Rabbis Nancy Fuchs-Kreimer and Nancy H. Wiener note that, according to Jewish tradition, the world stands on three things: ritual, learning, and acts of loving-kindness. One of the best ways that couples of all types can mine these essentials is by doing devotional exercises and spiritual practices during the cycle of Jewish holidays. These activities will deepen their love relationship, open their hearts, make tradition more meaningful, establish fresh connections with community and work, and heal the world.
Here are just a few examples of meaning-making practices for Jewish holidays:
• During Hanukkah, couples can share the stories of their lives and their ideas and ideals about hope and identity.
• During Purim, they can play, laugh, and take risks together.
• During Rosh Hashanah, couples can connect with community and with each other.
• During Yom Kippur, they can forgive and discuss ways of growing together.
• During Sukkot, couples can meditate on impermanence and bless the bounty in their lives.
Fuchs-Reimer and Wiener do a fine job explaining traditions associated with the holidays. For instance, during Hanukkah, an old custom was that a family would leave a part of a wall or ceiling in a home unpainted: "Traditionally, this served as a visual reminder of the destruction of the Temple and, by extension, of all the things in our world that are broken or missing or imcomplete."
Another tradition creates a way to carry the blessings of the Sabbath into the coming week; the Havdalah ritual, which uses a braided candle, wine, and spices, marks the end of the Sabbath. Moroccan Jews dab a bit of Havdalah wine on the napes of their necks and put a drop in each pocket for good luck in the coming week. It is these kind of wonderful details that make this paperback such a delight to read.