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My Daughter’s Surprising Blood Test

Posted by on Sep 24, 2020 in Featured, Inspiration, My life | 2 comments

My Daughter’s Surprising Blood Test

This morning my oldest daughter, 22-year-old Hadas, had to do a blood test. Hadas is a courageous young woman. Unusually so. That is, usually she is. But her courage dashes for cover when needles and blood enter the picture. Hadas had been dreading this blood test for weeks. And early this morning, on her way out to the clinic, I told her about the techniques I use to distract myself during uncomfortable procedures. And then, about an hour later, Hadas sent me a surprising message: “The blood test was awesome.” Strange. Blood tests...

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Not Doing Teshuva this Year

Posted by on Sep 23, 2020 in Featured, Inspiration, Jewish Moms, Motherhood, My life | 3 comments

Not Doing Teshuva this Year

Yoni’s kindergarten teacher sent out an exercise video she’d made for our boys to use during lockdown. I told Yoni: “The ganenet sent you exercises to do! How fun!” as I handed him my phone. But instead of doing the exercises himself, a few minutes later I found Yoni lying down flat on the sofa, intently watching his teacher doing head rolls like she was The Magic School Bus. Which reminded me of how over the last few weeks, I’ve been listening to so many amazing teachers teaching inspirational classes on the...

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COVID COVID Rosh Hashana

Posted by on Sep 22, 2020 in Current Events, Featured, Inspiration, Israel, Jewish Moms, Motherhood, My life | 5 comments

COVID COVID Rosh Hashana

This Rosh Hashana, praying behind a mask in a tiny, socially-distanced minyan in my daughter’s schoolyard, it was so eminently clear to me. God runs everything! If He so desires, He can bring down human society as we know knew it with a virus so small that 100 million could fit on a single pinhead. It was as though, this Rosh Hashana, I was seeing life from above, like an astronaut looking back at a marble-sized planet Earth. But instead of seeing the Earth from the moon, I saw the Earth and human race from the Keter Malucha, the Crown...

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Write Your Way Home

Posted by on Sep 21, 2020 in Inspiration, My life | 4 comments

Write Your Way Home

I’m a huge fan of Yocheved Rottenberg’s therapeutic writing classes, of which I’ve taken several over the last 2 years. When I’m feeling upset or confused or down then her innovative writing techniques help me get to the root of what’s bothering me. As Yocheved puts it “Therapeutic writing can be your best therapist.” I heartily agree! I highly recommend her newly-released book Write Your Way Home which includes hundreds of writing exercises, with a helpful index (I thought this was brilliant) of a...

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The Widow Who Blamed Herself for her Husband’s Death (3-Minute Rabbi Fischel Schachter Story)

Posted by on Sep 21, 2020 in Inspiration, Inspirational Videos, Jewish Moms, Motherhood, My life | 4 comments

The Widow Who Blamed Herself for her Husband’s Death (3-Minute Rabbi Fischel Schachter Story)

This past Thursday, I ran around for hours, taking care of my kids who are home because of Israel’s nationwide lockdown, and serving as personal waitress to my 10-year-old daughter who is quarantined in her room because her classmate has COVID. And trying to finalize our Rosh Hashana menu and shopping list and sort through a mountain of laundry that was, somehow, mixed clean and dirty. I felt emotionally and physically exhausted, like I had been trying to climb my way out of quicksand, but kept on slipping back down again. And the...

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I Didn’t Talk for 19 Hours, and then I Wrote this Poem

Posted by on Sep 14, 2020 in Current Events, Inspiration | 8 comments

I Didn’t Talk for 19 Hours, and then I Wrote this Poem

Today is the 25th of Elul, the birthday of the world. But just as importantly (for Rabbi Nivin students like me at least) the 25th of Elul is the due date for my annual Elul plan, the blueprint for the year that every Rabbi Nivin student prepares every year before Rosh Hashana. For the last 10 years, my Elul plan has served as the foundation for my year, a map highlighting which roads I will travel that coming year and which I will leave for later or never. A list of my goals for the year, in every area of my life. But this Elul I’m...

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9 Tips to Achieving Joy

Posted by on Sep 13, 2020 in Inspiration, Motherhood | 2 comments

9 Tips to Achieving Joy

Imagine if you lived a hundred and fifty years ago in a wooden cottage surrounded by frozen mud in Northern Galicia…Chances are you and your children go to bed hungry every night. Chances are you have lost a child or children in infancy or childbirth. Chances are you won’t live past the age of 50. Life is grim. Compare that with your life today. Chances are that you struggle with overeating rather than hunger. Chances are all of your children are generally healthy and have never been sick with anything so serious that a course of...

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4 Steps to a Meaningful Spiritual Accounting this Elul

Posted by on Sep 9, 2020 in Inspiration | 0 comments

4 Steps to a Meaningful Spiritual Accounting this Elul

I heard these steps from Rebbetzin Heller-Gottlieb (featured on the Rise! into your Crown World Summit for Women) and I’m feeling so excited to try it out this approach to Cheshbon Nefesh year. I even already bought myself a pretty notebook to tally up my points! 1. What you were thinking and feeling when you made decisions that took you closer to where you want to be, and what you were thinking and feeling when you made decisions that took you further away from where you want to be. (Me: Staying too long in situations out of fear of...

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