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10.13.17

The Road to Change

Rabbi Samantha Natov shares lessons from Judaism on implementing lasting change in our lives. “We need to believe in the future in order to build the future.”

10.03.17

How to Celebrate Sukkot with Your Children

Did you know that Sukkot is the holiday of joy?Just four days after Yom Kippur, our solemn Day of Atonement, Sukkot commands us to embrace the many blessings in our lives. More than Hanukkah or Purim, Sukkot is a holiday for rejoicing. 

We sit in the open space of the sukkah and feel the warmth of the sun and a nice breeze. We can invite our family and friends to join us and enjoy conversation and food together. It’s a time to be open to new connections and take pleasure in our abundant blessings.

Here are some tips for celebrating Sukkot with your children.

  • Find a time to visit a sukkah. Ask your children to describe what they notice about the sukkah. Notice the decorations that symbolize the harvest festival and how the s’chach (sukkah roof) is open to the sky.
  • Enjoy a snack in the sukkah. Stay a while. Bring books to read and enjoy this temporary home.
  • Focus on joy. Your children will likely enjoy hearing about what brings you joy. Ask what gives them joy.
  • Shake the etrog (a fragrant citrus fruit) and lulav (a combination of willow, date, palm, and myrtle branches held together by a woven palm branch) to remind yourself and your children that God is everywhere.

May you relish this time with family and friends, and the beauty that surrounds us. 

Rabbi Samantha Natov is an associate rabbi at Stephen Wise Free Synagogue.

    8.25.17

    Look Within

    The act of reflecting inwardly is woven into the very fabric of Jewish observance during this time of the year." Rabbi Samantha Natov inspires us to look inward in the days leading up to the High Holy Days.

    8.11.17

    Shame

    “Shame has more power in our lives than many of us realize,” says Rabbi Samantha Natov. When we understand shame as vulnerability, “it becomes about being brave and courageous, rather than timid and intimidated.”