Ritual du Jour

Vanessa Ochs studies “bark mitzvahs” and other modern inventions

Sing a New Song

Robert Alter’s version of Psalms strives to recapture their Hebrew beauty.

Live and Become

It took only 25 years for one woman’s conversion to take effect

You Be Saved

Janice Erlbaum gets more than a manicure at the nail salon

Fertility Rites

The longing that made a writer turn to God

Bubbling Over

The many meanings of seltzer, from thirst quencher to missile decoy

Crying Game

Shedding tears is no way to write a novel

How to Make It to the Promised Land

A short story explores what happens when a camp game goes horribly awry

Summer Lovin’

Reminiscences of sleepaway camp, where sleep was the last thing on anyone’s mind

Enduring Love

Feeling betrayed by God, a father refuses to sacrifice his son

Barcelona, Mon Amour

Strolling anew through a beloved city

Today I Am a Fountain Pen

The ritual isn

Gertel’s Last Stand

After 90 years, a Lower East Side institution shuts its doors

Return of the Nonexistent

Can a son’s failure to have a bar mitzvah be a mitzvah?

Something Borrowed

Searching for the perfect wedding dress in the makeshift closets and back rooms of Brooklyn

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