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Purim spread featuring hamantaschen party favors and two glasses of white wine

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...

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Aerial flatlay of a variety of Purim related objects and items including masks hamantaschen and a bottle of wine

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...

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Sarah Friedman stands at a podium bearing the name NFTY Convention

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...

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Man standing at the end of a pier during sunset

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...

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Doctors coat with a diagnosis pad reading ADHD

I’ve long had two careers in mind: to become an American Sign Language interpreter or to become a rabbi. Both careers, however, require a bachelor’s degree from a four-year college – and that’s just the first step toward those careers. Because I’ve never succeeded in getting my college degree, neither of my dream careers is an option for me, and a few other careers of interest to me have either similar requirements or even more of them.

Some statistics say that only 5 percent of people with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) do well enough in college or university (...

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