Tag Archives: Jewish new year

Publication: Shmita comes home

photo of an overgrown field with weeds and flowers, overlaid with the words

This past week, I was thrilled to publish my first piece for Tablet Magazine. It appeared on Wednesday, 9/15, right after Rosh Hashanah.

Check it out:

Giving It a Rest: What I learned by observing ‘shmita’—a sabbatical year—in my community garden

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Converging new years: Baja and Rosh Hashanah

Norton grapes growing in Missouri.jpg

Grapes serve as a symbol for the new year in Baja. They parallel the round challah and apples I eat during the Jewish new year. Photo credit: “Norton grapes growing in Missouri” by Don Kasak – Flickr: Chaumette Winery. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

This week, I’ve had much to celebrate. And contemplate. I can thank two converging new years for the opportunity. The evening of September 24 marked the start of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year. Then on the 25th, The Washington Post published a story of how I spent the Gregorian Calendar new year in Baja California, Mexico.

I see Rosh Hashanah as a time to consider the previous year and the coming year. As one tashlich service leader put it, it’s a good time to contemplate how we balance power with kindness, emotions with principles, and intelligence with wisdom.

And as for the publication process?  That was a chance, as always, to take stock of my own writing — what inspires me, how I approach the craft, what I aspire to do with it, and how I take feedback along the way (especially when the editor has plenty).

Shanah tovah to all celebrating, and may everyone have a sweet weekend.

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DC State Fair contests open: Think of this as my White House video announcement

Okay, it's a public library panel, not a national broadcast. But you get the idea. Photo by Stuart Levy

Okay, it’s a public library panel, not a national stage. But you get the idea. And note the DC State Fair t-shirt. Photo by Stuart Levy.

Pundits have used a lot more red ink lately, marking Xes on the days when President Obama doesn’t hold a press conference. One hundred and fourteen days here, 101 there. Only a Russian-protected leaker and a red line in Syria could staunch the scribbles, bringing Obama officially before the press an astonishing two times  in August. Otherwise, it’s X, X, and X.

What Obama does instead is push out constant social media blips and almost daily White House videos.

So think of this as my trendy White House video-type announcement about a matter of great interest to the public:

The DC State Fair contests are now open.

The media haven’t caught wind of it yet, as far as I know. Yet news of favorites like the Pie Contest, Honey Contest and Homebrew Contest has zipped around D.C.

Now that you’re in the know, go ahead and check them out.

And to everyone celebrating Rosh Hashanah today, shana tova! May your year be filled not only with luscious desserts and homemade beer but also the sweetness of peace and inspiration.

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