Life

In Memoriam: Rabbi Abraham Avrech June 4, 1919 — March 15, 2014

March 17, 2014, by

This article was originally published on Seraphic Secret.   My beloved father, Rabbi Avraham Avrech, passed away on Saturday, Shabbat. He was 94 years old. The funeral is tomorrow morning. I will be sitting shiva for seven days. Seraphic Secret will be on hiatus until my shiva ends. Born in the town of Yanuv, Poland, my father came

Martha Stewart Judaism

March 13, 2014, by

In some Orthodox Jewish communities, almost everyone relates to their Judaism in a very similar way. Insular Chasidic communities are often the sort of place where everyone lives a very similar style of Jewish life and practices a very homogenous version of Judaism. Similarly, some Israeli settlements have somewhat uniform Jewish experiences within their communities.

Fixing Shiva

March 6, 2014, by

About six weeks ago, I had the unfortunate experience of being intimately involved in a unique shiva. A member of our community suddenly lost a four-month-old grandson. The father of the child is a friend and peer of mine. Shiva was observed in our neighborhood instead of the home of the parents. All of these

A Dream Comes True on an Israeli Ship

March 5, 2014, by

  The Israeli Defense Forces Blog has a story about how the IDF helped make a boy’s dream come true. Roey, a cancer patient at the Rambam Hospital in Haifa, always glimpsed navy vessels sailing on the Mediterranean Sea outside his hospital window. His wish was to command one of those massive ships and when

The Power of a Teacher

March 4, 2014, by

I remember his soft voice. The way he would lean over my desk and point out what I was doing wrong in a way that never felt judgmental or harsh.  Just a gentle reminder that I was on a longer journey and this was a step on the path. I never thought I’d like a

Seeing Miracles Every Day: Meet the Landys — Then and Now

March 3, 2014, by

The Landys may very well be the most conspicuous family in Rochester, New York. Anita Landy drives around town in a big white bus, custom made to carry her lively crew of five, in addition to three wheelchairs, a ventilator and a service dog named Magic. Nurses traipse in and out of their home 24/7,

Reflections on Being a Loser at Jewish Geography

March 3, 2014, by

“And tell me, where did you used to daven?” It was an innocent question, e-mailed by a stranger seeking my advice about something or other. As the e-mails flew between us, we discovered that we’d grown up in the same neighborhood. Small world, right? She followed up with the usual questions about my maiden name (mine

When It’s Not An Accident: Self-Injury Awareness Day

February 27, 2014, by

I recently received an email informing me that Saturday, March 1, is Self Injury Awareness Day. Never having heard of such a thing, I took to the interwebs and learned that, sure enough, it is in fact a thing. I’m sorry that such a day is necessary but it is, so perhaps we should take