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Shiva Call Anxiety

July 10, 2018, by

My friend’s father passed away recently. She is an incredibly outgoing and well-loved person who is approachable and easy to talk to and despite this, some expressed discomfort in reaching out. Both in my role as Rebbetzin and unfortunately in the cases of when my friends and husband lost a parent, I’ve seen many such

Our Journey to Judaism Part IV: Where I Was and Where I am

July 10, 2018, by

To read the first three parts of Alexandra’s story, click the links below. A question I am often asked when I share the story of my father’s conversion to Orthodoxy which brought our family to Torah observance is how I navigated the lifestyle change. Was I happy my father decided to convert? How did I

Tov L’hodos: The Power of Song

July 9, 2018, by

Music is great for stirring up memories and all sorts of other emotions. Ever since my oldest was a baby, I’ve relied on my repertoire of slow seudah shlishit songs as lullabies, adding an element of personal nostalgia to my kids’ bedtime routines. I was especially pleased when I used to find my son absent-mindedly

Our Journey to Judaism Part III: A New Family is Born

July 5, 2018, by

My father, a non-Jew fascinated by Judaism, started attending classes at Beth Jacob, the Orthodox shul in Atlanta, Georgia. He liked how observance was part of everyday life with the Orthodox. Classes led to Shabbos morning davening. He soon discovered the parking lot was closed-off, so he would park down the street and walk the

Rifts for a Reason: When We’re Too Hurt to Forgive

July 5, 2018, by

A friend told me this week that she plans to sever her relationship with her sister, a relationship which she feels has become toxic. While I understand why she is taking this course of action and don’t know that she’s wrong, the conversation left a pang. Maybe because I’ve seen, both in personal relationships and

Choosing Holiness

July 3, 2018, by

Recently, I wrote about the importance of having a variety of people around from whom to learn. I joked to friends that it was just a cover to allow me to complain about people in my “village” teaching my kids things I don’t want them to, but I did also mean it. To prove my

Our Journey to Judaism Part II: From St. James to Santa Fe

June 28, 2018, by

Part One My non-Jewish father and my Jewish mother agreed that I was a Jew, but how would they raise me as one? For parents with strong Jewish identities who understand that Jewish education is the key to Jewish continuity, the question of how to raise a Jewish child is not so difficult. But my

Bar Kamtza – Victim or Villain?

June 25, 2018, by

As the Three Weeks begin and Tisha b’Av approaches, we focus a lot on the idea of sinas chinam, baseless hatred, which the Talmud in Yoma (9b) cites as the reason the second Temple was destroyed. (Other sources in the Talmud attribute the destruction to different reasons, particularly Shabbos 119b and Baba Metzia 30b, but

Slouch of a Husband

June 25, 2018, by

Two weeks ago, the man who was reading the announcements at the shul we were visiting decided to have some fun: As he read through the various upcoming classes, he announced an upcoming women’s Seudah Shlishit with a well-known speaker who would speak about the following topic: “How to effect positive change in your slouch