Thursday, June 23, 2016

The Sin of the Spies: Reprinted in Honor of My Father

Every year as we read the Torah portion, Shelach Lacha, which deals with the Sin of the Spies*, I am amazed from anew that Jews from all over the world hear the verses with their ears and not with their hearts.  They listen to the words of Joshua and Calev, “The Land that we passed through to spy, the Land is very, very good. If HaShem desires us, He will bring us to the Land, give to us a Land that flows with milk and honey” (Numbers, Chapter 14, verses 7 and 8). No matter how many times they hear this, many Jews living outside of Israel remain unmotivated to come to that Land that is figuratively flowing with milk and honey. Somehow, my husband and I were among those who were blessed to hear the significance of Shelach Lecha.  We moved to Israel and I am thankful that we did so.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

An open letter to The Women of the Wall:

When you look at the picture of me garbed as a traditionally Orthodox Jewish woman no doubt you think you have very little in common with me.  That, however, is a mistake. I share with you the love of my Jewishness and a desire to draw closer to the Almighty. I, too, am pulled to the Kotel and consider my weekly prayers there among the best of my conversations with my Maker.

Not only that, at one time I proudly read from a Torah scroll. It wasn’t at the Kotel but rather at the reform temple where I grew up. A child of the congregation I shocked the members when, as a teenager, I insisted on having a turn to hold and dance with the Torah on Simchat Torah, just like the men.

Thursday, June 9, 2016


courtesy of

Startled by the loud banging at her door in Moshav Yad Naftali Yael dropped her pins. She groaned as she looked at them scattered by her feet. Gathering them up would slow her down and she needed to have the dress finished for a ten o’clock pick-up. As the banging continued she abandoned the pins. The last thing she needed was for the children to wake up. That would slow her down even more. And her husband was out at an important meeting so he wouldn’t be able to help settle them down again. She half-ran to the door and as she opened it she gasped in alarm. There stood the rabbi, the nurse, and the local social worker, an ominous gathering. With one hand she clutched her heart; with the other she tried to slam the door closed, but the rabbi had already inserted his foot.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Rain in Iyar in Safed

Davidka Monument in Safed courtesy of

In our prayers we traditionally stop pleading for rain on the first day of Passover. There are cynics who claim this is because it almost never rains in Israel once the holiday is behind us. Those with more faith believe that the lack of rain is due to our absence of prayers for it. They insist that Israeli agriculture doesn’t need the precipitation once Pesach is over. Sometimes, though, there are aberrations with the laws of nature.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Only In Israel

This story is totally true. There are no exaggerations. And I witnessed it all.

It happened on the first day of Chol HaMoed* Pesach. My husband and I eagerly made our way to a small maternity hospital in Bnai Brak in order to meet our less than a day-old granddaughter.  We came without presents. There would be plenty of time for gifts once she and our daughter were safely home.

In Israel it’s usually impossible to enter a hospital without going through a security check and this place was no exception. Inside the guard shack the man working as sentry sat at a table next to the metal detector.
A security checkpoint courtesy of
He checked the visitors’ bags as their owners walked through the aluminum gate. We approached empty handed except for my purse and expected to move quickly. In front of us, though, there was a loud commotion.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Man Plans; G-d Laughs

In my opinion, every man, or woman as the case may be, needs to plan. Otherwise nothing would ever get done. However, while planning it’s important to remember that those plans will only come to fruition if HaShem wants them to. This past week I had that lesson hammered into my head over and over again.

It all began Sunday morning when I decided to skip my errands and leave Jerusalem early. I was motivated by the fact that I wanted to get to the Shilo clinic well before it closed at 1:30. Since I have an appointment scheduled for a routine ultrasound the following week I need to get a voucher from my health fund. My idea was once I had that voucher in hand I’d update the appointment. There’s nothing like being able to cross those necessary tests off my to-do list.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Remembrance Day

Tonight Remembrance Day for Israel’s fallen begins and I plan to go to the ceremony in the Shilo gym. I’ve learned my lesson. This year I indeed to take a full box of tissues with me. Last year I couldn’t even make it to the entrance without crying. By the time I sat down next to my daughter in the bleachers I was sobbing. For I knew that the difference of a couple of meters and a few seconds were what kept her for becoming a young widow* in our last war, Protective Edge.

Now that war is almost two years behind us. And still we have added so many more names to the roster of those we mourn, those murdered in terror attacks and those killed protecting us in battle. How do we keep going? How can we end Remembrance Day Wednesday night and immediately begin celebrating Independence Day with such happiness? Although not easy questions to answer I believe we get our strength from our Torah and our faith. With this in mind I decided to repost the article I wrote two years ago, several months before the kidnapping of Eyal, Gilad, and Naftali and the subsequent war, Protective Edge.
I Believe

My eyes hurt. They are swollen. It is not because of the allergy season although that doesn’t help. No, my eyes are puffy and sore because I cried last night. I cried a lot. It happens every year at the Remembrance Day Ceremony in the Shilo Gym. Every year I realize I did not bring enough tissues with me. Every year I am amazed anew that I still have tears left to cry.