Words of the Week: Sarah Wildman

“As a child, I tuned out the more awful potentials of the [Unetaneh Tokef] prayer’s plaintive cry — and there are many, and they are terrible, assigning an agency to God I find uncomfortable at best. Instead I was drawn to the sentences that enjoy less notoriety than the others: ‘Who shall be at rest and who shall wander,’ the poem asks. In Hebrew, that sentence is a play on words, a single letter altering the meaning from ‘rest’ (yanuach) to ‘wander’ (yanuah). It goes on: ‘Who shall be at peace and who shall be pursued? Who will be calm and who will be tormented?’ To be forced to wander another week, another month, another year is physical and also spiritual, literal and also emotional. In almost three years of cancer and pandemic, I have wondered how my family can find rest as we wander. It has been, and continues to be, I think, in these small in-between moments, in the noticing.”

Source: Sarah Wildman, “I Don’t Need My Life to Be Remarkable” (The New York Times)

Words (and an Image) of the Week: Amy Neiwirth

Against a background that features pomegranates, the words "Fall Jewish Holidays" appear, along with the dates for Rosh Hashanah, Yom, Kippur, Sukkot, and Shemini Atzeret/Simchat Torah and notes for observances for each.
A creation by Amy Neiwirth, @art.with.ms.n on Instagram, where the accompanying text reads: “Fall is around the corner and so are a whole bunch of Jewish holidays! Please keep these dates on your radar when scheduling meetings, conferences, important events, etc. in September & October.
Jewish folks observe these holidays in a variety of ways, and those who have to schedule time off on some or all of these days will very much appreciate an understanding, helpful, and proactive approach.” Shared with permission.

Note: For another (text-centric) way of finding these holidays and notes about their observances, including work prohibitions, visit Hebcal.com/holidays.

Words of the Week: Heidi Rabinowitz

“And if you happen to be a journalist who is listening to our conversation right now, we hope that you will cover these [books] in the media, because we would love to see these [books] end up on the seasonal lists that are always being published in newspapers, on blogs. If you’re looking to do a roundup of holiday books, we hope you’ll rely on these lists.”

Source: Heidi Rabinowitz, “Holiday Highlights: The Best New Passover Books,” an episode of The Book of Life podcast also featuring Susan Kusel. (A transcript is available.)