It was very tender to share this personal element of life with people who could so readily relate to the inherent importance and sanctity of the ceremony and the sentiments brought forth. Twists of being the stranger, welcoming the native, bringing the strange celebration and having it embraced as the gift of life and love that it truly is,
There is no understanding Auschwitz and Birkenau—that is the point of coming here. That is what drives us along the corridors so we can get out in time. That is what saves us, as we push inside the taxi. If you could contain Auschwitz, if you could grasp it, perhaps you would become a part of it. It is permissible, essential even, to leave portions unread, moments uncontemplated.
When I was younger and busier, as Christmas became more and more commercial, as retail crushed harder upon us and Christmas became the the marker of the economy, as downtown begat malls begat catalogues begat the internet, begat the cassette-CD-MP3-blaring soft-core soul whine of so-called music, it became easy to be increasingly annoyed by the hype and nonsense that confused Christmas.
We make chocolate into money and gamble for it with our dreidels. If we are very lucky we get many Gimmels. Gimmels are for great—a great miracle happened here. Of course I’m right—I just won all the chocolate.
(Carole’s father, Rudy, musing in 1937, Germany) Is my country a part of my blood, my bones, is it the safe feeling under my feet? Or is it the place my family has lived for generations—even after it strips away our rights and treats us hatefully? What identifies me as German? Is it my culture, [...]
When I decided to thumb through Ireland, I got busy putting all the fear-laced warnings about hitch-hiking out of my head. I hadn’t contemplated the also-fearful-and-more-likely reality that I’d be expected to converse with perfect strangers for hours.
A song of Passover. Taste the Bread… On Passover we welcome the stranger and we become the stranger wandering to find our spiritual home. WWe recommit to our most audacious dreams–those of peace and freedom.
It was a hopeful sign of family Sunday mornings to come: mornings filled with many kinds of stinky fish; mornings of love.
Don’t we Jews love Passover the best? Our Seder celebrates our departure from Egypt, our journey in the desert for forty years before we could enter the promised land of Israel. We mark this event not as some distant anniversary, but as if we were led personally from slavery to become free men, women and [...]
I traveled thousands of miles to stand here in the snow and the cold where my Grandmother and her younger daughter, Eva, found one another in 1944, after eighteen months of heartbreaking separation, amongst thousands of women penned by barbed wire into two groups, awaiting role call.