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Balancing the Books (or, I Love Starbucks)

October 15, 2018, by

I love Starbucks. I can’t get enough of it. I have it maybe twice a week and, if the budget would bear it, I’d probably have it twice a day. And a few months ago, when people were losing their minds over which drinks were “recommended” and “not recommended” from a kashrus standpoint, my roasted-bean

Just the Facts

October 15, 2018, by

Social media is an interesting place. Ok, done; that’s all I wanted to say. Just kidding. I’m often intrigued to see how discussions go on Facebook, where it’s so easy to share perspectives on anything with a click of a button. Many people consistently offer consistent opinions on whatever topics matter to them, whether it’s

Enhance Your Shul with an Aravos Garden

October 9, 2018, by

Over the course of the past month and a half, Jews around the world took part in an action-packed journey.  Waking up early for Selichos prayers in the days leading up to Rosh Hashana; experiencing the awesome nature of Rosh Hashana itself for two full days; reconnecting with G-d during the Aseres Yemei Teshuvah (Ten Days

What Will You Contribute to the World?

October 8, 2018, by

Several weeks ago, I wrote about some of my struggles in attempting to balance shul-going with bearing, birthing, and/or caring for young children. I received feedback from, and was thrilled to engage in some wonderful, thoughtful discussions with, several readers who suggested that if only today’s mothers would accept the maternal role G-d gave us,

Yashar, Yashar

October 8, 2018, by

Everyone who has ever asked for directions in Israel knows that Israelis love to say yashar yashar, loosely translated as “keep going straight.” For me, it will always carry a much deeper meaning. It happened in the spring of 1980, on a warm Friday afternoon. Three of us yeshiva students at Yeshivat Shaalvim were traveling

Writing Exclusive

October 8, 2018, by

Get the truth and print it. – John S. Knight When I walked into the newsroom, I had to catch my breath.  Was I really here or was it a dream?  I felt like I was in a scene of one of my favorite movies, All The President’s Men, where two ace reporters, Bob Woodward and

Starting Over as Our Own Judges and Advocates

October 3, 2018, by

Not long ago, I was writing to a friend, sharing my embarrassment about an article I’d published that I thought could have been better – when I was interrupted by a rare phone call from another friend, who had been touched by that very article and wanted to discuss the topic further. Two days later,

Pearls from the Torah

October 3, 2018, by

Rabbi Dr. Eliyahu Safran, whose half century of accomplishments in Jewish education, the rabbinate, writing and kashrut are legendary, has just published a jam-packed collection of essays on the weekly Torah portion, entitled Something Old, Something New: Pearls from the Torah. Aside from being thick enough to provide loads of new and creative great divrei Torah

Women, Kids – and Men! – in Shul on Simchas Torah

September 20, 2018, by

Recently, I wrote about parents bringing kids to shul and trying to navigate the interplay of their own needs, their kids’ needs, and the needs of those around them. Predictably, reactions varied widely, ranging from “Yes! I relate to this so much! Every word!” to polite but firmly worded expositions on the reasons not to