Tag: Parents


Grieving Loss Before a Death

I foolishly thought burying my almost 91-year old father would have been easier than what my siblings and I went through in saying goodbye to my mother who died prematurely at the age of 68, five years ago. After all, my mother was supposed to live long enough to see my still small children grow, become Bar/Bat Mitzvah, graduate and perhaps, get married. No, she died at an age which nowadays is considered young. Her loss was devastating. It took a lot of time and work to integrate her death into my......

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College Admissions Heartbreak: A Bounce-Back Guide

Over the past few weeks, I’ve heard from numerous parents about the cruel shock their children have experienced upon being rejected from the college of their choice. For many young people, living in protective and privileged environments unprecedented for previous generations, this may be the first time they’ve been faced with such rejection. In our hyper-competitive, brutal, ridiculously terrifying college admissions environment, this rejection evokes (in both parents and kids) feelings that run the gamut from devastating disappointment and anger to massive embarrassment and humiliation. I have personally seen kids cry as......

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Conceiving Babies With Three 'Parents'

From Odyssey Networks’ Faith on the Record series: This week, the United Kingdom’s House of Commons approved a new fertility treatment that would incorporate DNA from three sources – a mother, a father and an egg donor – to be used in cases where children have a substantial chance of inheriting genetic diseases. The ensuing ethics controversy prompts me to question, “Is the fear of our capacity to exercise remarkable power to save life going to get in the way of our doing this very sacred thing?” Watch my video below for......

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The Israel-Hamas War: Hope on the Edge

“Use your words,” I remember saying to my children when they wanted to hit or bite during those terrible twos when children don’t have the words to adequately communicate their feelings. Well, the words of diplomats and politicians, political scientists and pundits, intelligence and military experts, artists, religious leaders, and peace activists have all failed. We are killing each other rather than using our words. Whatever one’s political positions – right or left, hawk or dove – and whatever one’s primary allegiances and blood ties – Jewish or Arab, Israeli or Palestinian......

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What Our Kids Learn From Us

What is great education all about? I don’t simply mean how do we get kids to achieve better grades. I mean, how do we get our children, or anyone else we’d like to have a positive influence on for that matter, to seriously engage in what we deem to be important? How do we effectively transmit our values, our traditions, our sense of what life is all about – you know, the stuff about which we care most – to our children? In fact, even if you don’t have kids or grandkids,......

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Dying a 'Good' Death

Truly caring for a person at the end of life requires conversations – about love and legacy, about bestowing and receiving blessings, about choosing life versus fighting death. I am a well-educated man, a rabbi who was trained and has experience in comforting individuals on their sickbeds.? My five younger brothers, also have good educations, some of us have multiple degrees.? Yet when my mother was diagnosed with late stage pancreatic cancer five years ago and told she had 12 weeks to live, neither my family nor I was prepared. We listened......

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Parents Playing Favorites

It’s easy to say that parents should never play favorites.? But if we’re honest, it’s a lot harder in practice. We are all someone’s kid, and many of us are someone’s parent.? In at least one of those roles most of us have experienced favoritism – either showing it, or experiencing it as a sibling.? It’s not that we don’t love all of our kids, or that our parents didn’t love all of theirs. For a moment, let’s assume love is not the issue. ?Sometimes though, we simply mesh better with some......

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Can the Death of a Parent Bring Families Together?

Few moments in life are as difficult as losing one’s parent. In the swirl of sadness and mourning, a parent’s death can unify or further divide the surviving family. In some cases, the highly charged emotions may amplify issues between siblings. But this can also be a remarkable opportunity to heal some of those long-standing hurts and wounds that are part of every family I know, including my own. There can be a positive potential for healing in this otherwise excruciating moment. Certainly, there are always reasons to resist coming together, especially......

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Conversation. It's What's for Dinner.

When was the last time you had really good dinner conversation with family or friends? Conversation that was not interrupted by the many ways our devices have a hold on us: the compelling ping calling us to a text or an email, the insatiable desire to check our Facebook page, tweet a thought, take a photo, or Google anything.? A conversation that was more than just a breezy catch up, one that was spirited and smart and made you think in some new way and become more connected to someone because of......

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The Mixed Emotions of Sending Kids Off to School

My mother still describes how she and my dad took me to the airport in Chicago on the day I left home to complete high school in Israel. She describes returning to the house and heading up to my room on third floor and sitting on my bed as she wept. I still feel mildly annoyed, more than thirty years later, when she tells that anecdote. Having just dropped off our eldest child at college, however (and like so many other moments in my life as a parent), I understand both my......

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