Happy 65th Birthday Israel!

Tonight begins the celebration of Yom HaAtzmaut – the 65th anniversary of the establishment of the modern State of Israel. Similar to the 4th of July  Independence Day in the US, but different in that Israel observes Memorial Day (Yom HaZikaron – Remembrance Day) the day before Independence Day to remind us of the fact that it was through the bravery, dedication and sacrifices of many that we are able to enjoy independence.

For my family, it’s also a celebration of our liberation from exile. I’m sharing this video for those who haven’t been blessed with the ability to come home.  Intended to be “a feel-good movie to brighten your day” ISRAEL21c produced Israel Shining Bright for 65 years to share with you the people and places that make Israel so special.

Want more? Continue reading Happy 65th Birthday Israel!


Israel Independence Day – How Independent Do YOU Feel?

takebackamericaIgnorance is DANGEROUS.

Yesterday I noticed this image in my Facebook stream – a friend had “Liked” it. I agree with the concept so I clicked through to the group that had posted it; a group named We, the People, will be heard.

Scrolling down their page I saw a lot of American Patriotic conversations and felt good until I came upon this one that infuriated me.

wtp-magen-david wtp-israel

Continue reading Israel Independence Day – How Independent Do YOU Feel?


Remembering the Holocaust in Meaningful Ways

There is no doubt that Yom HaShoah holds significant meaning to individuals whose families were directly affected by the Holocaust and for anyone who has a close bond to the Jewish people.  I don’t know about other Jews by Choice, but for a long time I had difficulty making a connection to this “holiday”.

Growing up in the American public school system in the 60s & 70s,  I can’t recall ever learning about the atrocities of that time period.  I admit that history wasn’t one of my favorite subjects, but I did dutifully memorize the facts I was tasked with for final exams. However, since when presented with history regarding injustice (e.g., slavery, civil rights, etc.) the activist within me stirred and I not only remembered the stories but also wrote reports and articles expressing my disgust and commitment to creating a better world,  why did I have such little knowledge of the Holocaust? This certainly leads me to wonder about the history curriculum in my NY public school, and with the watering down and rewriting of history in the interest of political correctness I can only imagine what else isn’t taught today.

It wasn’t until I was studying Jewish history in preparation for my conversion that I learned the details through many books I checked out from the JCC library (a wise rabbi advised me to learn everything I could about the Holocaust so I would be better prepared to make an educated decision regarding aligning myself with a nation that continues to be persecuted). Eventually I decided that despite the past – or maybe because of it – I would join the Jewish nation.

For the next 3 or 4 years I was obsessed with the subject, watching the new book releases for more first-hand stories like these: Continue reading Remembering the Holocaust in Meaningful Ways


Counting our Many Blessings

soldier-shipFrom the awesome view of Jerusalem and our ability to easily travel there whenever we want, to the variety of kosher l’Pesach foods, the feeling of connectedness with everyone we meet, perfect holiday weather, and the smiles on the faces of the kaleidoscope of nationalities blending into Am Israel, we feel so extremely blessed to be living in this Holy Land! And that’s just the simple things… then there are the incredibly humble yet learned Rabbis who provide us with their sweet guidance and the men and women of the IDF who joyfully serve our nation. [continue to video…] Continue reading Counting our Many Blessings


2 – 2 + 1 = Mashiach

Shabat shalom Yesterday I woke up pondering this question and it’s still on my mind so I’m sharing some brain food for Shabbat this week…

If we didn’t have 2 Chief Rabbis of Israel, but instead only 1, we’d have the Kohen Gadol and Mashiach – correct?

In other words, if we focused on what unites us and dispose of what divides us…

Shabbat Shalom!


What Type of Pesach Cleaner are You?

Cleaning items in bucket isolated on whiteLast week’s Mishpacha’s Family First Magazine had an article with Pesach cleaning advice (which overwhelmed me) and I was amused by the Editor’s confession that as a working mother she doesn’t try to keep up with her neighbor’s professional-level efforts (I’m sorry I can’t quote exactly because I gave the magazine to a friend for Shabbat reading).

This prompted a chat with a few friends during which I learned that some begin what they consider to be Pesach cleaning right after Tu B’Shvat, while others with small children don’t bother trying until a week before Pesach.  I don’t have small children around the house anymore – I do have a dog (does that count?) – but I’m still of the let’s not overdo this variety.

By nature I’m a planner; I prepare checklists and project plans for just about everything in my personal and professional life (and Hash-m laughs) so why don’t I wear myself out weeks in advance like so many other women? Continue reading What Type of Pesach Cleaner are You?


Tu B’Shvat 5773

This has been quite an upside-down, inside-out sort of month!  Every single plan I had was interrupted by something that caused plans to change or be abandoned.  This week began with a stomach bug (for me) and my mom being rushed to the ER and now still in ICU. Clients I had planned to do work for weren’t ready with materials I needed, while old clients who had been dormant suddenly had emergencies that needed my attention. As I was getting on the bus this morning heading to Jerusalem to help train a new employee (which I was supposed to have done on Monday), I received a call indicating that the new guy couldn’t make it and the boss was working from home!  Somehow the events of this week transformed me and as I disconnected from the call I said a silent “ayn baya” and continued on to Jerusalem. Continue reading Tu B’Shvat 5773