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Ariela Davis

The Kate Middleton Effect

June 5, 2018, by

Search for Kate Middleton (despite the fact that this hasn’t been her name in 7 years) and you will find 27,800,000 queries on google. For some reason, there is tremendous public interest in the wife of Prince William. Is it because she will one day be the Queen (Consort) of England? Or is it because

The Janitor, the Rosh Yeshiva and a Lesson in Appreciation

May 31, 2018, by

There is a piece of marriage advice that was shared during one of the many kallah-training courses I took, that has always stuck with me (although I can’t say I always implement it with aplomb): A renowned Rosh Yeshiva, who spends his day full of acclaim for his brilliance but comes home to a screaming

United as Two

May 16, 2018, by

They were as different politically as two people could be.   They both came to shul each week, Stuart dressed in a dapper suit and bowtie, Andrew, in casual clothes. Stuart was robust and full of energy and opinions, which he liked to share in person and on Facebook with the most irreverent, colorful language,

Why I Write to Half-Empty Pews

May 9, 2018, by

When we moved to Charleston, we knew we were looking at a very different community than the large community of Houston, which we had just left (and certainly from the very large communities of the Five Towns and Skokie, where we came from). Among the many differences was that Jews in Charleston often do not

Yom HaZikaron, When You’re Far Away

April 18, 2018, by

They call it a Yom Kashe in Israel. A difficult day. Across the country, ceremonies are memorializing the stories of chayalim (soldiers) who lost their lives fighting for the state, and the victims of terror. The newspaper is replete with these stories, and moving videos stream across Whatsapp and other forms of social media. The

Bringing Tam to Our Table

March 27, 2018, by

I met a man a few years ago who had once been a well known student of a famed Torah scholar. I was shocked when I discovered that although he could quote much of the Torah he had once learned, he was no longer entirely observant. While the intellectual rigor of Torah still excited his

Slaves to Our Peers?

March 14, 2018, by

I am observing a class. The teacher is giving a familiar lesson before Pesach, namely, the four names of the holiday. Chag Ha’Aviv (holiday of the spring), Z’man Cheiruteinu (Holiday of Freedom), Chag HaMatzot (holiday of matza), Chag HaPesach (holiday of passing over/Paschal lamb). The kids unquestioningly write down the answers. Come to think of

Have We Made Purim Into a Holiday of Materialism?

February 21, 2018, by

It’s officially that time of the year when the P word has begun to enter our minds. Yes, most of you think I am referring to Pesach and that would apply, as well. For some reason, by Rosh Chodesh Adar, Kosher For Pesach food (in the case of Charleston, canned gefilte fish, matza and potato

How Do We Make Our Kids Love Shabbos? It Starts with Us.

February 8, 2018, by

Shabbos. The word connotes many wonderful memories from growing up: Going to shul with my father on Friday night; my mother’s fricassee; constructing blanket tents with my siblings. But in truth, it also brings back memories of looking at the clock, counting how many hours were left until it was over. I remember years when

Is Bar/Bat Mitzvah Really a Milestone?

January 25, 2018, by

This week is my oldest daughter’s bat mitzvah. As my husband is the rabbi of our shul, most of our congregation will be attending. Many of our congregants have attended bat mitzvahs in the greater community where girls lein or lead services but know that the daughter of the Orthodox rabbi will probably have a