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."
My daughter met Rutie on her first day of studies at Hebrew University. The classroom was full, mostly with female students, many of them religious. As the weeks went by, Shani got to know some of Rutie's personal history. Her mother was European- born, from an Orthodox Jewish family. Her father was born in Israel, and had a secular upbringing. Rutie's family did not lead a religious life, but there were elements of her mother's past in some of the things they did. Rutie and her mother lit candles every erev Shabbat and chag, and kept a kosher home.
Our oldest daughter recently came to visit us from Eretz Yisrael. We wanted to be sure to give our children a good time together in order to properly mark the special occasion. We decided that it would be fun to take everyone roller-skating after Shabbat at a rink not far from our house. Little did we know that the evening would mark the start of a dramatic change our family life.
Avigail took the plunge into marriage, and we are so proud of her! My walk down the aisle with Avigail by my side was a visceral reminder of the days when she was by my side in another place and another time. Let me share the story with you.
I have written in the past about my visits to the Israeli Misrad Harishui (Israel's DMV) in the 1970's and 1980's. At that time, I served as a Senior Administrative Law Judge in the American DMV Traffic Courts, Vice-Chair of DMV's Appeals Boards, and Director of DMV Downstate Field Operations.
Imagine if Borough Park, Brooklyn, really had a big park in it, with hiking paths and a lake. But it doesn't have such a park, and there's a couple from France that is better off, very much better off, the way it is.
She was the first-born and by all accounts, quite brilliant. In the early 1900's, her father, Choni (Papa) had preceded his family to the shores of America to find a better life for the family he left behind in Europe. As with so many of his landsmen, he planned to send for his family when he found a livelihood and a decent place to live. Yet his wife, Ita, (Mama) had other ideas.
I love to sing, but venues for frum women who sing are few and far between. I have to settle for kvelling when I listen to the men in my family lead the prayers in shul.
My phone rang one morning last week. It was the wife of a friend whose weekly shiur I attend. "Could you spare some time to help a patient in the hospital to put on tefillin?" she asked. "The person who usually does it can't make it today."
It was December of 1980. I was walking towards the Kotel, Judaism's holiest site. I recalled that a Torah friend of mine had explained before I left New York
At the age of 32, he discovered he was Jewish. Michael was born to a gentile, Greek father and a Belgian mother, whom he assumed was gentile as well. When Michael married his Catholic girlfriend, Susan, his mother still did not divulge her background.
The entire downtown business district would pour into the streets around 5:30 p.m., clogging the already congested traffic lanes of Chicago's bustling Loop. Blaring horns of Checker taxicabs and city buses made it hard to hear one's own voice, but I always heard my father's voice...
Though the prices of airline tickets to Israel had soared with the increase in the cost of fuel this summer, my son Moshe was determined to visit his ailing grandfather in Jerusalem.
Last Shabbos morning, I reached for my siddur and started to daven. When I opened up the first page and saw the Ma Tovu prayer, I unexpectedly started crying.
I attend a Tanya shiur (lesson) every Sunday evening at the Chabad House of Queens. At 9:30 p.m., we daven Maariv.
This past summer highlighted to me how "charity, prayer, and repentance help to annul the evil decree." I try to visit my grandparents' graves in Israel every summer. They are the parents of my late beloved father, Rabbi Dr. Joseph I. Singer. When my father wasn't able to go to Israel due to illness, I would go to pray at his parents' graves and pay for the upkeep.
Yosef * had a dream. He wanted to open a yeshiva for young men like him, men who had returned to their roots and wanted to expand their learning in a relaxed, pastoral atmosphere.
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.
It was about a week before Chanukah last year when I traveled to Israel to spend some time with my son, who was learning in Yeshiva there.
Prior to Rosh Hashanah, our daughter Bracha insisted on giving a sizeable amount of tzedakah to a worthy organization. This gift was in addition to the amount she is careful to separate from her earnings on a weekly basis. Barely sixteen, our daughter is not intending to become rich from her part-time job, but parting with even more than the usual 10 percent of her salary was clearly above and beyond the letter of the law.