Yesterday, I got three messages from my mother, a long distance Jewish mother joke from my brother in London ("A homeless man approaches a Jewish mother on the street. 'Lady, I haven't eaten in three days,' he said. 'Force yourself,' she replied.") and the last was from the Loews...
May 8, 2003 | 8:00 pm
August 22, 2002 | 8:00 pm
HADASSAH LIEBERMAN'S PAREVE VEGETABLE SOUP
1 medium onion, chopped
3-4 cloves garlic, crushed
3 medium carrots, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 bay leaf
dash of cayenne pepper
dash of cinnamon
Water or vegetable stock to...
July 11, 2002 | 8:00 pm
As a little girl, Anna* always dreamed of a perfect wedding. Then, at 32, after a three-and-a-half-year engagement, she was ready to realize that dream. But recently, what she thought was going to be a dream, turned into a nightmare.
First, there were the fights with her mother over...
July 4, 2002 | 8:00 pm
Her mouth is always open and her tongue is coated with some orange substance. She is in a semicoma. Only now and then she seems to be aware of her surroundings. She cannot speak or communicate; she cannot respond to verbal suggestions; her right side is paralyzed; and she has an...
June 27, 2002 | 8:00 pm
May 16, 2002 | 8:00 pm
On Shavuot, we read special sections from the Torah. One of those is the Ten Commandments. The first five are engraved on the right tablet. The second five on the left. The first five, according to the rabbis, fall into the category of commandments "between humans...
May 9, 2002 | 7:59 pm
"Christmas Babies," by writer and math professor Nalsey Tinberg, opened at the Laurelgrove Theatre exactly two years after her mother's death. Just before Mother's Day, Tinberg said the piece is an ode to her widowed mom; a tiny, crusty Holocaust survivor who raised four kids by...
May 2, 2002 | 8:00 pm
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July 26, 2001 | 8:00 pm
On Jan. 12, 1995, Valerie Sobel's 19-year-old son, Andre, died of a brain tumor. Exactly one year later, her husband shot himself. His suicide note stated that he did not wish to live past his son's tombstone unveiling. Three months later, Sobel's mother died of a stroke.
June 28, 2001 | 8:00 pm
May 17, 2001 | 8:00 pm
It is summer, a long time ago, and I am lying on a terrace overlooking an ancient garden full of rosebushes and fruit trees. The days have been so hot, the asphalt on the sidewalk melts under my feet if I dare step out of the house. At night, the temperature drops. My sisters and I...
May 10, 2001 | 8:00 pm
At first glance, it would be hard to imagine two women with less in common than my mother and my husband's mother. You can begin with the obvious differences in cultural and religious background: my mother grew up Jewish in the Bronx, while my mother-in-law, a Presbyterian, has lived...
May 10, 2001 | 8:00 pm
For the child whose parent has been diagnosed with cancer, each day becomes fraught with uncertainty -- will Mom or Dad be there today when I get home from school, or back in the hospital? Will Dad be too sick to come to my softball game? Why does Mom have to take that medicine that...
February 8, 2001 | 7:00 pm
November 23, 2000 | 7:00 pm
My mother had a green thumb. Too bad she employed it in the kitchen, not the garden. To her credit, she was such a good housekeeper, you could have eaten off her floors. Which, unfortunately, was preferable to eating off her plates.
There are people, I'm aware, who are terror-stricken...
May 11, 2000 | 8:00 pm
I write to you again this Mother's Day. But this time, a little wiser and more grateful for you; more grateful because now I have two children of my own. Watching each of our babies emerge, seeing how they passed through Betsy to the waiting world in a sheer, painful,...
May 11, 2000 | 8:00 pm
February 3, 2000 | 7:00 pmThe warm-up room at the "Y" where I exercise is right next door to the children's playroom. While I perform a sun salutation, I hear a little girl calling out in a tiny excited voice.
"Can I have one? I want one!"
For a second, I recognize her voice, and so, though I haven't a clue...
November 4, 1999 | 7:00 pmWhite Oleander
By Janet Fitch
Little, Brown, $24..
When author Janet Fitch was 9, her longtime friend disappeared into the netherworld of the Los Angeles foster care system.
The girl's mother had died, then her father and an elderly aunt. When her older brother, a junkie, was arrested,...
September 16, 1999 | 8:00 pmBusted flat in Barstow, I realize the desert is no place for an old Plymouth. The mechanic says something about "a machine shop in Victorville," and I think that is one phrase you never want to hear in a sentence with your name. That and "feeding tube."
I'm returning to Los Angeles...
March 4, 1999 | 7:00 pm
It is Saturday night, and I'm determined to have a good time.
Realizing that I never have fun and thinking that it would probably be a good idea, I decide to go out to a bar with some friends. One shows up at my house, and since she's "out of gas," I offer to drive. On the way, she...
April 2, 1998 | 7:00 pm
My Passover seder was once again acclaimed by oneand all as the best ever. Good thing, too, since, as befits a holidayfilled with questions, anxiety had dogged my every step -- rightuntil the last moment.
First, I worried about the weather. Passover felleven later last year than this,...
March 26, 1998 | 7:00 pm
My mother is87. Or is it 90? As long as I can remember, I thought that she hadbeen born in 1910, was named Miriam Euffa, and brought here from Kievas a 5-year-old by parents who were educated, and who had been partof what must have been a turn-of-the-century minority:...
January 15, 1998 | 7:00 pmI called my mother to wish her a happynew year. She answered the phone like this: "Commo say yammo." "Mom,why are you speaking in bad Spanish?" I asked. "I've been gettinghang-up calls, so I'm sabotaging my voice," she answered. I broke uplaughing.
My mother bought my book retail,...
October 16, 1997 | 8:00 pm
Deborah Berger-Reiss is a West Los Angelespsychotherapist. All rights reserved by author
Hooked on Rejection
My 17-year-old son is hooked on a girl. She's everything he sayshe wishes he could be and everything he knows we wish he couldbe. She's sure to be valedictorian, on...
September 11, 1997 | 8:00 pm
In the aftermath of thedeaths of Princess Diana and Mother Teresa, every woman I know hasparticipated in some version of "The Goddess or the Saint." We'vetaken sides, debated our husbands and boyfriends, our mothers, ourfriends. At Torah study last Saturday, we weighed the two women...