Joel Haber

Joel Haber

PASSOVER: Don’t Be a Slave to Tradition

Here was my dilemma when I came of age and began making my own seders: Should I maintain tradition even though I didn\’t have the same associations with these foods that my mother did? Since Passover celebrates freedom (another traditional name for the holiday is Zman Cheiruteinu, or The Time of Our Freedom), I wanted to express my freedom by making foods of my own choosing, rather than feeling bound by a menu that was \”traditional\” only due to its roots in Eastern European cuisine.

Remember Sept. 11 the Jewish Way

I\’ve always had a difficult time assimilating tragedy, and although it hit much closer to home for me, Sept. 11 was not much different.

Even though it touched people all around me, and I was definitely affected, it still did not seem as intense or painful as it should have been.

I sought the solace of my friends, and gave it as much as possible, just like everyone else in New York City. And although I knew people who died in the Trade Center, and others who lost close relatives and friends, I still only understood the calamity in my mind. It didn\’t really hit my heart the way it hit others\’.

Then I found a uniquely Jewish way to relate, and was able to come to personal terms with this tragedy.


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