The time was 6:03 a.m., and I was already late for shul. My father had passed away in October of 2008, and I was saying Kaddish for him. Morning prayers began at 6 o'clock. I had to be there within four minutes or miss the rabbinic Kaddish. To worsen matters, I hadn't taken my 3 a.m. Parkinson's medications on time, and I had begun to feel a rise in what I call my "trembling index."
Although Har Hazeitim is traditionally considered one of the holy sites in Judaism, it’s also undeniably a hotbed of violence and vandalism, and consequently one of the most dangerous venues in all of Israel.
I lost control of my car while driving in Brooklyn when a speeding taxi slammed into me. I thought my life was about to end when my car slammed directly into a tree. Baruch Hashem I survived, even though the taxi driver never stopped to help me.
Rabbi Margalit, wanting somehow to soothe the man’s pain, began to respond but the man wouldn’t let him.
In the early 1970's, my father, HaRav Moshe Aharon Shapiro, z"l, served as rabbi of a kosher, shomer Shabbos hotel in the Catskills. During one of those summers, my brother-in-law invited us to use his bungalow over the July 4th weekend. On Sunday we drove from the bungalow colony to visit my parents, arriving at the hotel between Minchah and Ma'ariv.
With no other choice in sight, David continued along his path until he finished high school without having any substantial plans for his future in mind.
Several months ago, I made a serious effort to find an apartment in the "better" area but, alas, the rents were too high. I felt that I was stuck where I was.
Reb Pinchos, born in Romania, moved shortly after birth with his parents to Vienna. As a teenager, he learned in another city and took his Gemara with him. Pinchos remembered how his rebbe always liked to teach from his Gemara.
Where could we go? There was no shelter anywhere! But then we noticed a small white house beside an old red barn hiding behind the trees.
This past Yom Kippur, my father, an 84-year-old Holocaust survivor, surprised our family by recounting a wartime Kol Nidre observance that stirred his soul.
I had heard about these cousins a lot through the years. They lived together in Manhattan.
Suddenly, she turns to me and says, “B'emet, I need to thank you, you made me excited to come back to Israel.”
It is painfully difficult to start and end the hectic day seeing my daughter wander, almost lifelessly, from room to room and sibling to sibling with no desire to venture out into the scary world of society. With her bundle of strengths and weaknesses, and despite my countless pep talks, our 27-year-old daughter chooses to spend most of her time in the comfort and safety of our home. That is until recently, when terrible loneliness finally pushed her out the door.
I thank Hashem that my daughters play “shampoo gemach", and I take pride in our community, which stresses gemachs and acts of gemilas chesed. Families try to find ways to help others, and people go out of their way to search for opportunities to practice kindness.
Our forefather Yaakov is considered to have been the patriarch who endured the most suffering. Although our rabbis look to the binding of Yitzchak and the trial of Avraham as the epitome of suffering in the form of self-sacrifice, Yaakov is our greatest teacher in the difficult subject of dealing with life's hardships.
He loved to watch the boy’s face light up when he offered to learn with him, and that was reward enough.
I was walking down Coney Island Ave. when I saw an old acquaintance eating in a non-kosher restaurant. I wanted to approach him and ask him if he would be interested in putting on tefillin. But I felt hesitant, and wrestled internally to overcome my embarrassment. Finally I gathered enough confidence to enter the restaurant and approach my friend. Greeting him warmly, I gently asked if he would like to put on tefillin. He politely refused and, after a brief conversation, I was on my way.
I insisted that one decoration, a dancing sevivon (dreidel) man, remain hanging in recognition of the chag. Some in my family questioned the appropriateness of this decision. Was it proper to have decorations hanging in what would soon become a house of shiva?
He took me to a room filled with computer equipment and said, “You pray here for as long as you want.” I couldn’t believe my ears.
My mother had a difficult pregnancy. Some doctors said it was a miracle I was born and came out as good as I did.
I hurried downstairs and dialed my husband again. Baruch Hashem this time he answered right away.
He was deeply saddened by the thought of her going to her final resting place alone and that it appeared as if she knew no one and had no family who cared about her.
Only when Shabbos finally arrived and the food was cooked, table set, baby sleeping peacefully, did those angels remember to come and wish us a gut Shabbos.
Although I did not know it yet, missing my stop was predestined.
Edy turned around and saw that her sister was trapped underneath the trolley that had rolled on top of her.