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Yael Mermelstein


September 30, 2009, by

“Did I tell you what happened to me on Erev Sukkot?” my friend Atara asks me. We sit in her kitchen as she spices her salmon. Our children play outside in the Sukkah. Blessed Chol Hamoed. “No. Tell me,” I say. So she does. *** Erev Sukkot. Atara poured apple cake batter into a flimsy

Happiness: When You Have Lost Everything

May 13, 2009, by

I recently bumped into one of my father’s colleagues. Approaching the age of retirement, he clearly had a lot on his mind due to the latest swing of the fiscal pendulum. This is the story he shared with me. “When my wife and I were younger I was earning by the buckets,” he said. “I

The Anatomy of Giving

March 26, 2009, by

I live in an Israeli community where a vast segment of the population lives beneath the poverty line. Few people own vehicles and necessities are a struggle for many. And yet it is a city that, per capita, donates copious sums of money to charity. On Friday afternoons, instead of hearing the tinkle of the

Moving Out

July 12, 2006, by

My husband walks in this afternoon to find me sitting on the couch, eyes staring straight at the cheerless wall opposite me, burnished with tears. “What’s wrong?” he asks. Concern, but not alarm (women can get this way for no reason at all.) “She’s leaving,” I respond. ‘Who is leaving?” he asks, pulling teeth. “Sarah.”