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A Parent’s Anguish

29 Tammuz 5772 – July 18, 2012
Dear Rebbetzin Jungreis, This is the most painful letter I’ve ever written. I’ve been through many horrific experiences. My parents were survivors of the Holocaust; they were shattered people. I know you will understand this since you too are a Holocaust survivor.

Tevye in the Promised Land, Chapter Five: A Husband For Ruchel

27 Tammuz 5772 – July 16, 2012
When Tevye walked back to his wagon, Ruchel was missing. Tzeitl reported that a young man from the village had unharnessed Tevye's horse and taken it to the barn for a feeding. Apparently, he had taken Ruchel with him. Tevye's eyebrows rose in surprise. Of all of his daughters, Ruchel most resembled his Golda.

Matana’s Gift

17 Tammuz 5772 – July 6, 2012
It was the Thursday before her daughter's wedding and Chana Bendiner had so much to do, so many minute details to attend to. Yet here she was in her attic, blowing the dust off a photo album that had remained buried, but not forgotten, for over 20 years. She stared at the leather-bound cover, gently caressing the embossed gold lettering, unable to open it, yet unable to put it down.

Important Moments In Becoming A Ba’al Teshuvah (Part I)

16 Tammuz 5772 – July 5, 2012
You don’t become a ba’al teshuvah overnight. There were many events in my life that contributed to the deepening of my religious commitment, including a party I attended with young, beautiful church members who tried to make me one of them, and how I met their “Jewish priest.” (I’ll discuss both experiences during the course of this continuing column.)

So Different Yet Similar

7 Tammuz 5772 – June 27, 2012
Music played loudly while the men danced. On the women’s side of the mechitzah, we tried to speak over the sounds. I leaned over the table to hear what my co-worker’s wife was saying.

Tevye in the Promised Land, Chapter Two: Golda

5 Tammuz 5772 – June 25, 2012
Tevye took the shovel and started to dig. The earth was hard, but after breaking through the frozen topsoil, the ground became looser below. Whoever would have dreamed of Tevye digging up his Golda?

Leaving The ‘Zero’ Life Behind

1 Tammuz 5772 – June 20, 2012
I had watched my biological clock ticking away and now I wished I could live my life over again, establish a Torah home and create a family. I decided to write to you, Rebbetzin Jungreis in the hope that you’ll publish this so that others can learn from my experience and leave behind empty relationships, go under the chuppah, and live purposeful lives.

Being Enmeshed: Insights Into Concurrently Holding On And Letting Go

18 Sivan 5772 – June 7, 2012
I once heard a story about a single man struggling to find a spouse. His main challenge was his insistence that a potential mate permanently welcome his widowed mother into their marital home. A friend suggested that he speak with the great authority, Harav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach zt’l. The man shared with the Rav his delicate predicament. The Rav validated the man’s approach as acceptable. Sometime later, the man met his bashert, the special woman willing to live with his mom. They returned to Rav Shlomo Zalman for his blessing. Surprisingly, the Rav called the man aside and told him that they cannot live with his mother anymore. The young man was shocked. After all, on the previous visit, the Rav had supported his desire to find a woman who would accept their living with his mother.

Two Magic Words

12 Sivan 5772 – June 1, 2012
Last week I mentioned that I’d received numerous reader responses to my series of columns detailing my experiences in a San Diego hospital following surgery for a broken hip. I shared one such note with you last week. Here is another.

Showing Respect Gets Results

28 Nisan 5772 – April 19, 2012
Dear Dr. Respler: At the recent wedding of my best friend’s son, I arrived for the chuppah early so as to secure a seat close to the front and by the aisle. I didn’t want to miss anything.

Gila Manolson: A Response to Yitta Halberstam’s Plea to Mothers of Girls in Shidduchim

4 Nisan 5772 – March 26, 2012
Don't worry, Yitta, I'm not going to crucify you, as you feared. I actually agreed with the gist of your article, which was obviously heartfelt and well-intended. I just want to point out where you crossed a line...

Marriage

22 Adar 5772 – March 15, 2012
What's more important - love or money? Let's hear what a 90-year-old woman sitting in front of two elevators in a nursing home had to say. I asked her, "If both elevator doors opened at the same time, and out of one came the richest man in the world, and out of the other came the nicest man in the world, who would you want to marry?" She thought about it for a good while and then answered, "Both of them."

Et Le’Ehov: The Newlywed’s Guide to Physical Intimacy

16 Adar 5772 – March 9, 2012
For most physicians specializing in the treatment of infertility, the subject of sexuality - and especially the "how to’s" of sex - are rarely a subject of concern.

Are Women Obligated To Hear Parshas Zachor?

7 Adar 5772 – February 29, 2012
The Sefer HaChinuch states in mitzvah 603 that women are exempt from the mitzvah of remembering what Amalek did to us. He explains that this is because it is not upon women to wage war against and avenge the enemy.

My Machberes

18 Shevat 5772 – February 10, 2012
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Shidduch Challenges: Nothing Has Changed

10 Shevat 5772 – February 2, 2012
We have myriad matchmaking programs all over the world, from word of mouth to computerized, from well-intentioned individuals and professional shadchanim to singles organizations.

Zaslavsky’s Jews

18 Tevet 5772 – January 12, 2012
Jewish artists do the darndest things. The Chassidic Art Institute, expertly directed by Zev Markowitz, is currently showing the works of Venyamin Zaslavsky, a Ukrainian Jewish artist who has devoted the last 20 years to depictions of pious Jewish life in Jerusalem and the Holy Land.

Too Many Degrees Of Separation

13 Kislev 5772 – December 8, 2011
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.

A Chuppah Tale

9 Elul 5771 – September 7, 2011
Are there any coincidences? I don't believe so. Everything that happens is preordained by Hashem.

The Golden Slippers

23 Tevet 5771 – December 30, 2010
The long awaited wedding of her son was the highlight of Faiga's (all names used here are fictitious) life. A widow, she had never given up hope that she would one day walk her son down the aisle to his chuppah. With a mixture of fear over the long flight ahead and joy at the upcoming simcha, she boarded the plane. She had never undertaken such a long journey, but nothing could have held her back.

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