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Yaffa Ganz

Second Thoughts: Sinks and the Messiah – Signs of the Times

July 30, 2008, by

What do sinks have to do with Mashiach? The answer is: a lot! Needless to say, the month of Av is not a time for undue flippancy. It is heavy with past calamities, dragging us back to Babylonia and Rome and the destruction of two Batei Mikdash. Mourning mixed with heat and minus swimming pools

Cast Away Vacation

July 10, 2008, by

My plans were ready. This year, as opposed to all previous years, I was going to get the most out of those two tantalizing summer months we wait for all year long. I knew just what I was going to do and when. Swimming two mornings a week to keep in shape. Swimming for fun

Second Thoughts: Educating in English – or Hebrew

June 19, 2008, by

Twice a week I have the privilege of meeting with two charming, intelligent, young Israeli females in my kitchen. The purpose of our meeting is to strengthen their English skills, hone their pronunciation so that it is comprehensible to English ears, and to socialize. The two young women are direct descendants, third generation – i.e.

Second Thoughts: Mother’s Day – Today and Every Day

May 8, 2008, by

Spring is in the air again. Pesach preparations are behind us and the world looks wide and promising. It’s the time when our thoughts turn to budding trees, flowers, warm breezes and… Mother’s Day. If anyone deserves to have a day, surely it’s the Mothers of the World. And spring, the time of new life,

Second Thoughts: Connections…Building Worlds

March 27, 2008, by

My mother had a friend, a very active, gracious woman who became a surrogate mom for me after my own mother passed away. This woman lived to the ripe old age of ninety-two. She remained beautiful, vibrant, full with the wisdom of years until the very end of her life. To listen to her was

Second Thoughts: Staying Cool

February 21, 2008, by

Older, Better, Smarter? Who says? Not my grandchildren who think that I have a lot to learn about the world out there. The world of the gan (playschool, kindergarten), the world of grammar school, high school, youth groups. The world of hikes, music, the army, and most of all, for the girls, the world of

A Bubby’s Task

November 29, 2007, by

After a lengthy argument that had no beginning and seemingly no end, a five year old grandson angrily pushed his four year old brother off a chair. The chair fell over and broke; the four year tumbled over too, banging his head on the floor and emitting a scream loud enough to wake the dead.

Keeping Time

September 13, 2007, by

Nothing is more important, nor more ephemeral, than time. There is no way to hold it, prolong it, save it, or push it off. It comes and goes as regularly and automatically as… well… as the cosmic clocks in the sky – earth forever circling the sun; moon dependably circling the earth. The expression to


October 19, 2006, by

SHIVIM PANIM LATORAH, said our Sages. There are seventy faces to the Torah, seventy ways to explain and understand; seventy paths to plumb the depths of G-d’s Divine Wisdom. And no matter where or when we open the Book anew, no matter how often we’ve read or learned it before, no matter if we are

School Daze

August 24, 2006, by

Every September I am reminded of a series of photographs in a family album which I dubbed “First Days”. They were all taken at the same spot outside our house as our daughter left the safe, protected confines of home and family for her very first day of kindergarten, first grade, high school and then