On the 15th of the Hebrew month of Av, the maidens of Jerusalem would go out dressed in white garments and dance in the vineyards.
The longest day of the year is a time when God's presence is most concealed. Even on a hot, cloudless day, however, the Sages’ words of Torah aroused moisture in the air, which in turn created the beautiful semblance of a rainbow.
The Jewish holiday season, from Rosh Hashanah through Sukkot, is actually a sophisticated technology for personal repair bequeathed to us by G-d via Moses 3,300 years ago, with accompanying instructions for upgrades over the millennia.
Rosh Chodesh Chanukah, 5773 (2012)
I wrote the Secret to Chanukah late last night. Between then and now, I heard the horrific news coming out of Newtown, CT, where a mass murder occurred in an Elementary School.
As Purim approaches, we encounter a Talmudic conundrum:
Rava said: One must become so intoxicated on Purim that he cannot distinguish between “Cursed is Haman” and “Blessed is Mordechai.” Rabbah and Rav Zeira celebrated the Purim feast together. They became intoxicated. Rabbah arose and slaughtered Rav Zeira.