Menu JTA Search

Edmon J. Rodman RSS

Latest

  • Marking Tisha b’Av during a long, hot summer

    (JTA) — As the fast day of Tisha b’Av approaches, the summer heat and humidity is rising. That got me thinking: Does the solemn day have the stuff to raise our consciousness as well? Tisha b’Av — this year it begins on the evening of Saturday, August 13 — marks the destruction of the First and Second Temples, as well as…

  • On Shavuot, who (or what) will get the first fruits?

    LOS ANGELES (JTA) — As we approach Shavuot, there’s a battle going on in our garden over who — or what — will get our first fruits. In ancient days in Israel, beginning at Shavuot — the holiday that marked the wheat harvest as well as the giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai — people brought…

  • 3 items that say Passover: Which do you choose?

    LOS ANGELES (JTA) — Can the essence of Passover fit into a box? Fans of Manischewitz and Streit’s will undoubtedly answer, “Yes, in a matzah box.” But a successful Kickstarter campaign called Hello Mazel aims to reinvent that box, promising a package filled with Passover-related “Jewish awesomeness” that will be delivered to your door (or…

  • Should we get hammered on Purim — and Election Day?

    LOS ANGELES (JTA) — Purim parties are just around the corner — as is the presidential election. This got me thinking: What does the holiday’s operative phrase, “ad lo yada,” “until one no longer knows,” really mean? Traditionally, this rabbinic license to party, derived from the Talmud, has been taken to mean one should drink until…

  • Valentine’s Day: An ideal date for Jewish weddings?

    Maybe it’s romantic; perhaps it’s convenient. A writer explores why some Jewish couples get married on this traditionally Christian day of love.

  • On Tu b’Shvat, seeds of growth and change in our seder and beyond

    The seven species enjoyed at a seder honoring the Jewish new year for the trees also provide a moving metaphor for strengthening community.

  • On Hanukkah, just let the lights go out

    Celebrating the Festival of Lights is typically a communal activity — but a writer finds a deeper meaning in quiet contemplation of the menorah.

  • Giving thanks for a fight-free Thanksgiving

    A writer reflects on tension, tradition and the importance of two varieties of stuffing on the Thanksgiving table.

  • Treif or treat: Why is so much Halloween candy kosher?

    A writer’s search for certifiably kosher Halloween candy is smoother — and tastier — than expected.

  • Celebrating Sukkot in a time of drought

    Worried about the fate of trees in his Los Angeles hometown, columnist Edmon J. Rodman wondered: Will the holiday’s joy dry up alongside much of California’s water supply?