Recently, my children reveled in a long-awaited snow day. While my teenage sons occupied themselves with homework and sledding, I escaped the winter blast to watch a few episodes of the Israeli television series, Shtisel, now available on Netflix.
Rationalizing that I was also folding the laundry, I sat at the edge of my bed transfixed by the lives of members of the fictional, ultra-Orthodox Shtisel family. Although I had lived in Jerusalem intermittently in the 1980s and 1990s, I had never been particularly curious about the...Read More
As we prepare to celebrate Purim, a festival of merriment and joy, many Jews will be celebrating by reading from the M’gillah (Book of Esther), wearing costumes, giving gifts, and enjoying festive food and drink together. In fact, we are commanded to eat and drink until we “can no longer distinguish between cursed is Haman and blessed is Mordecai."
This demand is atypical; inebriation is not usually...Read More
Even when my children were very young, I worried about alcohol addiction. It is so common and so destructive – and by the time teens reach high school, there’s not much you can do to shield them from it. My children are at increased risk because my father and grandfather both suffered from alcoholism.
So I did what any vaccine-loving mom would do: I inoculated them!
On our daily commute, there were plenty of opportunities. As we passed a man sprawled on the sidewalk with a bottle next to him, I said to my toddlers, “Yikes! That poor man passed out. He might have had too...Read More
As a kid, I always wondered why humans are as close as we are. Why we have this need to be together, why we cannot survive without one another, why we want to find that someone special and let ourselves drown in the love and affection they give. As I got older and wiser (which some would argue), I realized that it’s human instinct to crave deep relation because we need connection. That’s what it’s about.
But connection doesn’t have to be this huge thing. It can be small things, too, that make just as big of an impact.
Think about the people you make eye contact with on...Read More
They weren’t the best pancakes I’d ever had, but they were very good. So were the scrambled eggs and other sides in the breakfast meal that the menu called “A Little Bit of Everything.” My wife had an omelet. Our son had waffles. The orange juice was fresh and expensive. As we were leaving the diner, I said to my wife, “The food here is really good,” to which she replied, “We’re very blessed.”
“Excuse me,” I said. “We’re blessed to have a good meal?”
“What are you talking about?” she said.
“I said we had a good meal, and you said we are blessed, which I interpret...Read More