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Free To Soar

13 Adar II 5774 – March 14, 2014
I came to the conclusion a long time ago that I have to do what is right for me – as long as it’s “ halachically kosher” and doesn’t negatively impact on others – and not worry too much about what others think.

Covering Up A Shidduch Stumbling Block?

29 Adar I 5774 – February 28, 2014
They say the road to hell is paved with good intentions, and that is precisely what almost always happens in situations where a reference knew someone had serious but hidden emotional issues, but did not reveal the information to the person making inquiries.

Dipping Into The Fountain Of Youth

15 Adar I 5774 – February 14, 2014
Time never stood still for anyone – why would I be the exception? In my hubris, I thought that somehow I would live forever – and I suspect we all have secretly felt that way, even though we know it’s a fantasy.

Looking Backwards, Literally!

1 Adar I 5774 – January 31, 2014
One can argue that forgetting something on a regular basis is a sign of advancing age and it’s time to for a neurological evaluation, but based on the number of young people who need to replace a lost smart phone (too bad it’s not smart enough to warn its owner that that they have become separated – or is there an app for that too?), I safely can say that losing “stuff” cuts across the generations.

Embracing The Light

17 Shevat 5774 – January 17, 2014
For quite a few days in late December, Toronto was transformed into a breathtaking – literally and figuratively – frigid winter wonderland, where every twig, leaf, car door, and outdoor wire and cable was totally encased in ice. When the sun shone the landscape was blindingly brilliant as if billions of diamonds had been glued to everything the eye could see.

The Joy Of VENTalation

6 Shevat 5774 – January 6, 2014
Outside is a winter-white wonderland replete with dazzling trees, wires, and sidewalks seemingly wrapped in glittery silver foil. It’s quite lovely to look at, which is about all I can do since I’m stuck indoors. Icicle-laden tree branches are bent and hunch-backed by the frozen heaviness of their popsicle-like burden, and the voices squawking from the battery-operated transistor radio I am listening to are warning people not to go out since walkways and roads are extremely slippery, and there is real danger from falling trees.

Out Of The Mouth Of Babes: A Successful Shidduch

18 Tevet 5774 – December 20, 2013
The necessity of speaking up when you “have a hunch” applies even more when it comes to shidduchim. One little girl did just that – she said something – and I was fortunate enough to be in town for the very joyful, lively wedding that resulted from her speaking up.

Making Sweet Lemonade Out Of Bitter Lemons

4 Tevet 5774 – December 6, 2013
Let me begin by congratulating my dear machatunim, Soraya and Jay Nimaroff, on being the recipients of the Community Service Award at the Sderot Hesder Institutions 18th annual anniversary dinner.

Human Flasks Of Miracle Oil

20 Kislev 5774 – November 22, 2013
The Hebrew month of Kislev has a special, albeit bittersweet, significance in my family, as it is the month my father was born and passed away.

Is Your Cup Half Empty?

6 Kislev 5774 – November 8, 2013
But even though their medical situations were similar, how they mentally dealt with their new status quo was often as different as night and day.

Imperfectly Critical

22 Heshvan 5774 – October 25, 2013
How confusing it was growing up with conflicting messages. On the one hand, we were told, even admonished, to eat everything on our generously piled up plates (it was a sin to waste food), yet we were made to feel like we were a lower form of human being if we were overweight.

Defying Adversity While ‘Waiting for Godot’

8 Heshvan 5774 – October 11, 2013
While in New York recently, I was invited to see a performance of "Waiting for Godot" – a multi-layered play on the human condition that I was introduced to in high school. What was fascinating and unique about this particular production was that this renowned play was being performed in Yiddish - with English and Russian subtitles beamed onto a screen for non-Yiddish speakers. (Staged by the New Yiddish Rep, at the Castillo Theatre, and directed by Moshe Yassur, it stars Shane Baker, David Mandelbaum, Rafael Goldwaser, Avi Hoffman and Nicholas Jenkins.)

Godly Love Or Divine Abuse?

22 Tishri 5774 – September 25, 2013
Now and then my Bubby would open up about what she went through in the camps, of what she witnessed... From time to time she would talk about her baby sisters - twins - and how she would sew them identical dresses and braid their hair the same way challenging everyone to guess who was who.

Out Of The FOG

10 Tishri 5774 – September 13, 2013
Our community has a very different mindset - we live to have children. Each child is considered a bracha - a priceless commodity to cherish and nurture.

Baby Free Zone?

25 Elul 5773 – August 30, 2013
I read an article recently that described the fascinating phenomenon of mainstream, well-educated, responsible men and women deciding not to have children. According to the article, these people have given the matter a great deal of thought and have come to the conclusion that parenting is not for them.

A Big Drop Of Prevention

11 Elul 5773 – August 16, 2013
Now and then you read or hear of a tragedy – typically a car accident - where those involved are suffering from life-threatening injuries or unfortunately have lost their lives. Frequently, in the initial reports, the victims remain nameless “pending notification of next of kin.”

The Rodfim In Our Midst – Get Withholding Husbands

26 Av 5773 – August 1, 2013
A friend of mine, a young mother, related that her oldest child, now three, was starting pre-school in a few weeks. Her voice, full of pride, quickly took on a tone of annoyance as she described the “welcome package” she had received as a new parent. Amid the rules and regulations concerning drop off and pick up was a dress code for mothers/female caregivers who brought and took home the children. One of the “requirements” was wearing closed–toed shoes. Sandals were not allowed.

Tachlis Trauma

12 Av 5773 – July 18, 2013
Think of how you feel when you pick up a baby and she starts crying and shrieking hysterically. You can't help but feel somewhat chagrined and inadequate.

Es Kimpt Dir – Remembering My Cousin Ruzah

28 Tammuz 5773 – July 5, 2013
After my son Moshe got married in Israel several years ago, I decided to keep in more frequent touch with my cousin Ruzah. I would call her on a weekly basis (a good opportunity to practice the Ivrit I learned in day school), speaking to a woman who was of an older, wiser generation - rendering her more like a mother. Ruzah, like all my first cousins was indeed my parents’ age, married with children before I was born. Her experiences mirrored my father’s generation, although she really was from mine. Her mother and my father were siblings and my unknown grandparents were hers.

‘A Time To Hate’ (Back)

14 Tammuz 5773 – June 21, 2013
The 21 days of semi-mourning that is collectively referred to as the Three Weeks, culminating with the fast day of Tisha b’Av - the ultimate day of mourning in the Jewish calendar - begins in a few short days. During this period of time Jews reflect on the myriad of tragedies that have befallen us since the destruction of the Holy Temple and our subsequent exile.

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