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Debra B. Darvick

Making the World Safe for Pastry

March 1, 2007, by

The story of Valerie Peckler The Purim story is the first story of the Bible that deals in a modern ambiguity – disaster is averted, things work out in the end, but God is not explicitly in the text. There are no showy miracles in the Book of Esther – no splitting seas, no walls

No, Virginia, Judah Maccabee Doesn’t Do Presents

December 14, 2006, by

Only adults of a certain age can remember when department stores waited until after Thanksgiving to put up their Christmas displays. Not so today. Not in the land of CalendarWarp where Halloween comes in August, Easter arrives in February (mid-month, two days after the Valentine candy, which has been displayed long before Ground Hog Day,

Cutting the Cord

November 9, 2006, by

the story of Marcia Ferstenfeld As my daughter grew close to delivering our first grandchild, it became important to have her and her husband stay with us over Shabbos. If you’re not part of the observant community this isn’t an issue. But if you are, as she is and as I and my husband have

Rain at the Proper Season

October 12, 2006, by

Sometime during my son’s first year, I wrote in my journal that the worst thing about being a mother was that there were no pay raises, no performance reviews. I had no idea whether I was doing a good job or not or whether the end product would ultimately be something to write home about. I

Mortal Sin or Mortal Chet?

September 20, 2006, by

It’s pretty instructive to note that the English word sin derives from the Proto-Indo-European word fragment, es, meaning to be. The Christian notion linking sin with our very essence as human beings couldn’t be farther from the Jewish understanding of the nature of sin. The phrases “born sinner” and “original sin” have no place in

Reflections on the New Year

September 14, 2006, by

For some Jews, the merest whiff of a roasting brisket or simmering chicken can evoke a flood of High Holiday memories. For me, it’s not brisket or chicken, or even the spicy aroma of a fresh-baked honey cake. Odd as it may seem, my magic key to the past is the sweetly acrid smell of