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Yom Kippur

By: Sondra Oster Baras On Tuesday night and Wednesday, we will be observing Yom Kippur, otherwise known as the Day of Atonement, the holiest day of the year.  It is a time when Jews all over the world spend the day in fasting and prayer.  This year also marks the 45th anniversary of the Yom … Read more

As the School Year Comes to a Close – My baby and his bow-tie

We arrived at the party fifteen minutes early because he wouldn’t let us be late and he stood by the door greeting his friends and their parents as they walked in. I was amazed.  He is usually such a whirlwind, jumping off the walls, bumping into things and basically all over the place. But on that day there was nothing of that frenetic energy. The party started and he was amazing. Standing in the middle, the tallest in the class, he knew all the words to the songs and sang loud and clear. Actually, he was the loudest, and so off key! My husband wondered who Matan takes after but I knew right away – I laughed and told him that he is just like my grandfather.

Reflections on Leaving and Returning

July 2011 I just came home from being abroad for six days. The trip was my mother’s idea and it was an incredible one! My mother, my two sisters, Judy and Batya, and my brother-in-law Richie, live in America, all in the New York area, and my husband and I live in Israel. It’s hard. … Read more

Reflections on Kinnot

July 2010 Today is Tisha B’Av, a fast day which falls on the ninth day of the month of Av in the Hebrew calendar. It started last night after our final evening meal, which was relatively quiet and somber, reflecting the mood of the 25 hour period we were about to enter. Our Shabbat and … Read more

Thoughts on Yom Kippur – October 10, 2011

Just two days ago, on Saturday, Jews all over the world marked the holiest day of the year, Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. I wanted to share some thoughts with you that were part of my Yom Kippur experience this year. The fast began just before 5 pm on Friday. Clothed in white, our … Read more

People of the Book – A Tale of Two Cities

May 2011 Thousands of years ago, the people of Israel stood at the foot of Mount Sinai, and received the Torah… the word of G- d. “And these words… shall be on your heart. You shall teach them to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you … Read more

Har Bracha: Building and Growing

May 2010 Oodles of children scramble happily on the painted playgrounds and roll down the grassy slopes, their sweet voices echoing in the mountain air. Nearby, sprinklers water the vineyards and Yeshiva Bible students amble by, busily discussing points of Talmudic Law. This happy, thriving scene plays out on the breathtaking, windswept Har Bracha, The … Read more

Reflections on the Kaddish

January 2011 My neighbor and friend, Ofer, died suddenly and unexpectedly last week from flu complications. He was a good man and had touched many lives. The funeral Friday morning started outside our community synagogue, an institution which plays a very important role in the Amir family. The eulogies were beautiful and when they were … Read more

Reflections on Grace After Meals

You walk in the door from a long day at work, university, or even a bike ride around the  neighborhood. And you’re hungry. Your stomach is actually rumbling. The table is spread with a basket of fresh pita bread, some steamed vegetables, a huge platter of burgers and kabobs and a chilled pitcher of iced … Read more