Monday, September 27, 2021

Divrei Torah - JewishLink

Sukkot Vacation?

I was known as a “good girl.” My seat was always right in front of the teacher and my hand always shot up enthusiastically in answer to her questions. My neatly written assignments were handed in right on time. So I was caught totally unprepared that morning, so many years ago, to hear my sixth grade teacher Miss Lewin’s public admonishment.



Sukkot Site-Hopping In Israel

Jerusalem—Three times in a year shall all of the [Jewish] people appear before G-d in the place that God will choose (Jerusalem)” (Deuteronomy 16:16)

Since biblical times, hundreds of thousands of Jews made their way to the holy city three times a year, with festivities and activities taking place during the seven days of Pesach and Sukkot, and


Sukkot: Decorating Outside the Box

Sukkot is a perfect time to embrace the concept of an outdoor room. Autumn, in this area, is beautiful and provides the optimal backdrop for the sights and sounds of family gathered around a table in a well decorated sukkah. While thinking about decorating your sukkah, try to fully seize upon the idea of sukkahas dining


Motherhood in the “Lean In” Era

(This article appeared in Lilith magazine––independent, Jewish & frankly feminist––summer 2013. Visit www. Lilith. org for more information and to subscribe. Reprinted with permission. )

Part I of this article appeared in the last issue of JLBC. It discusses the need for new, affordable early-childhood education models for the Jewish


Is Your Child Eligible For Extended Time and School Accommodations?

Over the summer, I received a number of calls requesting an educational and/or ADHD evaluation. These requests came from frustrated college students and parents who felt that they or their children would perform better academically if they were granted school accommodations, such as extended time.

An accommodation is by definition something that not every


Bullying and the “Hidden Disabilties”

Yosef, a quirky and socially awkward young boy enters the restroom at school. A group of boys who are a little older follow. The older boys are laughing and joking around. Yosef goes to the sink to wash his hands and the older boys speak to him. Yosef sees that they are laughing and thinks to himself they must be having fun. He thinks that they are inviting him to join


Thoughts on Marriage

From time to time, I will part from my usual format of answering questions to share with you thoughts regarding marriage and its challenges.

A number of years ago, I was speaking to a large gathering of women at a N’shei Chabad convention.  After my address, during the question period, a woman began telling the story of her marriage a number of


Ten Ways to Upgrade Back-to-School Night

Our schools are great. I really believe that. And because of that, I’m confident that the leaders and teachers in our schools can put their heads together to come up with a better way to do “Back-to-School Night.” If Facebook posts and bus stop conversations are any indication, parents perceive Back-to-School Night as a test of their endurance and patience.


The Power of Connections: Thoughts on Rosh Hashana

Imagine the scene at the funeral of Avraham. Everyone is there. The room is full. There is an overflow crowd stretching out the door as thousands of people have come to pay their last respects to the individual whose new way of thinking about God had revolutionized the world.

Avraham’s son Yitzhak gets up to speak. He looks out over the huge crowd and there,


Repression of the Sublime

It was advertised as one symposium at a major psychology conference. It was to be a discussion about memory and forgetfulness. But it turned out to be one of the most intense and instructive days that I have ever witnessed.

The first speaker began by insisting that the fact that we remember things is obvious. What requires explanation, he argued, is why we


Shabbos Shuva

Poor Sefer Yoel. It always tends to be ignored when it comes to Trei Asar. Everyone remembers Sefer Yonah from Yom Kippur, Hoshea from “Shuva Yisrael ad Hashem Elokecha,” and Malachi from the last two pissukim which have been referenced as referring to Ba’alei Teshuva. But Sefer Yoel? It appears briefly at the Seder right before the Makkos (the spilling on wine


Grading Like God

In some ways it seems that we, as educators, ignore that the school year begins in Elul. We spend much time learning about the texture of the month and preparing for the Yomim Noraim, but we miss out on the educational model that Elul and the High Holidays present to us as teachers.

Elul is characterized by its focus on Teshuva. In thinking

Sign up now!