Entries by Aaron Potek

Pondering Wandering

Sukkot, which began last Wednesday night (10/4), is a serious contender for “most obscure holiday.” It is best known for the temporary huts (in Hebrew, sukkot) that traditional Jews eat in and even sleep in during the holiday. Sukkot also involves the daily shaking of a palm frond, a citron, myrtle, and willow, aka the […]

How Jewish are the Religions in Game of Thrones?

Warning: this article includes spoilers, plot points and lines of dialogue from Game of Thrones episodes, through the most recent one on August 20th. But, like, you should be caught up by now. While there are a few articles that highlight the Jewish trivia related to Game of Thrones (example: its two creators are both […]

Rabbi Rant: Trolling Tevye

There’s no debate – Fiddler on the Roof is part of the Jewish American canon. It’s given us a classic story, many popular songs and two dance moves that aren’t the Hora – the Bottle Dance and the Tevye Shimmy. But it’s also given us a terrible metaphor for Judaism. “A fiddler on the roof […]

Rabbi Rant: On Jewish Values

Do you consider “Jewish values” to be a core part of your Jewish identity? If so, try this fun activity in six easy steps! Warning: may bring about existential crisis. Step 1: Write down a list of your “Jewish values.” Yes, actually spell out what they are, instead of letting “Jewish values” be a catchall […]

Rabbi Rant: Jewish Intersectionality

Once again, American Jews are at the center of a conversation about intersectionality. For those less familiar: intersectionality, as described by Nathan Heller, is “a theory, originating in black feminism, that sees identity-based oppression operating in crosshatching ways. Encountering sexism as a white, Ivy-educated, middle-class woman in a law office, for example, calls for different […]

Rabbi Rant: Intermarriage Isn’t Good, Or Bad

The conversation in the Jewish community around intermarriage is extremely polarized and seriously lacking nuance. One side wonders, “How are we still talking about this?” To them, the idea of telling someone to only marry Jewish is antiquated and even racist. The other side thinks, “Those who are intermarried have rejected Judaism and are actively […]

Rabbi Rant: Struggling with Spirituality

I got trolled last week. I’m not sharing this news because I want your pity. (If anything, I’m bragging about it – if you’re getting trolled you must be doing something right.) I’m sharing this because it led me to an important realization. The troll was reacting to a story I told about six months […]

Rabbi Rant: Because I Said So

I remember the biggest temper tantrum I ever had. I was about 5 years old at a baseball game at Wrigley Field. In front of me was a lady with a big bag of peanut M&Ms, and I wanted to ask her if I could have a few. My parents said I couldn’t, and when […]