Monday, June 05, 2023


Pesach Is for Nuts

Some would say that the amount of work that goes into making Pesach is nuts. My friends used to tell that to me when I glowed when describing to them all of the cooking and preparing that I did in order to make the holiday enjoyable for everyone. I was quite sure that there was no chometz under our window coverings or


A Pesach for Shirley

Nobody I know planned more meticulously for Pesach than Shirley Cohen, my mother-in-law.

Working backward from the date of the first seder, food would be purchased, entrees made, gefilte fish from scratch, wine and matzah ordered and the house and cars cleaned. There was no kvetching, no


The Lone Soldier Center in Memory of Michael Levin Brings Joy to Lone Soldiers on Pesach

The Lone Soldier Center in memory of Michael Levin was founded by former Israel Defense Forces (IDF) lone soldiers to support those serving today. Michael, of blessed memory, was born in America and fell fighting as a lone soldier in the Second Lebanon War in 2006. The center was created by a group of Michael’s friends, following


Seder Night: An Open Table of Physical and Spiritual Nourishment

Adapted from ‘Seder Talk: The Conversational Haggada’

“After a good dinner, one can forgive anybody, even one’s own relations.”

—Oscar Wilde

On the night of the Seder, everyone is a king.


Open Compliments

Ever since I wrote that article a few months ago about how we’re looking for a new house, people keep asking us how the house hunt is going. The ones who ask us the most are my parents, who already knew we were looking for houses, but thought that the fact that I started writing about it meant that we’d found something.


With Teeth, Come Wisdom

What is the story with wisdom teeth? Wise people have them; not-so-wise people have them. I was wondering where they got their name from. Turns out that they are referred to as wisdom teeth because they are the last teeth to come in, so when they finally do find a place in your mouth, they have become wise. How does that sound? All I know


A World Without Languages

A few weeks ago in this column, I spoke about my personal connection and appreciation to the Hebrew language. This week, I’d like to discuss language in a broader sense. Language has been on my mind lately—I’m taking the Spanish AP test in a few weeks, and I’m going to be spending a year in Israel, so my Hebrew had better be up to


Those Were the Days

This Pesach will be the 23rd yahrtzeit for the “Rav” (Rabbi Yosef Dov Soloveitchik, zt”l). When he passed away during Pesach in 1993, it was an epochal loss for us RIETS students. The Rav had been our hero in life, the one whom we all wanted to be, but knew we never could. The Rav was one of the greatest talmidei chachamim


The Exodus, Written as Dramatic Non Fiction

“The mitzvah of the seder night is the telling over of the story of Jews leaving Egypt,” says Rabbi David Fohrman, Dean and Founder of Aleph Beta and scholar for the Hoffberger Foundation for Torah Study. “And yet, we spend so much time with the preliminaries that by the time we get to the telling over of the story,


Preparing for Passover: Pesach Cellular Responsa from Rav Aviner

Shabbat HaGadol, the Shabbat immediately preceding Pesach, is a time of frantic final organization and cleaning for the holiday. In this spirit, and in final preparation for Pesach, JLNJ presents some of the most relevant Shu”t SMS questions for the observance of Chag Ha’Aviv:


The Seder of Walter Mitty

Do you know who I wish I could be like on Seder night? Walter Mitty! “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” is a story written by James Thurber in 1939. It was made into a film in 1947.

Walter Mitty has a vivid imagination. In fact, he gets utterly lost in his fantastical imagination. Anything he sees can


Quenching Our Thirst!

Just recently, as I was drinking from a water bottle, I was surprised as I felt the water enter my system. I didn’t think I was thirsty when I started to drink because I generally drink water throughout the day. Within moments I realized, based on how refreshed I felt, that I needed the hydration, and had been a lot thirstier than I had

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