The Pharaoh Within


Shira and I have a first cousin who lives in Israel who recently celebrated his 60th birthday. Shira happened to have been in Israel at the time and was able to attend his birthday party. Surrounded by his large and loving family, her cousin Alan observed that when he turned 50, there were 11 people in his immediate family—he and his wife, their 7 children, one of whom was married and had a child, their first and at the time only grandchild. One decade later, there are now 31 people in his family, as most of his children got married and started having children.

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Bulletproof Backpacks


Throughout her years under our roof, our daughter Jordana always went to school with a pink backpack. Her pink backpack was jammed so full of books you could hardly zip it shut. It was incredibly heavy. I would insist on carrying it whenever I could, to and from the car, and when I couldn’t, I would worry, how can she carry such a heavy pink backpack?

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505 Yards


One week after what was a very painful loss in Super Bowl 52 if you are a Patriots fan, there is a single statistic that sticks with me. Tom Brady passed for 505 yards, 3 touchdowns, and no interceptions—and still lost.

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Love


Last Shabbat I was in Jerusalem for my mother in law’s first yartzeit. We were gathered together in my father in law’s apartment in Jerusalem, about 35 close friends and family. It was a year to the day later. She died on 2 Kislev 5777. Here we are, together, on 2 Kislev 5778. My father in law’s apartment is filled with pictures of my mother in law. All the furniture, all the dishes, all the art work, are all her. But she is not there.

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Gritty Not Glossy


Have you ever gotten one of those holiday cards that show other people’s seemingly perfect lives? A woman named Ruth Whippman tells of the time that she received a holiday card from a family that was just beautiful. She describes it as a brochure, in color, of a large family that had five children, each sparkling and gleaming and oh so happy.

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