Yael Zoldan


March 21, 2014, by

This article was featured in Jewish Action Fall 2009 Finally, the rush and tumble of preparations ceased and all was still. Even I was still. I gazed up at her, enchanted. Her dark velvet robe was the cloak of a queen, her hair hidden away in a turban of gold thread. Surely the tensions of the

Taking the Magic Back

March 19, 2009, by

When springtime comes I begin scowling at the insides of closets and the undersides of beds. “Pesach is coming,” I mutter to myself and sigh. “Pesach is coming,” I repeat, “and I have more work than one human being could possibly do.” Then I sigh again, theatrically. I don’t even notice my son, listening, until

Maybe Next Purim

February 19, 2009, by

Every year around this time I begin to look at my children appraisingly. I assess them, like a census taker for gender, height, weight and coloring. Then, armed only with a pen and a pad and the workings of my agitated mind, I sit alone in a room and think. I am thinking, of course,

Coloring in the Lines

November 20, 2008, by

My daughter, Atara, is five going on six, going on twenty. She sits at my kitchen table in her pink striped sweater, coloring endless pictures of hearts and rainbows and talks to me about life. Mostly, I am interested in listening because much of what she says comes as a big surprise to me. Her

Stay With Me

July 3, 2008, by

As a child, I was enchanted by my grandmother’s loveliness, her black hair, sapphire eyes and milky white skin. No makeup for her. I remember her only vanity: dyed eyelashes and a manicure to cover the nicotine stains on her fingers. “A lady should look like a lady,” she said. But her goodness and her

A Sacred Remembrance

June 5, 2008, by

On Shavuos she lit the candles. So many candles, melting into wax puddles in their flimsy silver tins. The small flames were a thin pale blue like the veins on the back of her hand. To me they were nameless and faceless, just empty heat and flickering light. But not to her. To her those

Flecked With Gold

May 1, 2008, by

Everything changed for me that year. It seemed like I a light went on and I suddenly saw things clearly. How cute my sister was, with her huge blue eyes and the missing front teeth. How charming my brother was, with his black hair and his broad, white smile. That was the year I looked

A Place to Call Home

April 3, 2008, by

When the realtor called right before Shavuot, I had a cheesecake in the oven and a five week old baby on my shoulder. She said she found the house for us and we needed to come out to New Jersey right now to look at it. I couldn’t go look at a house, I couldn’t

Digging For Nuts

March 13, 2008, by

It’s March now and the slushy snow is melting. The daylight lasts longer, and the air is beginning to mellow. I should be feeling hopeful and serene. Instead, I suddenly feel as though two crazy squirrels are racing around, digging for nuts in my head. I’ve nicknamed them Purim and Pesach. Affectionately. Purim is the

My Grandmother and the Ladies Auxiliary

January 24, 2008, by

So then she turns to me, her blue eyes faded, the petal soft skin of her cheeks, deeply lined. She smells like Oil of Olay lotion, the pink kind. In the overstuffed chair, she is tiny and her shoulders are bent with the weight of the years. The hands that once were busy are idle

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