The family: Parents Avinadav and Hanna Kalef; son, Ortal; daughter, Kinneret and son, Ronen. All of three Kalef children married while the family lived in Gush Katif and are themselves today, parents.
Master of the Universe, I am filled with remorse and compunction. My head is bowed in shame, my hands tremble, and my heart overflows with trepidation as I approach you with my abject confession of guilt.
Charedi rabbinical leaders in Israel, and I imagine globally, are greatly perturbed, even horrified by the “chumrah” some Orthodox Israeli women have taken upon themselves – that of covering their bodies up in a manner similar to traditional Muslim women, who wear head to toe, shroud-like black burkas.
“The American tradition of the military chaplaincy is as old as the United States itself. Clergymen served with the armies of the individual colonies almost from the first battle of the Revolution, and provisions for the payment of chaplains were enacted by the Continental Congress as early as 1775.
What began 10 years ago as a small group of volunteers providing mental health referrals within the Jewish community has evolved into a full-fledged mental health referral, education and support organization that takes on 6,000 new patients annually in four major cities across the globe.
Our people’s history is not a kind one. I remember reading about the 1648-49 Chmielnicki massacres of the Jewish communities of Poland (Gezerot tach v’tat) and weeping, asking myself why we were chosen if it meant suffering so?
As we get older, nostalgia takes over many areas of our life and we often yearn for things from the past.
What is it about a diamond that makes it the most valuable gemstone known to man?
To explain to my children what Chanukah was like for me as a young girl, I find I am just as inclined to recount what it wasn’t as I am to describe what it was.
Miss Ida is our beloved teacher. Her brown hair is piled softly on her head. Her dress is of course old and worn, and she must...
Suddenly and abruptly, everything I had always known about myself no longer applied. There would be no long yeshiva career, Kollel or the like. At that point I really had no identity. I didn’t know who I was or what it was that I was going to do.
As Jewish festivals go, Chanukah is one of our favorites – it is quite “user-friendly.” We get a rare green light to travel and cook with no restrictions. We can drive back and forth (no need for our hosts to find sleeping accommodations) and feast with family and friends as we gleefully celebrate the miracle of a rag-tag band of heroes beating the odds. We rejoice over the improbable reality that a few overcame the many; of a bit of burning oil lasting way beyond its “shelf-life.”
It was a lovely Sunday afternoon in the park when I bumped into a friend whom I hadn’t seen in a long time. After the obligatory pleasantries were exchanged, she tentatively asked me if something was wrong with my health. “No,” I responded, confused. “I’m doing better than ever.”
Daily newspapers in Israel have recently included an uptick in drunk driving related articles, invariably detailing the horrific carnage left in their wake.
Ahh, the mornings. A time of peace and serenity, for sipping a cup of coffee while catching up on the morning news. Or perhaps you use the time to bake fresh healthy cookies for the family’s midday snack. However, if your mornings are better described as rush hour compounded by nagging warnings, here are a few handy steps to create a stress free routine.
When I first decided to become an English major, I didn't really anticipate any problems that would involve my Judaism. This is not a common choice for Orthodox college women, but I chose a different path because I knew what I loved and I was confident that I could land some sort of job with an English degree.
I was a bit surprised to see my sister Rini sitting in the rocking chair at the end of the kitchen, rocking peacefully back and forth. Rini, age eleven, generally prefers more intense activities, such as bike riding, ripsticking, and yelling.
Welcome once again to “You’re Asking Me?” It’s pretty much like your typical ask the expert column, with one minor difference (if you want to get technical): I’m not an expert on anything. Just ask my wife.
In my previous column I mentioned that a matchmaking initiative called the NASI Project was generating an avalanche of discussions, debates and disagreements regarding its value in effectively dealing with what is referred to in Orthodox communities as the shidduch crisis.
As the members of the I.D.F. lined up for the daily flag raising ceremony held on the Tel Hashomer Army Base outside of Tel Aviv, Gloria Schreiber approached the flagpole with a mixture of pride and awe. Standing at attention, dressed in fatigues, she grasped the rope, pulled gently and watched the white and blue flag slowly ascend.
This past week was Parshat Chayei Sarah and I had the good fortune of being in Chevron for Shabbat. I was in Israel for only three days (approximately 80 hours) and was asked many times, “You’ve come to Israel for such a short stay?” Let me explain.
Presumably, almost all the readers of this publication are Orthodox Jews – those that pride themselves on serving G-d through fulfilling His commandments. Keeping in mind the rabbinical edict, "A mitzvah that comes your way—don't miss it!" (Rashi, Bavli Megillah 6b), it would behoove the readers to know that an oft-missed mitzvah has come their way.
During the nineteenth century a large number of American Jews abandoned traditional religious observance. This led to the United States being dubbed “di treifene medina” (the irreligious land).
I am blessed to live in a tradition filled with many incredible people, but it is rare I actually have the chance to meet a hero.