Archive for May 27, 2016

Archive

What Makes the Mikvah So Mysterious?

BH If there’s one mitzvah in Jewish life that swirls with misconceptions, it’s ritual immersion, otherwise known as The Mikvah. The canard is that mikvahs are dirty and that menstruating women are viewed as somehow dirty, but neither of those things matter to the Jewish women committed to this ancient, secret ritual (if this one doesn’t sound pagan, I don’t know what does) that is anathema to everyone who is educated in biology and/or hygiene. True, some 21st-century folks enjoy...

The Commencement Speech I Want to Give

B”H Your birth was your defining moment, yet you didn’t ask to be born at all, much less to the family you were born into. You didn’t get a say in the city (I don’t know how I got Pittsburgh; I’m not interested in sports). Or the times. (If you’re Jewish, you’ve probably learned by now that the Jewish nation has had more bad times than good times–and that history repeats itself. Sorry, I know this is supposed to be...

Finding G-d in UPS

BH The house is quiet now. Single socks and smudged windows are the most tangible reminder that our house had recently been a dormitory. But, before she returned to seminary, our daughter Rivky placed two huge boxes on the steps in front of our side door. They were something to remember her by; we almost fell over them every time we entered or left the house. In her defense, she also left a clearly marked sign taped to the door,...

What You Can’t See in Our Family Picture

BH Pictures don’t lie, but they don’t tell the whole truth either. They just capture a moment, no, a split-second, in time. Our family recently captured a split-second when Zev and I, plus every child, in-law child, and grandchild, lived together in our house during Pesach. But the picture doesn’t show my mind uttering, “thank you, G-d” and “thank you, Rebbe” in a continuous loop as the photographer snapped away. You can’t see all that went into this journey that began almost...