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  • FOCUS ON FAMILY Lesson of Warsaw Ghetto uprising: Jews must occasionally fight back

    ENCINO, Calif., April 6 (JTA) — “Hit him back!” my husband, Larry, and I occasionally advise our sons. “Really? Can I?” they answer incredulously. Yes. We do advocate that they fight back — rarely. When neither words nor whining, bribes nor threats, deter a brother, buddy or teammate’s aggressive behavior. When passivity and playing the…

  • Lesson of Warsaw Ghetto uprising: Jews must occasionally fight back

    ENCINO, Calif., April 6 (JTA) — “Hit him back!” my husband, Larry, and I occasionally advise our sons. “Really? Can I?” they answer incredulously. Yes. We do advocate that they fight back — rarely. When neither words nor whining, bribes nor threats, deter a brother, buddy or teammate’s aggressive behavior. When passivity and playing the…

  • HOLIDAY FEATURE The bases of the 10 Plagues — and their relevance to modern life

    ENCINO, Calif., Feb. 28 (JTA) — Legs and Smoochy, the Beanie Baby frogs, sit at our Passover seder. So does an assortment of other plush, plastic and wooden frogs. Frogs are not merely a child-friendly motif in Passover table decor; like the other nine plagues, they are also a powerful reminder of the Haggadah’s lessons…

  • ISRAEL AT 50 Break out the Manischewitz: Personal reflections on the jubilee

    ENCINO, Calif., March 30 (JTA) — We’re both mothers of quarrelsome children, we’ve both gained and lost girth over the years and we’re both — break out the Manischewitz! — about to turn 50. Yes, I’m talking about Israel and me. Born in May 1948, 13 days and more than 6,000 miles apart, we are…

  • FOCUS ON FAMILY Thinking about God and goldfish: How one woman relates to Purim

    ENCINO, Calif., Feb. 11 (JTA) — My husband, Larry, and I married on Purim, the 14th of Adar in the year 5743. And just as Esther and Mordechai saved the Jews of ancient Persia from Haman’s evil plot to destroy them, so Larry saved me from the tyranny of blind dates, no dates and inappropriate…

  • This family’s blintzes resemble the ‘flat’ version of the Torah

    ENCINO, Calif., May 18 (JTA) — Three thousand years ago, we would be preparing to sacrifice seven unblemished lambs, a young bullock and two rams. Instead, today, my two younger sons and I are in the kitchen, preparing a double batch of cheese blintzes. We’re engaged in a modern version of a burnt offering —…

  • CHANUKAH FEATURE Toy stores important stop on path to lighting candles

    ENCINO, Calif., Dec. 6 (JTA) — Around 165 BCE, a group of Jewish warriors, led by Judah Maccabee, defeated the Greek and Syrian armies. The Jews reclaimed the desecrated Temple in Jerusalem, setting the stage for the celebration of Chanukah. Since that time, over 2,000 years ago, Jews around the world have endlessly and unsuccessfully…

  • This family’s blintzes resemble the ‘flat’ version of the Torah

    ENCINO, Calif., May 18 (JTA) — Three thousand years ago, we would be preparing to sacrifice seven unblemished lambs, a young bullock and two rams. Instead, today, my two younger sons and I are in the kitchen, preparing a double batch of cheese blintzes. We’re engaged in a modern version of a burnt offering —…

  • This family’s blintzes resemble the ‘flat’ version of the Torah

    ENCINO, Calif., May 18 (JTA) — Three thousand years ago, we would be preparing to sacrifice seven unblemished lambs, a young bullock and two rams. Instead, today, my two younger sons and I are in the kitchen, preparing a double batch of cheese blintzes. We’re engaged in a modern version of a burnt offering —…

  • This family’s blintzes resemble the ‘flat’ version of the Torah

    ENCINO, Calif., May 18 (JTA) — Three thousand years ago, we would be preparing to sacrifice seven unblemished lambs, a young bullock and two rams. Instead, today, my two younger sons and I are in the kitchen, preparing a double batch of cheese blintzes. We’re engaged in a modern version of a burnt offering —…