Browsing category Judaism

Bedikat Chametz


Pesachim 2a, right from the mishna says, “On the night of the 14th of Nissan, one searches for chametz by candlelight.”  This is called bedikas chametz. The rabbis hotly debate the whys and whatfors (and accompanying minutia), but what it comes down to, for me, is a fun but weird way to get my children to

An Ancient Call


In working on my book about “kosher” backpacking, one thing stands out – Judaism isn’t really big on the outdoors.  Even Sukkot, which to me screams “outdoor holiday,” is commoditized and safely packaged, even among the Ultra-Orthodox.  Sure, there’s camp, but take your kids to one, and it’s not about outdoor adventure.  It’s about Zionism,

On Nebulous Religious Identities


Hempfield School District in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, made national news recently, and not in a good way. Before I continue, both of my parents, my uncles, my aunts, most of my cousins, all graduated from Hempfield School District.  My nephew presently is a student in the district.  Many of my friends, non-Jewish and Jewish alike,

A Shabbos Prayer


Tevye and Golde sang: “May the Lord protect and defend you. May He always shield you from shame. May you come to be In Yisroel a shining name.” When it’s just us in the car, Amelia demands Manilow. There’s something disconcerting about a 12-year-old who likes Lorde and Pink and whatever else is contemporary singing

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About Brian

Brian Kresge

Brian Kresge

Writer, President of Bangor's Congregation Beth Israel, soldier, programmer, father, musician, Heeb, living in the woods of Maine with three ladies and a dog.

About Leah

Leah Kresge

Leah Kresge

Director of Education for Congregation Beth Israel in Bangor, Maine, special educator and former school board member, mother to Amelia and Nezzie.

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