The Days in the Life project collaborates with some the best photographers to document the daily lives of some of our favorite folks, using only the Days app. It’s a day-in-the-life, unfiltered.

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Days in the Life

Following your favorite folks, a day at a time

A Day in the Life with Rabbi Dan / Wed—Thu, Sep. 4-5, 2013
    Rabbi Dan GIF Made with Days gold popular
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      One of Daily Beast’s Rabbis to Watch in 2013, Rabbi Dan Ain is the Head of Innovation and Tradition at the 92nd Street Y, where he promotes a 21st-century approach to religion, placing it at the intersection of technology, community and culture.  Photos by Jeremy Fisher



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      6:19pm — Meet @rabbidan, Head of Innovation & Rabbi-in-Residence at the 92YTribeca, and one of The Daily Beast’s “Rabbis to Watch” for 2013. We find him sitting on the stoop of his family home, preparing for tomorrow’s Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year) services. We get a warm welcome, a big smile, and a couple of jokes that we can’t print
      — Park Slope



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      6:28pm — Shai is one of @rabbidan’s oldest friends and brings his family over for the evening. Shai’s father is actually a Rabbi, so it’s interesting to see how they infuse the traditions they’ve inherited with modernity, spirit, and a little fun– like these tie-dyed and plaid yarmulkes
      — Park Slope



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      6:28pm — Tonight’s dinner and prayers are contemporary, casual, and very fun. The discussion ranges from Google Glass to NSA surveillance, and the possibility that we’re all living in a computer simulation. Not too surprising given that @rabbidan studied philosophy as an undergraduate and later went on to earn a law degree
      — Park Slope



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      6:30pm — Dan’s wife, Alana, lights the candles before sundown
      — Park Slope



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      6:31pm — These two little girls are Autumn and Ruby. @rabbidan’s daughter is on the left and their friends’ on the right. He blesses both of them, but they’re already little angels. Right?
      — Park Slope



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      6:36pm — Challah is ripped and passed
      — Park Slope



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      6:37pm — It’s traditional to eat apples dipped in honey to symbolize the hope for a “sweet” New Year
      — Park Slope



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      8:18pm — This embroidery of Noah’s Arc has a prominent position in the living room. it was made by @rabbidan’s grandmother, Helen Ain. She went by “Helain” for short
      — Park Slope



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      8:19pm — @rabbidan and Alana have been married for 5 years. They met in a coffee shop while @rabbidan was writing a sermon for Yom Kippur (another Jewish holiday). “What are you doing?” she asked him. “I’m writing about death”, @rabbidan responded. They’ve been happy ever since :)
      — Park Slope



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      8:19pm — This evening is the first time the friends were able to spend Rosh Hashanah together.
      — Park Slope



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      8:26pm — This secret handshake dates back to the origins of this friendship. Tradition, high five!
      — Park Slope



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      8:28pm — Goodnight!
      — Park Slope



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      7:32am — @rabbidan greets us with that giant ram’s horn called a Shofar. It’s like a Jewish trumpet and is played to announce the holiday
      — Park Slope



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      7:36am — On being a rabbi: “If 100% of the congregation likes you, you’re not a rabbi, because you’re just telling them what they want to hear. If 100% of the congregation hates you, you’re not a mensch. I hope I’m somewhere in between”
      — Park Slope



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      8:02am — @rabbidan preparing for a capacity crowd at Roulette, a music venue attached to the YMCA in Boerum Hill. Rabbi Dan used to host holiday services at the 92nd Street Y in TriBeCa, but due to its recent closing, he’s holding services in Brooklyn for the first time
      — Roulette



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      9:39am — Tools of the trade: the shofar, the Tanakh (Hebrew Bible), and talit (scarf worn for prayer). @rabbidan likes to start with English prayers “to get everyone’s mouths moving”
      — Roulette



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      11:14am — Jeremiah Lockwood, the grandson of a cantor and frontman of The Sway Machinery, acts as a cantor for the morning. Prayers literally took on a whole new sound
      — Roulette



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      11:23am — “How do you connect the dots of your experience?”
      — Roulette



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      12:28pm — @rabbidan blows the shofar to ring in the New Year. I wish this photo had sound
      — Roulette



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      1:13pm — @rabbidan is building a community in New York City and Brooklyn for Jews who want to ask questions and discuss what religion and community looks like and feels like today in our area. He conducts honest conversations wherever he goes about subjects people traditionally find taboo and often quotes David Foster Wallace and references Ivan Illich
      — Roulette



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      2:52pm — After the service, good old-fashioned chaos in the Ain household. Fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers, sons and daughters
      — Park Slope



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       3:20pm — A happy New Year with family
      — Park Slope



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      3:36pm — Autumn dances with a copper & stone “baby chuppah” that her grandmother made for her
      — Park Slope



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      4:24pm — At a brook in the middle of Prospect Park, Rabbi Dan performs Tashlikh–a practice in which bread or pebbles are thrown into a live body of water to symbolically “cast off” sins from the past year
      — Prospect Park



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      4:26pm — Casting “sins” into the water is an act of Teshuva, a totem of the New Year: observing your mistakes and re-connecting to the person you want to be. It’s like Jewish dry cleaning
      — Prospect Park



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      5:00pm — Autumn is about ready to say goodnight. Equipped with her porcu-skunk (a doll that’s half-porcupine, half-skunk), a juice box, and @lara’s sunglasses, she’s really bringing in the New Year
      — Park Slope



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      6:23pm — As Rosh Hashanah ends and a New Year begins, @rabbidan and Alana continue to build a family and a new kind of Jewish community. L’shana tova (happy New Year)!
      — Park Slope