Jewish Mother Guilt and Breastfeeding (Updated)

Marjorie Ingall wrote an article in Tablet Magazine called Bottled Guilt, where she argues that Jewish women are set up to feel guilty when breastfeeding doesn’t work out. The desire to raise intelligent and healthy children is entrenched in our genes, and for most of us successful breastfeeding is … [Read more...]

Leftovers and the Kosher Kitchen

[Glossary below.] My mother z”l hardly ever threw out food. I think she managed this by serving five meat meals during the week. On the three “fleishig” weekdays, she transferred meaty leftovers from one main meal to the next. Whatever leftovers couldn’t go in a main course were recycled in the … [Read more...]

Tzniut (Modesty) and Breastfeeding in Public

I saw several women and girls in shalim (modesty cloaks) at the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo the other day. One shal-wearing mother was sitting on a bench, peacefully nursing her baby. Her shirt hid her breast completely and she saw no need for a blanket, apron or other cover. Comfort with public … [Read more...]

Book Review: People of the Book, by Geraldine Brooks

Cover of People of the Book: A Novel Geraldine Brooks' historical novel, The People of the Book, is based on the mysterious past of the famous Sarajevo Haggadah. Brooks intersperses the modern-day adventures of a book-restorer with a fictionalized account of the Haggadah's creation and its … [Read more...]

Exclusive: Interview with a Former Kannai, Part I

In my series on Pashkevilim, I gave highlights of a lecture about the community of anti-Zionist kannaim, or  zealots, in Jerusalem. @Jewnet invited me to interview her husband Moshe Yossef, a former kannai,  for an insider's view. I've divided the interview into two parts.  Part I is about Rabbi … [Read more...]

Shavuot, Eruv Tavshilin, Recipes and Carnivals

The holiday of Shavuot begins Thursday evening. Known in English as Pentecost because it takes place fifty days after Passover, Shavuot commemorates the giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai. The two main customs associated with the holiday are serving dairy foods and staying up all night to study … [Read more...]

Breastfeeding, Babies, and Hormonal Birth Control

Commenter and guest poster Ariela asked me to write about breastfeeding and birth control.  Since other methods generally don't impact breastfeeding, I'll limit the discussion to hormonal methods. Hormonal methods include the pill, some IUDs, and patches. They contain either progestin  alone or a … [Read more...]

Purim Costume Brainstorming

boy in homemade robot costume.

For an updated list for 2010, see Easy Costume Ideas. Reiza, who is pregnant and due right around Purim, tweeted that she hasn't thought about Purim costumes yet for her three kids. I always find it hard to come up with easy, inexpensive costumes. After Purim, of course, I have dozens of ideas. … [Read more...]

How Do Parents of Large Families Manage? Meet Tal and Talia

On Orthonomics a guest post about Orthodox homeschooling generated the following comment by "l": One problem that parents encounter is that in families where there are both older and very young children, the toddlers and infants often require many hours a day of the parents' care and leave little … [Read more...]

Simchat Torah Suggestions

Now that we're through kvetching about our Yom Kippur experiences, we can start analyzing Simchat Torah.Simchat Torah is a difficult holiday for Orthodox women. It seems like the men are having the fun, while the women are sitting around waiting, watching, and mostly talking. I don't mind sitting … [Read more...]