The Lost Photo of Mom and Me

The Lost Photo of Mom and Me

This summer, my cousin sent me this long-lost photo of mom holding me as a baby. Looking at this photo moved me deeply then, and breaks my heart now. Since nobody will ever love me as completely, as unconditionally, as a mother loves her child.

Read More

Mom’s Funeral and My Broken Necklace

Mom’s Funeral and My Broken Necklace

Before mom died, I had been feeling for a few weeks like the world was random. That everything’s up for grabs. But after mom died, it was suddenly eminently clear to me that Hashem runs the world. So many otherwise inexplicable things were taking place, how could it be otherwise? For example, at mom’s funeral, […]

Read More

The Book on Mom’s Bedside Table when She Died

The Book on Mom’s Bedside Table when She Died

My mom’s sweetest childhood memories and her dearest lifelong friends came from her Zionist youth group–HaNoar HaTsioni. But by the time I was growing up, that wasn’t a side I saw so much of mom. I don’t remember Israel being a topic of conversation or much interest. But when I made aliya, all of a […]

Read More

Burying Mom

Burying Mom

It’s hard for me to think of things I don’t like about being an Orthodox Jew, but until mom died, I had a biggie. I didn’t tell anybody, really, because sharing the thing I really didn’t like about Judaism would have been as taboo as saying “I’m Orthodox but I love bacon,” or “I’m Orthodox […]

Read More

I Think Mom Knew She Was About to Die

I Think Mom Knew She Was About to Die

This is a strange story, I know. But here goes: I think my mom knew that she was about to die, and I think she tried to tell me so during our final real conversation about a week before she passed away. But first, some family history. When my mom had been 25, her family […]

Read More

Telling Mom’s Patients She’d Passed Away

Telling Mom’s Patients She’d Passed Away

My mom, Gladys Arak Freedman, passed away last Thursday, but that didn’t stop the regular bombardment of phone calls, faxes and Emails for Dr. Arak throughout her shiva. Many times a day the phone would ring as loud as an old mechanical alarm clock with incoming faxes or calls from patients. At first, before the […]

Read More