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My Shovavim Project

Posted by on Jan 19, 2020 in Featured, Inspiration, Jewish Moms, Motherhood, My life | 1 comment

My Shovavim Project

Last week was the beginning of the Shovavim period. For these 6 weeks (almost until Rosh Chodesh Adar) we are supposed to make our lives holier, purer. One year, for example, during the Shovavim period I upgraded my internet filter. One year, I was more careful about the modesty-level of videos I watch online. And this year, for my Shovavim project, I’m focusing on upgrading my Shabbat. The first issue I’m tackling is candle lighting. I had gotten into the habit of lighting Shabbat candles at nearly the last minute. So this week,...

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Being the Older Mother of a Young Child

Posted by on Jan 15, 2020 in Featured, Inspiration, Israel, Jewish Moms, Motherhood, My life | 8 comments

Being the Older Mother of a Young Child

This morning, while walking Yoni to kindergarten, I saw an old lady, approximately 83 years old and 4 foot 10, approaching us quickly on the sidewalk. Her tight gray headscarf flying behind her. Her lips puckered with determination, a nursery schooler’s choo-choo-train backpack swinging from her hand. So I put one and one together: grandmother delivering grandchild’s forgotten backpack. And this grandmother made me think of myself, with Yoni. No, I’m not 83 years old (nor 4 feet 10 inches tall), but I am old enough today to...

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“Jews Weren’t Put on Earth to be Anti-Anti Semites” (6-Minute “No-Hate, No Fear” Video)

Posted by on Jan 12, 2020 in Current Events, Inspiration, Inspirational Videos, Jewish Moms, Motherhood | 2 comments

“Jews Weren’t Put on Earth to be Anti-Anti Semites” (6-Minute “No-Hate, No Fear” Video)

New York Times columnist Bari Weiss gave the following powerful speech at the No Hate, No Fear solidarity march last week in New York. There were an estimated 25,000 people in attendance protesting the recent outbreak of anti-Semitic attacks: My name is Bari Weiss. I am a proud American. I am a proud New Yorker. And I am a proud Jew. I am not a Jew because people hate my religion, my people, and my civilization. Not for a single moment does Jew-hatred, like the kind we are seeing in this city, make me a Jew. I am a Jew because of the audacity...

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What Yeshiva-High-School Students Wear on their Feet in Winter

Posted by on Jan 9, 2020 in Inspiration, Israel, Jewish Moms, Motherhood, My life | 8 comments

What Yeshiva-High-School Students Wear on their Feet in Winter

It’s 46 degrees in Jerusalem today and it’s raining down like somebody poked a hole in the heavens. My Ukrainian cleaning lady chuckled when I complained about the “freezing cold,” and pulled out her phone to show me pines weighed down with snow and ice this week in her native Dnieprpetrovsk. But still, for Jerusalemites, this is about as cold as it gets. The weather site I use has a cool feature; it recommends what clothing, in accordance with the weather, you should wear that day. For example, during the summer there...

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Another (!) Mazal Tov for the 53-Year-Old Bride

Posted by on Jan 8, 2020 in Inspiration, Israel, Jewish Moms, Motherhood, My life | 11 comments

Another (!) Mazal Tov for the 53-Year-Old Bride

A year and a half ago I shared the amazing story of my neighbor, Talia, who got married for the first time at the age of 53. A few weeks ago it occurred to me that I hadn’t seen Talia in a very long time. I wondered if she and her new husband had maybe left the neighborhood? But it turns out that Talia is still living a block away. But it’s possible I haven’t run into her since she has been very busy recently. When I ran into my friend Gadit a few days ago, she mentioned, by the way, something about “Talia’s baby...

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My Almost 10th-of-Tevet Birth

Posted by on Jan 7, 2020 in Inspiration, Jewish Moms, Motherhood, My life | 6 comments

My Almost 10th-of-Tevet Birth

My Hebrew birthday is tonight. I was born on the 11th of Tevet, a few hours after the fast of the 10th of Tevet (which we mark today) had ended. And a few days ago, my mind was wandering hither and thither, as usual, and it occurred to me how I was almost born on Asereh b’Tevet, but wasn’t. But then it occurred to me that while I was born on the 11th of Tevet, my mother was in labor with me for much of the fast day. For a long, hard 22 hours. According to Freedman-family lore, the birth was so long because “Jenny just...

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20 Seconds of Insane Courage

Posted by on Jan 6, 2020 in Inspiration, My life | 4 comments

20 Seconds of Insane Courage

Shoshana Judelman mentioned during her weekly Parsha class that she’d heard this quote while watching a movie with her kids, and that it had changed her life. So I tried it out, and it’s true. It’s against my nature to be assertive, to take risks or to place myself in uncomfortable situations. But it’s not a problem for me to gather up 20 seconds of insane courage. And since then, 20 seconds of insane courage has enabled me to do a lot of things I wouldn’t have been able to do before. I wrote a firm letter to a...

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