A Parent in Israel

Wedding in Cyprus – the modern Zionist irony

November 28, 2016

When my daughter Merav married her high school sweetheart Gabe last month, the date they set for their wedding just happened to come out on the 22nd anniversary of our family’s aliyah. When we made the decision to move to Israel, one of our greatest hopes was that our children would find nice Jewish Israelis […]

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How are you still Jewish?

November 11, 2016

I didn’t go to synagogue this Yom Kippur. To be frank, I didn’t even fully fast. My ongoing rebellion against religion has turned into a full-fledged insurrection. As my wife Jody left the house without me for Kol Nidre, she turned and said, “I can understand that Jewish Law and prayer don’t speak to you […]

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The secret to making my mixed marriage work

September 16, 2016

“I know my husband uses the microwave on Shabbat,” a friend told me, after I shared my story of being in a mixed secular-religious marriage, “but he makes sure to do it while I’m out of the house at shul.” While this bifurcated approach may work in the short term, where the less observant partner […]

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I’m in a mixed marriage and it’s not what you think

September 16, 2016

I have a confession to make: I’m in a mixed marriage. But not the kind you usually think of when you hear the term, which conjures up images of countless Tevyes sitting shiva. These days – and in Israel, in particular – “mixed marriage” refers not so much to two people of different religions, but […]

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Mixed marriage

June 25, 2016

“Can I ask your advice?” Shraga said on a sunny Shabbat afternoon a couple of weeks ago. “How do you make it work, religiously? You know, being in a mixed marriage?” I was taken aback momentarily. I had never heard my marriage described that way although, on consideration, it was in fact accurate. For years, […]

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A Seder for Non Believers

April 15, 2016

Jewish tradition commands Pesach Seder participants to imagine that they themselves had been enslaved in Egypt and were redeemed through the Exodus. But what happens if you don’t believe that there were Israelites in Egypt or that the Exodus was a real historical occurrence? What do you do on Seder night if your personal take […]

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Pepper spray and the loss of innocence

November 1, 2015

“At the beginning of the day, we had four full boxes with 50 in each,” Yaakov says, gesturing to the one remaining carton and the hastily hand-scrawled sign above the window reading “pepper spray” at the Talpiot Jerusalem branch of the popular trekker supply store La’metayel. “And now look,” he says, “there are just 8 […]

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Multifocals and the wisdom of Inside Out

August 21, 2015

“Let me take care of him. He’s very sensitive,” my optometrist Nadine whispered to her coworker in Hebrew behind the counter as she brought out my new glasses. “I heard that!” I snapped back, indicating that, while my Hebrew is famously fragile, I had command of enough basics to know when I was being insulted. […]

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Standing up to the online bullies

July 22, 2015

When I was growing up, I was frequently bullied. I had all the stereotypical markers for bullies to pick on: I was overweight, socially awkward, a klutz in sports and inevitably last to be picked, bespectacled and brainy. It didn’t help that my first name could be twisted to spell out the very insult that […]

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Mystery Maladies and Quality of Life: Is 75 Enough?

July 7, 2015

It’s common to divide people into two opposing types. There are optimists and pessimists, extroverts and introverts, people who love cilantro and those who think it tastes like dirty dishwater. Add to this, people who run to the doctor at the first sign of something wrong and others who wait, trusting that the body will […]

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