dinner and divide by how hungry they are in the moment.
Not a lot of people have ever even heard of Tisha B'Av, yet it is considered the saddest day in the Jewish calendar. Wednesday night begins Tisha B'Av which lasts until sundown on Thursday. It is a day of deep mourning. A season of important holy days begins in fall (Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, most importantly) , and Tisha B'Av sets a tone of contemplation and sadness in preparation. Tisha B'Av, the 9th day of the Jewish month of Av is reportedly the date on which horrible things have happened to the Jewish community.
Around the time that Barack Obama was elected as the first African-American president of the United States, a few articles appeared about Michelle Obama's cousin. Rabbi Capers Funnye leads a congreagation of African-American Jews in Chicago, and has worked extensively to bridge the gap between white Jewish congregations and congregations that serve Jews of color. One article that I read suggested that the "mainstream" reform Jewish unions would welcome Rabbi Funnye's congregation as members, but since they are more conservative, they practice gender-segregation during services.
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