{{location.city}} {{location.region}} {{location.country}}
{{zmanim.engDateString}} / {{zmanim.hebDateString}} / {{zmanim.parsha_shabbos}}
~ {{formatTime(zmanim.sunrise)}} ~ {{formatTime(zmanim.sunset)}} Candles ~ Fri.{{formatTime(zmanim.candle_lighting_shabbos)}}

Barbara Bensoussan

From Jail to Judaism

August 19, 2009, by

Louis Ferrante’s Journey From the Mob to the Mesorah Many of us arrive at moments in our lives where circumstances oblige us to reinvent ourselves: the loss of a job, an empty nest, a family emergency. But there are very few of us who have reinvented ourselves as completely and profoundly as former Mafia star

Cupid’s Arrow: A Letter to My Daughter

February 11, 2009, by

My dearest daughter: Last night we had a problem. Not a horrible problem, not something that was your fault, and yet I know our reaction caught you by surprise. I think you still don’t understand why we thought there was a problem in the first place. So now I owe it to you to sit

The Toughest Job You’ll Ever Love: Mother’s Day Thoughts

May 8, 2008, by

“They make it look so easy,” my mother sighed, as we sat together in front of the TV set watching a figure skating competition. I was all of eight years old, and I watched with admiration as the sequined couples whirled and glided in seamless synchrony. “You know,” my mother felt compelled to point out

Seeing Double…and Other Ironies of Pesach

April 17, 2008, by

When Shakespeare wrote that April is the cruelest month, he sure knew what he was talking about. In New York, where I live, April showers have less to do with rain than with showers of bills. To begin with, April is the month the IRS expects us to battle with our tax forms (or at

Running Life’s Marathon

September 5, 2007, by

Every fall, those of us who live in New York are awash in media coverage of the New York City Marathon. Literally thousands of people enroll for this most self-punishing of activities, running twenty six miles nonstop (without anybody chasing you!) through the neighborhoods of New York. While running has never been a particularly Jewish

Of Falling Trees and Rising Hemlines

June 14, 2007, by

or, The Zen of Tznius Does anyone remember the old philosophical conundrum, “If a tree falls in a forest and nobody hears it, does it make a noise?” The point of this question is to get the listener to ask: is noise purely a human experience? Or does it possess a reality that exists independently

Flipped Over the Wig

February 15, 2007, by

Or: How I Came to Shun the Sheitel Like almost all Orthodox Jewish women I know, I’ve been covering my hair ever since I got married—that’s twenty years now, bli ayin hara (lit. without the evil eye, fig. and there should be many more years). Wearing snoods, hats, etc. around my neighborhood is common practice,

When Life Paths Cross Again

July 6, 2006, by

I had a lot of fun writing the article “Pass On Passover? Not On Your Life!” which appeared on on the Orthodox Union’s website, www.ou.org, shortly before Pesach this year. It was an opportunity for me to revel in nostalgia as I recalled what life was like back in fourth grade, when my friend Alan

Pass on Passover? Not On Your Life!

April 7, 2006, by

For most of the latter half of my brilliant public elementary school career in Levittown, Pa, Alan Schwartz and I were always the only Jewish kids in our class. He always had the most stars on the math quiz chart and I always had the most stars on the spelling quiz chart, and between all

The Disappearing Family Dinner

December 14, 2005, by

When I was growing up, my father used to walk in the door punctually at six o’clock, and not too long afterward, the whole family would sit down to a more or less civilized supper. My mother planned meals consisting of a protein, a vegetable and a starch; there was tea and dessert afterward. Everyone