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Sarah Rudolph

Sarah C. Rudolph is a Jewish educator and freelance writer. She has been sharing her passion for Jewish texts of all kinds for over 15 years, with students of all ages. Sarah's essays have been published in a variety of internet and print media, including Times of Israel, Kveller, Jewish Action, The Lehrhaus, TorahMusings, and more. Sarah lives in Cleveland with her husband and four children, but is privileged to learn online with students all over the world through www.TorahTutors.org and www.WebYeshiva.org She is also Editor-At-Large at Deracheha: womenandmitzvot.org.

When Bad Ideas Happen to Good People

January 8, 2019, by

I’ve long had a soft spot for Rav Ovadia Seforno’s commentary (okay, for many commentaries; it’s my thing) – in particular, his perspective on the story of Yosef and his brothers, which I happened to get to teach recently. Little-known fact, unless someone corrects me: Seforno (15th-16th centuries, Italy) is the originator of the idea

So Why Risk Exile?

January 2, 2019, by

Last week, I shared some of the fears that go along with writing for public consumption – such as the possibility of being misunderstood, maybe even with disastrous results – but in the interests of space, I left out an important element of the topic: Why do it, if it’s so fraught with danger? One

Am I Exiled Yet?

December 26, 2018, by

It’s been about a year since I first submitted an article – which turned out to be two, because yes, I tend to write at great length – to OU Life. It wasn’t the first time I published online, but did precipitate a particularly prolific period of public ponderings. (I don’t always alliterate, but when I

Yaakov Could Complain, Maybe

December 19, 2018, by

A friend once took a poll on Facebook about how people use social media – primarily, whether they share more positivity or negativity. A large number of the responses, as I recall, were along the lines of “There’s enough negativity in the world; I’d rather spread positive thinking and inspiration!” Not me, I said. My

Accidents of Fate?

December 11, 2018, by

Thank G-d. Recently, I was awakened from an extremely brief nap by a loud noise. I was in the driver’s seat, coasting along Interstate 80 the Sunday after Thanksgiving, and I fell asleep and hit the car in front of us. The sound of the impact woke me. Thank G-d. It could have been so

The Tooth Fairy-Chanukah Connection

December 3, 2018, by

Somehow, this time of year is reminding me of two conversations I had with my oldest when she was much younger. They might not seem to be connected, but I think they are. (I share them here with her permission.) One conversation occurred right around when she lost her first tooth, and it’s brought to

Giving Thanks for Thanksgiving

November 19, 2018, by

One day last week, sitting in Starbucks with my laptop, I started to notice the background music was different from usual. As song after song reflected the same theme, I wondered if I should check my calendar – wasn’t it too early to start this playlist? Being Jewish in America during the, ahem, “holiday season,”

The End-All and Be-All of Jewish Womanhood?

November 14, 2018, by

“I’m supposed to want to get married and have kids.” “What other way is there for a woman to be holy and useful in the frum world? I feel like a total failure and that there is just so much wrong with me.” Did that make you cringe? I hope so. I cringed. I was,

Beyond Labels

November 7, 2018, by

One of my children was recently introduced to the terms “introvert” and “extrovert.” I am both grateful and kind of annoyed with the person who introduced them into this child’s lexicon. (Yes, I am awkwardly avoiding gendered pronouns, to protect the privacy of the child in question. I might have to resort to he/she.) On

The Blame Game

October 31, 2018, by

One of my favorite days as a high school teacher was the one on which I asked my 9th graders who was to blame for the sin of eating from the Tree of Knowledge. Their answers filled the board in a complicated array of overlapping arguments, stretching even my extensive collection of colored dry-erase markers