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Resources and Articles by Artie Fischer


Fischer, Artie

Up and Coming Jewish Festivals:  The Month of Av: From the Ninth to the Fifteenth
Tisha Beav has long been a day of mourning in the Jewish calendar. It commemorates a series of bitter losses,ranging from the destruction of both the First and Second Temples in Jerusalem to the 1492 expulsion of the Jews from Spain. Here we take a closer look at the human dimension of this fast-day, seeing how it resonates in the Jewish consciousness, even before it marked a series of national tragedies. [Full article...]
Judaism > Holidays with a Twist > Tisha Be'Av

Festivals and their meanings:  Yom Hashoah, Yom Hazikaron and Yom Haatzmaut: Observances of The Modern State of Israel
The three central secular holidays of the modern Israeli nation state are the Day of Remembrance for Fallen Soldiers, Independence Day, and Holocaust Commemoration Day. They fall in close proximity to each other, constituting an emotionally intense and often draining experience. Artie Fischer weaves through the meaning of these interconnected festivals, placing them in the wider context of the Jewish calendar. [Full article...]
Judaism > Holidays with a Twist > Yom Ha'atzmaut
Judaism > Holidays with a Twist > Yom Hashoah
Judaism > Holidays with a Twist > Yom Hazikaron

Jewish Style Comparisons:  Elul and Rosh Hashana
Elul, the month of forgiveness in the Jewish calendar, wends its way through Jewish tradition, from the poetic references of the Cabbalists to the stern moral insights of Maimonides, from Genesis and Abraham’s pact with God, through differing Ashkenazic and Sephardic prayer norms. Rosh Hashanah, as Artie demonstrates, affords us the possibility of truly understanding these concepts in the Bible and Talmud, and in our own lives. [Full article...]
Judaism > Holidays with a Twist > Rosh Hashanah
Judaism > Jewish Calendar

Contextualizing Jewish History:  The Tenth of Tevet
In the overall context of seminal events in Jewish history, the tenth day of the Hebrew month of Teveth does not occupy one of the better known issues. Yet, as Artie's latest entry makes clear, date-the date in which the prophet Yechezkel received the revelation of the siege and destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonian forces, serves as one of the landmarks in Jewish tradition, a date whose overall impact and importance can be likened to the shattering effect of the Kennedy assassination in the United States. [Full article...]
Jewish History

Jewish Holidays and Trees:  Tu B'shvat
Trees and Jewish life are intimately intertwined, especially on the theological and philosophical level. In this little magnum opus, Artie Fischer takes us on a journey throughout the world of natural symbolism and the Jewish festival of Tu BiShevat, itself dedicated to the significance of forests, trees, andthe agricultural aspects of the Land of Israel. To those of us who have grown up in urban environments, where trees are often seen as intrusions in our cosmopolitan landscape, this article will be a real eye-opener. [Full article...]
Judaism > Holidays with a Twist > Tu Bishvat

Time and the Jewish Tradition:  The History and Structure of The Jewish Calendar
Artie Fischer examines the interlocking circles of Jewish festivals and the meta-historical and metaphysical life cycle of the Jewish tradition. Chronological symbolism provides the key to understanding important issues of the sacred and the profane, as well as marking the historical events which would shape the course of Jewish history. Artie details here the unique Jewish perspective on time, in relation to the generally accepted (in the West) frame of calendar reference. [Full article...]
Judaism > Jewish Calendar

Mourning and Jewish Tradition:  Coping with Loss in the Jewish Tradition
Personal and national grief are intertwined in the tapestry of Jewish tradition; in this sensitive article, Artie Fischer draws a poignant connection between the macrocosm of the destruction of the Two Temples, commemorated by the Jews on Tisha Beáv, and the private losses that every human being experiences during his lifetime. Just as the central tenet of the Jewish customs surrounding the mourning period are designed to grant the bereaved time to recuperate, so does the Fast Day of Tisha Beav give us the strength to remember, reflect, and most importantly, to carry on. [Full article...]
Judaism > Holidays with a Twist > Tisha Be'Av
Judaism > Life Cycle

Jewish festivals and their meaning:  Yom Kippur and Succot
Amidst the welter of information available on Jewish holidays and their origin, we frequently lose site of the philosophical significance of these festivals and their inter-connected nature. Here we will explore the relation between Yom Kippur, the most important Holy Day in the Jewish calendar, and Sukkot, the feast of Tabernacles, commemorating the 40 years of Israel's wandering in the wilderness, from a personal perspective, in which symbology becomes a metaphor for the human condition. [Full article...]
Judaism > Holidays with a Twist > Succot
Judaism > Holidays with a Twist > Yom Kippur

Personal Perspectives on Jewish Holidays:  Purim
Artie Fischer takes us on a journey of ambivalence, when he explores new perspectives of the Jewish holiday of Purim. He does not gives us any cut-and-dried answers to complex questions. On the other hand, by delving into the ambiguity-light and sorrow, death and triumph, self-affirmation and concealment, which characterize this ancient holiday, Artie underscores the relevance of those far-away events in the Persian empire. As always, the Jewish calendar cycle strikes an intensely personal note with its myriad worshippers. [Full article...]
Judaism > Holidays with a Twist > Purim

The Personal Message of a Jewish Holiday:  Shavuot: Free At Last
The idea of personal choice figures strongly in this article, in which the meaning of the Jewish holiday of Shavuot is looked at on both the spiritual and personal planes. The concept of the deeper meaning of the Revelation at Sinai is dealt with, not only as a seminal point in the Bible but as an ethical metaphor for daily living. [Full article...]
Judaism > Holidays with a Twist > Shavuot