Six Months Later

December 24, 2021

In early June, I began to consider abandoning my Reading Challenge goal of reading 54 books in 2021. My mind was consumed by COVID concerns and too distracted to read an entire book for pleasure. Other than reading to prepare for classes and book club, I mostly leafed through magazines during the first 6 months of the year. Then, inspired by an email from Fulton County Library System notifying me that my … Read more

Remembering Rabbi Gillman

December 17, 2021

I was surprised to see in my Facebook memories that it has been more than four years since my teacher Rabbi Neil Gillman z”l died, and four years since I wrote about his influence on me as a teacher for the Rabbis Without Borders blog. I guess my sense of the passage of time has been distorted, not only by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic but also by the subsequent passing of several … Read more

It Sounds Better in Yiddish

December 10, 2021

Last week I didn’t post anything. Here’s why: I asked my younger daughter, who was celebrating her birthday, if I could write about her. She’s an adult, so I wanted to get her permission, and she gave it. However, when I told her I was proud of her accomplishments, she stumped me by saying, “You’re proud that I’m a year older?”  I realize now that I misspoke. It’s not pride, but nakhes, … Read more

Oh, Henry!

November 25, 2021

My spouse recently pointed out to me that, although my blog is advertised as “Reflections about my life, and about the dogs and humans that I love,” I haven’t written about the dog who is currently my favorite canine companion. This kvetch contains a partial truth: I haven’t written a blog post about Henry. However, I’ve definitely posted about Henry on Facebook. According to my count, there are 121 photos of Henry … Read more

The Latest News

November 19, 2021

This week, while concentrating on creative writing and editorial responsibilities, I decided it was time to send out a long-overdue newsletter. If you haven’t already subscribed to my quarterly newsletter, From My Writer’s Notebook, please visit the home page, scroll down and subscribe. It’s as easy as clicking a button! In other news, my post from October 29th about the resettlement of Afghan families in Metro ATL, “Welcome Home,” was shared on … Read more

Homecoming

November 12, 2021

“Home is where the heart is.” —Pliny the Elder  “If you go anywhere, even paradise, you will miss your home.” —Malala Yousafzai My spouse and I recently began our twenty-third year of living in Metro Atlanta. As we’re now empty nesters and beginning to think about where we might move when he retires, I’ve been feeling a tug toward New York. I’m also feeling guilty for thinking about leaving, because this is … Read more

Welcome Home

October 29, 2021

The local chapter of National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) is preparing welcome baskets for Afghan families about to arrive in Metro Atlanta. Because this organization has a long history and strong commitment to the resettlement of immigrants, as well as a true desire for a deeper understanding of and sensitivity to their needs, NCJW engaged with the Islamic Speakers Bureau of Atlanta (ISB) to provide volunteers with background information about Afghanistan and … Read more

Anticipatory Grief

October 20, 2021

We rescued Luna in December 2013, about 8 weeks after our first dog died. Jenna, a Chocolate Lab we rescued in 2003, had slowed down in the late summer. She was 13 years old, and her decline was swift. When it was time to let her go, we knew it was time.  We agreed to wait a while—at least 6 months—to adopt another dog. I began searching rescue and shelter websites almost … Read more

Creating Peace

October 14, 2021

When I first joined Tiferet’s Spiritual Poetry Writing class in July 2020, I never expected to find a well-spring of creativity and a source of sustenance in an online community of writers, never imagined I would spend an entire year of Thursday afternoons on Zoom, connecting so deeply with strangers. The class is hosted and facilitated by Donna Baier Stein, an award-winning novelist, short story writer, and poet, founder of Tiferet Journal … Read more

Terms of Renewal

October 7, 2021

Just over 2 years ago, I posted about the process of healing the body and spirit following a prolonged period of stress. It was the month before Rosh Hashanah, and I’d been reflecting on the meaning of teshuvah as restoring oneself. I’m not surprised to find myself thinking and writing about these same themes as we begin the new Jewish year in the midst of a second year of the pandemic. One … Read more