Dear Israel: I Love You, But I’m Losing You

February 7, 2014, by

Dear Israel, I love you.  With all my heart.  And yet, I am afraid we’re growing apart. I love you because you are the home of my parents.  They were born there.  My mother’s mother’s side was with you for generations.  You saved my mother’s father from the Holocaust.  You brought in my father’s Iranian

For a Black Chasid, Hate on Both Sides

February 6, 2014, by

What’s it like, being a black chasid? For Ben Faulding, it means racism on both sides of the block. “There is racism in every community and the Jewish community is no different,” said Faulding. “I hate to say that the Jewish community is racist but it is something that happens.” He gets comments from the

My Marathon Story

February 5, 2014, by

Last Sunday, I joined with Team Yachad to participate in the Miami Half-Marathon. While I was there, I met a man who was familiar with my writing from this very web site. (Gratifying though that was, any egotism it might have caused was offset by the fact that he was 15 years my senior and

The Self-Destruction Button (part II)

February 5, 2014, by

In part one of this article, we spoke about Sarah, our 55 year old with borderline medical issues who is overweight.  She repeatedly sabotages her progress, even though she is fully aware that her health will be better if she complies and that she will feel better too.  We mentioned the stages of change- precontemplation,

Convert Retrieves Her Soul from Cyberspace

February 5, 2014, by

In 1993, nearly twenty years after Shoshana Zakar converted to Judaism, she found out she wasn’t Jewish. Zakar had innocently posted a question to an online Jewish discussion group. The responses ultimately led her on a path that would dramatically change the lives of her and her family. Born in Spokane, Washington, Zakar didn’t have

Bestowing the Final Act of Kindness

February 5, 2014, by

It is called chesed shel emet—the truest, most selfless act of benevolence one Jew can do for another. Taking care of the physical and spiritual needs of the dead is a chesed without the slightest hope of reciprocity. But two women who regularly dedicate their mornings to performing taharot—the ritual preparation of the met (dead

Confessions of a BT Emigree

February 4, 2014, by

I was born in America, yet I consider myself a refugee. As a young adult, I fled the secular world for one truer to my soul. Although I am forever grateful for that decision, I sometimes feel like a woman without a country. No matter how hard I try to segue into frum culture, I

Secret to a Happy Marriage? Prepare for the Worst

February 3, 2014, by

Three Orthodox Union member congregations in St. Louis recently hosted a post-nuptial agreement signing. More than 40 couples signed halachic documents designed to prevent the wives from becoming agunot, chained women, in the event of divorce. “The St. Louis community is to be commended for raising awareness of the importance of both halachic pre-nuptial agreements,

God Loves Our Children, So Must We

February 3, 2014, by

The Nesivos Shalom teaches that in Mitzrayim, Hashem purposefully waited through our generations of slavery for us to finally arrive at our lowest possible spiritual and physical condition before referring to us as, “My firstborn son.” Why? He waited in order to prove to us for all time that He does not love us based