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Editorial & Commentary

How to Be Happy
Life is hard. So many painful, disturbing and distressing events occur to us and to the world around us. Can we really be joyful in this kind of environment?
Why the Rabbi's Wife Is Off-Limits (And Will Stay That Way)
Did you know that there are no outright jokes about a rebbetzin? Are rebbetzins taboo?
How Missing My Flight Back Home Turned Me in the Right Direction
So many times in my life I had planned out my future, and so many times I had been handed the unexpected. It struck me at that moment that I was experiencing the hand of G‑d literally reaching into my life and changing the course of my future.
5 Misconceptions About Keeping Kosher
With a little education—and a lot of help, support and advice from friends and others in my life—I decided to take the kosher plunge.
A Feeling of Nostalgia . . . A Feeling of Home
What is that smell I love . . . the smell that cries out to my soul? It’s the smell of Shabbat cooking, whether it’s matzah-ball soup or Moroccan fish, cholent, t’fina or kibbe hamda. It’s that smell of something special and familiar. The smell of Shabbat. The smell of home.
5 Concrete Ways to Wake Up Full of Energy
To be Jewish is to understand that there is much to do, that time is fleeting, and that each day affords us the priceless gift of life.
Life’s Little Challenges: How You Envision This Very Moment
The trait of a good eye is not just about seeing others with a good eye, but about seeing life in general with a good eye.
My Message to the Woman Stuck High on That Crane
I have questions. I’m still intrigued. But I am worried that the criminal charges will close that door. Why? Because I might see you as “other” and relate more to the “not me” part of your story.
The Soulful Tune that Awakens
My soul is awakened, as if it could hear someone calling its name. It stirs slowly at first and then begins to become fully alive, as if it finally has a purpose.
How a Portuguese King Found Solace in the Psalms of His Ancestors
What, if any, possible knowledge of their Jewish heritage or ancestors was transmitted to them? What did they know about being Jews, and did this have anything to do with choosing Jewish wives, or was that simply a “coincidence”?
Seven Awe-Inspiring Prayers That Jewish Women Say
Judaism offers prayers to say for every occasion. But a few prayers said by women offer a distinct path to communicate with the Divine.
I’ve Sinned. Now What?
Aware I was breaking Shabbat, even as I continued to exercise this fanatical and futile habit, I was bombarded by thoughts like “It’s too late,” “It’s done,” “Why stop now?”
5 Solid Strategies for Battling Cynicism
Here are five strategies that have worked in our family, helping us to banish cynicism and encouraging us to look at the world in a more cheerful, upbeat manner.
3 Tools to Decompress Financial Stress
Most of us are largely worried and secretive about our finances.
Helping Another Through the Deep Stages of Pain
You don’t need to be a therapist to be able to sit quietly with a person in pain and just be there.
What the Torah Taught Me About Kindness to Animals
The animal laws in the Torah suggest that animals are intelligent—maybe even more than we know they are.
Three Ways to Thrive, Knowing You’re Not Alone
I’m used to digging myself out of the foxhole through the help of friends, family, inspirational words of wisdom and mentors, ad infinitum.
When My Faith Fails, I Get Practical About Judaism
Usually, when I realize what good has come from my life because of Judaism, I feel better about it and I get back to the place where I want to be.
Whose Monopoly on Suffering?
Two people might have the same exact difficulty, but for one person it is a mediocre challenge, perhaps a level 5 test, while for another it may be excruciatingly difficult, a level 10 test.
‘Negative’ Emotions? 4 Tips on How to Accept Them
While it’s commendable to work on developing our positive quality traits, it’s also important to our self-worth to recognize that we are whole and worthy beings with all sorts of emotions.
Unravelling the Mystery of My Father's Hebrew Name
I was due to give birth in less than a week, and I still didn’t know the exact name to give our about-to-be-born son.
Touring Alaska: Shabbat in the Inside Passage
What was supposed to be a cruise full of packaged meals and solo praying became one of the most moving, inspiring and amazing Shabbat experiences of my life.
My Rejected Credit Card: Seeing G‑d in the Supermarket
I looked into my purse and saw that I had about 12 dollars, which was over 100 dollars short of what I needed.
Lesson on the F Train
Accept. Tolerate. Be open. Yet at the same time: Care.
Don’t Let Your Challenges Get the Best of You
When a challenge seems too daunting to confront, some people simply choose to avoid it. The Rebbe Maharash, Rabbi Shmuel, takes a different approach.
Three Reasons I Love Living in Israel
Especially during wars or trying times, people question, “Isn’t it scary to raise a family there?”
How to Let Go of a Dream
What Abraham Taught Us About Commitment
Have you ever made great plans that went down the drain?
My Summer Monologue: A Thought on Prayer
“Lady, I hate to break it to you, but it sounds like you’re having a conversation with yourself. Why bother?!”
Does Technology Blind Us From Seeing G-d?
In this world, we are given tools, many of them. We have medicines and machines, we have diets and therapies. All these tools, they are given to us to help us, like glasses for poor vision.
Peace, Love and Hakhel: Uniting With the Other
Peace, love and harmony. Coexistence and community. These rosy ideals are easy to dream and sing about, but so much harder to achieve in everyday life.
Harness the Body’s Passion to Increase the Soul’s Joy
Which experience do you think is more elevated—dancing up a storm at a wedding, or talking to G‑d during your morning prayers? Savoring a fresh chocolate doughnut on Chanukah, or delving into a book of Torah?
What My Fruit Diet Taught Me
I decided to visit a renowned raw-food healer and see what she thought about my passion for fruit.
The Incredible Wedding That United Us All
These moments captured the essence of our people--the faith, the hope and the unity.
How I Connect to G-d During My 26-Mile Morning Run
It's four o’clock in the morning when my alarm goes off.
Turn the Volume Down: How to Deal With Your Inner Critic
You follow me around all day, watching how you can undo me. And undo me you do.
Berkeley Chabad House Revisited
Late Friday afternoon, the sun begins to set behind the San Francisco Bay…
Life Beyond the Kármán Line
Must we move to heaven to experience infinite ethereality? I think not.
Living for Gilad, Eyal and Naftali
The entire country felt it. There was a unity, a connection that was palpable.
Leaving Brooklyn
Everyone in our world seemed to be a Holocaust survivor. Yiddish-speaking. Check. Accented English. Check. Tattoo. Check. No parents of their own. Check. No stories of their childhood or teenage years. Check.
Shopping for Meaning
Shopping. You either love it or hate it. It’s a lot like life.
How I Came to Want to Live in Israel
We were enjoying a lovely life in Maryland. So what did we do? We uprooted our family and moved to Israel!
Grateful in Grand Central
I stared at the words in the upper left corner of my phone: “No Service.” I felt vaguely uneasy, like some part of me was missing.
Religious? Not Me!
When I hear the word "religion," I instinctively cringe. My stomach turns. My hands become clammy. My throat dry. On occasion, I have been known to break out in hives. This tends to confuse people who know me as a Torah observant Jewish woman...
Knowing What’s Important
Ten, eleven, twelve. I get to the top of the staircase, say a short prayer and brace myself for the greeting that I am about to receive as I open the door. Every morning it's the same as I arrive at the Eating Disorder clinic where I work...
The Time Keeper
I realized that these graves were in my backyard right now for a reason. And in order to hear the message, I needed to be courageous enough to look straight at the cemetery and learn from it...
The Incomparable Joy of Being Heard
We all want to be heard, but it is so hard to really listen – even to ourselves! Just about all of us have come to think of education as being about bringing knowledge from the outside in, not from the inside out, but it's really an exchange between one bottomless well of wisdom to another...
Can You Define a Jew?
"What is a Jew?" the teacher asked the class. I was at a conference in Los Angeles. Every type of Jew could attend and any attendee could present. This was my first class. His question got me thinking...