Slurping Kitten Teaches Children about Forgiveness


October 22, 2012

One lesson from Yom Kippur lingers in our home, thanks to a children’s book about a kitten and a little boy named K’tonton.

This year, my son, who’s nearing 5, learned more than he ever has about what it means to seek forgiveness after he does something wrong.

Are Mitzvah Days an Excuse to Stay Away?

Playing the flute with my temple klezmer band for a one-day community service event gave me pause. Was I giving myself an easy out from regular volunteering by jumping to participate in a one-day event? It’s a dilemma for those of us who want to volunteer regularly, but struggle to find the time. Continue reading

Dressing Torah Brings Me Closer to Faith on Shavuot


June 8, 2011

“Slowly. You don’t have to rush it,” the rabbi said. I was trying to quickly tie a bow on the belt wrapped around the Torah.

My rabbi, Howard Jaffe of Temple Isaiah in Lexington, Mass., held his finger in the center of the string to assist. Bow-tying is a weakness of mine. I tie shoelaces by forming two bunny ear loops. I tied the strings and reminded myself to breathe. I was not on stage. I was in the chapel of my temple during the morning Shavuot … Continue reading

Sisterhood: Mahjong and Old Ladies or Something Else?


Mahjong. Bridge. Gray hair. Lots of gray hair.

Say Temple Sisterhood, and those images crowd my mind. In my 30s, when I first joined a temple, I avoided sisterhood events. I was sure I was not one of them.

But now I am 45. A mother of a 2-year-old, I’m juggling part-time work, child care, and home life with my need to become a bigger part of a Jewish community. Try the all-at-once approach, I decided, and signed up for the annual sisterhood retreat in early February.