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  • Duct tape and all, sukkah is holy place

    ENCINO, Calif., Sept. 21 (JTA) — What is a sukkah? To Rabbi Akiva, the sukkah represents the actual huts that housed the Israelites during their 40-year trek through the wilderness. To Rabbi Eliezer, the sukkah symbolizes the Clouds of Glory, encompassing God’s presence, that accompanied and protected the Israelites. To my four sons, who are…

  • Making changes on Rosh Hashanah

    Family columnist Jane Ulman writes about the obligation Jews have to make positive changes in ourselves and the world around us as we observe Rosh Hashanah, the birthday of the world.

  • Tisha B’Av: Remembering darkness

    Tisha B’Av, a holiday that marks the destruction of both Holy Temples and other tragedies in Jewish history, begs examination of why these tragedies occurred.

  • Doing the seder my way

    Columnist Jane Ulman overhauls her family’s Passover traditions with a plan for a seder that is both serious and fun. Her kids may be skeptical, but she has high hopes that she can lead an orderly service without being called a slave driver.

  • Viva Vashti!

    JTA columnist Jane Ulman discovers that the female heroines — and so-called villains — of the Purim story teach her a lot about being a woman.

  • Giving Chanukah gifts despite it all

    Chanukah gift-giving may not be a religious obligation, but it is a seasonal reality for one woman who seeks to reinforce Jewish traditions in a predominantly Christian country.

  • Remembering relatives in the sukkah

    On Sukkot, columnist Jane Ulman adds a personal twist to Jewish tradition by adding her grandfather to the group of Jewish patriarchs she recalls while in the sukkah.

  • Are kids B-B-B-Bad to the bone?

    Columnist Jane Ulman explains how the high holidays are a time for parents to reflect on how they to help their children make sound choices, control their bad inclination and become solid Jewish citizens.

  • Shavuot: the long arm of Jewish law

    Jane Ulman explains how her 12-year-old son Danny, a firm believer in legal loopholes, discovered that he’s contractually bound by Jewish law handed down 3,315 years before he was even born. On Shavuot, Jews take time to recall the all-encompassing Jewish

  • Making the case for Purim

    Jane Ulman shares one family’s history of Purim celebrations, from the son who worked on art projects with “at risk” kids to the grandfather who was known to say “Purim, what’s that to celebrate? A nice Jewish girl marries a