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Life Lessons

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It was the Monday morning right after the Pittsburgh synagogue attack, and I had not yet determined if and how I would approach the topic with my public school sixth-grade class.
Remember to Say ‘I Love You,’ Before It’s Too Late
For survivors of the sudden death of a spouse or family member, they wished they had a chance to say good-bye or say “I love you” one last time.
She Melted My Heart and Got a Ride Home
Standing at the counter was an elderly lady who immediately drew my attention. Within a somewhat fragile physique, she exuded light and strength. I smiled to her while noticing her shock of white hair, clear blue eyes and gentle smile, and then I said hello.
How I Learned to Cry Again
Cynicism tip-toed its way into my life, a soft pitter patter so quiet that I didn’t realize it was coming until it was already standing at my shoulder.
Beltani: How I Made Peace With My Imperfect Life
As women, we have incredible demands placed upon us, and a significant number of people in our lives who rely on us to be strong, to hold things together for them. There is often an invisible pressure that is not seen but felt—to be the perfect version of ourselves, to never let anyone see that things are not, in fact, as perfect as we try to project out to the world.
We Should All Be More Thankful
One day I was in a store and saw one of the mothers of our day-camp clientele. I thought to myself, “She really should come up to me and thank me for the years that I hosted her children in my house. In fact, why didn’t she ever call me in all these years to thank me for watching her daughters?”
Pack Lighter and Take What Truly Matters
Will the collection that I’ve amassed in the chamber warrant my entry into the banquet hall? Am I living my life as though I’m a traveler passing through?
When I told Sandra who I was and that I was calling to confirm our Shabbat-dinner date, her voice sounded choked, her words almost indistinguishable. Suddenly, the floodgates opened, and I heard unmistakable sobbing on the other end of the phone.
Today Was a Very Hard Day . . . Or Was It?
It's all in the perspective
Today, G‑d sent me one of those days where I had an opportunity to strengthen my spiritual muscles.
Recognizing G-d Along the Way (Road Bumps Notwithstanding)
One of the tires, while appearing fine superficially, was actually almost completely peeled off.
The Guiding Lights of a Positive Life
Lost . . .I could have been lost, completely lost, with no clue how to get home.
How I Dealt With My Anxiety Over Hosting
I’m an excellent cook, but everybody has their off-days, especially when making a huge amount of food.
In Desperate Need of a Charge
My phone’s been really weird about charging the last few days. Seems like something is off-kilter in the charging port. I’ve had to juggle the charger, wiggle it around, get it in exactly the right place and the right angle for that elusive, all-important red light to go on.
A Molehill Out of a Mountain
“My child is not walking,” I informed the doctor.
Saved by an Unlikely Person
Our upstairs neighbors for the past four years have been, well, challenging to say the least.
A Time to Be Born and a Time to Die
This week, for maybe the first time in my adult life, I attended a Hachnasat Sefer Torah that affected me deeply, in ways I could not have imagined beforehand.
How I Learned to Put Down My Phone on Shabbat, and Enjoy It
I knew it wouldn’t be easy to give up my smartphone on Shabbat and the holidays.
One Person’s Trashmen Are a Real Treasure
When someone deserved commendation for a job well done, my mother made a practice of telling the boss.
Looking Inward After Being Verbally Assaulted
She screamed at me for minutes on end, as I sat there, unable to get a word in, feeling terribly guilty and ashamed for the missed appointment and having wasted her time.
Mentally Ill, Mentally Well: Two Neighbors Share Shabbat
About an hour or so before Shabbat arrives, there’s a set of loud, repetitive knocks on my door. On the other side stands a mostly toothless woman, often carrying the overwhelming scent of the unbathed.