Blog Archives

IS I GOTTA GO TO SCHOOL?

Yesterday, the teacher asked, “How much is three times three? She’s supposed to know but keeps on asking me!” “Is I gotta go to school, Ma? I’d rather stay home with you?” When I Googled the lyrics to this song that the Sam Robbins Orchestra popularized in 1934, I only remembered the song as one that my mother, zichrona ‘’l’vracha”-of ... Read More »

Carpe Kiruv

My husband, Dov, is an Orthodox pulpit Rabbi as well as an attorney and law professor. Three years ago, Dov and I traveled to Louisville, Kentucky on the occasion that the federal judge for whom Dov clerked after law school was marking thirty years on the bench. As such, the judge convened a reunion of the clerks who served him ... Read More »

New occupations

Kol Sasson V’Kol Simcha; Kol Chatan V’Kol Kallah—Voice of joy and Voice of happiness; Voice of the groom and voice of the bride. From the seventh and last of the brachot (blessings) recited under the Chupah at a Jewish wedding ceremony these words contain a message that the joy and happiness of the occasion all center on the bride and ... Read More »

Passsover at Grandma’s

My personal memory that most symbolizes Passover is the Yellow Pages phone book. Two volumes—one per child—placed atop the formal,wider, seats of Grandma’s dining room chairs—comprised mid-Century booster seats. From the hemlines of usually matching Yom Tov sister dresses sprouted leotarded, patent leather-tipped feeslach. I loved Pesach—Breakstone butter on Matzah with dairy meals,wonderful chicken soup and kneidlach for the sedarim ... Read More »

Spectator University

Remember the dentist scene in the movie, “Finding Nemo”? A dentist was performing root canal under the constant gaze and sonorous commentary of a group of birds that apparently perched regularly outside the open window, affording them unrestricted views of the dentist’s work. The birds used what sounded like technical dental procedural jargon when they asked one another about the ... Read More »

Avoiding the App Trap

Dear Customer Service Representative with the Oxymoronic Job Title: Before we finally connected, after my holding through 28 minutes of music and a recorded message, I evolved the following observations: The term “elevator music” should require the modifier, “Blood Pressure.” The recorded message superimposed over or under the music – you know – the one that says that you value ... Read More »

Extreme Meme

This past November the Oxford Dictionary announced its 2018 Word of the Year. This announcement probably did not qualify as an A-list event where designer-clad, bejeweled celebrities strode a big red rug amid the cyclops brigades of TV camera lenses. No political polemic emanated from the winning word, nor did tearful acceptance speeches flow from the vowels or consonants.   Humbled ... Read More »

Hakarat haTov

LONG AFTER MY parents stopped using their portable dishwasher as a dishwasher, Dad and I used the wood top surface as a drop point for Dad to read my high school writing assignments. Dad worked in the post office in downtown Binghamton—a small city in Upstate New York’s snow belt.Dad would clock out from the PO at 11 PM and ... Read More »

WHEN WRITE IS WRONG

IF YOU’RE LOOKING for Autocorrect, he is indisposed. I arranged to have him put out of my misery. Not permanently – I’m not the violent sort. But he is safely confined to a place where he cannot wreak his mischief on my writings or yours. Since I bought my smart phone, I’ve gotten pretty good at writing composition-quality emails that ... Read More »

Why I Dislike Likening

We’ve aLL HEARD people who have endured misfortune complain that certain well-meaning souls do more to annoy them by relating their own or an associate’s experience that bears nominal relevance to that of the “captive audience”: “I know what you’re going through.” Actually, you don’t because you lost a six-week gestational embryo while your captive audience is burying his one ... Read More »

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