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Our Lives

Homeless Man + Me + Psalms = Hospital Room on Fire
A wiry man with a neatly trimmed graying beard, Sam was pacing back and forth in the small hospital room when I knocked. He greeted my, “Hi, I’m Chaplain Miriam” with friendly intensity and dove right into his story, his challenges.
The Stranger Who Saved Me From Fainting on the Subway
“I think I am going to faint,” I say nervously to no one in particular.
The Law of the Shopping Bag
How many bags would I actually need? What if I said one number and really needed more? Now that each bag cost money, could I get by with fewer bags than usual?
The Sigh That Breaks the Human’s Back
Who else comes to a massage therapist except women with tense backs?
Looking Back, Digging Deeper and Finding the Silver Lining
One part of me lives as though something scary is just waiting to whip its head out from around the corner up ahead. Another part of me sees life from a bird’s-eye view, and knows that although things were frightening, they worked out, and I was in fact being guided to a more beautiful place.
Just What the Doctor Ordered
As I sit in a specialist’s examining room, surrounded by high-tech equipment that is surely the latest word in medical care, my thoughts revert to a conversation I’ve recently had with a friend.
G-d's Gift-Wrapped Present
A sudden overwhelming urge for chocolate made my eyes snap open.
What I Do When My Mind Begins Concocting Worst-Case Scenarios
There are days when my brain is so fired up with worries of what-ifs and how-coulds that my fight-or-flight instincts take center stage, resulting in mental paralysis, emotional hyperactivity, and the never-ending feeling of swimming upstream while weighted down.
Why My Letters to the Rebbe Stopped
My parents divorced, and the only letters written were to judges and mediators; the only car trips were to downtown Chicago for court dates.
Good-bye, Abba
Who hears him cry? Does he know? He doesn't remember having daughters.
Getting Spiritual in the Cemetery
It was the perfect activity for one of those dreary Sunday afternoons in the summer: a visit to my father's grave.
My Special Sukkot Visitor
We decide to rent an apartment in Jerusalem over the High Holidays, to get a feel for what it will be like to actually live here. Maybe at the end of our holiday, we'll make the big decision which will impact the rest of our lives.
The Loftiest Tear
I am humbled by the sensitivity and compassion of my daughter. She is crying tears of sadness at the very thought of another human being hurt by an insult.
To Lose a Child
People say . . . time will heal. How can a broken heart ever be healed?
My Life Is a Boat Ride
G‑d put me on a boat and released the anchor, or so I feel. Truthfully though, G‑d holds on, and I must not forget that.
Jealous of the Dog
Was this the first time that my mother felt welcomed and greeted with sincere happiness? Can I ever remember, as a child, being excited as my mother walked in the door?
Baking Cookies
It’s a shame I didn’t take pictures of them. But I’ve got those pictures engraved in my head. And more importantly, my daughters do...
I obliterated the shadow of illness and defilement that had poisoned what I had held sacred. When I affixed the mezuzah to the doorpost of the den, I affirmed that what is created in this room, what is thought in this room, is free of lies and deception. Only truth is spoken here...