Nikki’s Story: Humans of Judaism

(1/6) “Grief”  “Around this time of year, in November of 2013, just before Thanksgiving, my father passed away suddenly. I was stopped in my tracks. I had a few friends around that time who also passed away, and so suddenly I was thrown into a tremendous amount of loss. Losing a parent is truly its…

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Alana’s Story: Seeking Spirituality

(1/6) “iMPRINTS” “When I was a child, I remember having romantic and beautiful feelings about Israel. I was deeply in love with and yearned for Israel. Anytime a family member or friend went on a trip to Israel it felt like a really big deal. Why? I don’t know for sure – but I do…

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Leah’s Story: Unconditional Personhood

(1/6) “Agency” “My mother grew up without a lot of agency, with little say in what happened to her in her life. At a certain point, she took life into her own hands. She raised me to always be 100% true to myself. I was a very passionate, feisty and fierce young woman growing up…

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Aliza’s Story: The Ultimate Gift

(1/7) “You May Need A Transplant” “In my mid-twenties I had not been feeling well. I went to the doctor, who after some blood tests, told me that I was very anemic. While this is pretty common in women, I was so anemic that he wanted me to get a blood transfusion. When I entered…

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A Jew Is A Jew: Lessons From Anti-Semitism

When I turned on my phone after Shabbat here in Israel, a nightmare scenario unfolded on my newsfeed. During a brit milah, in a synagogue in Pittsburgh, PA, a gunman burst into the shul and went on a murderous rampage. As he was shooting he shouted out, “ALL JEWS MUST DIE.” By the time I…

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Learning to Advocate For My Health

I was 16 when my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer, and 23 when she died. I was 27 when I found out that I had PCOS, and 28 when I found out that I tested negative for the common genetic markers for BRCA. The combination of having a family history of breast cancer and…

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Today, I Can’t Get Out Of Bed

I’m writing this on one of those days, where it feels impossible to get out of bed. I have these days that are so intense, I know I just need to stay put and ride the waves of pain, until they have passed. I never used to have any pain at all. I always felt…

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Battle for A Better Life

As a young girl, I was ill for many years before being diagnosed. Like most people, I had never heard of Endometriosis and Adenomyosis. Endometriosis is a condition resulting from the appearance of endometrial tissue outside the uterus and causing pelvic pain. Adenomyosis is a condition characterized by the abnormal presence of endometrial tissue (the…

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Young and Hurting: Trusting My Own Gut

Three years ago on Pesach I felt this terrible pain. A throbbing in my lower stomach and back area. The pain was so bad I couldn’t sleep. We alerted an EMT who lives next door, and they thought perhaps it was appendicitis. An ambulance was called to take me to the hospital and after many…

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Endometriosis: Not What The Doctor Ordered

Being on the tail end of nine kids, I was often the person to move in with older siblings to help them out with their new babies and adjust to their new way of life. I would hear the horror stories of how women were treated in birth, the way that some doctors spoke down…

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Confessions of a Cancer Warrior

Over the past few years, a few friends have asked  me, “I know you don’t like to talk about it, but how are you feeling?” My initial reaction is, really? How do they know that I don’t want to talk about my cancer? I never told anyone that I didn’t want to be asked how…

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Sukkot: Leaning into Vulnerability

Have you ever thought about how each season has a psychological component? During the cold winter nights where you don’t want to leave your apartment, the strong desire to stay inside, snuggled under your blanket, naturally makes your headspace fill with thoughts. The long days and early dark nights make it difficult to get up…

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