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  • The Greatest Love Story Ever Told

    By Dr. Afshine Emrani

    April 3, 2015 | 8:04 am

    If I asked you to name the greatest love story ever told, you would likely mention Wuthering Heights, Anna Karenina, even Romeo and Juliet.  But, no!

    Those pale in comparison to ours.  A good story needs a damsel in distress, a knight in shining armor, and a theatrical ride into...

  • Forget annoying helicopter parents. Helicopter kids are way worse.

    March 25, 2015 | 1:41 pm

    There are parents who hover over their kids like a helicopter. And there are parents who generally leave their kids to their own devices. Each side insists their way is the right way. I’m not here to judge other parenting styles, though I assume, as is often the case, that the best...

  • Peanut Allergy:  Eat Peanuts Early Like Israelis?

    By Dr. Afshine Emrani

    February 25, 2015 | 2:03 pm

    Deadly peanut allergies are on the rise, not just in the United States but around the world.

    Israeli children have lower rates of peanut allergy when compared to Jewish children of similar ancestry in the United Kingdom.  Israelis consider the popular peanut-flavored Bamba their...

  • The Many Roads to God.

    By Dr. Afshine Emrani

    January 23, 2015 | 10:18 am

    "Only from the heart can you touch the sky." I often quote Rumi on how to reach God.

    Yet, anyone who has gone around the sun a few times knows that there is no one answer to any of life’s difficult questions.

    Trying to understand God, to use a crude analogy, is like the Hindu...

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  • My Father’s Story and Martin Luther King Jr.

    By Dr. Afshine Emrani

    January 19, 2015 | 7:46 am

    My father was a mining engineer.  He lost his father at an early age and assumed the role of a father to his younger siblings and the bread winner to his family.  He climbed his way up to the highest level a Jew had ever achieved as an engineer in Iran.  He was trusted by the...

  • Does Circumcision Cause Autism?

    By Dr. Afshine Emrani

    January 11, 2015 | 11:33 am

    Circumcision in boys leads to higher chance of developing attention spectrum disorder (ASD) and autism by age 10, according to a new controversial study in  Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine. 

    The Statens Serum Institut study observed that in a cohort of all children born...

  • A New Year’s Resolution: Gratitude!

    By Dr. Afshine Emrani

    December 30, 2014 | 7:05 pm

    “You are as close to 76 as you are to 16!” 

    Bill loves to sting me with his wit, as if looking at my children, walking past a mirror, and the occasional lapse of memory were not enough.  Honestly, 46 is not as terrible as I thought it would be.  I used to laugh at the...

  • Do you miss Christmas?

    By Diana Emuna

    December 24, 2014 | 10:32 am

    “Do you miss Christmas?”  There is a widely held belief among born Jews that converts mourn over the loss of Christmas.  We miss the love; the Hallmark finery and the family get togethers. 

    I will be honest.  I don’t miss it.  I like the glitter and lights, but I don’t dwell on...

  • Merry Christmas!

    By Dr. Afshine Emrani

    December 24, 2014 | 7:45 am

    Not “happy holidays.”  It’s Christmas!  I don't like tofu wishes; I wish for flavor and truth.

    This is the holiest day of the Christian calendar.  I would not want someone wishing me “happy holidays” for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.

    As a child in Iran, I attended the French...

  • Things Dads Want to Tell Their Daughters (Before It’s Too Late)

    By Dr. Afshine Emrani

    December 9, 2014 | 7:37 am

    Recently, several fathers passed suddenly in my circle.  I thought about lessons they might have wanted to share with their daughters but lacked  the courage.  Here’s a list I made before it’s too late.

    1-  Love yourself, always. Even if you love yourself half as much as I love...

  • In Search of a Better Life.

    By Dr. Afshine Emrani

    December 8, 2014 | 9:52 am

    He was only twelve years old.  All he had was a bike and a kiss from his parents.  He left his village in Iran to travel to the capital in search of a better life.  He died surrounded by his children and a loving community at 86.

    If you showed up late to his memorial and missed...

  • Love, Awe and Fairy Tales.

    By Dr. Afshine Emrani

    December 4, 2014 | 7:39 am

    I am constantly shocked by the self imposed noose of reality worn by adults, turning them into the walking dead.

    C. S. Lewis wrote “someday you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again.”  Children live in joy, encouraged by those who nurture them to see beauty and...

  • Ten Lessons Learned from a Rabbi’s Murder.

    By Dr. Afshine Emrani

    November 19, 2014 | 9:00 am

    1- The world is random.  No amount of holiness or payer can save a pious man from random evil.  Rabbi Moshe Twersky was a teacher of American students in Israel. His grandfather, had ordained 2,000 rabbis. His father, Rabbi Isadore Twersky, was a prominent American-Jewish leader,...

  • Reliving the horror: sparks of a third Intifada bring back memories from almost a decade ago

    By Noga Gur-Arieh

    November 11, 2014 | 8:40 am

    Growing up in a (relatively) small central town in Israel, hopping on a bus to Tel-Aviv with your friends is a must-do when you’re a teenager looking for a way to express your recently acclaimed adulthood. During the holidays (and sometimes in school days,) it is considered “cool”...

  • Why Jews Should Celebrate Halloween!

    By Dr. Afshine Emrani

    October 30, 2014 | 5:44 pm

    Growing up in Iran, I did not have any of the electronic gadgets my children enjoy today.  Instead, what I loved was my neighborhood.

    On weekends, and during long summer days after school, we would run in the streets, unsupervised.  We would randomly join a local soccer match...

  • Immortality through Defiance:  Reyhaneh Jabbari and Lot’s Wife.

    By Dr. Afshine Emrani

    October 28, 2014 | 1:42 pm

    The world shivered and cried this week at the unjust  execution of 26-year-old Reyhaneh Jabbari, hanged in Tehran on Saturday, convicted of killing a man allegedly trying to rape her.

    Lost in the reactive and temporary shame of being Iranian, a human, a man, that day, I read the...

  • Mommy dearest

    By Gina Nahai

    September 10, 2014 | 11:15 am

    Granted, some of it is plain envy — my bewilderment at parents who don’t have a scrap of doubt about what’s good for their children. The certainty starts at conception and carries on through the mother’s pregnancy and the child’s infancy, through preschool and elementary and high...

  • Our battle against Hamas is far from being over

    By Noga Gur-Arieh

    September 10, 2014 | 9:24 am

    “Peace will come when the Arabs will love their children more than they hate us.” (Golda Meir. Statement to the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., 1957)


    In the 2012 Operation Pillar of Defense, the Israeli Defense Forces successfully scared Hamas back to the dark caves...

  • Missing Joan, Surfin’ Israel, playing for peace and more…This week from Israel!

    By Noga Gur-Arieh

    September 8, 2014 | 8:20 am

    Goodbye, Joan

    Love her, hate her – but you're surly gonna miss her.

    Jewish comedian Joan Rivers passed away in New York on Thursday, aged 81. Known for her controversial humor and for her lack of boundaries – she was heard all the way to Israel, especially when she wasn't...

  • Grieving the children of Palestine and the dream of Zionism

    September 5, 2014 | 10:22 am

    Through all the turmoil of these last weeks and months I have been tortured by thoughts of children, Jewish children, Palestinian children, Syrian, Iraqi children – all those who most innocently of all, and most grievously of all, are the victims of the Middle East Madness.

    ...

  • When God Cries

    By Dr. Afshine Emrani

    August 21, 2014 | 7:04 am

    In the absence of light we call night
    my children fall into the trusted dreams of tooth fairies and twirling ballerinas
    and through the sizzling silence
    I hear God crying.

    The tears are not kosher, nor halal, nor salty, nor of the cross.

    Pharaoh killed Hebrews’ first born...

  • Schmuck and the City

    By Nikki Tabibian

    August 13, 2014 | 11:57 am

         During my first months on the East Coast, snowfall, rain and hail hit The City, while a storm of vexing questions plagued my frozen suburban mind:

         How many layers are too many?
         Would it be appropriate to wear a hijab to fight off a 30-degree chill? 
         Where...

  • Wake up, Ban Ki-Moon!

    By Noga Gur-Arieh

    August 11, 2014 | 8:38 am

    Mr. Ban,

    By the time these words are being written, about half of the world population knows that you and the organization you lead are a fraud.

    You may think we're blinded by the United Nations' original purpose, but it's not 1945 anymore, and your organization is no longer...

  • Israeli soldiers writing about the Gaza crisis - read their letters (Part 2)

    By Noga Gur-Arieh

    August 4, 2014 | 8:33 am

    Roni, Dor, Yuval and Hofni are Israelis who were called for reserve duty when Operation Protective Edge launched. Here are open letters they wrote to Israelife's readers (translated from Hebrew by yours truly.)

    [For part 1, go here. For more about everything that's Israel, visit ...

  • Just Two Weeks Ago

    By Susan Esther Barnes

    July 30, 2014 | 1:30 am

    I have never published a piece written by someone else on my blog, but my friend Alissa Ralston sent this to me, and I thought it deserved a wider audience. Below. With her permission, are her words. They speak for themselves.


    7/27/2014


    Just over two weeks ago I was in my...

  • Israeli soldiers writing about the Gaza crisis - read their letters

    By Noga Gur-Arieh

    July 21, 2014 | 8:27 am

    A letter written by a 24 year-old Israeli soldier called for reserve duty near the Gaza border line:

    "Last Wednesday, we received the phone call: we were called to defend our country. Some of us had to put aside studying for Finals and other exams, others left their wives and...

  • Winning the war, losing support

    By Noga Gur-Arieh

    July 14, 2014 | 8:38 am

    The fact that 70% of the Israeli population spend their nights and days running for shelter and that more than 1000 missiles were fired at Israel from Gaza does not matter to the world, as long as the death toll stands at zero.

    In the past week, more than 1000 missiles were fired...

  • 90 seconds of uncertainty - the first time I ran for shelter

    By Noga Gur-Arieh

    July 10, 2014 | 8:58 am

    For the first time in my 24 years on this planet, I am truly afraid. After three days of barely leaving my house and two nights of waking up to the sounds of explosions (some actually happened, some only in my head,) all I want is for this operation to end and for the people of...

  • Top 10 reasons Israeli summer is the best in the world

    By Noga Gur-Arieh

    July 4, 2014 | 8:40 am

    Lately, it seems as if Israel is nothing but a war-zone. With its security threat escalating, missiles being fired from Gaza and the recent tragedy regarding the three kidnapped teens, one can easily forget the true beauty of this country. True, it’s scalding hot and you sometimes...

  • Paid Family Leave: Celebrating in CA and Working for Change for the Rest of the Country

    By Maya Paley

    July 1, 2014 | 12:08 pm

    "Family leave, childcare, flexibility—these aren’t frills. They’re basic needs. They shouldn’t be bonuses—they should be the bottom line." --President Obama, June 21, 2014

    According to the Pew Research Center, the United States ranks last of the OECD countries in...

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