Our Lives

An Empty Place at Our Table
The impact of Shimon Vishnepolsky
Shake it Up!
Reflections on the East Coast Earthquake
I don't know about you but I definitely could use a little shaking up. Because when things stay in one place for too long they get boring, they get old....
You Think You’re Busy?
Rabbi, I appreciate your invitation to join your classes, but I just don’t have time in my life for spirituality right now . . .
The Power of a Good Deed
Forty-Five Years Later
The kind deed he had done was able to reach him forty-five years later, and breathe a renewed enthusiasm in him to enjoy his activities of daily living . . .
Planting a Message
Inge’s Daffodils
The daffodils that were planted in the hard-packed dirt at the base of the palm tree, those that are trampled on year after year, continue to break through the hard soil and proudly sprout their yellow blooms . . .
A Special Life
Igniting a Spark
The blessing in the broken-down car
Suddenly, to their surprise a car pulled over and a very Aryan looking man got out, walked over to them and asked if he could help...
A Moving Story
I need to throw out more stuff. Tug of heartstrings. What if my children want to see my doodles from Grade Eight? More importantly, what if I want to see their doodles from age two? There are no easy answers...
Under the Sea
If we would only slow down and pay attention to the beauty that surrounds us. We are called human beings, not human doings. We tend to value ourselves and others by how much we achieve, how many items we can check off our “to do” list, how much we can amass. If we would only slow down and fill each day with a few human “being” moments . . .
Longevity
Remembering my Father
“Don’t say that,” our father said, shaking his forefinger. “Mr. Malamud is all alone in the world. His children, his family, everyone went before him. It’s a curse I don’t wish on no one.”
A Duck and a Duty
Do these people deserve my money? Since when does cash drift gently from leafy poplars? Even my pastry was a momentary weakness. As these uncharitable thoughts flash through my system, I suddenly recall my mallards . . .
Choosing Her Final Resting Place
“Mummy. We love you and we’re trying to understand what you want. Once again, arrangements have been made for you to go back to England. But we don’t think that’s what you want . . .”
A Grave Mistake
We were very upset. Our mother had reserved that plot at the time of our father’s death, and had constantly reminded us that this was where she wanted to be buried—no matter where she was when she died. We felt terrible. We had failed her. But what could we do—it was out of our hands...
Weave a Tapestry of Experiences
The fibers of living are inevitably spun of truth and lies, generosity and greed, sharing and possessing, love and hate, joy and despair, dignity and shame, courage and fear, humility and ego, desire and denial, clarity and confusion...
My Glass
It is the timeless question. Is the glass half full, or is it just half empty. Do the bad times define a person, or just how we we handle them?
Welcome Tzemach!
Musings of a Newly Minted Grandfather
Tzemach has transformed us all. Our firstborn son just became a father. That upgrades us, his parents, into grandparents, our children into uncles and aunt, my siblings into great uncles and great aunt, my parents into great grandparents...
Stuffed with Love
My four-year-old son, not to be outdone, offered to collect stuffed animals at his nursery school. Soon, the animals were arriving at all hours and without notice. With each delivery, my daughter beamed...
Confessions of a Lazy Millionaire
People can organize their budgets any way they want, but I personally ascribe to the accounting theory that a penny saved is a penny earned. Obviously a return counts as profit, but so does a purchase never made.
Havoc on the I-55
A woman jumped out of her car into the rain and snow. The wind attacked her hair mercilessly. "Do you need help?" She yelled. "YES," I shrieked back...