Tag: Judaism

The Inevitability of Hope and Change

The Inevitability of Hope and Change
I am standing beside my daughter’s bed, having a serious talk about school. She has no idea what her math homework is. She has no idea where her math homework is. She doesn’t pay attention in class, instead, she watches the students’ chats go by, which are silly and confusing. “One of the boys just... Read more »

Singing Diyenu in a Hospital in the Midst of a Plague

Singing Diyenu in a Hospital in the Midst of a Plague
This has been a hard month. Despite the difficulties, I am trying to be mindful. I am trying to be present. And because Passover begins in two days, I am expressing myself through pesadech trope. If they had done a successful surgery but I wasn’t permitted to stay in the hospital, dayenu. If I had been... Read more »

To the Man Who Threatened My Life at the Pharmacy, on the 75th Anniversary of the Liberation of Auschwitz

To the Man Who Threatened My Life at the Pharmacy, on the 75th Anniversary of the Liberation of Auschwitz
Hello, sir. You probably don’t remember me. I am probably one of a blur of vague, snowflake, millennial types. Or maybe I’m part of a blur of Jews, I don’t know. Maybe I’m just one of the many people you must encounter on your daily to-do that make you seethe with hatred and rage, I... Read more »
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Our Community is Our Miracle

Our Community is Our Miracle
This picture contains so many miracles. See, all this week, Rivka has been talking about spinning her dreidel and getting a nun, which is what she wants. If you know the rules to the game, you DON’T want a nun, you want a gimmel, or a hey. But Rivka wanted a nun, because nun stands... Read more »

An Atheist Tefilah

An Atheist Tefilah
I do not generally pray. I recite the Shabbat prayers each Friday, on holidays, Yarzheits. I say the Shehecheyanu on special occasions, I respond to news of poor health with a mi shebeirach, to deaths with a mourner’s kaddish. But when it really comes down to it, I do not pray. To me the liturgy... Read more »

Next Year is its own Resolution

Next Year is its own Resolution
There is a desperation that comes at the end of the year. All the things not yet accomplished, all the things to begin fresh with the new year. Lists of goals and resolutions and the abortive calculus of “better than” versus “working on” multiplied by “Things That Have Changed.” After Thanksgiving, it’s all a matter of... Read more »
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A Plea for 'Happy Holidays' during a Rise in American Antisemitism

A Plea for 'Happy Holidays' during a Rise in American Antisemitism
Last week, I stopped taking my children to the store. I’ll start again in a month or so, but for now, I am avoiding bringing them to any stores. Target, Walgreen’s, Jewel-Osco, Costco, anywhere that a family of five might regularly shop. It’s the only way I know to protect them from Christmas Creep. You... Read more »

Yinzer's Kaddish

Yinzer's Kaddish
I was born in Pittsburgh. My father was a graduate student at Carnegie Mellon, and my family was Jewish. We lived on Shadyside, in Squirrel Hill. We lived about a mile away from Tree of Life, and we attended a different Conservative congregation- one slightly closer to home. No doubt I found myself in the... Read more »

Hot Dogs, Birthdays, and Life's Big Questions

Hot Dogs, Birthdays, and Life's Big Questions
Yesterday was my husband’s thirty-sixth birthday. He has lived a third of his life knowing he has brain cancer. At some point in all of our lives, we have an existential crisis. A moment where we wake up in the morning and say to ourselves, “I’m going to die. One day, I’m going to be... Read more »
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Using Privilege To Bend the Moral Arc of the Universe Towards Justice

Using Privilege To Bend the Moral Arc of the Universe Towards Justice
On Sunday, I left my children behind. It felt like an absurdly privileged thing to do, to willfully drive away from my children, cross hundreds of miles, knowing I could call them at any time. That I could skype with them each evening before they went to bed. Knowing they were with family, that they were... Read more »