Life

A Magical Jewish YA Novel — Almost as Magical as Its Author

July 21, 2015, by

Mystery lurking behind every corner. An ancient city full of secrets. A mystical stone that imbues magical powers into a special little boy. It sounds like the opening of the next New York Times bestseller for young adults. In fact, these are the elements combined with a strong foundation in ancient Jewish texts, that make

Keeping the Weight Off During Summer Vacation

July 16, 2015, by

Adina has been a long time client who is always watching her weight very carefully.  Even during the chagim, she holds her own and barely gains weight.  But Adina has one time of year that is truly her downfall when it comes to keeping her weight in a normal range, and that is the summer

In Defense of Hate and Stupidity

July 15, 2015, by

Last week, there were two major victories over intolerance: the South Carolina legislature voted to remove the Confederate flag from the statehouse grounds and a federal court upheld a decision by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Trial and Appeal Board canceling the Washington Redskins’ protection on six trademarks. I applaud both decisions conceptually but my

Making Aliyah? Bring Ziplocs

July 15, 2015, by

Bring Ziplocs. And a plethora of patience, a resevoir of resilience, a serious sense of humor. And of course, proper documentation. Bring your old yearbooks, your favorite face cream, some good English books. Bring sturdy backpacks (but not the kind with wheels on them) and sharpies and pens, but not other school supplies because they are very specific about

Sinat Chinam: Teaching Your Children To Love Their Siblings

July 14, 2015, by

  It is the time of year we are reminded of the sin that destroyed the Second Temple: sinat chinam, baseless hatred of our fellow Jew. It is during these days that we are asked to focus on achdut (unity), shalom (peace) and v’ahavta l’reicha komocha (loving our neighbor). We all feel compelled to do something,

You’ve Been Saying Bli Neder All Wrong

July 14, 2015, by

I. No Vow A common feature of Orthodox speech is the phrase “Bli Neder,” a disclaimer that the speaker does not intend to vow. We are careful not to invoke a biblical oath in our promises because if we fail to fulfill the promise completely, we may violate a prohibition. While we certainly intend to

Considering Aliyah? Some Tips from the Pros

July 14, 2015, by

Aliyah is in the air. Literally. On Tuesday, Nefesh B’Nefesh brought 221 new olim to their new homes in the Jewish homeland. The 53rd Nefesh B’Nefesh charter flight included 32 families, 95 children, 53 singles, and 12 IDF Lone Soldiers ready to make Aliyah. “Am I officially Israeli when I get on the plane at

JTA Op-Ed: Stop BDS By Supporting Jewish Youth Trips to Israel

July 14, 2015, by

And we couldn’t agree more. Sociologist David Bryfman and Steven M. Cohen write in the JTA that the recent investment in combating the scourge of BDS should also include elements of sending Jewish teenagers on Israel summer programs. The two cite their own work on The Anne Samson Jerusalem Journey, where teens who attended the program

Ask Aviva: Roller Coaster of Love

July 14, 2015, by

Dear Aviva, I don’t know what to make of my marriage. It seems bipolar! When it’s good, it’s unbelievably amazing. When it’s bad, it gets ugly and feels like Gehinom. I don’t think this is normal… What should I do? -Roller Coaster Ride Dear Roller Coaster Ride, Oy, this doesn’t sound like a fun ride.

The Wise Zeide: Against the Urgency of Now

July 14, 2015, by

But Zaide made us laugh, Zaide made us sing… – My Zaidy – by Moshe Yess What is the role of a wise, Jewish leader in addressing the wants expressed by his generation? What is his role in communicating the eternal values of our people, while convincing those who come to him with the demands