Uncategorized January 16, 2022

100% Chance of Rain

Our daughter’s wedding was fast approaching on Tuesday, December 28th, and Omicron was proving to be the black shadow that cast a cloud on the whole thing. One by one, friends and relatives messaged us that they could not come, due to illness or fear of illness. Plus, we had been planning an outdoor chuppah, and the weather forecast was calling for 100% chance of rain, all day. You don’t see a bold prediction like that too often. I completely understood all of it, but was feeling terribly disappointed.

Jewish Inspiration December 21, 2021

Off With the Nametag

I recently got back from a trip to Israel, which was thrilling on many levels. First, the joy of being able to travel to the Holy Land, after so many months of not knowing when we’d be able to go back, made the trip all the more sweet. As one of the attendees remarked, “You know how you get a Jew to Israel? Tell him he can’t go to Israel.” Also, I was privileged to travel on a Momentum tour, which is an organization that takes Jewish mothers to Israel on a free trip to explore the land, their Judaism, and themselves. It’s always supercharged to experience our land through the eyes and hearts of these inspired women. Finally, I stayed five extra days to spend time with my daughter Hindy who is at Meohr seminary — five days of pure nachas.

Uncategorized December 15, 2021

Ten Years of Blogging

Hello OOTOB Readers,

Somehow, this summer sneaked right by and I failed to notice that this past July marked ten years of my blog, with my first post, The Bridge, having appeared on July 25, 2011 (when I read it now I cringe at my writing style, naivete, and grammar gaffes). I thought it only appropriate to look back at the past ten years of this blog, and of the relationships I’ve had through it over the decade.

Uncategorized December 9, 2021

Covid is Over… Right?

Every time you think Covid is over, there’s a new variant to freak you out. Omicron is the latest in the “let’s-worry-before-we-know-if-there’s-cause-to-worry” parade in the news, but it certainly won’t be the last. In other words, Covid isn’t actually going away anytime soon. We just have to learn to live with it as a present reality in our lives, which, to my view, must go on.

Uncategorized September 26, 2021

Only Be Joyous

I have learned over the years that my High Holiday experience was different from many Jews I’d later meet. Growing up in my Orthodox bubble of New York and then Cleveland Heights, Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur were mainly about the prayers. “Where are you going to daven (pray)” was a far more likely question than, “Who’s coming over for Rosh Hashanah dinner?” In fact, we usually did not have any guests for Rosh Hashanah dinner. The solemnity of the day didn’t feel compatible with the celebratory atmosphere of guests. Yom Kippur break-fast was a small and unimpressive affair.

Jewish Inspiration September 14, 2021

There’s Hope

It feels like the Ten Plagues all over again. Covid resurgence. The Taliban takeover of Afghanistan. Hurricane Ida. The Surfside collapse. What is happening? It’s tempting to lose hope, to surrender to an apocalyptic bleakness.

Uncategorized August 29, 2021

Better Than Before

Humans of New York is one of the few social media accounts that both has over 11 million followers, and a consistent, heartwarming, positive comments section. The owner of the account, whom I know only as Brandon (I’m sure he has a last name somewhere), finds and showcases human beings whom we discover are both completely ordinary and astonishingly special. He takes their pictures and writes up their stories in their own words. Sometimes, he writes these as multiple parts in a series, dropping them slowly and carefully over a day or two like a long-awaited dessert.