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Debbie Shapiro

Tehillim K’neged Tillim

May 4, 2011, by

I’m taking a course on Yerushalayim – its history, its people, and, of course, its sites. Today, as part of our studies about the War of Liberation, we toured Har Adar, Latrun and ultimately the Burma road, to see, first hand, how the Palmach, and later on, the newly formed IDF, literally gave up their

The Ultimate Plot

March 16, 2011, by

The Megillah is the ultimate Great Plot. Really. It has all the ingredients of The Good Novel – suspense, treachery, and the intervention of a Hidden Hand — never mentioned, but always felt, behind the curtain, pulling the puppet strings. Imagine the Jews of Shushan as they watched the political situation grow more and more

A Stubborn People

March 2, 2011, by

It was a cold, icy night, raining, as the saying goes, cats and dogs. Until that morning, the Jerusalem weather had been warm and spring like, and no one, including myself was really prepared for this sudden downpour. Just a few hours before, there had been vague hints of spring, but they had not materialized.

Stillness of the Night

January 19, 2011, by

I love my city. It calls to me; beckons to me. And because I love it so much and am so curious about its history, I decided to enroll in an intense one year course sponsored by Beth Jacob Seminary in conjunction with the Jerusalem Municipality, to become a Jerusalem tour guide. And that is

To Give – With a Flourish

October 28, 2010, by

WRITTEN IN MEMORY OF DORIS LEVINE, SALHA BAT ELIYAHU My father’s second wife, Doris Levine, passed away this morning. She was eighty-nine years young. Although she entered my life after I was already married and busy raising my own children, during the over thirty five years that she was part of our family, I grew

The Year of the Flying Sukkah

October 6, 2008, by

This story took place close to a decade ago. Although it’s about a flying Sukkah, it really began about a week before the holiday, when the stores throughout Jerusalem were selling a new type of Schach that could be used over and over again. Their advertisement ditty, “U’b’Sukkaseinu…” played to a catch tune, blared throughout

Thirteen Glimpses Into Love

October 11, 2007, by

Here are thirteen glimpses at Israel, glimmers of what I love about living in the only place I will ever feel truly at home– Israel. 1. As I take my morning walk, I love watching the men rush to shul, their tallis and tefillin held securely under their arm. One morning, I stopped at the

Rachem (Have Mercy)

January 18, 2007, by

“Rochela has it in the femur. The doctors had already given up hope. They’re trying an experimental medicine. It seems to be working, thank God.” I was in a taxi, listening to Chaiyanu’s dedicated director of volunteers describe the children I would meet that evening. We were on our way to a private concert, to

A Near Miss

November 22, 2006, by

Today, something happened that made me realize the importance of not putting off saying “Thank you.” The story really begins close to forty years ago, when I was a teenager traveling to Eretz Yisrael for the first time. Short on money, I booked an extremely inexpensive flight from my hometown, San Francisco, California to London,

The Housewarming Party

October 26, 2006, by

Moving into a new apartment is never easy. Therefore, when, over twenty two years ago, we moved into our home just a few days after Sukkot, I was, to put it mildly, absolutely exhausted. It was such a deep, all-encompassing fatigue that it had crept into my bones, bringing aches and pains to body parts