Rivki Silver is a musician, composer, teacher and writer. When she’s not teaching music lessons or trying to practice, she likes to make stop-motion videos starring produce, and was a fellow in the 2016 Cleveland Arts and Culture Lab. She also likes to write, and her work can be found on Hevria.com, where she is a regular contributor, and also on other sites around the web, including her blog, which she named before branding was a thing. She lives in Cleveland with her husband and four children.
Names are kind of a big deal, Jewishly speaking. A name is said to affect a person’s personality and even their destiny. Your name is the connection to your soul. But no pressure! Really, don’t…worry, the Kabbalists teach that when parents are choosing a name for their child, the parents experience a little bit of prophecy, so you’ll probably be just fine. But still, it’s no easy feat—and for many Jewish parents, the task is doubly hard if you are choosing both an English and Hebrew name. Even if… >> Read More
I’m usually too busy with the day-to-day of parenting to stop and reflect much on how the mother-I-am compares to the mother-I-thought-I-would-be. Like a lot of people (I hope, back me up here,…folks), when I was single, I was very confident about what was good parenting and what was not. Once, back in my single days, I was babysitting for a family and playing a game with the 4-year-old, who lied to my face about some small thing. I don’t even remember what it was. But I… >> Read More
I didn’t see it coming. Not at all. I naively assumed that since my children are being raised Orthodox, in a neighborhood where essentially all their playmates are Jewish, in a school where all…their classmates are Jewish, we would somehow not ever have to discuss a certain jolly winter holiday. Not until they were older and we could have a rational conversation. But as we drove down a busy street lined with houses and businesses decorated with garlands of lights, wreaths of green and red, and other festive… >> Read More
I’m not sure where I fall on the spectrum of short tempers, but like many mothers of small children, I get pushed to the edge a lot. And, depending on how much I’ve slept and my general stress…level, I do not always react so well once I’m there. But I hate it when my anger takes over. I used to get very, very down on myself whenever I lost my temper. I would recite an inner monologue along the lines of: “Look at you, Mother of the Year. Every time you get… >> Read More
The past few days have been unsettling. My parents live in St. Louis, and I felt very connected to the events in Ferguson this summer. Now, with the recent turmoil in Baltimore, where we lived until…a little over a month ago, I’ve been having a strong sense of deja vu. Many of the sentiments I’ve seen online these past few days could’ve been taken verbatim from posts eight months ago. The same words. The same judgments. The same frustrations. Shortly after we moved to Baltimore, I was taking a walk… >> Read More
Since Purim is a holiday that’s not necessarily on the radar of people unconnected to the Jewish world, whenever I find myself needing to quickly explain it, I usually end up calling it the…“Jewish Halloween.” There are enough similarities to warrant a comparison. They’re both fun, involve dressing up in costume, a significant amount of nosh, and parties. Also liquor, depending on how you do Halloween. >> Read More
When our children reach milestones, we tend to remember them. The first steps, first words, first day of school, they are all celebrated and looked back on with lots of feelings. Some of the more…organized among us might even have those things recorded in a baby book, or they can be found in the archives of Facebook or emails to loved ones. >> Read More
Forty-five minutes. That’s how long it took me to say the entire grace after meals in Hebrew the first time I tried. I sat at my parents’ kitchen table and labored over each foreign syllable,…determined to finish it no matter how ridiculously long it took or how weird it seemed. >> Read More
I only have one sibling, a brother, four-and-a-half years younger than me. The world of massive families and children born less than two years apart was so foreign to me that I didn’t even know it…existed (this was before the days of the Duggars’ show). I don’t remember knowing anyone from a family with more than three children. >> Read More
In a conversation I had with my sister-in-law shortly after she was diagnosed with breast cancer, she solemnly told me to “just enjoy my children.” She only lived for nine months after…her diagnosis, and during the course of her illness, I thought many, many times about those words. >> Read More
Remember the things you used to do before you had kids? I used to practice music for hours. Like, three hours at a time. I’d work on some complicated passage and just go at it over and…over and over until my fingers would cooperate effortlessly. It was a meditative practice for me, in a sense. I would go into my little isolated room and be by myself until I was ready to come out. As you can imagine, with three small children at home, that kind of practicing does not happen… >> Read More
To gear up for the High Holidays this year, we’re asking our writers and readers for their Rosh Hashanah Resolution. Here’s one from our writer Rivki Silver.
My resolution this year is to make…my marriage more of a priority. I spend the vast majority of my time worrying about and taking care of my children, and little by little, I have neglected my relationship with my (wonderful) husband. So this year, I want to focus on the reasons I think he's great, and on making sure that he… >> Read More
We moved into a house recently. It’s kind of a big deal, I know. It’s a mazel to find a house you like, in a neighborhood you like, for a price you can afford. But moving is kind of like having a…baby. It’s a wonderful thing, and everyone tells you mazel tov, and you’re happy and all, but OH MY GOSH it’s overwhelming, and even if you’ve done it before, you forget just how much of a pain it can be. Since it’s such a happy event, I feel totally guilty for not being deliriously ecstatic… >> Read More
As I type this, my 4-year-old is enthralled by a Thomas the Train DVD. In an ideal world, I would only let my kids watch DVDs when I am 1. sick in bed or 2. desperately needing that extra hour of…sleep in the morning. Wait, in an ideal world, I wouldn't even need DVDs. My kids would be busy constructing breathtakingly educational products, cleaning the house, and making my coffee while letting me sleep in. But, my friends, in case you haven't noticed, this is hardly an ideal world. Today, after a playdate fell through,… >> Read More