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Life

Six for Six : How the World Changed in Six Days

May 21, 2020, by

The actual state of Israel was established 72 years ago in 1948. However, the modern state of Israel as we know it, was launched in 1967. The six-day war was so revolutionary and so transformative, that in many ways, it was more groundbreaking than 1948. Thousands of years ago, G-d created our natural world in

An Open Letter From the Bottom of My Heart

May 21, 2020, by

To my dear, precious, and sacred Synagogue: For the last ten weeks I have missed you so. I have longed to be together with our shared friends, united in prayer in your sanctuary, joined in learning in your Beis Medrash, celebrating beautiful simchas in your social hall. I have yearned to bring our children to

Lone Johannesburg minyan, in old age home, names babies, says Kaddish for 1,200

April 30, 2020, by

Every day for years, a tight-knit group of 12-15 men has gathered for morning prayers at the red-carpeted, oak wood-furnished synagogue in their Sandringham Gardens residence for the Jewish elderly in Johannesburg. Since the advent of COVID-19, however, their prayers have taken on an additional resonance. With Sandringham Gardens having been locked down early, and

Empty Cemeteries and Jewish Sovereignty

April 29, 2020, by

I just returned from the Gush Etzion cemetery having attended a very unusual Yom Hazikaron ceremony. It was a discouraging but also a triumphant experience. Let me explain. My family often refers to me as a crybaby¬-and they are right. When I witness an emotionally poignant situation, I find it difficult to suppress my tears.

Just Hang on a Little Bit Longer

A new kind of schedule or rhythm is emerging for our children and for us. Children are Zoom-ing through learning. I sincerely hope that children of all ages with disabilities and/or special needs have the proper support to maximize their growth during this unprecedented time. Yet a disquiet pervades. It is ubiquitous. It is in

Creative Writing Through Corona

April 23, 2020, by

I have been teaching Creative Writing, in both English and Hebrew, for more than thirty years. I’ve taught children as young as nine and adults up to the age of 95. i have published many of the student work in booklets and some of the students have had their works featured in regional student books

A COVID-19 Lesson from Shwekey

April 1, 2020, by

One need only watch Shwekey’s video to his song “Lo Yaavod” to be awakened to the reality of what’s happening now. In the video, there is a screening machine with titles on top of it. Slowly, different types of Jews start to pass through the screen with the monitor on top identifying them; Modern Orthodox,

Reclaiming the Soul of Shabbat in Quarantine

March 26, 2020, by

One of the most striking things that I have heard from students and families about the first Shabbat under quarantine has been the extent to which so many people created a much “more spiritual Shabbat” than the one they were used to. This phenomenon points to a number of lessons that we can use going

Purim, the Holocaust and the State of Israel

March 2, 2020, by

The Purim miracle was a “milestone moment” in Jewish History as a nation, faced with almost certain annihilation, was rescued by Divine intervention. Unlike the Exodus from Egypt, the Purim experience unfolded without overt Divine involvement. It reminded us that G-d always manages history – sometimes in a manifest fashion while other times ‘behind the