Babies Need Company

The alon Talmei Geulat Am Yisrael always has a column about family life. As usual, this has more to do with psychology than Judaism, but the author of last week's column, Varda Virzvinski, makes some valuable points. She is a member of the organization of Rabbinic Marriage and Family Counselors in … [Read more...]

Guest Post: Jewish Girls and Prayer

See below for background information and glossary. Commenter Abbi sent me her response to a discussion about prayer for girls in a mixed school. Should girls pray in the minyan alongside the boys, or as a separate group? What should be our goals for educating girls about tefilla and minyan, … [Read more...]

A long speech and a double-duty Torah reading

Chanting the Torah takes skill and preparation, so traditional synagogues assign someone to chant the weekly biblical portion. Sometimes members take turns, while some synagogues hire a professional. Lion of Zion is one such professional who often writes about the intricacies of the cantillation … [Read more...]

A Light for Greytowers: Movie Review

Yesterday I did three things that I almost never do: Drive to Jerusalem, take my teenage daughter alone on an outing, and watch a movie from beginning to end. But this was a special occasion--we went to see "A Light for Greytowers" produced by Robin Garbose.The Israeli screenings received extra … [Read more...]

Breastfeeding and Judaism: Why Moses’ Mother Didn’t Put Bottles into the Ark of Bulrushes

Below is the first post in my series on breastfeeding for the Israeli environmental blog Green Prophet. The Torah doesn’t talk much about breastfeeding, as it was taken for granted in ancient times. Moses’ mother doesn’t put bottles into the ark of bulrushes she sends down the Nile to save him from … [Read more...]

Jpix Jewish and Israel Photo Blog Carnival #21

Welcome to the December 8, 2008 edition of JPix, the Jewish Photo Blog Carnival.Let's take a moment to remember the victims of the Mumbai massacre, through a photo collage: Leah Lipszyc presents In Memoriam. Gabi & Rivky Holtzberg H"YD posted at chossid's photoblog.And now for the … [Read more...]

Our Israeli Container Garden

The second floor of our apartment has a large, sunny porch. At one point we had a thriving herb garden, which now contains only a geranium, some sad-looking rosemary, and a miniature citrus tree. I am gratified that the tree survived long enough for us to enjoy the single kumquat, since we couldn't … [Read more...]

Reading the "Little House" books

I've been reading the Little House series of books to my seven-year-old son Y. He loves them, even the rather slow descriptions of the prairie landscape in The House on Plum Creek.I remember a discussion on a Jewish blog about whether the description of killing and cooking a pig in the first book, … [Read more...]

Mnemonic for Noachide Laws

Ilana-Davita posted about the seven Noachide laws. According to Jewish tradition, these commandments are also binding on non-Jews. Here's a mnemonic for remembering them:Aleph-Bet-Gimel-Dalet and the Big Three? Aleph--Ever min hachai, the prohibition against eating a limb from a living animal? … [Read more...]

Cultural Differences

The responses to my post about the unfriendly woman in shul ranged from "She's shy" to "She's a snot." I think the answer lies elsewhere. First let me give an update.One day in September while I waited for the gan to let out, she did come and sit next to me. She asked how I was, and I asked her what … [Read more...]