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Chance Encounters?

I believe that everything happens for a reason. Even the seemingly smallest of occurrences has a purpose. I recently had a doctor's appointment in Yerushalayim. Once finished, I decided to do some shopping in a nearby grocery store. This spur-of-the- moment decision led to an encounter with someone from my past, who was to teach me invaluable lessons in life.

A Watershed Moment

Fifteen years ago, on a Shabbos Mevorchim leading up to a new month, my husband was leading the davening. I heard him intone, "Rosh Chodesh Menachem Av will be on..." But it wasn't the month of Av, as the upcoming month was Mar Cheshvan. An audible gasp swept through the shul, and he immediately corrected himself.

For the Shloshim of Yaakov Tovia ben Boruch Altman and Second Yahrzeit of Sara...

Dear G-d,   As a mourning Yesoma sadly left behind I've been turning things over and over in my mind And have resolved to speak directly to You,...

Reflections Of You And Me

I had to catch the 6:13 a.m. train from Petach Tikva to Modiin. Otherwise, I would be late for the bar mitzvah. I showed up at the train station at 5:45. It was locked. I asked the guard when they would be opening. He said, "Soon."

The Second Time Around

Have you ever asked yourself-or anyone else: If you could live your life all over again, what different choices would you make?

The Second Time Around

Have you ever asked yourself-or anyone else: If you could live your life all over again, what different choices would you make?

Appreciating ‘Greshik’

Rosh Chodesh Kislev marks the 10th yahrzeit of my father, Chaim ben Aaron-Yosef Hakohen. Lately, whenever I think of him, the image that pops into my mind is of him sitting at the kitchen table, eating a bowl of "grishek." I think we would call it porridge - although that term seems to be outdated these days.

Esther’s Swoon Revealed: Tintoretto’s Masterpiece

Earlier this summer I went up to the Boston Museum of Fine Arts to see the blockbuster exhibition, Titian, Tintoretto, Veronese: Rivals in Renaissance Venice. While rarely have I seen as many masterpieces collected together in a traveling show, one painting stood out for both its Jewish subject and the surprising way it narrated the dramatic story of Esther appearing before Ahasuerus. The painting, Esther Before Ahasuerus by Tintoretto, (1518-1594) was painted just as the 29-year-old artist was making his mark in Venetian society.

Where There’s A Will…

If George F. Will comes across to some as a starchy combination of ministerial and professorial, he can blame it on his genes: The longtime columnist is, after all, the grandson of a Lutheran minister and the son of a philosophy professor.

The Hineni Tour (Part One)

I have just returned from Eretz Yisrael. Hineni tours are life-transforming experiences - those who are secular become Torah committed, and those who are already observant reach a new plateau in their emunah and love of Hashem. The change commences from the moment we set foot in the Holy Land.

Late Bloomer Composes In Three Styles

Not widely appreciated during his lifetime, composer Gustav Mahler famously predicted, "My time will yet come." And it did. Aaron Blumenfeld, a 77-year-old composer from the San Francisco Bay Area, hopes a similar future is in store for him - and the sooner, the better.

The Clock Is Ticking

The other day, while schmoozing with a friend, the conversation (as chats often do) turned to food. My friend talked about a delicious dish she had eaten as a guest during Shavuot. She mentioned how she planned to replicate it in her kitchen, but hadn't gotten around to it yet.

It’s My Opinion: Not A Moment To Waste

A wedding was recently celebrated in West Palm Beach, Florida. The groom, 93 year-old Ebenezer Rose married 89 year-old Monica Hayden. The bride wore a sparkling tiara and a big smile. Friends and relatives toasted the happy couple with champagne.

Is It Really 50 Years?

Who are all these ladies with the gray hair and/or sheitels? We are all looking into each other's faces for a glimmer of recognition. Thank goodness everyone has a nametag; it makes it so much easier to identify each person.

What Did You Take Away From Shavuos?

The beautiful Yom Tov of Shavuos has passed, but our Yamim Tovim never fade. We are charged to carry them with us throughout the year. While this holds true for all our Yamim Tovim, it is especially valid for Shavuos. This is the one day for which our Torah does not designate a specific time or date. Shavuos is "Z'man Matan Toraseinu," the season of receiving our Torah, and that is an eternal happening, which every one of us must re-experience and relive every moment of our lives. "Not with our forefathers alone did Hashem seal the Covenant, but with us, we who are here, all of us alive today (Deuteronomy 5).

I Am Saddened (Conclusion)

In last week's column I responded to the mother/grandmother who wrote about the escalation of chutzpah on the part of the young vis-à-vis their parents. In my answer I suggested that we have adopted some 21st century attitudes that not only countenance this obstreperous behavior but actually endorse it. I also mentioned that while we may take certain consolation in knowing that our sages predicted what we are experiencing today, nevertheless, it does not mean that we of the Torah community should countenance it. Chutzpah toward parents/grandparents, teachers and elders in any shape or form is unacceptable.

The Holocaust Grandchild

My mother's recent yahrzeit after Pesach, coupled with Yom HaZikaron and recent Yom Tovim and Shabbatot spent with my children and grandchildren, has cemented my belief that I was robbed of a major life asset - my grandparents. While I knew that having them was a life-enhancing relationship, I didn't truly comprehend it until I became one.

Can You Teach Self-Worth?

She doesn't just walk; she practically glides along, with a light-hearted bounce. Her laughter is infectious, her giggle ever-present, even during the dull periods of the day. Every moment is an opportunity, a learning experience. Her world is a wonder to discover and she feels proud of even her smallest achievements.

Obama: Hysteria And Reality

The Monitor supported John McCain in the presidential campaign just concluded, and given the opportunity would do so again. Having said that, anyone who wasn't profoundly moved by Barack Obama’s victory rally and speech last week has to be either emotionally dead or devoid of any appreciation of just how historic a moment it was.

Bubby? Who Me?

When my oldest grandchild, Penina Bracha, was born three years ago on Yom Kippur, the fact that there was now a third generation in the family - two after me, didn't really have any major impact on how I viewed myself.

A Regal Silhouette: King David The Musical

Light and shadow typically assume moral implications in literature, where light is often divine and dark symbolizes the unknown and the scary.

Rembrandt’s Abraham: Etchings At Swann Galleries

"And it happened after these things that God tested Abraham and said to him, 'Abraham.' And he replied, 'Here I am.' "

The Media Myth Of Camelot

Assassination does wonders for a public figure’s place in history. John F. Kennedy was a president of questionable character and meager accomplishment, but his untimely and violent death, followed by decades of unceasing image control by the Kennedy family and their media apologists, has helped sustain one of the great myths of American history – a myth that there once existed in Washington a magical kingdom called Camelot, ruled by a dashing prince whose wisdom and bravery were matched only by his unshakeable devotion to his beautiful princess.

Broken Glass

It happens at every chuppah. After the bride's encircling of the groom seven times, after the recital of the special blessings, after the ring has been placed on her finger, there are a few seconds of collective silence in anticipation.

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Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/jewish-columns/lessons-in-emunah/chance-encounters/2010/05/05/

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