Just Because

Today, when we are about to read Parshat Toldot talking among other things about a family, all I can think of is the prospect of it – a fleeting tiny breath of fresh air. These days my heart races from heaven to hell and back twenty times a day. Being used to misery in my…

וַיֵּרָא? Do I see or do I just Imagine?

Reading this Parshah – Parshat Vayeira, I kept thinking about myself. After so many struggles and so much pain, do I even have the ability to “lift [my] eyes” and really “see” – לראות – רואה? In this Parshah we have characters who see, and those who, clearly, do not: כז  וַיַּשְׁכֵּם אַבְרָהָם, בַּבֹּקֶר:  אֶל-הַמָּקוֹם–אֲשֶׁר-עָמַד שָׁם, אֶת-פְּנֵי יְהוָה….

יְשַׁעְיָהוּ – Haftarah

This chapter of יְשַׁעְיָהוּ – Isaiah looks like a song to me. A song of promise that we need right now so desperately. Does it always seem that times are as difficult as they can be, or they are, indeed, more challenging than before? I suppose that this is not a politically correct chapter mentioning women…

Women’s Simchat Torah

Simchat Torah in my shul is pretty happy with lots of dancing on the ground floor, and lots of women watching from above. Normally, this arrangement is fine with me. I, actually like to be on the second floor, where on a regular Shabbat we don’t have many women, and I can see and hear…

Of Life and Death

Any Holiday Shabbat is hard for me. Shabbat during Yamim Noraim is harder. This is the time when I think of my life many years ago, the mistakes I made, the wrong decisions, and finally, my assumptions that these somehow paved the way to the death of the person I loved the most. By now,…

Still Thinking about Pardes?!

Just some ranting: This year’s program was a bit different. Firstly, it was bigger than the ones I attended before. It was also much more diverse. People came, of course, from the States and England as they always come, but this year there was a relatively large group of youngsters from France, one lady from…

Quick Meals for Shabbat

This past Shabbat I was not in the mood for a lot of food – too hot and humid, and no desire to spend much time in the kitchen. The dishes I made (only two) took me all of less than 15 minutes to prep and about 25-30 minutes total in the oven. Since my…

About the Shuk – Again

Did you know that Rosh ha-Shana is only a month away? The thought dawned on me during my Shabbat rest. As I started going through my multiple collection of recipes to see which ones I can incorporate Simanim into, I found an old article about the cute cafe we stumbled upon a couple of years…

Life after Pardes in Jerusalem

Well, every good thing comes to an end, and I am firmly settled back in the land of the USA, the city of New York, the supposed “center of the world” or so it deems itself. For me, of course, this phrase does not ring true. The only real center of the world is Jerusalem,…

First Week in Israel

Technically, this is my second week. I arrived, exhausted after a long layover in Europe and a few hours that took me to get to Tzfat from Ben Gurion, Thursday. Having been met by my friend, a jewelry designer, whom I didn’t see since 1994, I was clearly ready to crash, but happy to see…

Memphis

So for the last few days, I’ve spent my time at the event my organization holds every two years on the border of three states, Tennessee, Arkansas and Mississippi. Apparently, the bridge that I saw every day from the Convention Center window marks the border of two of them going along the mighty Mississippi river. What can I…

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“Love is when the other person’s happiness is more important than your own.” H. Jackson Brown, Jr.       This is the Parshah that among other things, is speaking about the observance of Shabbat: ב  דַּבֵּר אֶל-בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל, וְאָמַרְתָּ אֲלֵהֶם, מוֹעֲדֵי יְהוָה, אֲשֶׁר-תִּקְרְאוּ אֹתָם מִקְרָאֵי קֹדֶשׁ–אֵלֶּה הֵם, מוֹעֲדָי. 2 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto…