Eli Mandel is a graduate of Pupa cheider in Monsey, Telz yeshiva, and Fairleigh Dickinson University. He is now recovering from ultra-Orthodoxy with his wife and four daughters in Kauneonga Lake, NY. When he's not riding his motorcycle he practices accounting as a form of Tikkun Olam.
On Saturday morning, as I sit on my bed with the fan and air conditioner both blowing on me, fighting to beat back the sweat I built up running on the treadmill, there’s timid knocking at the door.…“Come in,” I say. My little philosopher enters. Her head is down, she might have been crying. She sits down on the bed next to me and starts crying, perhaps for the second time. I put my arm around her neck and hold her head close and let the sobs come. “What is it?” I… >> Read More
Look, I didn't absolutely have to go home that night. It was late when I was finished working, and I wouldn’t get home until 10:30 p.m. when all the kids were already asleep. Also, I had already…eaten dinner so I wouldn’t be sitting down to eat with my wife. I was too tired--and had to wake up too early the next morning--to stay up and watch any TV with her either, let alone have any kind of meaningful conversation. At most, I would get to say goodnight to my wife, go… >> Read More
“Could you read us another chapter? Could you?” Miri asked.
I had just finished reading the second to last chapter of “My Little Boy” to my kids for their bedtime story, but they wanted…more; clearly they were as in love with the boy in the story as I was with the boy’s father. After hearing a version of the book performed by Orson Welles, I had to read it, and after reading it, I reread it. What was it about this book that made it so compelling, so… >> Read More
It’s Shabbat afternoon, and the girls are putting on a beauty pageant in our living room. To their 8, 6, 4, and 1-year-old minds, it doesn’t take much imagination to see our modest floor as a…full-fledged stage, red carpet and all. The TV has been off for the last 20 hours, in accordance with Orthodox custom. We’re fortunate in that our kids entertain each other very well--even the baby, who, at 1.5 years old, is more like a pet dog to her older sisters than a playmate with a fully-formed… >> Read More