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September 21, 2014 / 26 Elul, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Pnina Baim’

A Daily Dose Of Glam To Keep The Blahs Away

Friday, May 11th, 2012

It’s tough to catch some glam in an otherwise pretty non-glamorous life. In the 21st century, who isn’t overstressed, overwhelmed and overbooked? The roles of today’s women today has multiplied to the point where even the strongest of us has stretched her limits, leaving her without any time or energy for herself. Which woman hasn’t been guilty of eating her children’s leftover cereal and calling it breakfast? Who hasn’t thrown the nearest shmatta over her head and a long coat to cover the old clothes she’s wearing on a trip to the store?

I’ve experienced this syndrome myself, saying I’m too tired to dress nicely or too busy to sit down to a balanced meal. The end result was that I was tired, lethargic, lost patience with my kids, was sloppy with my work…take it from me, it was a bad day. The truth is, no one can run on full throttle, all the time, without something giving. Without investing a few moments during the day for ourselves, we will run out of speed too soon, and have nothing left over to give all the other important people in our lives.

So, in the interest of working not just harder but also smarter, I resolve to:

1. Stand up straight. It doesn’t take any extra time, makes me look ten pounds thinner, saves my back and helps me breathe better.

2. Enjoy my clothing. It takes just as much time to put on a nice skirt and fitted top as it does to put on the same long jean skirt and black t-shirt I’ve been wearing since 2001. And really, what am I saving my expensive dresses for? While I’m at it, I will invest in a few nice pairs of pajamas instead of wearing my husband’s old t-shirts.

3. I will moisturize everyday. I will also use makeup daily, taking a few seconds to apply some quick dabs of concealer, bronzer and mascara for the days that I’m just doing errands on the avenue. For insta-glam, I will utilize a pair of big sunglasses (my favorites are aviators) that I can just plop on my face to hide the effects of last night’s all-nighter with the baby.

4. I’ll admit, I love getting manicures, but being a working mom with three children, I tend to use my hands a lot, and the manicures don’t last. Therefore, I will limit my manicures, but have my eyebrows professionally shaped. This is a cheaper option, as it’s only needed every three weeks or so, and does a tremendous amount in defining the face.

5. I will eat at the table. Mealtimes will be a break from the hustle and bustle of the day, a time to eat meditatively and focus on the delicious tastes and textures of the food. I will eat at the table, with a real plate and utensils, and drink with a straw to prevent discoloration of my teeth.

I will avoid overeating to prevent feeling lethargic and sluggish, though indulging in a delectable piece of chocolate in moderation is an easy way to get some endorphins to the brain.

6. My bedroom will be a sanctuary. I will banish all toys and children from my room every night, prepare a delicious cup of tea or a soothing glass of wine, light some candles, dim the lights and just relax!

7. I will pay attention to and remark on the beautiful things around me. I will open the shades in my home and office to let in the natural light. I will have flowers on the table so that our dinners can be brightened by their vibrant colors. I will kiss and caress my children’s beautiful faces and thank G-d for giving them to me.

By incorporate those few simple tactics, my day will be more joyful, pleasurable and glamorous. I owe this not just to myself, but also to all those around me. I can only give as much as I have, and when I run out of steam, it affects all my relationships. So in the interest of being the best me I can be, I’ll also be the best maintained me I can be.

Pnina Baim holds a B.S. in Health and Nutrition from Brooklyn College and a MS.edu from Yeshiva University’s Azrieli Program. She works as a nutritionist and a freelance writer. Contact Pnina at pninabaim@gmail.com.

How To Make Pesach Cleaning Stress Free!

Friday, March 9th, 2012

I think if we can be honest with ourselves, most women will admit to enjoying Pesach cleaning – and perhaps to even looking forward to it all year long. What better opportunity is there to start digging through closets and drawers and clearing them out, giving both the house and yourself a physical and emotional purging? When else would you tackle the dusty corners on top of cabinets and vacuum behind heavy furniture?

None of the above has anything to do with chometz, of course. As Rabbi Dovid Orlovsky said, “If men made Pesach and women built the sukkah, both would start on erev Pesach.” So just in case circumstances are completely out of control and you have no time to do much, here is what you must do for Pesach cleaning: Sweep the floor, clear off the table, empty out the fridge, and close the kitchen cabinets. Buy some paper goods and ready-to-eat Pesach products, sell your chometz to the local rabbi and you are done.

But for most of us that won’t work. For the vast majority of us, Pesach cleaning is synonymous with spring-cleaning, and why not? If you’re not going to tackle those tasks for Pesach, when will you?

There are two schools of thought regarding when to first pick up that duster and spray: You can start months in advance and eliminate the stress of 20-hour cleaning days, or you can start as close to Pesach as possible and eliminate the stress of constantly reminding everyone not to walk around with chometz. For me, the decision is a no-brainer; everyone should only be eating at the table anyways.

To make Pesach a success, it is best to start from the year before – last Pesach. I like to keep the receipts of the items I bought. Once the holiday is over, I write up a list of things I actually used and the amounts I needed. Pesach is expensive enough without buying excessive products. I keep the list with my Pesach dishes, but accessible so I can go shopping before its time to bring down the boxes. In addition to last year’s list, it’s a good idea to plan the menu for the entire holiday in advance so you can add the corresponding ingredients to the list. Don’t forget breakfast and snacks. Oh, and please, as a personal favor to me, stay away from any packaged cakes and cookies. No 5×7 cake is good enough to cost ten dollars. You can make Pesach munchies yourself for a quarter of the price and they will be twice as tasty.

To clean your house, I recommend sitting down at a desk or table and writing down all the tasks for each room in the house. Take a calendar and schedule when each task should be done. Remember, unless you are the only person living in the house, you should not be the only person cleaning up. Figure out when you have the most physical energy and try to plan chores for that time. Blast some music and consider the scrubbing a cardio work-out! When organizing cabinets and closets, remember everything has a limited shelf life. If you can’t articulate why you want to keep it, then it’s time to chuck it. If your spouse has a hard time throwing things out, then consider doing it when he or she is not home.

Here’s a sample To-Do list that can be modified as necessary:

1. Bathrooms: vanities, medicine cabinets, high shelves, linen closets.

2. Bedrooms: Closets, dressers, under beds, wipe down blinds, behind radiators. carpet clean, wipe down toys, machine wash stuffed animals, purge old and broken toys.

3. Basement: Organize and purge miscellanea. If you have an extra fridge there, clean and line it first so you can start buying and preparing Pesach products.

4. Den: Clean behind and inside couch. Organize and purge files, purge old toys, dvds and whatever clutter is stashed there.

5. Living Room: Clean behind and inside couch. Wipe down bookcase, purge old books, clean out fireplace, wipe behind picture frames, shellac wooden floors.

6. Dining room: Clean behind, inside and the top of china closet. Wipe down chairs and table. If it’s your custom, line the table and any other surface that will hold food.

7. Kitchen: Move chometz dishes out, organize, purge, clean and line cabinets and drawers, wipe and line fridge, wipe down walls, wipe down garbage can. Different halachot apply with cleaning the stove, so consult your local rabbi. Remove any appliances from counter and line them.

8. Vacuum and scrub the car and strollers, machine wash backpacks and dry clean coats! I know this list is extensive. That’s why you need to start in advance. For working moms, I always recommend Tu B’Shevat as an optimal start date to get everything done on a reasonable schedule. (I know its Adar, don’t panic, just adjust the list to fit the amount of time you have.)

How To Make Purim Sameach!

Friday, February 24th, 2012

There’s nothing like a holiday where one is required to be happy to bring out the grouch in all of us. But we should all be excited to greet Purim. Not only because of the beautiful miracle that occurred, the lessons of emunah and the role of the Jewish woman that Megillas Esther teaches us, but also because it’s the only twenty-four hour holiday that we celebrate here in Chutz L’Aretz, and it has merely four mitzvot! How simple is that?

Megillah reading is first. What’s great about this mitzvah is that it doesn’t require a minyan and most shuls have multiple readings both at night and in the morning. Many men read the megillah for their families at home. For mothers of young children who can’t be trusted to stay quiet for the thirty-forty minutes megilla reading requires, even with the help of snacks and toys, the best solution is for parents to stagger megilla readings. Then, one can watch the little ones while the other can concentrate on the beautiful words of the megillah.

If your kids are calm enough to come to shul, they’ll want to go in costume. Many people suggest buying costumes after Halloween, but I haven’t found much success there. The costumes are either too expensive or inappropriate. I personally prefer a closeout store like Amazing Savings, where you can choose from a large selection for under $10 apiece. I buy gender-neutral costumes that my kids can pass down to one another. It’s important to go early though, as they tend to run out of sizes closer to the holiday. There are also wonderful gemachim with a large inventory of costumes for every age and the suggested donations go to tzedakah. The phone number for one costume gemach in Flatbush is 718-989-2275. Again, the earlier you go, the larger the selection you’ll have to choose from.

The first megillah reading breaks the Fast of Esther. Don’t forget in the entire hullabaloo to have something satiating to eat for when everyone comes home.

Once all the adults have refreshed themselves, we can move onto the next mitzvah: preparing mishloach manot, or as is the honored tradition in my corner of Brooklyn, the males go collecting.

If you are one of those esteemed souls whom are bombarded by singing, dancing, costumed men, then I salute you, and I’m sure you have done this enough times to know how to prepare in advance. If your husband or son will be one of those singing, dancing, costumed men, then insist on knowing who the designated driver is before the night begins, preferably your loved one.

Regardless of the traditions you follow, we are all obligated to give tzedakah. On one of your many trips on the avenue, stop off at the bank during teller hours and pick up a wad of singles or rolls of coins so that you won’t be in the position of having to turn anyone away. Some banks in heavily Jewish communities have Sunday hours and will sometimes allow you to break a couple of twenties regardless of whether or not you have an account there.

Prepare a full, balanced breakfast for the family on the morning of Purim. It’s most likely going to be the only healthy meal of the day. Whole-wheat pancakes, eggs, lox and bagels, and Israeli salad are all good options.

Now that those issues are settled, let’s turn to what tends to be the most stressful and over-rated aspect of Purim: mishloach manot. I won’t bother reminding you that each person is only obligated to give two packages with two items. I’ll just remind you that all your hard work will be ignored as soon as the basket is absorbed on the already overwhelmed dining room table of your carefully selected recipient. Instead, here is what I plan on doing. Feel free to copy at will, no recognition necessary: Out-of-town relatives and friends – I send out cards from a charity. For about five dollars or less, they will send a cute card to anyone in America or Israel telling them that you gave matonos l’evyonim in their name. They can usually include a personal message on your behalf.

Teachers and the administration of your children’s schools – If the PTA at your school arranges mishloach manot for the staff, by all means, take advantage of it. They do a great job and the more money they get from parents, the more beautiful and practical the package will be.

Colleagues and rabbis – What’s inside doesn’t really matter. A nice bag or container is all you need to make a statement. Place a wine or grape juice bottle, a pineapple and a package of chocolate or cookies and consider it done.

Female friends – Amongst all the nosh and craziness, few people have time to sit down to a balanced meal. I’m pretty sure I’m not speaking for myself when I say that the best mishloach manot is healthy food. I still remember those thoughtful friends who sent breakfasts, lunches, challot, and kugels. Those items were usually finished in the car. This year I plan on sending a homemade pie and a drink. It’s important to label the items with all the ingredients and hashgochot to avoid any awkwardness. Another idea is tuna on a bagel with a salad and coffee. I guarantee all your friends will pledge their eternal devotion to you after that!

How To Avoid Shopping ‘Till You Drop

Tuesday, January 24th, 2012

Who doesn’t want to save money? The siren call of sales lures us all, and few are able to resist stocking up. Then, as we’re wandering the colorful aisles, we question ourselves: Do I have mustard? Are we running low on mayonnaise? So we stick it in our cart, thinking this would save us a trip. But unnecessary and duplicate items quickly clutter up valuable space in cabinets, and if the item isn’t needed to begin with, it’s money sent straight down the drain.

In my own home, I’ll admit to a never-ending supply of black olives and matza-ball mixes. In the home of a recent client, we discovered no less then four open boxes of dark brown sugar and three open containers of confectionary sugar. In another home, I pulled out four open bags of shredded mozzarella cheese from various sections in the refrigerator.

All the above scenarios could easily be avoided by one well-known, easy habit: keeping a shopping list. As my wise sister always says, if you don’t already know what it is, then you don’t need it. Sales aren’t necessarily a sale. They are but a decoy to get you to spend more then you planned. Buy what’s on your list, and you will have bought what you really wanted and needed.

So how to keep a list? I keep a current list on both my fridge and as a memo in my phone. This way, when my husband is out shopping and has forgotten the list at home, I can easily text him what I need.

Keep the list updated by adding staples when you’re running low, but before you run out, i.e. flour, sugar, barley, and the ingredients in the recipes you plan on making that week. I buy duplicates of staples that run out quickly such as milk, cheese, eggs, bread, cleaning supplies etc. and buy another set when I’m down to one.

When there is a sale on items you do use on a regular basis, buy just one extra. I guarantee the sale will come around again.

Oh, and Costco? It’s the devil. I know it’s tempting to buy the trillion gallon jug of olive oil, and the box of granola bars that will keep you in a steady supply until 2015, but few people have the storage space for such large quantities of food, and most often, by the time you’re half way done, the food has either gone bad, or you’ve gotten sick of it. If you don’t have room to store an item, then resist buying it. I will admit that Costco does have a lovely selection of produce. So if you have a large family who can actually finish six heads of lettuce within a week’s time, Costco could be a good choice for that.

In my opinion, the best way to save money is just not to shop. Make the most of each shopping trip by buying only what you really need. The less often you walk into a store, the less money is leaving your wallet and the less time you spend on this time consuming chore, leaving more time for other, more fun activities, like cooking.

This leads us to another, well known, timesaving tool. Freezing. Many people groan at the idea of freezing, preferring freshly baked goods and a steaming hot brisket straight from the oven. If you have the opportunity to take advantage of a leisurely Friday or days before Yom Tov to cook and bake, then by all means, do what makes you happy. But if you’re like most women I know, who are struggling to balance work and family, then let’s bite the bullet and say in a loud clear voice: I can’t do everything!

Now, I’ll admit, I don’t particularly enjoy being stuck in the kitchen, chopping and stirring. As a working mom, with Shabbos every week, and Yom Tov seemingly always around the corner, doubling recipes and freezing extras is the perfect way to add more time into my busy schedule.

Here are a few tips I’ve learned along the way through trial and error:

The first time I make a recipe, I leave the cookbook out on the counter until I see how it came out, in terms of too sweet, salty, family preference, labor intensive etc. Then, I immediately make a notation next to the recipe to remind myself for future attempts.

Some foods freeze better then others, i.e. chicken, meats, cakes, bread and soups, though many experienced balabustas swear that everything can be frozen. I’ll never forget my sister-in-law’s boast that she made the entire Succos in the summer, including stir-fried vegetables and apple cobbler.

Once I have found a successful recipe, I make doubles of it and freeze half right away. The food does not have to cool off before going into the freezer, though you would save money on your electrical bill by waiting a bit.

How To Make Mornings A Pleasure

Friday, December 16th, 2011

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.

1. Morning routines start, ironically, at night. When the children come home from school, go through their backpacks and prepare whatever needs to be brought in for the next day. The kids should place their jackets, backpacks and shoes in the same spot every day. This area should be accessible to them, with hooks, a shelf or a bench. If you come home after your children, check their backpacks then. Make sure whoever is with them until you come home abides by a set schedule of homework, dinner and baths, so that you can put your children to sleep.

Mothers who pick up their children at the babysitter’s towards evening might face a special challenge. If it’s at all possible, do everything you can to avoid that extra stress. What works for my family – on the days I work late, I employ two babysitters, one to watch my son during the day at her home and the second to pick up my daughter from school and bring them both home. The cost of the two babysitters is only slightly more expensive then one, but well worth it in terms of the anxiety it saves.

If the situation cannot be avoided, then upon arriving home, make sure the children abide by a healthy sleeping schedule. Growing children need between 11 and 12 hours of sleep – every night. That’s why letting them stay up late so they can spend time with Mommy or Tatty is debilitating. A better idea, according to Dina Friedman, from the illuminating parenting course Chan0ch Lnaar, is staggering bedtimes so that each child can spend 10 minutes alone with Mommy or Daddy before bed – doing something enjoyable and going over their day. In physiological terms, this qualifies as sufficient quality time.

2. Prepare mitzvah notes, tzedakah, snacks and the like while cleaning up after dinner. Children over the age of four can prepare their own snacks and lunches.

3. Get enough sleep. I cannot stress how vital adequate sleep is. Without proper sleep hygiene, nobody can, or could possible be expected to, function. Give yourself a bedtime, just as you do for the kids, and keep to it within the half hour. If you have trouble falling asleep at night, try these tips:

Minimize screen time such as computer or TV an hour before bedtime.

Use your bed only as a place for sleeping, not reading or chatting on the phone.

Take a hot shower or bath close to bedtime.

Don’t toss and turn in bed. After 15 minutes, get out of bed and try again in another 15 minutes.

If you have a newborn, make up interrupted sleep with daytime naps. This is a priority that takes precedence over any amount of dishes stacked in the sink. This point is so crucial that it bears repeating: without adequate amount of sleep, you cannot function the next day. So get the sleep you need!

4. Set out a complete outfit, including shoes, underwear, hair accessories, yarmulkahs, tzizit etc. for everyone the night before. I like to set out clothes for the week every Sunday night, but if you don’t have the space to lay out that much clothes, the night before is sufficient. We usually do it right before bedtime, so my daughter can add her input. She then just pulls out the outfit she wants to wear the next morning and gets dressed without needing any further prodding.

6. Wake up half an hour before the kids so that you can get yourself together before everyone else wakes up. With proper sleep habits, this should be a cinch.

7. Wake up your children about an hour before the bus, car pool etc. All children over the age of four should be dressed and washed, by themselves, before coming into the kitchen for breakfast. Make it easy for them by laying out toothbrushes, toothpaste and hairbrushes in easy reach, and keep a stool in the bathroom for easy access to the sink. I’m sure many mothers will scoff at the notion of their kids being so well trained, but I guarantee you, if no breakfast is served until everyone is dressed, it will be just a couple of mornings of stubbornness before this efficient habit is established.

8. Avoid distractions such as reading books, coloring, or playing with toys, by using the when/then method. When they are dressed, then they can play for a specified amount of time. Show little kids on a clock how much time they have to play.

How To Clean Your House In Seven Days Or Less

Wednesday, November 16th, 2011

When I was first married, a good friend invited us over for Shabbos. Nechuma works multiple jobs, has six children, and always produces the most lavish Shabbos and Yom Tov meals. When I asked her what her trick was, she told me: “A house always looks nice as long as it is clean.”  I took her words to heart, and now, with my own growing family, a full time job and numerous social obligations, I manage to keep my house clean and presentable without the help of a cleaning lady.

How is this possible you ask? It’s simple. I have a cleaning schedule and I stick with it.

On Motzei Shabbos I clean up from Shabbos – polish the silver if necessary, load the dishwasher, and change my linen. On Sunday, I clean all the bedrooms, the upstairs bathroom, vacuum and empty the dishwasher. Wednesday is for cleaning the living room, dining, mudroom and shopping for groceries for Shabbos. If time allows, I also put up the soup. On Thursday I cook for Shabbos. On Friday, I set the table, clean the kitchen and bathroom and change the kids’ linen.

This schedule works for me – based on my work schedule and other responsibilities. Some days I don’t get to a specific task, so I give myself two days to do each chore. This schedule only works if I maintain my daily general clean up: do at least one load of laundry, fold clothes and iron as necessary, clean up after breakfast and dinner, and prepare for the morrow. One of my pet peeves is a dirty bathroom, so I keep cleaning supplies near each bathroom and clean them every other day or so.

To figure out a schedule that works for you, take into account your own household needs and preferences. Write down what needs to be done minimally once a day, once a week, and once a month. Then, if you have time or extra help, keep a list of things (sort baby clothes, go through toys etc.) that are waiting to be done and tackle them. Look for shortcuts wherever possible: keep multiple sets of cleaning supplies near easily dirtied areas and if you don’t have a dishwasher, consider using paper, even on Shabbos. Have three or four hampers (whites, darks, towels and dry cleaning) set up in one room – spray stains before the clothes go into the hampers and teach your kids to separate and spray their own clothes.

Don’t forget, there are other people who live in the house with you – so delegate as much as possible. Although it may seem easier to do a job yourself then ask your husband to do it, persistent reminders will eventually get the job done. I like to send a daily text – “passports plz” – until the deed is done. It took two months, but eventually, our passports were renewed.

Get kids in action! Use when/then incentives. For example, when all the toys are picked up, then we can go play outside. Children as young as eighteen months old can be taught to put toys away and put dishes in the sink. My nineteen-month-old son can wipe up his own messes (with help, of course). My four-year-old can set the table and put away clean dishes from the dishwasher.  She also makes her own bed and puts away her clothes. When giving children a task to complete, clean with them and lavish tremendous amounts of positive reinforcement such as hugs, kisses, profuse thanks and articulating how much nicer the room looks now that there is so much room to play.

My daughter has this habit of sending me out of the room to “make me a surprise.” She puts away all the items that are out, makes beds, folds pajamas and fixes whatever else needs straightening. All this from the tender age of three and half! When I asked my sister, a therapist, if this OCD-like behavior was something I should be concerned about, she asked me what my reaction is after the surprise. “Well” I said, “I swing her around in a huge hug, we do a clean-up dance, everyone claps for her, and she gets a treat.”

“In that case” my sister said, “her behavior is perfectly normal based on your reaction, because you encourage it with positive reinforcement.”

Apparently, kids will do anything for attention!

As the Marvelous Midos Machine DVD playing on repeat in my house sings, “Don’t push off for tomorrow what you can do today.” Every night, before retiring for some much needed relaxation, look around and see if there is one more task you can do in five minutes or less, such as cleaning the stove or washing the dishes. Five minutes here, and another five minutes there, and before you know it, your house is clean.

Zaidy’s Comfort And Inspiration

Wednesday, August 24th, 2011

Another Shabbat Nachamu has come and gone, but its message should resonate with us throughout the year. More than just an opportunity to go away for the weekend or enjoy a live concert on Saturday night, Shabbat Nachamu means that regardless of what tragedy has befallen our people, the Jewish nation will live on.

My husband’s grandfather, Joseph Hoffman, did not just physically survive the Nazi regime, he did so with his faith intact. There always seems to be an angle in every survivor’s story, a miracle that helped get him or her through another day until liberation. Zaidy had always been reluctant to discuss his experiences during the Holocaust with his children and grandchildren. He felt it wasn’t necessary for every detail to be known.

As he got older, though, he became more willing to talk, and even revealed an old sepia wallet-sized picture of his first family. His wife, Tzipporah, is dressed in a flowery housecoat, holding a baby girl, Rochel, who is wrapped in a white blanket, her hair in pigtails. Standing next to their mother are two little boys, Yehuda and Sender, in short pants and without shoes. Yehuda is wearing suspenders and a cap perched rakishly on top of his head, an impish dimple creasing his cheek. Sender, his curly hair still uncut before his upsherin, is holding a toy wooden sword and wearing a more solemn expression.

Once, when we were visiting, I asked him what it was that helped get him through the war. Zaidy smiled slightly and in his mixture of English, Hebrew and Yiddish told me about Shabbat Nachamu 1943.

He had been laboring in a type of mobile work unit since 1941, and two years into the war, with no end in sight, he was feeling “very bad” and thinking about his family and future. The Nazi commander, who was well versed in Jewish tradition, gathered all the prisoners together and proceeded to give them a Shabbat Nachamu drasha. He mocked the haftarah where the Jews are promised their suffering will soon end and said to the wretched group standing forlornly in front of him, “Nachamu, Nachamu, Ami? This war is not ending anytime soon.”

Zaidy is still a stubborn man, and I’m not surprised when he says that when he heard those words he found the inner strength to continue the backbreaking labor of digging railroads, so determined was he to prove the Nazi wrong. One morning, in November 1944, after sleeping overnight in a grain silo, his group of two hundred men woke up to realize the Nazis were no longer guarding them. They cautiously opened the door, and there, marching down the road, were the Russians.

For two weeks Zaidy walked home to Mamarush, Czechoslovakia, without food or provisions. When he reached his small town, he found the place Judenrein and the Soviets in charge. The Soviets tried to conscript him for forced labor, but he ran away that night to Prague. There he met up with a group of Jewish refugees and for the first time in many years was able to put on tefillin, daven with a minyan and keep kosher.

When I asked him what was it like to keep Shabbat again, after all that he had gone through, I thought he would speak about conflicting emotions and arguments with God. But Zaidy simply said, “I felt like ah Yid.”

Later, at the end of 1945, he married his second wife, Faiga, and while languishing in the DP Camps waiting to immigrate to Israel, Faiga gave birth to my mother-in-law, Nechuma. Nechuma eventually married and had five children, the youngest of whom is my husband, Jacob. Jacob and I married in March 2006; just about sixty years after Zaidy had the strength to remarry and started a new family. A year and a half later, my first daughter, Faiga Shaindel, was born, and two years after that, we had a second child, a boy.

Zaidy serving as sandek at Yehuda Aryeh’s bris

My husband and I had discussed that if this baby were a boy we would name him after Zaidy’s oldest son, Yehuda Aryeh. Nobody had been named after any of Zaidy’s four children. They had died alongside their mother in Auschwitz on the second day of Shavout 1944, and I felt it was time to rectify that omission.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/zaidys-comfort-and-inspiration/2011/08/24/

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