It can be a daunting process sending teens off for their first year of study in Eretz Yisroel. For most teens, this will be their first complete year away from the comfort of home and the guidance of their parents. As if that isn’t enough, they’ll be about a full day’s travel away from home.
For me, there's nothing like making challahs for Shabbos. But I can't say it's always been the height of my week. There was a time when baking fluffy, light-as-a-feather challahs was a total mystery to me.
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.
At the American Jewish Historical Society, there was an excellent program about Jewish women in the Civil War. The audience learned about such colorful women as Phoebe Yates Pember who served as a nurse, with 15,000 patients coming under her direct care during the war and Clara Solomon, a teenager who chronicled the Civil War.
He had no doubts, he had no questions; he had the most beautiful emunah p'shuta and perhaps, as a small reward, Zaidy was able to see the revelation of G-dliness in this world.
Ever since I started this advice column, I’ve noticed that quite a number of readers – and you in particular - haven’t been sending me questions. And I get it. You don’t know what to ask. I don’t give “real advice,” by which I mean “advice you can use without making the situation worse,” and you have no idea what kind of questions you can ask that I might have answers for. With Dr. Yael, for example, you figure that you should ask her problem-type questions. With an “ask the rabbi” column, you ask him shaylos. But what am I an expert in?
The perfect appetizers require minimal effort by the hostess and taste so good your guests will think you spent the whole day in the kitchen cooking. These recipes do exactly that. They are super tasty, sorta fancy and seriously easy! I used wonton wrappers to create wonton cups, and then filled them up with some of my favorite ingredients, such as Creamy Mac & Cheese, Zesty Taco Fillings, Savory Pizza Toppings and Sweet Whipped Cream with Fresh Fruit!
In the "How did we ever live without it?" department, there is no doubt that GPS joins the ranks of cell phones, velcro and zip lock bags as a relatively new invention that has become an indispensable part of our lives. First invented for use by the military, the Global Positioning System became av
Miri was a special child. I didn’t know that at first. She had thick, dark hair, round face, and a slow smile. “I’m six,” she said. But then I learned what it felt like when Miri wrapped her arms around you and hugged. Her face upturned, that slow smile spreading across it. Reaching her eyes, that would grow, and grow and grow, liquid ovals of brown above cheeks tinged deep pink.
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.
Beginning around 1840 the Reform movement began asserting itself as a major force in American Judaism. Indeed, with the rising tide of Reform during the nineteenth century it looked as if Orthodox Judaism might disappear. Many synagogues that had been founded by observant Jews and had remained for years true to halacha found their memberships increasingly calling for the institution of reforms and the abandonment of commitment to authentic Judaism.
Yeast dough is considered one of the most basic but complicated of the dough family. Just think of the first cakes you made – I'm almost sure they weren't yeast cakes. But mine were!
I hear a beat, I know the sound I feel a skip, One that I’m used to I see a picture, But this one is new I cry of pain, Because I know this is real.
The girl that can’t cry has a heart so cold buried under frozen tears rhythm; untold.
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.
This past Lag B'Omer, we were blessed to make our first upsherin, where we celebrate our son’s first hair cut. It’s a wonderful milestone that mimics the three years that we refrain from plucking a tree’s first fruits and symbolizes the entry of the child into the world of Torah learning. It’s a clear sign to everyone; this boy is no longer a baby.
The importance of death customs has been ingrained in me since birth. When I served as a shomeret for my grandmother, I was instructed not to eat, drink or perform a mitzvah in the same room. In the shock of death, it seemed rather inane to be told it would be considered mocking the dead. My grandmother was gone; she couldn’t do those things because she didn’t exist anymore, a fact that still makes me tear up.
I would have to say that one of the most annoying things about having a newspaper advice column, aside from all these people writing to me and asking for advice, is that they frequently don’t tell me WHY they’re asking.
Another tree is down. I’m driving down Lakewood Avenue, figuring that maybe, just maybe, the tree that blocked the middle of North Lake Drive has been removed, and I can go through. After all, they had a whole day. I’m sure things have been taken care of.
It's hard to believe that June is finally here, but one look through the day's mail is enough to convince me that the school year is almost over and summer will be here before I blink. What makes me say that? The plethora of large cream envelopes, addressed in calligraphic letters, bearing stamps with pictures of creamy white roses.
A popular topic of discussion in newspapers, magazines and talk shows revolves around the management of personal finances - or rather the lack of them. In most cases, dealing with overwhelming debt is the topic de jour. Seems many people are drowning in it. Spending more than they have has mired countless consumers into a financial quicksand with maxed out credit cards and collection agencies knocking on the door. Speaking of doors, many face eviction and the loss of their home.
Last month we sketched the life of Manuel Josephson (1729-1796), who immigrated to New York in the 1740s. Manuel was one of the few learned Jews residing in America in the 18th century. His talents were recognized by Congregation Shearith Israel, and he served on the synagogue’s bet din for several years and as its parnas (president) in 1762. He earned his living as a merchant.
The tear is rolling down my cheek. It lands atop my lips. I lick my lips to remove the dryness and the saltiness soaks into my tongue. I take a long deep breath and begin to think. Why? How could she do that to me? We’re best friends. We’ve known each other practically since we were born. How could she go and do such a horrible thing?
Nearly half a million of them fought in Red Army uniforms, under communist slogans but with a personal vengeance that was solely the result of Jewish experience. More than the “Greatest Generation,” they were the living superheroes hidden in plain sight.
With the semi-mourning period of Sefira behind us, and the festival of Shavuot as well (as evidenced by the tightness of our clothing due to over-indulging in irresistible versions of cheesecake that is an integral component of celebrating our receipt of the Torah), our community can look forward to participating in joyous engagement parties and weddings.