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Apr 1 2014

My Husband and I Switched Sides of the Bed (and Our Marriage Survived!)

By at 2:49 pm

sleeping

When I told people that we were considering a change-up after almost a decade on our respective sides, they recoiled in horror.

“That would be grounds for divorce in our house!” they shouted. “We would move into separate rooms before we would swap! You will never sleep again!”

I have never been a middle-of-the-bed type of girl. In my unmarried years, I trended towards the side farthest from the door, probably with the subconscious thought that if someone nefarious broke in, they’d get to the first empty pillow and give up. When my husband moved in, there was no bed-side discussion; he simply filled the gap. Read the rest of this entry →

Mar 31 2014

My Exodus: Emerging From The Financial Ruin of Divorce Better and Stronger

By at 3:59 pm

forclosure

When the doorbell rang late at night a few weeks ago, as the boys and I lie upstairs in our beds, I knew there was reason to be alarmed. I grabbed the pepper spray that I have kept in my nightstand since my husband moved out and I cautiously made my way to the front door. I felt some relief when I peered through the window and saw a woman on the other side of the door. But it was the contents of the envelope that she held in her hands that would inevitably leave me paralyzed in fear.

The law firm representing our mortgage company had sent this messenger to inform us that our days in our house were numbered. It had been months since we had paid our mortgage, with both our salaries instead going to our respective divorce attorneys. Our legal battle has cost us our home, among other things.

When I lived in Israel many years ago, I participated in a monthly study group composed of some remarkable young women who had traveled from all over the world determined to learn a new language, assimilate into a very different culture and create a life much different from anything they had known previously. We gathered monthly to learn together, to support each other and to share. Read the rest of this entry →

Free Stuff Alert: The Bronfman Haggadah App & iPad Mini

By at 1:57 pm

Win The Bronfman Haggadah App & an iPad Mini

This is not your Bubbe’s haggadah.

This Passover (April 14), technology is your friend. The Bronfman Haggadah is now available as a truly unique app, allowing users to interact with this book through sound, animation, and video, all on a mobile device.  Watch behind the scenes videos, hear the words of the haggadah read aloud, and see the artwork come to life.

Some features of the The Bronfman Haggadah app:

1. Users have the option of hearing the text of the haggadah read aloud with page-synced narration, or to turn off the sound for a do-it-yourself Passover seder. Read the rest of this entry →

What’s Your Exodus: Breaking Free from Beating Yourself Up (And Toy Story 3)

By at 12:41 pm

What's Your Exodus? Passover 2014 on Kveller

The Passover countdown is officially on! Just two weeks to go until our homes (and stomachs) are filled with matzah. To get everyone in the Passover spirit, we’re kicking off our “What’s Your Exodus” series with three Kveller writers who all need an exodus from something in their day-to-day lives.

Read on below, and remember, we’d love to hear from our readers, so send the one thing you want to break free from this year to info@kveller.com with the subject line “What’s Your Exodus?” or tell us on the Twittersphere by using the #WhatsYourExodus hash tag.

From Rachel Stein:

Rachel Stein "What's Your Exodus?"

I want to break free from feeling guilty that my son watches a small amount of TV. Well actually it’s only “Toy Story 3.” It’s the only thing he watches and the only thing he wants to watch. I like the idea of a low technology/limited media childhood but I also like the idea of my sanity from time to time. Read the rest of this entry →

Mar 28 2014

Jon Stewart and Jason Bateman Are “Meshugah” For Passover

By at 12:55 pm

 

Jon Stuart hosted Jason Bateman on “The Daily Show” recently. Bateman was promoting his newest film, “Bad Words,” but of course the conversation devolved into nonsensical Yiddish before he even sat down. Then, naturally, the pair moved on to bizarre Passover rituals.

Hilarity ensues. See for yourself.

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Mar 26 2014

Free Stuff Alert: Win This Gorgeous Henna Paisley Matzah Cover!

By at 3:06 pm

paisley-matzah-cover2

Want to kick your seder style up a notch? We have more Passover freebees for you.

This week we are giving away three of these gorgeous Henna Paisley Matzah Covers from Barbara Shaw Gifts–a $45 value each.

Inspired by Henna decorations popular among Persian Jews, this made-in-Israel cover will drape your matzahs in a soft cotton blend with three built in dividers. The handprinted silver and blue lettering will instantly transform your matzahs into a centerpiece for the table.

We will select a winner on Friday, March 28. To enter fill out the form below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Kveller Story About Boy’s Leg Amputation Gets the Media Spotlight

By at 2:06 pm

11-year-old boy gets his wish to have leg amputated

Like just about everybody else, we here at Kveller love to get attention. But attention is that much sweeter when it means an amazing 11-year-old boy gets to share his story far and wide.

Earlier this month, we ran a story by Zimra Vigoda called “Choosing to Have My Son’s Leg Amputated was the Most Difficult Decision I’ve Ever Made.” As the title suggests, Zimra’s 11-year-old son, Amit, was born with a rare orthopedic condition whereby his right leg is chock-full of pathological fractures that don’t heal. After dealing with pain all his life, Amit decided it would be best for him to have his leg amputated, and after much consideration, Zimra agreed.

Apparently, Zimra and Amit’s story spoke to many, because since the post went live on Kveller, they’ve been making the media rounds and sharing their story on major news outlets. Read the rest of this entry →

We Want to Hear From Kveller Readers: What’s Your Exodus?

By at 12:42 pm

#WhatsYourExodus?

As the story goes, Passover is all about the Israelite’s exodus out of Egypt. And while we are very lucky to no longer be in bondage, that doesn’t mean there aren’t things we want and need to break free from.

In the spirit of Passover, we want to hear about the one thing you need an exodus from this year. It could be big or small, trivial or profound. Maybe you need to break free from negative body image. Or maybe you just need to break free from Calliou. Either way, we want to hear it.

We’ll be sharing #WhatsYourExodus posts from Kveller writers and readers right here on the blog leading up to the main event (that’s April 14th, for those still in denial). Want too participate? Here’s how:

1. Send an email to info@kveller.com with “What’s Your Exodus” as the subject line.

2. In a few sentences, tell us what you need to break free from this year.

3. Include your first name and a picture we can use on the blog.

Prefer a 140-character limit? You can also tweet your exodus to us @kveller with the hashtag #WhatsYourExodus. We can’t wait to hear from you!

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Mar 24 2014

If You Don’t Vaccinate, Keep Your Kids Away From My Baby

By at 4:39 pm

vaccine

I’m a pretty laid-back parent about most things. My kids eat dirt, play with (plastic) knives, and spend a lot of time on the counter helping me cook. I rarely think to warn others when they have colds (I’m trying to remember!), because I would never expect the same. Colds are a part of life, and will probably help them in the long run, as frustrating as they are now. My kids run around, make messes, get sick, get better, and generally (I hope) have a lot of fun. (It’s not always fun for me, especially the mess part.)

But yesterday I did something totally not laid back, and to date, totally out of character. I e-mailed the director of their daycare to check on the vaccination policy, essentially to make sure that it required all the kids to be current in their vaccines (with exceptions for medical or religious issues.) My girls, who actually attend the daycare, are totally up to date, and I’m not worried about them. But there’s a little guy as well, not quite 1, and not quite ready for the MMR vaccine, and he comes with me most days to drop off his sisters. And he’s swarmed by all the adorable preschoolers who just love little guys and want to love him with their hugs and kisses, which, usually, he loves. And there is a measles outbreak a couple of states over and a couple of little ones (also not quite 1 and also not quite ready) are really, really sick.

I don’t want my little guy to get really, really sick, and the thing is that he could. He easily could right now, as the number of unvaccinated children is growing and growing. If one of them was carrying the disease (possibly without showing symptoms) and came into contact with my vulnerable little guy, that could very easily be it for him. Too easily. This time, it wouldn’t be an annoying and even deeply frustrating cold, or fever, or even something worse that would be rough for a while but he would ultimately recover from without any lingering effects. Not necessarily. Measles, for some kids, are really really bad. Read the rest of this entry →

Mar 20 2014

Though I Dropped Orthodoxy, This Passover I Will Celebrate with My Orthodox Wife & Kids

By at 7:00 pm

matzahs1

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 identity and equal rights. My wife Rikki and I are sitting on the couch, alternating between reading our books, watching the kids, chit-chatting, and dozing off. It looks like the lazy Shabbat afternoons of so many observant Jewish families, but then I do a quick check on my phone to see when Shabbat is over. My phone tells me we have a half hour more to go. I breathe a sigh of relief.

Up until a year and a half ago, I was observant–if not unhappily, then begrudgingly. But a year and a half ago, my increasing apathy towards the Orthodox lifestyle turned to antipathy, and I stopped practicing. This naturally created an imbalance, for we had specifically built our family around a lifestyle that requires intensive participation from all parties. And here I was, just recusing myself. Read the rest of this entry →

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