Sarah Shapiro
click here to jump to start of article
Join Our Newsletter

Get latest articles and videos with Jewish inspiration and insights​




About the Author

Sarah Shapiro

Smile

Smile

by

Being accosted by a missionary of happiness only served to deepen my gloom.


What the Flowers Taught Us

What the Flowers Taught Us

by

Our history as a family was gone. A vanished empire, with only three orphans left to witness that it had ever been.


The Moon Over Mexico

The Moon Over Mexico

by

A trip into the unknown, courtesy of Dr. Knight.


The Alphabet of Happiness

The Alphabet of Happiness

by

Before me was a fully sentient person who for four years had been silent, pinned down inside the ruins of her body.


Last Night I Saw the Mushroom Cloud

Last Night I Saw the Mushroom Cloud

by

Am I incapable of thinking the unthinkable?


For Ever and Ever

For Ever and Ever

by

In the midlife zone where self-delusion flowers, forever young.


Second Nature or Second Thoughts

Second Nature or Second Thoughts

by

When giving doesn’t come naturally.


Three Steps Back

Three Steps Back

by

On being a tourist in the land of the disabled.


Who I Am Person

Who I Am Person

by

Even the terrifying enlightenment bestowed by Shigeko couldn't teach me that we're most human when we're most divine.


Living Here

Living Here

by

On a bus in Jerusalem, all eyes followed the girl who suddenly broke down and cried.


A Jewish Child on Christmas

A Jewish Child on Christmas

by

My parents succeeded in creating a wonderful Christmas - yet inside me something was amiss.


All the Way Home

All the Way Home

by

How six words transformed my world.


The I of the Beholder

The I of the Beholder

by

How can we get free of the petty tyrannies of our own female vanity?


Queen Esther Cleans for Pesach

Queen Esther Cleans for Pesach

by

Something was missing, which turned out to be myself


The Story of a Prayer

The Story of a Prayer

by

A Seder in Bergen-Belsen.


Happiness, etc

Happiness, etc

by

You're happy, aren't you?


What Arafat Said

What Arafat Said

by

Was it only in my imagination that I was smarter than my father?


Just Words

Just Words

by

It's no accident that we should be repeatedly compelled to explain our presence, to have to figure out what we're doing here.


Why Is This Child Different?

Why Is This Child Different?

by

Why did our family, like American Jewish families everywhere, recognize Passover as the one thing we would never forget?


When Bad Things Happen to Good Penguins

When Bad Things Happen to Good Penguins

by

What is the film "March of the Penguins" really about? A penguin speaks out.


Gifts of a Convert

Gifts of a Convert

by

The metamorphosis of Ahuvah Gray, a black American who was once a Christian minister and is now an Orthodox Jew.


Signs of Life

Signs of Life

by

How a father and son survived a suicide bombing.


Jerusalem of White

Jerusalem of White

by

Gone are Iran, and Gaza, and Syria. All out of sight, out of mind, for one night and one day.


My Mother's Purse

My Mother's Purse

by

We'd lost Mommy and Daddy; we didn't want to lose each other.


A Beggar and a Man

A Beggar and a Man

by

I've carried an idea of him in my mind. Who, for him, was the young girl with scorn in her eyes?


The Bomb in the Bag

The Bomb in the Bag

by

It wasn't really a bomb, don't worry. You are safe. We were safe. Then we laughed.


When Mommy Stopped Driving

When Mommy Stopped Driving

by

When the doctor delivered the news, we were abashed and afraid. How much time did we have?


My Six-Day War

My Six-Day War

by

When I first heard "the word" in my hometown.


Do Angels Need to Dance?

Do Angels Need to Dance?

by

I wished that somehow they had known how to make me feel included, that cold and rainy Sukkot night, rather than ostracized.


Something You Already Know

Something You Already Know

by

The world is divided into two kinds of people: those who fear getting older and those who do not.


A Handicapped Look at Disability

A Handicapped Look at Disability

by

An evening's encounter with a handicapped couple overturns misconceptions that have crippled one woman over a lifetime.


Just a Slight Adjustment of Focus

Just a Slight Adjustment of Focus

by

Raising happy children sometimes depends only on a kind word and a moment's extra attention.


A Member of the Club

A Member of the Club

by

Death has never been an infrequent occurrence. But I wasn't in the know.


Preparing for War_

Preparing for War_

by

It's not the unconventional weapons I'm getting ready for.


Adam and Eve in the Garden of Jerusalem

Adam and Eve in the Garden of Jerusalem

by

We were in an old world together, that's for sure, but not the one they expected.


Lieberman's Connecticut Wasn't My Connecticut

Lieberman's Connecticut Wasn't My Connecticut

by

I was a Jewish kid who didn't know what it meant to be Jewish, who was painfully, earnestly trying to fit in by concealing the Jewishness I knew nothing about.


On Anger

On Anger

by

Anger, which can work so powerfully against happiness, is the very tool we've been given to get a handle on our invisible, elusive inner selves.


We Are What We Say

We Are What We Say

by

Appreciating the immense impact of those little words we utter.