So this is what she got herself into: serving chicken soup and getting bits of rent on random days. She couldn’t say it wasn’t worth it, as she was earning both a chesed and a little bit of cash.
He exhorted all of us to continue to reach out to one another each and every day because that is what our tafkid (life’s goal) should be. And because that is what Hashem requires of us.
It is my family’s minhag, for many generations, to light the candles 30 minutes before shekiah, as opposed to the commonly held custom of 20 minutes. So I told my husband that those 10 extra minutes should not be an issue.
I was pretty open [and naïve] about accepting dating suggestions. There was the Israeli that spoke little English with whom I could barely communicate, the brilliant scholar who I discovered was manic depressive, the frum hippie that was still more hippie than frum, and a slew of others – all interesting, but not for me.
Shimon’s early years were not easy ones. His mother struggled to support both of them. She never acquired the knowledge needed to help her son through school years filled with homework and tests.
The exact details of that nocturnal levayah have long since faded from my memory. However, one poignant story shook me to the core of my being – and remains with me still.
There is not even a shadow of doubt that without Agudat Efrat’s help, this child would not have been born.
Kidney transplants from a living donor are infinitely preferable over a transplant from a dead person. The chances of it being rejected by the body are much lower, the life expectancy of the newly transplanted kidney is twice as high, and the recipient’s life and diet can return to normal much faster.
Once again neither of us had the tickets, but this time we knew to follow the unusual protocol and pick up our tickets at the airline counter. So we dutifully waited in line and requested our tickets. This time, however, no tickets awaited us.
When my very busy friend and former neighbor called to say, “I have a story to tell you,” I knew it had to be a good one. I wasn’t disappointed.
Parents possess divine inspiration (ruach haKodesh) when naming their children. In instances wherein a child is named after a departed loved one, we take great care in our choice – in the belief that the best character traits of the person we are honoring will be reflected in our precious progeny’s actions.
Not long after my mother died, I was sitting on campus talking with a friend and mentioned that it had been a long time since I had seen a frog. I used to love going out into the garden with my mother and our St. Bernard dog in the autumn evenings and see the frogs come out. I have a thing about frogs – probably from reading too many fairy tales.
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.
We had inadvertently parked in the lot of a nearby church...
The wedding was going full blast, with the joyful Jewish music playing. The sound of the violin awoke unfulfilled longings and triggered moisture in the eyes.
Patience seems to be in such short supply these days, yet it can make a world of difference. This is particularly so in certain kinds of stressful situations whereby we think we only have time to act in a knee-jerk way instead of acting thoughtfully.
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.
I have always told my husband that Hashem apparently loves him very much. And I have even proven my theory by citing the fact that Hashem, in His infinite goodness, gave him me! My husband usually agreed with the first part of the statement.
Several years ago, my wife and I were in Boro Park for a wedding. Early the next morning, we received news from Yerushalayim that we had a new grandson.
Chaim (not his real name) was walking down the street, feeling very discouraged. It seemed that lately, the news was filled with stories depicting the disparities, distrust and dislike between the different streams of Jews living in Israel. Much of it revolved around the different religious affiliations or non-affiliations that people adhered to. There were times when Chaim felt the situation was hopeless, with no way to bring people together as a cohesive group – despite their differences.
With Sukkos well behind us, we are back to our normal workday mode, our post- holiday routine. The sukkah, our temporary dwelling for eight days, has been dismantled and we have returned to our comfortable, permanent homes. Likewise, our Daled Minim have been discarded, having served their purpose. We’re done with those mitzvos (at least for this season).
Every Sukkos, at the end of a fun action-packed day at the park, we would gather our happy, albeit exhausted, children and prepare for the long ride home. Needless to say, the first item on the list was a visit to the restrooms. This became our yearly routine and the kids would comply without protest, often before being reminded.
My home is furnished simply. One notes the customary family photos and bric-a-brac that makes a house a home, but certain items are my priceless treasures.
The current situation with Syria reminds me of an episode that occurred in January 1991 in Toronto. I had taken my son for swimming lessons while my wife stayed in the car, anxiously listening to the news about Israel. Those were very tense times, with Iraq threatening to attack Israel with chemical weapons, God forbid.
On the exalted Purim day, my husband collects money for needy families, as is the custom of many good-hearted Jews. Last Purim before sundown, he entered the home of his last stop, a home filled with many people. Upon receiving some generous donations, he reached for his pocket to keep these contributions safely together with the rest of the money he had gathered. To his great chagrin and shock, he put his hand into an empty pocket.