Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Been There, Done That

I’ve sent my sons off to war

I’ve visited injured soldiers in the hospital

I’ve received caring emails from overseas

I’ve sent care packages to those in the beleaguered areas

I’ve welcomed strangers fleeing the rockets into my home

I’ve made meals for families whose fathers are serving on the front lines protecting me

I've even spent time in my safe room 

I’ve prayed for peace each and every day, several times a day

I don’t want war

Daily missiles are not peace

Incendiary kites are not peace

Children sleeping in bomb shelters is not peace 

Longing for our captives to come home is not peace

HaShem, Hashem I beg you to listen to my plea

Make our leaders realize our salvation can only come from you

Not the UN

Not the EU

Not the USA

Make us look at You and do what’s right for us and end the war once and for all


This clip of the Gaza border is not from the news, rather from my son's phone when he was doing reserve duty on October 25th, 2018.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

You Can’t Have One Without the Other

Back in my high school days I had to read Arthur Koestler’s book, Darkness At Noon, for my English class. Many years have passed since then but the message of the book has stayed with me. The author’s contention, or so it seemed to me, was that the political spectrum is a circle, not a line, with the far-left and the extreme-right eventually meeting.

Darkness At Noon was a rather tedious read for my sixteen-year-old self and I have no intention of rereading it now. As I remember, though, it begins with the protagonist incarcerated in solitary confinement. What wasn’t clear for most of the book was whether he was a communist imprisoned by the fascists or a fascist jailed by the communists. What I understood without a doubt was that both extremes are evil. And with both extremes anti-Semitism flourishes.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

My Father’s Aliyah: reprinted in honor of my father's eleventh yahrzeit

“I give your father two to three months to live.”

“You have a small window of opportunity for you father to be able to fly.”

“We can get your father Israeli citizenship within a week. Just Fed-Ex his passport to Chicago.”

Those were samples of the information I received after my father was diagnosed with cancer in November, 2006. In light of his diagnosis, he accepted our offer to come live with us in Shilo, Israel. So my husband and I flew to Wichita, Kansas to pack up his belongings, close down the house, and bring my father to Israel. He’d recovered from his hospital stay enough to make the journey and we’d been given a week to get everything done.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Chai, chai, chai - Ken, ani od chai! = Alive, alive, alive - Yes, I'm ...

It was almost a perfect Shabbat. Then it ended and I looked at the news. Pittsburgh is a long way from Shilo. I’ve never been there. I can’t really picture what the city looks like but, sadly, I can imagine the grief there today.

As I read various news stories trying to make sense of a senseless tragedy I couldn’t help remembering the Sutherland Springs, Texas shooting almost a year ago. I was in America, on the Kansas-Oklahoma border, when a terrorist opened fire inside a church murdering twenty-six and injuring another twenty. His terror was attributed to mental-health issues.

Every soul is a precious world. Yesterday’s terrorist managed to destroy eleven worlds. Still, I am thankful that G-d sent the first-responders so quickly and more worlds weren’t lost. I pray He will grant a full recovery to the injured.

Yesterday’s terrorist was motivated by anti-Semitism but that is just another form of mental illness. There is no logic to it what-so-ever. Anti-Semites will come and go, live and die, but world history has shown us the Jewish people will last forever.

May all of those suffering in Pittsburgh be comforted among the mourners of Zion and know sorrow no more. 

Thursday, October 25, 2018

A Living History Book

They said he was ninety-two-years-old. As I looked at him I found that hard to believe. All the history he’d lived through didn’t show on his face. I could have listened to him for hours but the tour I was on in Yaffo Port allotted us a mere fifteen minutes

A tenth-generation Jerusalemite, one of ten children, his English was excellent. That came from his grammar school days when he studied in a French school where the students learned not just French but also Arabic and English. Even on the playground during recess they were expected to speak the chosen language for the day. If not, they received a punishment.

He was fourteen-and-a half when the British Empire began requesting recruits to help fight the Third Reich.  Of course, he was too young to sign up so he scratched out his birthdate, doctored his birth certificate, and joined forces to keep Rommel from advancing into Palestine, as Israel was called then.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Rochel's Tears

My article first appeared in The Jewish Observer in 1997 and since then has been reprinted in a number of publications.  I am re-posting it now in honor of Mother Rochel's yahrzeit*  this Shabbat and Raquela Druk's  the following week. 

As an 18-year-old college student, I had only begun to wade in the waters of Jewish observance, when I made my first visit to Israel in 1972. Coming with my B’nai B’rith Youth background, I was ready to see a living Israel and gave little thought to the Torah side of the country. Still, once I had visited the Western Wall and did all the hikes and museums that were part of my summer tour, I felt drawn to Rachel's Tomb.

Thursday, October 11, 2018


Last May the Lubarsky family suffered one of the most horrendous sorrows a family can have when their son, Ronen, was attacked with a huge boulder and died of his wounds. His brother, Arik, touched the heartstrings of the nation with his plea at the end of his eulogy*. 

I turn to the People of Israel: More than these beasts should find their deaths, it is important that you all should live your lives with joy, love and faith. Build glorious families with many children. Take upon yourselves something good to do, something small. And slowly, in the merit of our good deeds, there will be less and less funerals. Even in these painful days I am happy, because the People of Israel have given my family a huge hug, which I never believed could exist. Our big victory is to live a full life.

This past Shabbat Arik was called to bless the Torah reading at our synagogue in Shilo. As he stood on the raised platform next to the reader the congregation burst in to song. It was a song of congratulations and well wishes; for Arik had taken his own advice from four months earlier. He was engaged and, with HaShem’s help, he and his fiancé will build a glorious family with many children.