Thursday, October 20, 2016

Silence: reprinted in memory of Eitam and Naama Henkin hy'd who were murdered exactly a year ago

Just a little over an hour after Prime Minister Netanyahu made his speech in the UN and blasted the world for their silence in light of the promise of Iran’s rulers to destroy Israel my phone rang. It was almost ten pm, rather late for us to receive phone calls. I heard my son’s voice and felt apprehension.

“Is everything okay?”

“No!” he stated unequivocally.  

Friday, October 14, 2016


courtesy of northwest history express

It was in 1969 that I first flew without my parents. I wasn’t by myself. My younger cousin and I traveled together. This was in the days that air flights were still a pleasure. We were seated in wide seats that could have probably accommodated the two of us together. Food was plentiful and playing cards, magazines, and newspapers were handed out. I don’t remember accepting a newspaper but I do recall trying to surreptitiously read the headlines of my neighbor’s paper. 

Monday, October 10, 2016

The Stubborn Shofar

Well over fifty years have passed since I heard the story. Many of its details are fuzzy but it made an impression on me. It begins as the suns sets in the sky at the end of Yom Kippur. The rabbi rises, holds the shofar, puts it to his mouth, takes a deep breath, blows hard, and nothing happens. He tries again. Once more nothing happens. Another time and still no sound comes out of the shofar. Sheepish the rabbi hands the instrument to the cantor but he fares no better. The worshippers are anxious. Everyone is hungry. They want to hear the loud blast so they can go home and eat. The president of the synagogue tries and is no more successful than the rabbi and cantor.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Newfangled Inventions

My son-in-law says if I’d been around when paper was first invented I would have complained that I missed the feel of a stone tablet in my hand.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

And Again:Sensible Suggestions for High Holy Day Preparations


One of the saddest sounds, in my opinion, is that of a mother irritably shushing her toddler while in the synagogue for High Holiday services. Babies learn communication by gurgling, cooing, and laughing and this should not be inhibited. On the other hand, most women go to services to concentrate on their prayers. Why should they be distracted by adorable, sociable little beings? On Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur young mothers feel the need to pray with the community so they bring their children with them. Those youngsters make noise, other women are annoyed, the mothers impatiently quiet the children, the children decide the synagogue is not a welcoming place, and the mothers are not really able to pray. There has to be a better solution.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

My Obnoxious Little Conscience: A Short Story of Fiction

Leah and I were never what you’d call close friends. It’s just that all our kids were the same age and they were tight. I mean, if they weren’t at my house they were at hers, mostly at mine since she always had so many projects going that she wasn’t home much. That was okay, though. The six of them got along so well together that it kept my three from fighting. Now that they’re big she and I don’t talk that much but we’re still around to help each other out. At least I am.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

For Elul

courtesy of

Our pool in Shilo is segregated. There are separate, but equal, hours for males and for females. These divisions were made out of respect to the Torah laws of modesty and there’s no separation according to race. Those from Ethiopian and Yemenite heritage splash alongside tow-heads from northern European cultures. In between there are swimmers of all shades of  brown, red, and yellow skin.

Recently, while watching the children swim together I remembered a sad incident from my childhood. If my memory is correct I was a pre-teen when The Crystal Plunge in Oklahoma, the public swimming pool where my cousins swam, was closed for the entire summer.