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Sherri Mandell

Vayeira: Transforming Strangers Into Guests

November 14, 2016, by

We all know that the Jewish religion stresses the importance of guests, of hosting, of providing hospitality to strangers. What are Shabbat and the holidays (among other things) if not an opportunity to host?  When I became religious and started going to families as a guest I couldn’t believe the meals that were lavished on

Noach: Protest and Prayer

November 3, 2016, by

Language and the lack of it is important in this parsha. Noach is an almost silent Biblical character. He found favor in G-d’s eyes, yet few Biblical commentators praise him. He saved the world physically–but he didn’t ask for more. He didn’t  cry out to G-d to stop the destruction of the world, to ask

The GPS and the Chagim

October 10, 2016, by

Sometimes it takes a while to realize that you are lost. You think you are on the right path but it proves to be elusive. But know this: unlikely as it seems, you are still being guided. This August, my family and I thought that we were on the right road, the one to Chalkis,

Teshuva: Lessons of a broken ankle

September 27, 2016, by

It is Elul and I have fallen. Literally. They say no good deed goes unpunished, right? I have always hated that expression. It seems so unforgiving. And yet, this was a good deed. I was helping my friend Valerie prepare for her mother’s shloshim. Her mother died in a car accident in Nashville, Tennessee and

16 Beggars

March 17, 2006, by

Three years ago, on Koby’s 16th birthday our family went to the Kotel, the retaining wall that remains from the destruction of the temple in the second century. God promised the Jewish people that he will never allow the wall to be destroyed. It is the prayer of Jews every day that the temple will