Every Star, Every Galaxy, Every Grain of Sand

There are 300 billion stars in the Milky Way alone. That’s just the Milky Way, though. It’s hard to know exactly how many galaxies exist in the universe, but the estimation is about 100 to 200 billion galaxies. Mah rabbu ma’asecha Hashem doesn’t seem to cut the awe of these statistics. Every star is a huge ball of energy, with precise chachma. Every star required a creator. Every … Continue reading Every Star, Every Galaxy, Every Grain of Sand

The Red Star Line Museum: A Story of Immigration

During the late nineteenth century and early twentieth, hundreds of thousands of Jews left their European countries of birth and immigrated to North America. Many of these Jews traveled from the alter heim (old country) to the United States via the Red Star Line (RSL), a transatlantic passenger ship line operating from 1873 to some time in 1934. During this time period, about 2.6 million … Continue reading The Red Star Line Museum: A Story of Immigration

The Needed Enemy

In a still black room, filled with the soft breathing of two sisters Each sleeping in a soothing, unhurried, utopia, With lids innocently closed and creases smoothed, A vibrant enemy reigns.     It slithers through the darkness. Then with the burst of banging metals My stomach crumbles into A pile of old autumn leaves.     My lids stay sealed, shading the dazzling glow … Continue reading The Needed Enemy

Model Behavior

The studio apartment looks small and oppressive from the viewfinder on my camera. A sharp staccato of voices clang together, making the stifling gray walls tense up. “Stand to the left of that wall. No, I mean my left – not hers…” “Good, stay there were the light captures her face – great. “ “Alright. Make sure to get that on camera. Hello? Mr. Photographer? … Continue reading Model Behavior

MY Shoes

This poem was inspired by a different poem I wrote while at the USHMM in Washington, DC. In the museum, there is a room with a pathway down the middle. On each side is a pile of shoes taken from people as they arrived at concentration camps. This was inspired by my journey through that room.   Shoes   At the top of the pile- … Continue reading MY Shoes

When Torah Comes to Life

I never thought of leyning – the ritual chanting of readings from Tanakh during synagogue services – as a possibility for me. As an Orthodox Jewish girl, leyning was supposed to be the domain of the boys. It was deemed immodest, non-halakhic, and – the greatest taboo of all – “Conservative,” for a girl (even as part of women’s tefillah) to read from the Torah. High school exposed … Continue reading When Torah Comes to Life

How My Life Changed in 90 Seconds

Jerusalem, Israel – November 20, 2012

 

Shema Yisrael. (Hear O’ Israel).

The words that I rushed through this morning.

Never again will I do that.

Why?

Today was normal. Well, not totally normal. For one thing, I was in Israel, in Jerusalem. That’s definitely something special, and it is not something that is usual for me. I live in New York, and I am a proud American citizen; however, Israel is always on my mind and in my heart and soul. It also wasn’t a normal day in Jerusalem for me. Most of the time when I’m in this holy city it’s for vacation and to visit family. However, the purpose of my visit this time was to choose a seminary for myself for the following year. The day was not routine, but I was having a wonderful day learning about the particular seminary I was visiting.

That all changed very quickly. Sometimes, it takes just a short amount of time to make the largest impact on our lives. Sometimes, it’s not about the years you spend at a certain school or the hours you try and decipher the meaning of a text. Sometimes, your life can change in the blink of an eye, and the most formidable experiences for you will happen so quickly you have to take a step back and realize what just happened. That is what I intend to do, and I invite you to listen in on my thoughts. Continue reading “How My Life Changed in 90 Seconds”

9.11

Huddled around the campfire, I lie on the ground, hood over my head, in my oversized Gap sweatshirt. I shiver and wander into my own thoughts, which are interrupted by a sudden gasp and a chorus of “wows.”

It is the second Thursday night in July. I have spent the entirety of the day canoeing down the Delaware River along with my campers and co-staff members. After a enjoyable day of splashing, tanning, and tipping, we dry off, eat dinner, and sing uplifting songs. Girls settle around the campfire sitting shoulder to shoulder, eating smores and telling inspirational stories.

The “wows” that interrupted my reverie came after my camper relayed a story about her uncle, who was spared from the horrors of 9/11 because he was helping an elderly man through the subway station and missed his train. Continue reading “9.11”