KT9 Passover beings tonight

EPISODE 9: KT9- Passover-Begins-Tonight
Tonight, Jews around the world will gather at a Seder, to celebrate Passover and the grand exodus of the Hebrew slaves from Egypt. Usually we gather with our extended family, sometimes up to 30 people. This year, we gather with just those living in our home. For me, that’s my husband and our youngest daughter, whose junior year of college was rudely interrupted by the corona virus. But it was around the Passover Seder table that my father-in-law, Sam Goldberg, would tell of his personal slavery in the death camp Treblinka, where 870,000 people were murdered. Of the 870,000 souls that entered Treblinka, only approximately 65 survived the war. Sam would tell of the constant fear of death and the stench of the bodies being burned, day after day, hour after hour. Sam escaped Treblinka on August 2, 1943, during a prisoner uprising. At our Seder, we will recall Sam’s slavery and be grateful that he was one of the few to survive.

KT8 Thank you Mom

EPISODE 8: KT8-Thank-You-Mom
My mother is 84 years old. She’s an amazing woman who has accomplished so much. I’m deeply grateful to be her daughter. During this pandemic scare that we are in, I worry about her every minute of every day. She has scarred lungs from years of smoking and a heart that doesn’t work super well. I have a right to worry.
But, I have so much gratitude towards all she has given me over these many years. She has given me life, love, meaning, values and great DNA to pass along. She was lucky enough to be born here in Seattle, not in Europe. Her family was not directly affected by the Holocaust. So, lessons learned are different, but powerful. From my mother, I have learned the value of family, community, honesty, and loyalty.
Thank you, Mom. Stay healthy.

KT7 Grateful for a disease

EPISODE 7: KT7-Grateful-for-a-Disease?
Is it possible to be grateful for a disease? This is a question that is confronting many of us.
My mother-in-law, Esther, became ill with Typhus in the spring of 1941. It’s a contagious and deadly disease. But it was because she was ill and recovering in the hospital, that she avoided the round-up of the 10,000 Jews living in the Slonim ghetto. These 10,000 Jews were taken out of town and shot one by one into a large pit by the German, Einsatzgruppen unit. Esther’s mother, father, and four siblings, were all murdered in this way. Esther was saved because of Typhus.
Today, we are living through a pandemic. It’s hard to feel gratitude for the corona virus, especially if you know someone who died. But perhaps over time, we will find small, but meaningful ways to be grateful.
I will say, it cleared my calendar and is giving me time to work on my second book.
For that I am strangely grateful.

KT6 Tips on bringing gratitude into our life

EPISODE 6: KT6-Tips-on-Bringing-Gratitude-Into-Our-Life
Research shows a correlation between gratitude and happiness. If gratitude can make us happier, how can we get some?
There are a number of ways to mindfully bring gratitude into your life. Here are some ideas:
Write thank you notes – express your gratitude and appreciation to someone in writing. It’s deeply therapeutic and the person receiving the note will feel fabulous.
Keep a gratitude journal – each day write something for which you are grateful. It will remind you of your daily blessings.
Meditate – try to sit quietly and give your brain time to process.
Say thank you – When someone does something kind or nice – say thank you.
The writer, Courtney Martin said: “Gratitude is not just about empty platitudes or forced dinner table exercises, it requires above all ese, slowing down and noticing and letting yourself be astonished.”
I agree – try it.

KT5 Neighbors are critical

EPISODE 5: KT5-Neighbors-Are-Critical
How well do you know your neighbors? Who could you really count on in a time of crisis?
In September of 1942, my mother-in-law, Esther, found out which neighbors she could count on. The Jews of her town were captured by the Nazis and taken to their death in a gas chamber. Ether hid in an attic for three days. When she emerged, she was starving and scared. She ran to her non-Jewish neighbors and asked for food and a place to hide. Over and over, she was turned away – “go away – it’s too dangerous! Go away or we’ll turn you into the Germans!” But there was one neighbor, Helena Stys, who looked at this 21-year-old woman and said “yes, I will help you.”
During a time of crisis, neighbors can be the most important people in our lives. For Esther it was life or death. For us today, living through the Corona crisis, we can be grateful for neighbors who bring us groceries or neighbors who just care.
Let’s check on our neighbors to make sure they are ok during this hard time.