Thursday, February 13, 2020

Family Is: A Missed Opportunity

When you think “family” what’s the image you see? Do you have a great photo of it? …Share an award-worthy picture of your very personal concept of family and explain what makes that view so special, and you could win $500…

This appeared in the February edition of Reader’s Digest and I was intrigued. I had a perfect picture and an emotional explanation of it. The snapshot, taken by my daughter-in-law, was posed late Friday afternoon, close to candle lighting of the shabbat of my eldest grandson’s Bar Mitzvah. My husband and I posed with the Bar Mitzvah boy, surrounded by his siblings and cousins. We stood on a grassy expanse of Kibbutz Lavi in the Galil.  The green foliage, colorful clothing, and happy smiles made it a most joyful photo.

Friday, January 24, 2020

In Memory of Devorah Chava bat Avraham Zvi written on Thursday, January 23rd , 2020

Today marked seventy-five years since the liberation of Auschwitz. Today the World’s Fifth Holocaust Forum was held in Yad Vashem in Jerusalem. Today, in light of security for the many heads-of-state who came to the conference, it was difficult to navigate the streets of Israel’s capital. And today Devorah Chava, my friend’s mother and a graduate of Auschwitz, returned her soul to her Maker

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

The Mizrach Has Come Home: reprinted from 2012 in honor of the Fast

There is a little farmhouse in a little town in Oklahoma that symbolized unconditional love for me when I was a child. It is in that farmhouse that my grandparents and bachelor uncle lived and as the first grandchild I was treated like a princess. Every month or so, I would look forward to making the two hour car drive with my parents to visit.  We had a certain ritual to those visits. First, were the warm greetings as we met on the front porch. Then, we would be escorted to the front room for a short visit while my grandmother placed the delicious meal she had prepared on the dining room table in the middle room. After the meal, my father’s cousins and their families would visit bringing their children. That was my favorite part of the day. I loved the company of my cousins. In the summer we had a wonderful farmyard to run around in and in the winter we would sit in my uncle’s feather bed and share giggles and confidences.
This farmhouse also represented the beginning seeds of my commitment to Torah Judaism.

Tuesday, December 31, 2019


Eighteen years ago, just an hour or so after Chanukah ended, my friend’s husband and son, Natan*, were in a terror attack. Forty-nine bullets entered their car as they were driving home. Her husband was shot in the leg. Natan was hit in the neck, the bullet a fraction of an inch away from murdering the young child.  Both he and his father recovered but the family’s life was forever changed.

Now, at the age of twenty-one, Natan was spending some time in America. An endearing young man he still suffers from post-traumatic stress syndrome and is searching for the right place to learn Torah. He had formed a relationship with a family who lives in Monsey. Thankfully Natan was not at their Chanukah party this past Saturday night. The Chanukah party that was interrupted by a machete-wielding anti-Semite.  Still, the attack just added to Natan’s trauma.

Monday, December 23, 2019

Miracles Large and Small

Thirteen years ago my father moved to Israel on the eve of Chanukah. That move was a major life change. He went from living independently by himself to sharing my home with me, my husband, and three of our children. The language around him was Hebrew, not English, the medical system was public instead of private, and the food was Middle Eastern.

Friday, December 20, 2019

One Step At a Time

Our Sages teach that every step one takes in the Holy Land is a fulfillment of a Divine commandment. With this in mind, my husband and I joined a hiking group specifically for, using the politically correct term, senior citizens. The goal of our group is to eventually complete the Israel Trail.

What is the Israel Trail? Established a couple of decades earlier it’s a marked path, more than one thousand kilometers long, from the northernmost point of Israel all the way to Eilat, crossing parts of the country’s center on its way. Our group travels by bus to various trailheads and we trek for eight to twelve kilometers every time we go on an outing. We need to stay healthy and ambulatory for a long time if, indeed, we’ll be able to complete the entire trail.

Friday, December 13, 2019

My Plea to Our Political Candidates

In less than three months we will be going to the polls again and I’ll have to decide who is the best candidate. Please do not think you can convince me to vote for your party by badmouthing your opponents. Rather show me your track record of what you’ve done for our country. Share with me your vision for our future. Prove to me that you are a moral and honest person. Can any of you do this? I pray you can.

courtesy of algemeiner