When I was a kid, I would see the women gather at the mikveh. Mothers would leave the kids behind along with the dishes, laundry, shopping trips and soccer practice. They would bring trays of…sweets, nuts and dried fruit to share, making a half day “off.” It was a time to get together when they could just be women, sharing the exasperations of parenthood and the tribulations of marriage. I imagined each voice finding an open and receptive ear—unlike family life that generally centered around the kids needing something… >> Read More
Two weeks ago, I watched my 6-year-old daughter run around the lawn of our temple, celebrating the end of the religious school year. The kids left the picnic with face paint and dirty knees, my…daughter hugging her friends goodbye. As we got into the car, it struck me that summer was possibly going to be something of a Jewish dry season for her. Living in Northern Virginia, we are one of a few Jewish families in our neighborhood—my daughter doesn’t interact with other Jewish children on a daily basis. Religious school is undoubtedly our strongest… >> Read More
In recent years, I've flirted with tzniut—Jewish modesty laws—not because I believe women need to be covered up, but because I value comfort above most other clothing considerations. And to me,…too much skin showing is the exact opposite of comfortable. For example, I hate the feel and fit of most bathing suits, so I've opted for a combination of women's bathing suit tops and men's bathing suit bottoms. The result is that I'm more covered-up than most people at the beach (modesty alert!), but also that… >> Read More
Every Sunday morning as I practically drag my 6-year old out of bed to go to Hebrew School, I’m reminded of the final scene in "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" when Toula’s own daughter has turned six…and is begrudgingly headed off to … where else?! Greek school. Like Toula’s daughter and Toula before her, and Toula’s mother before her (and so on and so forth) my daughter knows she must to go to her own version of Greek School -- she just doesn’t “want” to. Personally, I began Hebrew School in… >> Read More
“I dreamed my whole life,” my 5-year-old said suddenly.
“What?” I asked sleepily, as we snuggled before bedtime. “I dreamed my whole life when I was in your tummy,” my son explained.…“When a baby is in its mommy’s tummy, it dreams everything that’s going to happen to it in its life. And then it happens.” I listened silently, struck by the strange beauty of this idea. It made me think of the ancient Jewish legend that teaches that a baby learns the entire Torah while it… >> Read More