Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Another Story from the 1973 Yom Kippur War

Yom Kippur ended and Sukkot came and went. Still the war continued. At that time, my neighbor, Ofra, was already after her military service and in her second year of medical school at Rambam Hospital in Haifa. She found herself inducted into the civilian guard unit of the army. Discounting her medical training her commanding officer kept her at Rambam, which had become a military hospital, but only as a sentinel.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Why I Deleted a Comment

One of the nice things about having a blog is that I can read the reactions of its readers when they leave a comment. Most of the remarks are supportive and make me smile. Some, though, are offensive.  Recently, Mr. or Mrs. or Ms. Anonymous posted one of the latter. He/She didn’t refrain from signing his/her name because of shyness or fear of being overly exposed in cyberspace. No, the comment was unsigned because the writer is a coward. The statement was a tirade of anti-Semitic poison blaming the Jews for all the world’s evils and claiming we would be totally destroyed in the near future.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Yom Kippur 1973

courtesy of ou.org
Although I’d already been fasting for several years that Yom Kippur was my first Yom Kippur in an Orthodox synagogue. I really don’t remember if I found the Hebrew-only difficult or missed the shorter services I was used to. What I do remember, and will probably never forget, was the announcement the rabbi made right before Yizkor, the memorial service recited for deceased parents and other close relatives. Apparently the shul’s non-Jewish janitor had been listening to the radio and he’d informed the rabbi that the Arab states had made a surprise attack on Israel. Across the ocean the tiny Jewish homeland was at war on the holiest day of the year.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Losing Weight

courtesy of focusfitness.net 

“Do you want to play cards with me?”

That was the question my child asked one of our Shabbat guests many years ago. She, I’ll call her Bracha, considered his suggestion and shook her head. As she did so I seethed with annoyance. Bracha hadn’t gone to Friday night services and she wasn’t looking over the Torah portion. She didn’t want to nap nor did she ask me if I needed help getting the meal ready. Would it have been so difficult to take ten minutes or so to entertain one of my children?

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Like Every Year: Sensible Suggestions for High Holy Day Preparations (please share with new parents)


One of the saddest sounds, in my opinion, is that of a mother irritably shushing her toddler while in the synagogue for High Holiday services. Babies learn communication by gurgling, cooing, and laughing and this should not be inhibited. On the other hand, most women go to services to concentrate on their prayers. Why should they be distracted by adorable, sociable little beings? On Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur young mothers feel the need to pray with the community so they bring their children with them. Those youngsters make noise, other women are annoyed, the mothers impatiently quiet the children, the children decide the synagogue is not a welcoming place, and the mothers are not really able to pray. There has to be a better solution.

Monday, September 4, 2017

With the Help of HaShem

Man Plans and G-d Laughs
Many, myself included, glibly recite this Yiddish expression without giving the words much thought. This past week, though, I did think about them and I don’t like them at all. They seem to imply that there’s a Supreme Being who maliciously enjoys thwarting our dreams. 

Monday, August 28, 2017

Sometimes It’s Hard To Be So Far Away

          These are the words of Lisa, one of the characters in my new novel, Growing With My Cousin, which should be released this winter. She says them at her dinner table to her husband in Israel after telling him that her grandmother had just died in America. I no longer have a living grandmother and no one has just died but I totally understand Lisa’s emotions.