Blog Archives

Traveling While Jewish

OVER THE LAST few years I have had the great fortune of traveling to countries with rich Jewish histories. Israel, the birthplace and homeland of the Jewish people. Spain, where Maimonides both practiced medicine and served as a great Jewish philosopher and leader. Italy, where life was nearly always horrible for the Jews, but where important communities flourished nonetheless. Then ... Read More »

Jewish Sleepaway Camps

“JEWISH SLEEPAWAY CAMPS are for the counselors,” a rabbi once told me. He said it without winking, but the winking was implied. Apparently, at Jewish overnight camps, making out is as much part of curriculum as making lanyards. I wouldn’t know. I did not attend a sleepaway camp of any variety, and therefore never had the pleasure of cutting my ... Read More »

TO 120! AND BEYOND?

When someone has a birthday, we Jews typically say, “To 120!” As in, “may you live until 120!” As in, “this is great cake, and I could go for at least 120 more servings.” It’s meant as a show of affection. A phrase that links the birthday boy to our biblical understanding of old, old age. But in a few ... Read More »

Offering a Hand in the #MeToo Movement

I USED TO fume when ultra-Orthodox men would refuse to shake my hand. The idea that men and women shouldn’t touch, that we are a distraction or a temptation or some other nonsense angered me to my core. But, being a woman, I have been socialized to accommodate. I learned to laugh it off, telling myself that I shouldn’t take ... Read More »

More Mitzvah, Less Bar

“OH, YOU’RE ON the Bar Mitzvah circuit now,” a friend recently smirked at me. “Buckle up.” My son’s social calendar rivals Meghan Markle’s. A private event at a museum one weekend. A lavish affair at a swanky hotel the next. Invitations engraved in metal to soirees at “It” restaurants where barely pubescent partiers dance until well past the pumpkin hour. ... Read More »

More Mitzvah, Less Bar

“OH, YOU’RE ON the Bar Mitzvah circuit now,” a friend recently smirked at me. “Buckle up.” My son’s social calendar rivals Meghan Markle’s. A private event at a museum one weekend. A lavish affair at a swanky hotel the next. Invitations engraved in metal to soirees at “It” restaurants where barely pubescent partiers dance until well past the pumpkin hour. ... Read More »

Gluten-Free Gluttons for Punishment

French baguettes in metal basket in bakery

 A few years ago, the entire Western world declared itself allergic to bread. Celiac disease, gluten intolerance and wheat allergies suddenly became things people had. Not just people like that slightly off guy from work, who believably suffers from an isolating obscure condition, but people you’ve known your whole life. People you had pizza and beer with, like, two weeks ... Read More »

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