Thoughts Category

2019: Beginnings

The trees are bare here in Baltimore. But in the land of Israel, coinciding with Tu B’Shevat, the almond trees begin to blossom ushering in the first sign of spring. In the book of Jeremiah, in his earliest prophecy, God asks Jeremiah what he envisions? He sees an almond branch in full bloom – the […]

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Va’y’hi – Blessings

Blessings. Va’y’hi is filled with them. As Jacob lies on his deathbed, Joseph brings him his sons, Ephraim and Menashe. Jacob blesses Joseph through his children, prophesying that both will be the progenitors of great descendants, but as is oft the case in the biblical narrative, the younger will be more eminent than the older. […]

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Chanukah: Our Religious Freedom to Touch the Jewish Soul

Chanukah approaches with December. We are readying our lives by buying candles and dreidels, dewaxing and polishing our Chanukiot, planning eight nights of gifts, grating our Latkes, looking up recipes for Ponchkes (Yiddish)/Sufganiot (Hebrew)/ Donuts, and planning festive celebrations and meals with friends. For us and our children Chanukah in this day and age is a […]

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Where is the Hand of God?

And we ask: Where’s the hand of God? …When Freddie Gray dies in police custody from a spinal cord injury. And we ask: Where’s the hand of God?… as the death toll in Nepal exceeds 4000, and the injury told beyond 7,500. And we ask: Where’s the hand of God?… as protestors become violent on […]

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The Real Knaidlach 

(Or so they were called in my family. Others call them Matzah Kleis – matzah matzah balls – whatever you call them: they are delicious!) I swore I was going to break the mold this year. I wasn’t gonna  make and roll them. But it is not Pesach until I have made my grandmother’s knaidlach […]

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The Haggadah as Metaphor

As Passover approaches, our minds turn to the Haggadah, the book of “retelling” our people’s mythical history, our experience of when we were slaves in Egypt. The Haggadah tells of our enslavement 400 years from the time of Joseph, the injustices that happened to us in servitude to Pharaoh, and of the miraculous events that […]

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Predicting the Future

In a few hours when I arrive in Australia my parents will await me in a coffee shop adjacent to the International Arrivals at Melbourne airport, with a “Skinny Flat White” in their hands to greet me off the plane. There will be big hugs. My Mum will ask if I remembered her Dior perfume […]

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Getting Out on the Right Side of the Bed

This Thanksgiving weekend I have been thinking a lot about thanks. It is my first Thanksgiving as a US Citizen for which I am enormously thankful after years of visas, green card, peppered with mixed immigration status. I am beyond blessed to have loved long-term friends who moved north around the same time as me, with […]

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All Beginnings Are Hard

“All beginnings are hard.” (Mekhilta Yitro BaChadoesh 2) With this thought I begin my personal professional blogging career. I have occasionally been blogging as a guest poster on Kol Isha, the Women’s Rabbinic Network blog for a while. But this new blog aims to be a personal conversation between you and me. In this age of new media, the […]

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