A Parent in Israel

Welcome to the world, baby boy

December 4, 2021

My wife, Jody, and I joined a club that we really wanted entrance to – the grandparents club. Here’s what I said at the brit milah ceremony.

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How to not celebrate a birthday during corona

September 27, 2020

I wanted to skip my birthday this year in the midst of corona. Here’s how I transformed a singular birth date into a year-long, hopeful process.

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Kaddish in 103,000 words

August 16, 2020

When my father died, I wondered if there was something personally meaningful I could do that could serve as an alternative to Kaddish. This is the story of the book that resulted.

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When did your pandemic end?

June 7, 2020

Pandemics typically have two types of endings. The medical and the social, when the epidemic of fear about the disease wanes. Are we there?

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Corona calculations for the Seder

April 12, 2020

Our family went to extraordinary lengths to try to be together for Pesach Seder and to keep me, a high-risk patient, safe. Did we succeed?

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Twenty-five reasons to live in Israel

October 13, 2019

Last week marked our “aliyah-versary.” Twenty-five years ago, on October 10, 1994, my wife, Jody, and our two young children immigrated to Jerusalem from Berkeley, Calif. A third child – our only Sabra – was born a few years later. So, on this, the silver anniversary of our Israeli citizenship, I present 25 reasons to […]

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Datlashim: can there be a second generation?

August 4, 2019

Last year, I wrote a column that asked the question: “how do datlashim – the Hebrew acronym for formerly religious Jews – want to raise their children?” The main response I received during the course of my research: “to be just like them”– that is, to also be datlashim. This poses a dilemma, as to […]

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Defining Courage

December 24, 2018

The Merriam-Webster dictionary describes courage as “the ability to do something that frightens one.” How do you define courage?

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What datlashim want: “children just like us”

April 1, 2018

Will your datlashi children be driving to and from your Seder this year? Rabbi Shlomo Riskin says that’s OK – even into and out of Efrat.

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“But she’s not Jewish”

January 22, 2018

“I heard Ben broke up with his girlfriend. I’m sorry.” “Don’t be.” “Why not?” “They weren’t good together. They were always fighting.” “Well, that’s a relief, I guess.” “Not really. He’s got a new girlfriend. She’s even worse.” “What’s wrong this time?” “She’s not Jewish.” “But do they get along?” “Oh yes, they are very […]

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