Mothers and fathers across the country are beginning to catch their collective breaths because school has begun! In recognition of this milestone, I offered as my first contribution to the new online magazine called Nashim one of my favorite columns, called The Kids Are Back in School and I’m Broke. I am really glad that over the years I chose to write so many “evergreen” columns as opposed to time-sensitive pieces, because now I can share some of my tales from the front lines of motherhood with a younger generation of parents. So far, they are enjoying the parental commiseration!
Speaking of school, three of our four children are employed as teachers in Jewish education, and our son who is not actively teaching is in law school, but he also teaches on the side. Jeff and I are so proud of our kids for so many reasons, first and foremost because they are wonderful human beings who have brought into our family equally wonderful spouses and in a few cases, grandchildren (lots of extra points for grandchildren!). We are proud of their commitment to Jewish education, where they have the potential to have enormous and lasting positive impact on how children learn, and see the world, and their place in it.
The latest news about The Skeptic and the Rabbi: Falling in Love with Faith
For you Kindle readers who haven’t yet downloaded The Skeptic and the Rabbi, hurry up! Now through September 7, it’s on sale for the practically free price of .99! As they say on the radio, “this promotion won’t last,” so here’s the direct link to purchase: https://amzn.to/2OyswqS
In other news, the audiobook version is in the final editing stages, and I hope that within a month it will be for sale. As soon as it is, I’ll let you know and will also upload an audio clip from the first chapter. I couldn’t have asked for a better narrator, Susanna Burney, and producer, Lyssa Browne of Cedar House Audio.
I continue to hear from readers who are enjoying my memoir. Recently, a college student with an exuberant personality wrote to tell me it literally has changed her life. Now that was an incredible thing. We are now corresponding, as she begins to make pivotal decisions about her own life’s journey, and I am reminded of the huge responsibility it is to put your writing out there–you do not know the impact it may have.
I also know of a few high school teachers who are adding The Skeptic and the Rabbi to their class reading lists. For local schools, of course I’m available to come and speak to the classes. I think my book can really help give teens as well as adults the courage of their convictions, especially in an age where the pressures to “resist” nearly all forms of traditional values is exceptionally strong.
Links to recently published columns
I was prompted to write When Name Calling Is a Good Thing, published in the Jewish Journal, when I began to notice that the simple act of addressing people by name, whether store clerks, customer service agents on the phone, or anywhere else, made a big difference in our otherwise small interactions. Try it and see what happens!
On Aish.com, I wrote a review of a wonderful documentary titled 93Queen, about the first all-woman (and all Hasidic) EMS squad serving the Orthodox community of Borough Park, New York. You’ll find this one fascinating. In the process, I was able to interview Judge Ruchie Freier, the first female Hasidic judge elected in New York, who was the primary mover and shaker behind the EMS squad, called Ezras Nashim.
And on The Wisdom Daily, you won’t be surprised to see me arguing against the commonplace use of profanity in the essay Is Overuse of Profanity Harming our Society?
Also on the same website, I pled guilty to irrational emotions when it was time to retire an aged food processor. You can read about it in my column Why I Get Sentimental About Old Kitchen Appliances.
Rosh Hashana — What Awaits Us in the New Year?
In a little more than a week Jews will usher in our High Holidays: Rosh Hashana, Yom Kippur, and then Sukkot and Simchat Torah. September will be jam-packed with reflection, prayer, celebration, and unless we are very, very careful, way too much food. I will have an essay in next week’s Jewish Journal about seeing ourselves as worthy of God’s love, attention and forgiveness (when we need it); I hope some of you might go to their website and check it out–it will be online beginning September 7.
I wish each and every one of you a meaningful beginning to the Jewish New Year, or to the fall season, or both–just wishing you health and blessings all around.
One last note: I have a new email address: firstname.lastname@example.org. Please write to me at this address going forward.
All the best,