A Congregation Can Be Like a Family—for Better, and for Worse

I pray with angry, damaged, and difficult men. I stay because they’re like my brothers. And because sometimes they change.

Happy Birthday to Me, Happy Birthday to Me. Remind Me: How Old Am I Now?

We mark kids’ birthdays and the yahrzeit dates of older relatives we’ve lost. But for parents, our own special occasions get overlooked.

Visiting My Grandmother’s Yahrzeit Plaque

I never got to meet my grandmother, but the place I feel closest to her has always been her yahrzeit plaque in our synagogue

The Unofficial Mourner

I thought Jewish law left no role for me to grieve when my fiancé’s brother died. Now, I finally can.

Mourning My Mother, Finally

For years, I tried to forget my mother’s suicide. Then a yahrzeit notice made me face the past.

Houdini’s Yahrzeit

Honoring the magician with a wand and a prayer

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