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Reflections

Ordinary can become extraordinary

She could do anything with her professional life that she wanted to do. Not many can boast of Sandy’s talents; she is a highly educated, talented musician, a wonderful teacher and a dedicated mother and wife. So when she told me what she does in a typical work day, I was stunned.

Several days a week Sandy takes care of Ruth, an elderly, infirm woman to whom she is both care-giver and devoted companion. She does many of the things that a dutiful daughter would do — from driving her to doctor’s appointments and helping her shop, to writing holiday cards and paying bills.

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The perfect time

My mother called last night when I was out. Her voice on the answering machine sounded somewhat depressed but the message belied her tone. “Hello darling, this is Mom. I’m calling with some good news. “We’ve turned the clocks back an hour so there’s only a two-hour time difference between us now. Isn’t that wonderful? Call me back soon.” Upon hearing my 89-year-old mother’s words, I immediately sensed that her message was merely a cover-up for the things she couldn’t say, eit...
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The mitzvah of giving to others

WHEN I was growing up, money meant AUTHORITY. Dad made the money so he also made the decisions. Our family lived by the Golden Rule: He who has the gold, rules. We were told at an early age that it wasn’t “polite” to talk about money, but it sure seemed to be the subtext of most conversations. What things cost, rising inflation, salaries, who drove what type of car, where people shopped and where to get the best deal were dinner table topics served along with the meatloaf and potatoes. ...
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What makes Jewish time tick?

I grew up in a home where time was always a stressful issue. Mom was usually dressed and ready to go to a party at least 24 hours before it started. Before any vacation, you could find her suitcase sitting proudly by the back door — at least two days before we were scheduled to leave. Then there was Dad, who had this annoying habit of sauntering into the house after a sweaty game of tennis about five minutes before company was expected. Before any car trip, you would find Dad poring over roa...
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What death can teach

By her own account, my mother is not a religious woman. She does not read the Bible, know Hebrew or put much stock in Jewish observance. She has been known to comment on my own degree of commitment to Judaism in anxious, hushed tones, the kind she uses when someone in our family is seriously ill. My brother once told me she told him about the “weird tent with hanging fruit” in our backyard (our sukkah) and the cleaning frenzy I engage in before Passover as evidence that I’ve gone off the ...

Last Updated ( Thursday, 19 June 2014 01:48 )

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