Two Surprises

I made light of the loss. I produced a wan smile and announced to my caring Israeli group, Gam zu l'tovah.

Too Young For Yizkor

Every action, every hour of learning, chesed, brachos, tefillos were done for their father’s neshama to merit a closeness to the Kisei HaKavod. That was all that was left for them to do for him.

Encounters In The Second-Hand Store

Berta had no inkling about the journey she and Michael were going to take... For a year following the wedding, Berta’s mother kept bringing non-kosher food into their apartment; she had difficulty accepting the young couple’s choice to learn more about Judaism.

Well-Placed Words

In the end, though the young daughters had been crying while the verbal abuse was going on, they now saw how the effect a kind word and a smile could change everything.

Home Sweet Home

And while I’m already in full-blown kvetchy mode, now may be as good a time as any to mention the mess!

The Performance With Help From Above

Even though we know the score can even change once we are up there (through the mitzvos that our performed in our merit), what we must seriously keep in fresh in our mind is that our interactions have a lasting impact and a value for eternity.

A Mitzvah-Worthy Car

It had just passed its test, when a friend offered us a newer car for a very reasonable price. It was a shame to just discard our old ‘friend’ but we also knew it wasn’t sellable.

The Birthday Present

The lovely lady in charge asked me to sing “Happy Birthday” over the telephone. I noted that that night, Rosh Chodesh Tammuz WAS actually my birthday. I sang and I was accepted.

Striking Out The Match

There may not be another puzzle piece that meshes with mine, and if so, then that is what Hashem wants. Then again, there may be one that does. Who knows?

Please Have A Seat

So we just turned a blind eye to the sorry state of our chairs and prayed that they would hold up in the meantime, and that no one would get hurt chas v'shalom.

Who’s Behind The Wheel?

Bentzy's heart was heavy as he thought of the implications of his tiny careless move… Hashem, he pleaded, help me figure this out!

Flocking Together

Mynah birds are very good at adapting to new places and ousting the native bird populations. The crows and sparrows have all but disappeared since the mynah bird invasion of our neighborhood.

Coming Up From The Depths

I look up from time to time, my eyes focused in the same direction. Six kilometers distant is the Kotel, where people are praying, putting a note between the stones.

Friends To The End

Geula was not the same as it is now. There were so many shopkeepers that lived there. Some were religious, some not. But it was a community. We all were one. And Ruti and I would go everywhere together.


My mother always prayed they would get to their 50th anniversary. They were blessed to have celebrated their 60th anniversary, too. Their love was a perennial one, always there, year after year.

Decidedly Mixed Emotions

Instead of completing my online purchase within a few minutes once we arrived, I was dismayed to encounter any number of unfamiliar error messages, particularly the warning of potential credit card fraud.

Calling Out To G-d

Curiel has been researching his family tree for decades and has learned some astounding facts. There was a Rav Israel Ben Meir di Curiel, a Sage in Tzfat, who sat on the Beit Din in the 16th century along with Rav Yossef Caro. There were also 35 Jews named Curiel murdered in the Holocaust.

Only Hashem Is In Charge

When Mrs. Rosner was done with her account of the saga, I told her, Mrs. Rosner, my food is really good. I want you to keep whatever you took and enjoy it in good health! Just remember to heat it up before Shabbos as everything tastes better when it’s warm!

Walking Into A Revolution

My husband, Chaim, felt it was his obligation to create a Kiddush Hashem at every moment in his life. He felt strongly about dressing as a chareidi Jew wherever he went.

Chance Encounters

It was a wretched situation for my father, my mother and me – an only child – who had left my job to look after my mother; we had no idea where to turn, what to do.

Just Another Bris?!

He continued with his barrage of insults, which The Jewish Press surely would find unfit to print, and this was in front of the whole congregation. Thousands of men became silent, trying to understand what Reb Chaim did to deserve such treatment.

The Packed Suitcase

My childhood was filled with a tremendous amount of stress and abuse. By the time I was three years old, that stress had manifested in a physical illness, Crohn’s disease.

The Cycle Of Life, Revisited

His oldest daughter, aka my granddaughter, had given the bright orange rubber bracelet to him several days earlier, and not wishing to insult her, he was still wearing it. It had been distributed by Hatzalah and their number was printed prominently on it.

View From The Other Side

While, it’s very sad that so many people have to wait so long for their bashert, predominantly, it isn’t their fault. We try to find reasons why people aren’t married and tell them if only they tried this segulah, that event, that matchmaker, this person… they would be married.

A Rare Rosh Chodesh Bracha

During the day, except for the number which had been branded onto his arm, similar to what used to be done to cattle, no one would know that the smiling, sweet, hard-working Moshe had such a nightmarish past.

The Family Tefillin

Maybe the family had decided to obtain some other tefillin. He didn’t know. But he was sure that Hashem had guided his steps to just this spot to save his father’s tefillin which had obviously been discarded in error.

All Those Who Are Hungry, Let Them Enter And Eat

Avadim hayenu – we were slaves in Egypt. I looked around the table, wondering what our new Russian friends were thinking, if they were recalling their time as Jews in the modern slavery of the oppressive, antisemitic USSR.

The Shabbos Urn

The first Shabbat after we moved into our house, we decided to go to shul. This was not out of any religious fervor, more an acknowledgement of our new start, a new phase in our lives – and curiosity to see what the people were like.

Dreams Fulfilled

Mommie assumed that within three days’ time, I would forget what I had experienced, but through a series of different occurrences, I did, in fact move to Crown Heights, as a young married woman, with my dear husband, as well as my long-awaited kinderlach who are indeed brachas from the Rebbe!

Name That Door

I knew the exact address was one of three buildings. I would just look for this unique family name on those three buildings’ entrances and I would find where to go. But just at that moment my mind froze, and I couldn’t think what that unique name was.


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