Yiddish Far Alleh Taug (Yiddish for Everyday)

By Henya Chaiet Ah gooten morgen tzu eich tyereh Yiddisheh kinder. Onshuldicht mir far derfar vaus ich haub nisht gehret mit eich far etlehcheh maunahten. Ich haub geven nisht gezundt, uhn in hauspital. (Good morning, my dear Yiddish children. Please excuse me for not writing to you these past few months. I was ill and […]

Passover: Why is My God
Different from Your God?

Ever since I can remember, I have been in a relationship with God. Despite growing up in a family of agnostics, I always believed in, and even felt, the presence of God in my world. My idea of God as a child was that of a Biblical God – all-knowing, omnipotent, father-like, and ubiquitous. God […]

Filling the Hands of Leaders

Most of us, if we think of ourselves as Jews, inevitably ask this question:  What accounts for the phenomenal survival and success of the Jewish people? [whohit]Filling the Hands of Leaders[/whohit] By all logic we should have disappeared long ago, as did dozens of other ancient civilizations and nations. The Greeks and Romans, with all […]

Florida’s Boca Raton Resort and Club
is like fine wine (especially on Passover)

[whohit]Florida’s Boca Raton Resort and Club[/whohit] One of the linguistic curiosities in the names of some American cities is the startling cleavage between the meaning and reality of those names. A case in point: Boca Raton, in the original Spanish, means “rat’s mouth” a designation which the Spanish explorers gave to the indentation on the […]

Florida’s Sun, Sand and The Arts

[whohit]South Florida’s flourishing arts scene[/whohit] South Florida’s flourishing arts scene, and its growing potential as a meeting place for singles, is now drawing more than just snowbirds in the winter. The numerous theaters, concert venues, exhibits, festivals and fairs of all sorts are attracting visitors of every age. Among the singles groups in South Florida […]

Why Israel Will Miss Ariel Sharon

JERUSALEM – I was privileged to know, appreciate, and befriend Ariel Sharon for both before and during the years he served as Israel’s 11th prime minister. He became, through the years, a dear friend. In today’s parlance, we were on each other’s “like list.” We frequently spoke on the phone. Whenever I visited Israel, or […]

Inside Llewyn Davis – (movie review)
“In Ways Normal To His Place”

“Folk song calls the native back to his roots and prepares him emotionally to dance, worship, work, fight, or make love in ways normal to his place.” Alan Lomax, Folk Songs of North America. Over sushi in Brooklyn the other night, I was asked to justify why we made the kids see Inside Llewyn Davis, the […]

A New Peace Plan For Israel
And The Palestinians

My wife and I are in preparations for a trip to Israel, the Holy Land, Eretz Yisroel. It will be the 4th time in a year and a half, because we are parents, grandparents and great-grandparents of family in Israel, and because, as long as we can, we want to be at every simcha.  Did we […]

Shevat – A Month Of Renewal – Kabbalah of the Month

This new month of Shevat beginning sunset on January 1, 2014 is pregnant with new possibilities. Some of us may have lived through a cold and challenging winter this year in our lives, but spring is coming. Be patient and never lose hope. The first part of the month of Shevat may still feel energetically […]

Shipley Speaks – What is A Green Grocer?

There are words, expressions and entire languages that rise, spread and then seem to just disappear. Today it would seem even the e-mail is going out of style, replaced by texting which replaces words with single letters (You = U). This is not a judgment, just a statement of fact. Remember when you sent a […]

Judah ben Teima used to say:
At 5 years Old A Person Should Study The Scriptures

Pirke Avot 5:24 – Judah ben Teima used to say: At five years old a person should study the Scriptures, at ten years for the Mishnah, at thirteen for the commandments, at fifteen for the Talmud, at eighteen for the bridechamber, at twenty for one’s life pursuit, at thirty for authority, at forty for discernment, […]

Educate to End Genocide

September 25, 2013 If your summer reading list included Witness to the Storm: A Jewish Journey from Nazi Berlin to the 82nd Airborne, 1920-1945 by Werner T. Angress (2012) or Children of the Holocaust: Conversations with Sons and Daughters of Survivors by Helen Epstein (Penguin Books, 1979), you might be a 2nd generation Holocaust survivor. […]

What My Clever Mother Used To Say

  October 2012 Yiddish speaking friends listen “up”, and let’s speak a little. Not a literary Yiddish, but a common every day one: [whohit]What My Clever Mother Used To Say[/whohit] 1. Geh nisht mit shlechteh chaverim. (Don’t associate with bad friends.) 2. Ess ah bisseleh nor zaul daus zein eppes goot. (Eat a small amount […]

Shabat Shalom – Be Strong As The Leopard, Swift As The Eagle…

Dec. 20, 2013, 17 Tevet 5774, Shemot Exodus 1:1–6:1 Pirke Avot 5:23 – Judah ben Teima used to say: Be strong as the leopard, swift as the eagle, fleet as the gazelle, and brave as the lion to do the will of your Father in Heaven. He also used to say: The impudent are for […]

The Yiddish word for today

November 2013       Daus Yiddish vort far heist. (The Yiddish word for today.) Der zummer gait avek un balt vet shane veren kalt. (Summer is over and soon we will be getting cold weather.) Ahz ich haub geven ah clayneh ven der vetter is gevoren kalt flegen mir gain yehder mitvauch in shvitz […]

Childhood Memories In The Sukkah

October 2013     Ah gooten un gehzunter yor alleh meineh Yiddish lehenershaft un frynt. (A good and healthy New Year to all my Yiddish readership and friends.) Ich vil eich dertzalen vegen mein zaydes sukeh. (I want to tell you about my zayde’s sukkah.) Yeder yor glych nauch Yom Kippur fleckt der zayde tzuzamen […]

Tears No Longer Sting My Eyes

As a Holocaust educator, I see the need for all humanity to work for peace and justice so that “Never again!” becomes a reality for all people, and not just a slogan. For over a decade, I have been a member of a Jewish-Palestinian dialogue group and a multifaith group composed of lay leaders and […]

Meineh Yungeh Yorn (My Early Years)

June 2013 Yiddisheh kinder hert zach tzu ich vil redden mit eyech hynt fun meineh yungeh yorn. (Listen and I will tell you about my early years.) Ich haub zich gehaudevet in oremkeit, auber ich haub alleh mol geven tzufreeden mit vos haut pahsert. Der far vos ich haub gehat mein mutters mishpaucheh zayernaunt. I […]

Meineh Shayneh Gehdanke Fun Pesach (My good memories of Pesach)

March 2013     Ich gehdenk ahz glych nach Purim flegen mir aun hayben ramen tzu machen dee hoyz Pesachdik. Mir hauben nisht gehhat kein dindzt flegen mir alleh helfen dermahme. (I remember as soon as Purim was over we started cleaning to ready the house for Passover. We did not have maids so all […]

A Freilichen Purim

February 2013     “Haynt iz Purim morgen iz ouz, git mir ah groyshen un varft mir ahroys.” (“Today is Purim tomorrow it’s over, so give me a penny and I’ll be gone.”) Many years ago, little children would run from house to house in their little shtetl singing this on Purim. I heard it […]

Chicago Winters When I Was A Girl

January 2013   By Henya Chaiet Yiddisheh kinderlach hert zich tzoo un ich vel eych dertzalen ah bissel vegn mineh yungeh yoren. (Yiddish lovers listen and I will tell you a bit of my life story when I was a little girl.) Vinter is geven zayer kalt un greyleh shnayen in shtaut Chicageh. (The winters […]

How We Celebrated Chanukah

December 2012     By Henya Chaiet Yiddisheh kinder hert zich tzoo un mir vellen redden vegen Chanukah. Oy Chanukah; Chanukah ah yom tov ah shayner. (Yiddish friends listen up and we will talk about the holiday of Chanukah.) Ven ich hob geven ah klayneh kinde flegen mine mutters mishpaucheh cumen tzoo zamen bye dee […]

Israel and the Iran Effect

By Howard W. Karsh Within the history of any nation, there is a complex pattern of nature and politics that have shaped the life of the country. There is probably no nation like Israel whose history has been so dominated by its location and the quest for control. It has no buried wealth, but events […]

Cookbook by Chicago Hadassah Chapter

By Sybil Kaplan B’te Avon III Tasteful Treasures from North Boundary Hadassah, 3-ring binder, $25 plus $7 postage and handling; order from bigchapter.chicago@Hadassah.org or North Boundary Hadassah, 4711 Golf Road, Skokie, IL. 50076 For the 40-some years I’ve been involved with food as a food writer, cookbook author and cookbook reviewer, I have maintained that […]

Our first Israeli wedding

By Sybil Kaplan We had been in Israel one week short of three years, and although we have attended many simchot, heard about weddings from friends (and from my daughter who has gone to many weddings), when our friend called to ask if we would like to attend the wedding of his daughter, we were […]

Begrudging or Bust – Cinema Jews from Rosh Hashanah to New Year’s Eve

Jack and Jill There’s no denying that Adam Sandler has a talent for playing rather awkward and puerile Jewish men who are surprisingly likable, even appealing. Yet when Sandler applies this formula to portraying a Jewish woman, the result is the awkwardness without the appeal and likability factors. This is all too clear all too […]

Creating Meaningful Jewish Rituals – A Recipe For Well-Being

By Amy Hirshberg Lederman January 26, 2012 When I was growing up my family didn’t observe many Jewish rituals. We didn’t light candles on Friday night and my dad’s idea of keeping kosher was not putting bacon on a cheeseburger. None of us knew which prayers were said for eating, drinking, or celebrating the holidays, […]

Shevat Began Jan 26

By Melinda Ribner It may still be the heart of the winter in many places, but the month of Shevat marks a hidden and mystical time of new beginnings. Shevat is a time of rebirth, new inspiration and creativity. The first part of the month may still feel dark and harsh, but that all changes […]

For the Sake of Others

By Rabbi Irwin Wiener, D.D Sitting in my study I began reading a book about the life of Albert Einstein. To say that he was an interesting person would be to understate his importance or the impact he had on humanity with his Theory of Relativity – the concept of time and space. To this […]

Kvetching Andy Rooney Style

Andy Rooney alas is dead. I used to love to hear him kvetch. Chanukah and that other holiday have passed when the transliteration chachamim (Chelm “wise” men) were at it again. I received a card with the Chanuka(h) blessings (spelled with two k’s no less) and I noticed the Hebrew word a-tah spelled with two […]