Jews Ring in 5776 Amidst DC Excitement!

Traditional high holidays regalia / photo courtesy of

Shana tova and g’mar chatima tova! These last few days might go down in local history as the first visit by Pope Francis, but the 10th of Tishrei is always the holiest day of the year for us Jews. 😛 Hope you had a meaningful fast, and a good Rosh Hashanah as well.

Here are some of my highlights:

  • I went to Adas Israel as usual, and got to see new clergy member, Rabbi Aaron Alexander, in action. He gave a moving sermon on Rosh Hashanah about ways, concerning Gd and humanity, that we can stop “being serious about taking ourselves seriously” and actually take ourselves seriously.
  • The “Return Again” Kol Nidre service, which attracts thousands of people to pray on the steps of the synagogue, wasn’t rained out or prey to technical difficulties! 😛 We also sang “Adon Olam” to the tune of Simon and Garfunkel’s “The Boxer.”
  • Supreme Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg spoke with Judge David Tatel for the Yom Kippur afternoon discussion. I really appreciated her measured, researched answers to the questions he posed; she didn’t seem like she just liked to hear herself talk, and she had a sense of humor, too. Kind of hearkens back to the first point. 😛

Next week, the autumn Jewish holidays-palooza continues on with Sukkot and Simchat Torah. Check out the GatherTheJews calendar for some events!

The DCJCC Jewish Literary Festival is scheduled this year for October 18-28. It features famous worldwide Jewish writers such as Etgar Keret, Alan Dershowitz and Shalom Auslander, to a local writers fair. Personally, I have my eye on two panels–Eastern Europeans and women writing in the 21st century. Hope to see you there!