Vaccine nation

Did you know? Israel leads the world in percentage of population vaccinated against COVID-19 You know, to be honest, I've known this fact about Israel for some time, but I didn't really appreciate the extent to which it is true until today - when I looked at the data online. Like many of you, I'm… Continue reading Vaccine nation

Ethical will: Loving-kindness

In composing my ethical will, I usually find myself resistant to including entries that should, according to my sensibilities, be self-evident. That's not to say that I personally exemplify any of these self-evidently positive traits; rather, it is to say that I wish I did. On the other hand, my ethical will is, by default,… Continue reading Ethical will: Loving-kindness

Ethical will: Patience

What do we remember of our departed loved ones? In speaking to other mourners, I have noticed that people's recollections of their deceased loved ones differ widely. Some people seem to remember only the most loving and tender of moments, whereas others recall a wider range of experiences. (I've also met widows who only spoke… Continue reading Ethical will: Patience

There, or: Here?

I. Some day, I'll die, and this, perhaps, will be my parting kiss to those alive, to those not yet, to fulfilled hopes, to worn regrets; and you, I think, will live because you've yet so much to give to dearest friends, to family, to unmet dreams, to memories II. and then, a day will… Continue reading There, or: Here?

The skeptic’s kaddish for the atheist, 44

Days before my father's unveiling, my wife and I were taking our 4-year-old to see her first fireworks display on Yom HaAtzmaut at the Haas Promenade (Tayelet) in Jerusalem; she was skipping with excitement. Thankfully, she had napped that afternoon and could enjoy the late night entertainment. I was also impressed; the fireworks were bursting… Continue reading The skeptic’s kaddish for the atheist, 44

The skeptic’s kaddish for the atheist, 43

Given my dazedness and state of shock last July, I had no preconceived assumptions nor expectations of my sudden, unanticipated status as a mourner. Then, abruptly, in the middle of Papa's funeral, I found myself stung sharply with tenderness towards the friends and family who had been closest to him. Papa lived a rather solitary life due… Continue reading The skeptic’s kaddish for the atheist, 43

The skeptic’s kaddish for the atheist, 34

Spring has arrived, as my allergies attest, but the last few weeks of Winter in Israel were cold and rainy. The season did not go quietly, but idiosyncratic as I am, I wore my waterproof Source sandals despite the weather - even when schlepping to shul through rain torrents in trench coat and rain pants. At one… Continue reading The skeptic’s kaddish for the atheist, 34

The skeptic’s kaddish for the atheist, 20

I heard something beautiful this week. Two of the regulars at my morning minyan completed their eleven months of kaddish, just days apart, each reciting a prayer written by Jerusalem's esteemed Rabbi Benny Lau (b. 1961) in memory of his own father. The first petitioner read softly through barely stifled sobs, but I managed to catch… Continue reading The skeptic’s kaddish for the atheist, 20