How My Hindu Husband Became the Favorite Jewish Grandchild

By Jessica Melwani I’d been dating the man who’d eventually become my husband for about a year when my grandmother sat me down for a heart-to-heart. “I saw Aishwarya Rai on Oprah last week. You know, the Dollywood [she meant Bollywood] actress? Stunning girl!” Then came the truth bomb: “She told Oprah that your boyfriend already […]

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Using My Words

I type this while holding a squirmy, feverish 3-month-old in my lap. Shh, shh, shh, I tell him. It’s OK, just relax and rest bubbeleh. I rub his back and pull him closer, patting his head, whispering, “Just lay your keppe down on mommy’s shoulder.” He has no idea what I’m really saying, but the […]

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The Word They’ll Learn the Best

First words. What was my own first word? Probably “Mama,” though now my mother doesn’t remember. She does remember my brother’s first word, which was “arrow.” This is because she was constantly driving around the block with him in his car seat trying to put him to sleep. He would see the arrow on the […]

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English Cottage Pie with Flanken Short Ribs

Shepherd’s pie is an old English, Irish and Scottish peasant food. It’s traditionally made with minced lamb and is topped with mashed potatoes. An earlier version of this dish is known as cottage pie. Cottage pie was typically made with ground beef. Whether it’s cottage pie or shepherd’s pie the essentials are potatoes and an […]

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Time to Junk Jewish Jargon?

You’re at a social or family gathering when someone starts throwing around a bunch of Jewish gobblygook you don’t understand. One guy is talking about a cool, new “minyan” in town and you’re picturing this guy. Someone else is talking about her “boobie” and you wonder if this is really too intimate a conversation for […]

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Meet the Stretelech

My children believe in Christmas elves. And leprechauns.  They also believe that there are little elves who live in our backyard. Last year when spring came, the elves moved in to our pine tree and set up a mini Adirondack chair, a white picket fence, and a miniature watering can outside. And they nailed a […]

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For Every Two Jews, There Are Three Perspectives

A humorous look at the many different customs, traditions and practices found in one small Jewish community.

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Jewish Language Cheat Sheet

For some, Judaism is a religion. For others, Judaism is a culture. For other still, it’s both. And like many religions and cultures, there is language that goes with it.

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The Case of the Missing Sav, and other mysteries in the transition of American Hebrew

When I was a child, I was confused. Why was did my mother talk about how she had a Bas Mitzvah, while I prepared for my Bat Mitzvah? Why was the way my father pronounced Hebrew different from the way we learned it in Hebrew school?

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What Is a Jewish Word?

A book on Jewish language turns into a great tool to welcome non-Jewish friends and family members into the community.

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