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Blessings

Reflections on Charity

I was in the den, involved in a good book when I saw my daughter Ahuva walking into the kitchen and pouring a drink. When I heard the clanging of coins being rustled around in our loose change container, I knew that someone was at the door, asking for charity. Our kids know that, first … Read more

Reflections on The Pesach (Passover) Service

March 2010 In just two weeks, Jews from all over the world will be sitting down to the Pesach Seder, the festive meal that opens the Passover holiday. It is a culmination of weeks of preparation and anticipation. Everyone—young and old, religiously observant and secular—sits down at their holiday table, whether at a communal Seder … Read more

Reflections on Reverence

I love when my kids get to the age that they’re old enough to start learning some basic prayers and to recite the blessings before eating. It’s an awesome privilege. But it’s a challenge. After all, you’re teaching a child the joy of communicating directly with G-d on a personal level—You’re telling him that he … Read more

Reflections on Becoming Bar Mitzvah

Coming of age. Rites of passage. Somehow, to me this brings to mind images of a boy in a loincloth, holding a sword in one hand and a sack of grain in the other, going off into the woods to kill his first bear. Or someone breaking out a bottle of bubbling champagne and drinking … Read more

Reflections on Tu B’Shvat

I was driving into my community of Karnei Shomron last week and literally had to pull over at the glorious sight of bright red tulip blossoms cheerfully clustered around our main traffic circle. I knew that these were tulips donated by our Christian friends in Holland, and it made me smile when I realized what … Read more

Reflections on Songs in Israel

May 2009 On my way to work today, I heard the song that Israel sang in this year’s Eurovision contest, which took place this past week. It’s called “There Must Be Another Way” and it is sung by a popular Israeli singer and an Arab singer. Part of it is performed in Hebrew, part in … Read more

Reflections on Simchat Torah

October 2009 Two weeks ago we celebrated “Sukkot”- our beloved Feast of Tabernacles. But there’s a one day holiday tagged on to the tail-end of that week long festival, which I feel, sometimes gets lost in the shuffle. In Hebrew it’s called “Simchat Torah” and it means “Rejoicing with the Torah”. It follows the last … Read more

Reflections on the New Moon

November 2009   This past Shabbat I sat in synagogue, listening to the Blessing of the New Month, Kislev, which will begin tomorrow. “May it be Your will, our G-d and the G-d of our forefathers, that You inaugurate this month upon us for goodness and for blessing. May You give us long life—a life … Read more

Reflections on Prayers Upon Rising

February 2010 I lay in bed in the morning, trying to decide, through transparent eyelids, whether daylight has truly dawned or whether I have a few more minutes to burrow back under the covers. But then the alarm clock rings and all sense of illusion is gone and I sit up, groggily groping for my … Read more

Reflections on Rosh Hashanah

September 26, 2006 – Reflections on Rosh Hashanah I hosted seven people at my home for the two day Rosh Hashanah holidays. Add that to me, my husband and our seven kids, and we were quite a house full. Sixteen people to house, feed, and keep happy. The basement was set up with two beds … Read more