I Was Wrong, About Tisha Ba’av

I was wrong.  Last year on Tisha Ba’av, I was a brand new olah, living here in Jerusalem for no more than two weeks. I stood out on my mirpeset, and I looked out on the city, twinkling with light and movement, while I heard the words of Eicha. I wrote a piece that night,…

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Faith Is All You Need

I have three kids. My two oldest are girls; Sophie is 7 and Emily is 4. My husband and I had always talked about how we wanted a boy. My grandfather passed away when we got engaged 9 years ago and I so badly wanted to have a baby to name after him, as he…

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Personal and Biblical Perspectives on Healing Through Music

After World Wars I and II, musicians began visiting wounded soldiers around the United States, playing familiar, soothing melodies to help alleviate pain, reduce stress, and encourage rehabilitation. This was the beginning of music therapy, a field that is now internationally recognized as a cost-effective, non-invasive, and meaningful treatment for various maladies. In the 1950s,…

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Jerusalem, Forever

I’ve waxed poetic about Jerusalem in almost every post I’ve written since I moved here, 11 months ago. The way she buzzes with energy from dawn to dusk. The way the sun blankets everything in blazing heat. How slippery her stones can be in the rain. How she twinkles at night, from lights in thousands…

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Coming Back to the Mikveh

When my husband and I felt our family was complete, I chose a birth control that would accommodate that decision. I had the Mirena IUD placed and was thrilled when, as I knew might happen, my periods ceased. An added bonus! As a religious woman, this new phenomenon not only meant no more monthly cycle,…

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Mikvah: The Unification of Opposites

It took me a long time to see how Torah and science are one and the same. As a young adult, I felt that I was composed of opposing ideas. That G-d had, perhaps, gifted me with attributes that just didn’t play well together. I was taught that some people were right brained (creative/spiritual) and…

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Making it to the Mikveh– With Breast Cancer

Published on The Layers Project Magazine in partnership with The Eden Center. A few months after giving birth to my fifth child, I had a conversation with a cousin whose mother had passed away from cancer. She asked me if I did a yearly checkup. I was only 38 years old at the time, and…

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When the Kallah Teacher Doesn’t Want to Go to the Mikveh

This essay was published in on The Layers Project Magazine in partnership with The Eden Center. Listen, it wasn’t all about my mikveh night, but it didn’t help that I had to go to the mikveh just then. I quarreled with my husband, I crumbled under the stress of competing life demands, and I left…

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Monologue in the Mikva

This essay is published on The Layers Project Magazine in partnership with The Eden Center. The image was taken during a performance of Mikva The Musical. There I am — preparing for my presentation on disabilities at the mikva to 200 attendants that are being trained at a conference run by The Eden Center.  My…

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Waters of Separation: For My Daughter at the Mikvah

Reprinted with permission from The Eden Center blog Three days before her wedding in May 2013, my daughter and I had a list of twelve tasks which we needed to accomplish, including facials for both of us, the final fitting of her wedding dress, and buying her new outfits for the Shabbat of Sheva Brachot.  The…

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