Category: 400 thoughts

  • Our prayer.

    Our prayer.

    There’s something about our prayer in Judaism – it’s timeless. That’s out of necessity, out of an evergreen survival mode; but some periods of survival are more… necessity than others. I think that’s what fueled the magnet that drew me, compelled me, to shul this past shabbat. I had to be among those communal words,…

  • The privilege to choose where you’re murdered for being a Jew

    The privilege to choose where you’re murdered for being a Jew

    A reaction from a lot of Americans (including the State Department, apparently): “You can always come here.” I do feel guilt and appreciation around this, rooted in the well-meaningness and love of my friends and family; I understand how irresponsible? selfish? it might seem: “You have American passports. You can always come on a plane…

  • Ok, let’s get technical

    Ok, let’s get technical

    To my friends and family outside, let’s get technical. It’s Saturday morning, and your plan was to sleep till, oh, 9am. Take it easy, get everyone dressed for shul, go get your Simchat Torah aliya. But instead, you wake up to an absolutely awful 80s video game sound, obnoxiously loud, and wonder if your husband…

  • Dispatch after 72 hours into whatever comes next

    Dispatch after 72 hours into whatever comes next

    If there’s a teudat zehut (ID card) in your pocket, it’s like this: whether you were born here or moved here a year ago, your life is intertwined with whatever is happening outside your own mind and body. Whether you asked for it or not, whether you agree with or not, whether you fully comprehend…

  • A season for internal Jewish liberation.

    A season for internal Jewish liberation.

    Here’s a secret. Even as a kid, I enjoyed sitting in synagogue on the high holidays. Even when friends would coax me to join them outside during the ‘boring parts’. (I didn’t really find them boring.) Even when my mom was reading any and all books from the stuffed shelves near the back row. Even…

  • Aliyah is a million cuts.

    Aliyah is a million cuts.

    When you’re 22 and pick up and move to another country with a minimum 9-hour flight time, you’re really not thinking about 18 years later when the other shoe drops. The first shoe dropped when you had your first kid, and realized how hard it is to have added yet another family member to the…

  • Naturally insatiable.

    Naturally insatiable.

    Why are we so hungry all the time? Why are we hard coded for never enough, never satiated? Is it evolutionary? Survival? So we constantly have something to live for? Is that when we start to die, when the hunger disappears? When we do these hikes, and I turn back to look, for one luxurious…

  • Undressing Israel.

    Undressing Israel.

    A set of giant concrete blocks that serve as guard posts at the checkpoint near my house now has a fancy sign on it: עמדה 2 Things here have always felt concrete – heavy, burdensome, temporary but permanent – but they’re getting more and more more concrete over time and experience and murder and terror…

  • The hard way.

    The hard way.

    At the ‘חוג בת מצווה’ I’m doing with my daughter, tonight’s session was focused on Jewish Israeli women heroes of the last century; this follows six weeks focused on even earlier historical Jewish strongwomen. Posters that hung around the room exposed us to some oldies but goodies – Naomi Shemer, Golda Meir, Henrietta Szold –…

  • Woman, today.

    Woman, today.

    #1  This time was different. I’m not sure why. I guess I am. There’s a weight on my chest. For months, for several years. Like I’m sure there is on yours, at least, maybe.  I dunked once and felt like I could see myself in the water. That weight was lifted within the liquid mass…

  • Go forth.

    Go forth.

    What a weird twist… to be exploring Jewishness and Israeliness and what this peoplehood means these days when it’s appearing more and more difficult to understand the meaning of what’s happening in the world…  …during the week we read parshat Lech Lecha.  What does it mean to pick up and leave something you know? Swept…

  • Is ‘local’ the answer?

    Is ‘local’ the answer?

    I’ve been thinking about local vs global for a while now. I think there’s a clear crossover between my midlife crisis (five years and counting?) and this growing sense that the most important thing we can do – as individuals – is pay attention to the local vs the global. There seems to be a…