I visited the cemetery with my friend during Aseret Yemei Teshuvah. After visiting my grandfather, z”l, we visited my friend’s husband’s family. As we were wending our way among the graves and discussing names, she pointed out that her newest granddaughter is named after her husband’s mother, a”h. Then she told me two stories about her family.
Mordechai, a house painter in Jerusalem ("Mordechai's" name and profession have been changed to protect his identity), was self-employed for over 20 years. For the most part, business had been good. Lately, however, he was finding it difficult to make an adequate living.
Some 30 years ago a certain well-known rabbi in Manhattan came to Israel and brought much of his congregation with him, to a barren ridge where our forefathers and foremothers traveled to and from Jerusalem and Hebron. The rabbi and his followers left the ravages of assimilation and headed to the unknown. The rabbi swiftly gathered in Jews from all over the world and all over Israel to the cozy town of Efrat.
I vowed that when I would grow up, I would speak Yiddish to my kinderlach and I would move to “a place called Crown Heights.”
A little more than six months ago, my sister-in-law passed away after battling a serious illness. For more than 30 years she had given symposiums on the Holocaust to youngsters in the Philadelphia area, and we talked about her activities many times on our visits to the U.S. After her passing I was determined to do some kind of volunteer work for Yad Vashem in her memory.
A pale young man shuffled into the small Jerusalem yeshiva during kriyat haTorah one Shabbat morning.
Here is an amazing story. I recently made a bar mitzvah for my second son. I went to have my daughter's hair done in Flatbush, and had to be at the hall two hours later.
Eventually, after some trial and error, including an experience with a prima donna and one with a thief, I baruch Hashem ultimately found a fine, honest and reliable household helper.
It is unsettling to be locked out of your home. My nine-year-old daughter recently locked us out of our home twice in one evening. Not having been raised in Jewish observance, I did not know about Hashgacha Pratis (Divine Providence) - the personal involvement that God had in my life. In this discovery, I found the very key to my life.
He loved to watch the boy’s face light up when he offered to learn with him, and that was reward enough.
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.
The other night, after having a truly bad day where nothing seemed to go right, I jokingly changed my Facebook status to “I have had one of those awful, miserable, terrible days! And there is NO chocolate in the house!”
Our poor daughter well remembers her highly-anticipated bat mitzvah trip with us to Israel, that unfortunately fell far short of her expectations.
The simple act of kindness should be the reward itself. Anything more in the form of a reward is gravy.
The day finally came, and with great anticipation and joy, both Einat and her husband went to the hospital.
For once, it seemed, we were all prepared. I had announced several times that we were catching the 12:15 bus to Jerusalem to celebrate the Pidyon HaBen (Redemption of the Firstborn ceremony) of our new grandson.
Our first six children had been born in the Holy Land, but ironically every one of them married and set up home in the United States.
Have you ever been to an upsherin, a hair-cutting ceremony? I had never been to one until I was invited by my gentleman friend, Sy, to attend one in honor of his great-grandson, Gabriel, given by his grandparents, Steve and Robin Kerzer. Even Sy, an Orthodox Jew, had not heard of it. Both of us knew it was the custom not to cut a boy’s hair until he was three years old, but we had no idea what was involved.
As he was en route, with one scholar and one scholar-wannabe in tow, he was unfortunately involved in a too-close encounter with a huge army truck.
I was about 11 years old and crying on the front steps of the Bluzhever Rebbe's house. It was the late 40s, and the Rebbe had recently arrived. He miraculously survived the Nazi inferno, but lost his wife and children.
Having faith is often difficult, especially when having to deal with more than one life challenge.
I joined the Jewish Press Emunah family four years ago when I wrote about my fall down a flight of stairs while holding my granddaughter. Baruch Hashem, my 16-month-old granddaughter came out without a scratch, but I became paralyzed and needed six months of rehab. Hashem saw fit to save me, and to help me recuperate.
She walked into my husband's office, accompanied by her father. They were clearly from Israel's lower socioeconomic class. The father was a large, frightening man who reeked of alcohol, and his daughter was a recent ba'alat teshuvah.
One thing Meir couldn’t abide was machloket. He would fight wholeheartedly on behalf of his pupils in a situation involving a dispute – but not so if it was political, educational, or religious in nature.
As is my custom, I attempt to spend my father’s yahrzeit every year in Israel. This gives me the opportunity to visit this spiritual, holy land, and first and foremost give my father the kavod he deserves. I appreciate the zechus to daven at my father’s kever.