Category Archives: Jewish community

How I survived eating in for an entire month

A sign at a D.C. Metro station tells me what to do. By Rhea.

A sign at a D.C. Metro station tells me what to do. By Rhea.

…that’s the title of my final post in a series at The Jew and the Carrot. It sounds dramatic, but to be honest I wasn’t crawling to the finish line. Yes, it surprised me, too! This post includes a few locavore-friendly micro recipes, a look at sustainable food campaigns and apps, and a whole bunch of gratitude.

Check out “How I survived eating in for an entire month” for the whole story.

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Latke-Hamentasch Debate coming up

Four speakers. Two Jewish foods. One magical night.

D.C.-area Jews, foodies, and lovers of hilarious arguments, this one’s for you. Experience the Latke-Hamentasch Debate and nosh on “research materials” Wednesday, February 13 at 7 p.m. at Adas Israel (Cleveland Park Metro – Red Line). There will be ASL interpretation!

Click to enlarge the flier and read more.

22nd Annual DC LHS_Flyer-1




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Eating in Part II, in which our heroine faces an ancient scholar and fish sandwiches

My second post on my 31 days of eating in is up at The Jew and the Carrot. Check it out.

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Science and religion

Photo by Flickr user kkfea

Every Yom Kippur, I take my attention away from my growling stomach and the repentant prayers for a moment to think  I should write about this. I never do. Luckily, Gabe Popkin, a friend and graduate student in science writing at Johns Hopkins, has now done it for me. Gabe addresses the psychological and spiritual effects of going without food for religious purposes in The Sieve. I am honored to be one of the people he quoted for the piece, along with a rabbinical student, a Muslim community leader, and a D.C. cab driver.

Grab a snack and check out “Yom Kippur and the Science of Fasting.”

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New food writing: Challah

Challah, meet Challah

My Jewish Learning recently published my article/recipe “Taking Challah: A mitzvah that sets the braided bread apart.” Check it out. For more on that topic, be sure to read the charming “Ask the Expert” column.

Photo by  Rhea

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Image for the Day: Dude ascending a staircase


Last year, I helped to plan a Shavuot event in this ravishing church. Shavuot, the Jewish holiday commemorating receiving the Torah, is coming up again at the end of May.

I decided to use this shot of the church stairwell today not because I am obsessed with stairwells, but because I love how the serene spiral is interrupted by a cacophony of life and color.

Ain’t that how it always goes?

If the stairway feels like my ideal conditions for writing or thinking or healing–calm, solid, continuous–then the glaring orange traffic cones and the person running up the steps with a Giant grocery bag depict how reality crashes in.

Image: The National Swedenborgian Church of the Holy City, 16th St. NW, Washington, D.C. Photo by Rhea.

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Image for the Day: Indulge yourself, it’s Lag Ba’Omer


Lag Ba’Omer falls on the thirty-third day of counting the omer, a Jewish tradition that marks the seven weeks between Passover and Shavuot. Usually a solemn period, on Day 33, the rabbis say we can let loose. Get married! Host a wild cookout! Cut your hair!* I don’t know all of the details about this, but I am a fan of chilling and joy.

Photo by Flickr user Özgür Mülazımoğlu.

*If you’re wondering why the last one, leave a comment and I’ll do my best to answer.

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Zen and the art of weed whacking


(Cross-posted from The Jew and the Carrot)

Caught in a rainstorm in Guatemala, with only chafing rain boots to tackle the wet, muddy miles ahead, Joe Gorin is about to give in to misery. Then he remembers a Buddhist practice: walking meditation. The scene begins to change as he uses this tool for enhanced awareness and thought to smooth the journey. This scene comes from Gorin’s memoir “Choose Love: A Jewish Buddhist Human Rights Activist in Central America,” and illustrates how well his spiritual practice entwined with his human rights work in 1980s Latin America. The author, who is a psychotherapist and I just call Joe, works the plot next to mine in a community garden in Northwest D.C. Joe gave me his book this spring, after I shared that I write. Continue reading

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Beans with a history

Vegetarian baked beans in a crock
Sweet, bacon-y baked beans. Would you believe they started with Jews? Well, they did. Connecting such seemingly disparate things as Judaism and pork-infused legumes usually takes a story. I recently wrote that story–with a recipe–for My Jewish Learning. Take a look at Vegetarian Baked Beans.

Photo by the author.

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Goat cheese and greens

Spoon Bread and Strawberry Wine*. From Okra to Greens**. Many great pieces of theatre or poetry start with two random foods. My latest recipe for tries a little of that melding. The dish combines pungent, earthy goat cheese with spicy greens. And though it’s dinner, not literature, it does come with a couple of stories. Read all about it.

*A 1994 book of “recipes and reminiscences” by Norma Jean Darden and Carole Darden, which I saw off Broadway as a young’un.

**  A work of drama/poetry by Ntozake Shange that is lesser known than For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow is Enuf, but worth checking out.

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