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Reflections on Reverence

I love when my kids get to the age that they’re old enough to start learning some basic prayers and to recite the blessings before eating. It’s an awesome privilege. But it’s a challenge. After all, you’re teaching a child the joy of communicating directly with G-d on a personal level—You’re telling him that he […]

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Reflections on Shavuot

I told myself I would start my diet after the Shavuot holiday, but it’s taken a week to finish the last few leftover pieces of cheesy lasagna and rich noodle pudding. And just last night, I took a spoon and scraped out the last few creamy crumbs of our Shavuot cheesecake from the pan in […]

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Reflections on Getting Married

From the time Jewish children are young, it is instilled in them, through their parents, their teachers, their spiritual leaders, that one of the highest forms of service to G-d is getting married and having children. In the beginning of the Bible, when G-d finishes his miraculous Creation, He looks upon his beautiful world and […]

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Reflections on Prayer

School started a few weeks ago in Israel. On the first day, we don’t yet have the children’s schedules, so when I packed the boys’ knapsacks, I just put in a fully stocked pencil case, a sandwich and a water bottle. I left all of the new text books and workbooks at home until further […]

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VaYigash (And He (Judah) Approached) – Genesis 44:18 – 47:27

This week’s portion begins with the most dramatic speech in the Bible — Judah’s plea to Joseph to save his brother Benjamin. “And Joseph could not restrain himself before all that stood by him . . . And he wept aloud . . . And Joseph said to his brothers, ‘I am Joseph, is my father still alive?'” (Genesis 45:1-3).

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Reflections on Head Coverings

September 2009   The other night Kuti and I came home to find my daughter Ahuva in the den, spools of colorful crocheting thread spilled next to her on the couch. Earlier that evening, before we left, Ahuva had just finished the last stitch on a beautiful blue kippah, trimmed with a few rows of […]

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Vaera (And I Appeared) – Exodus 6:2 – 9:35

Vaera (And I Appeared) – Exodus 6:2 – 9:35 This week’s portion begins with Exodus Chapter Six verse 2. G-d speaks to Moses and explains to him that He is the G-d that appeared to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, that He hears the suffering of the Children of Israel and that He will keep His […]

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Reflections on Becoming Bar Mitzvah

Coming of age. Rites of passage. Somehow, to me this brings to mind images of a boy in a loincloth, holding a sword in one hand and a sack of grain in the other, going off into the woods to kill his first bear. Or someone breaking out a bottle of bubbling champagne and drinking […]

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Reflections on War

So now we have a cease-fire. Yet even as I watched Olmert and Barak on T.V., announcing our one-sided truce, the media split the screen and showed Ashkelon and Beer Sheva getting hit with rockets! And all day Sunday, rockets continued to land in our Southern cities. Time will tell how effective this agreement will […]

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Reflections on Tu B’Shvat

I was driving into my community of Karnei Shomron last week and literally had to pull over at the glorious sight of bright red tulip blossoms cheerfully clustered around our main traffic circle. I knew that these were tulips donated by our Christian friends in Holland, and it made me smile when I realized what […]

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