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Strolling around an antique shop in Pennsylvania’s Dutch Country, I was reunited with many of the items that inhabited my mother’s kitchen. There was a scrubbing board and a metal oval-shaped tub with which one would scrub and wash clothes and a ringer through which one would dry them. I also saw a charred metal grate that reminded me of the one my mother used to kasher pieces of liver.
Last week I wrote that we are now at a very critical juncture in our long history. We have entered the period of ikvesie d'Mashiach - a time of travail when the footsteps of the Messiah can be discerned. We are receiving wake-up call after wake-up call, and they come in many shapes and forms. Hashemis sounding the alarm, but we remain deaf to its implications.
In last week's column I began my response to the woman who wrote expressing her fears regarding the escalation of anti-Semitism and hatred of Israel throughout the world. I explained that our Sages and Prophets predicted it; they tell us that what we are witnessing today isikvesi d'Mashiach - a period in which we can hear the footsteps of the Messiah and experience the birth pangs that will precede the coming of that great day.
The week-long holiday period that includes Sukkot, Chol Hamoed, Shmini Atzeret andSimchat Torah is almost over, as are all the attendant festivities, celebrations, family gatherings and trips, and of course, all that over-eating and indulging in food and drink. Most of us will happily (or maybe not so happily) go back to being absorbed by our day-to-day routines; for the great majority, life will return to "normal."
Judaism encourages the concept of gratitude. A Jew is directed to thank G-d for all. There is a blessing to be said upon hearing good news and a blessing to be said when the news is bad. There is a blessing upon seeing exceptional beauty and a blessing to be said when viewing a disaster. There are blessings for weddings and blessings for funerals.
We are seeing the "world coalition" forming and we can well imagine what the next steps will be. Perhaps the only comfort in this difficult world is that all the events we are witnessing have been predicted by our prophets. What else gives one the strength to endure what would otherwise be unendurable?
Post-Pesach many of us begin making promises to ourselves in the hopes of looking and/or feeling better. Some of the most popular wishes people share with me include: Being stricter about eating habits, losing weight, going for a checkup/special exam, and here's a big one, exercising!
When you lose your spouse, whether s/he was sick or healthy, whether it's through divorce or death, the transition period into the next part of your life is a difficult one. Many new singles find that they no longer fit into their old friendships. They are no longer part of a couple, so associating with couples can be uncomfortable.
The 10th Annual Rebbetzin's Conference sponsored by the Task Force on Families and Children at Risk, which took place last week, was one of the best ever. Rebbetzins come from far and wide to participate in this yearly program and leave with newfound strength.
Naphtali Phillips, the ninth child of Rebecca Machado and Jonas Phillips, was born in New York on October 19, 1773. His great-grandfather was Dr. Samuel Nunes Ribeiro, an escapee from the Portuguese Inquisition1 who became one of the first Jewish settlers of Savannah, GA.2 His maternal grandparents were Zipporah Nunes and David Mendes Machado.3 David Machado also escaped from the Inquisition in Portugal and served for a number of years as the chazzan and Torah teacher of Congregation Shearith Israel in New York.
The local Jewish community recently received a shock. Many that attended rallies and protests regarding the Gaza War were stunned. Counter-demonstrators made egregious and hateful statements, some referring to the Holocaust. They were physically violent. The actions did not seem to cause any outrage in the general community.
Last week I discussed some of the things that Long Term Care (LTC) Insurance is, some that it's not, and why it is important.
Ms. Anton's book falls into that genre termed historical fiction, but in this extensive volume of over 360 pages, one can begin to wonder if Ms. Anton had a fly on the wall, so realistic are her characterizations. One could wonder it her real calling is as a "medievalist."