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The author poses for a smiling photo with his elderly mother

This is the third year in row that I’ve interviewed my mother, Adela, a Holocaust survivor, for Mother’s Day. In our 2018 and 2019 interviews, she revealed memories that she’d previously kept to herself, like the last time she saw her own mother. Knowing little about my martyred maternal grandmother, I decided there was no better time to ask. What memories...

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Close up of a book with a turned page formed into the shape of a heart

In season two of the Hulu comedy Shrill, based on the book by Lindy West, there’s a restaurant scene in which the central character’s mom closely monitors her daughter’s food intake. It’s clear the tendency is familiar — even in their relationship as adults, the mother discloses her almost political stance against dessert and bread baskets.

After the episode, I messaged my friends to see if their...

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Smiling family taking a selfie together with Israeli flag pennants in the background

“Wow, this must be really different than what you expected!”

That’s the common exclamation I’ve heard as I meet and talk with people (from behind our masks) here in Israel, where my family and I are on a six-month sabbatical away from our home in Boston. It’s perhaps the understatement of the year, as all of us grapple with this new uncharted reality.

For the past four months, we have been living on a lovely, extremely well-kept and organized kibbutz in the center of the country, where, right now, there is a bit of a wartime vibe – unfortunately quite a familiar mode for...

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Ornate floral chuppah in an empty room

Around the world, stay-at-home orders and the need for extreme physical distancing has led engaged couples to cancel and postpone their wedding plans – an emotional decision for those who have been anticipating joyous celebrations of their love.

Right now, you may be feeling grateful for the health of loved ones, frustrated or resentful of the situation you find yourself in, disappointed to have to postpone your celebration, and/or worried about the resulting consequences of doing so. Whatever you and...

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Smiling teen girl digging in the dirt next to a hand painted sign that says BROCCOLI in both Hebrew and English

At a time when many of us are practicing physical distancing, it is important to strengthen our spiritual connections with one another and to the planet we all share – and the COVID-19 pandemic serves as a forceful reminder of the power of nature and the importance of societal responses to crises. Many experts have written about the parallels between COVID-19 and climate change, including the disproportionate impact on...

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