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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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Reflections on Yom HaShoah

April 2009 Today is Yom HaShoah- Holocaust Memorial Day. It started last night at sundown when a siren blew. The siren blew again this morning at 11 A.M. All over the country, radio stations broadcast a minute long siren, both at night and in the morning. Schools, municipalities and people in their homes, tune their […]

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Reflections on Songs in Israel

May 2009   On my way to work today, I heard the song that Israel sang in this year’s Eurovision contest, which took place this past week. It’s called “There Must Be Another Way” and it is sung by a popular Israeli singer and an Arab singer. Part of it is performed in Hebrew, part […]

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Reflections on Simchat Torah

October 2009   Two weeks ago we celebrated “Sukkot”- our beloved Feast of Tabernacles. But there’s a one day holiday tagged on to the tail-end of that week long festival, which I feel, sometimes gets lost in the shuffle. In Hebrew it’s called “Simchat Torah” and it means “Rejoicing with the Torah”. It follows the […]

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