Get latest articles and videos with Jewish
inspiration and insights
Some women seem to be more interested in over-achieving than in maintaining a relationship.
Appearances can be deceiving.
Despite Israel’s lawful origins, it is the only country in the world whose legitimacy has been questioned.
A warning to the world from the UN General Assembly podium: Don’t close your eyes to the atrocities around you.
Palestinian terrorism verdict shatters long-held myths and illusions.
Echoes of Queen Esther who broke protocol in the face of an Iranian threat to destroy her people.
Leonard Nimoy, who passed away last week, explains how the hand-gesture of the Priestly blessing became Spock’s Vulcan salute.
How did he get the Jewish people to listen and help save the day?
Help! I need to lose weight after being in bed for a month with mono.
This Purim, remove the four masks we wear and experience true joy.
A proud polio survivor, I was blissfully unaware of the stigma many attach to paralysis and deformity. Until I wanted to start dating.
And their underlying Jewish values.
Giving your teens helpful, safe guidelines.
Some tantalizing salads for your festive Purim meal.
The drinking isn’t for the body; use it for the soul.
Yes it can work. Here’s how.
Attaining the self-assurance you need to achieve true intimacy with another person.
Staying true to yourself while dating.
An exciting exhibit presents direct evidence of the Jewish community in Babylonia right before and after the destruction of the First Temple.
Summing up the Purim holiday: They tried to kill us, we won, let’s eat.
Kabbala is the Torah's expression of the way the world works. Removed from its source, it's a lot of rubbish. (First in a series.)
Practical and relevant insights on the weekly parsha.
Advanced-level midrashic and Kabbalistic illuminations on the weekly parsha.
Lessons, stories and discussion questions for parents and kids.
Watch the Purim story come alive.
A video series that takes a closer, more grown-up look at the Book of Esther.
Purim and your unique role in life.
Amazing infographic to SHARE with your friends and family about Judaism's most fun holiday.
Purim is the holy holiday of candy – allow me to prepare you.
Jon Stewart has won 19 Emmy Awards. I am ready to win 19 Emmy Awards, given the chance.
What would have been the harm if Marty had used the almanac to win a few bets?
A big picture overview capturing the meaning and joy of the holiday.
Building unity through kindness.
Taking responsibility for the environment. A message for Tu B'shvat.
June 29, 2013
August 6, 2013 11:10 AM
We certainly can and SHOULD send letters/cards any time we choose to do so. About 10 years ago an extended family member was dying of cancer. I really wanted to visit her, but she was too tired to see anyone aside from her husband and children. I thought she was probably also too tired to talk on the telephone, so I bought a card with a pretty picture and no message inside. On the inside of the card I told her I was sorry she was so ill and I missed her. I never saw her again, as she passed away shortly after the card was mailed. However, her daughter told me she was happy to get the card and had read it more than once. DSL? Only if one choose that option.
July 9, 2013 3:34 AM
Struck a chord
Lori, I would be remiss if I didn't write and tell you how wonderful this video was. I, too, love writing and receiving letters. I often roam through stationery stores searching for just the write note papers. As a teacher (4th grade), one of the first assignments I give is to have my students write and mail a postcard to me telling me about their summer. It's with great excitement that I wait for the first postcard to arrive and then read. Each kid is thrilled when his/her postcard is read and then posted to our bulletin board.Thank you for talking about a topic that should be discussed and encouraged more often.
July 5, 2013 6:23 AM
I have always loved writing letters, and feel it is a dying art. As I put my last child on a plane to move to another state, she asked through her tears, "Will you write to me?" In that moment, I realized that my years of writing to them, notes in their lunch boxes, letters to tell them I am proud of them, letters to take the edge off an unpleasant but necessary conversation, and the fun of making our own cards for special occasions - I realized how important this had become to all three of our kids. So, every Shabbat, I write a "Dear Kids" letter, and include copies of past family newsletters, or excerpts from the journal they all wrote in and hid around the house for years. Now they are all married and living in NH, FL and WA, and they look forward to the weekly commentary, humor and memories. It is a good thing, and now they are writing their own stories and sharing them in family newsletters - very gratifying....
July 5, 2013 4:04 AM
To me hand written letters are precious, warm, and very personal, and show that one really cares. Another reason for me to write and place my letters constantly in the mailbox, is to support the postal workers as well, because of technology, many of them are loosing their jobs. Additionally, as much and practical as they are,
e-mails are cold and do not offer the warmth a written letter or personal note would produce to a recipient. I only use e-mails at work for business, and even at work when I need to address certain issues, I do it formally on paper, never through emails.
Thank you so much Lori, for reminding us the importance of receiving or sending a handwritten letter or note.
July 5, 2013 3:16 AM
I keep emails indefinitely
My kids don't believe me when I tell them that an inexpensive but much-appreciated gift, especially for those leaving home, was a box of stationery! During college in the 80's, that's how students stayed in touch -- long-distance phone calls were just too expensive.HOWEVER: I don't agree that email is cold. One can of course use it much like text-messaging (Me: can you stop at supermarket, we're out of OJ; husband: yes). But I also have written and received long emails that are very much like letters. Only the delivery system is different. So for special occasions, I still send greeting cards, and when I travel I still send postcards (which are not nearly as easy to find as they once were). And I'm my mother's daughter, and she'd turn in her grave at the thought of anyone accepting gifts and then not hand-writing and mailing a thank you notes. But for anything else -- whether it's declarations of love, a discussion of politics or art, or a quick "how are you doing these days" -- email works just fine. And I've got emails going back years that I do re-read from time to time.You should send this video to US Postal Service, which is having a hard time. You would be their Person of the Year!
July 4, 2013 9:40 PM
Letters and E-Mails!!!
I do agree with Mrs. Palatnik but there are positive things in e-mails as well. I also remember sending letters to my parents from sleep away camp and receiving in return as well as sending to and receiving from my grandparents as well as other relatives. When I went to America from Israel to visit my mother (my father passed away 10 years ago), I found the letters that I wrote to them from camp but left them for my mother. My mother passed away over a year ago and my brother threw away all of those letters. What a shame!!! I also remember corresponding by letter with my cousin when we were both little children. She lived and still lives on the West Coast and I at that time lived on the East Coast now living in Israel. Now, unfortunately there is no contact between us as she is a very successful attorney. Those were great memories. There was more of a family orientation and family closeness at that time called the "extended family". Even though I do miss those times, there are positive things in the e-mail as well. The main positive thing is sending photos in which the receiver can have printed any size he or she wants in an instant. I have received photos of great-great & great-great-great grandparents and printed them myself to the size I wanted. If there was no e-mail, I would never have received those photos as the sender would never have parted with those photos. Also, living in Israel, it is not as easy or pleasant as in the USA to go to the post office where from my experience always takes much longer to be weighed on than in the US. In addition to that, unlike the US, the hours are always different at each post office in Israel with many branches having a break during the day, so that makes e-mailing much easier for me where I don't have to deal with an unpleasant situation. All that being said, I do miss those days in America where there was correspondence by letter due to the family closeness but there are positive aspects in the e-mail as well.
July 4, 2013 9:29 PM
I have to admit, I do not write letters, but I do send cards for occasions. I like to talk on the phone.
July 4, 2013 8:37 PM
Notes and Cards
We often have opportunities to write or respond with cards or notes. This includes get-well, bithhday, mourning notes, or even wedding inivitaions It's relatively easy to write something personalized and meaningful. I have kept some of these cards for years, and have been told that others have held on to notes I have written. They are so much more significant than the 'canned' soulless responses found on preprinted cards!.The formula for writting an effective card is simple. Get to a quiet spot Think about the situation until you feel it in your heart. Then the words flow.By the way, this is also how you build up to a suitable emotinal way of expressing yourself verbally.
July 4, 2013 5:22 PM
i i i
July 4, 2013 4:20 PM
Let's bring back thank you notes too
I like to send a thank you note in the mail after staying with someone for shabbat. These days, it practically sends people into a state of shock. Who does such a thing anymore.?
July 4, 2013 4:08 PM
I love being in touch by email - it's quick and allows a fast note when I'm thinking of someone.Having said that, when friends out of town and old acquaintances found out that my husband died, everyone sent handwritten letters. It was warm and kind and I kept them together to read over and over. It made me happy that so many people remembered him so fondly. There are times when a letter is much more appropriate than an email.
July 3, 2013 8:19 AM
That was then and now is now
Interesting. Actually, I still write handwritten letters to people, who do not have E-mail. I also remember reading letters that my father wrote to mother when she was a camp counselor and he missed her, but I am not so sure it was with their permission! I also remember being in camp and getting letters from my parents. Truly a very emotional experience. But, like everything, that was then and now is now. One can always write a handwritten letter to somebody if they choose. But that does not take away from the advantages of E-mail, of which there are many.
July 3, 2013 2:34 AM
I agree Lori, There is nothing like getting the mail and finding a letter in it. Hand addressed, and hand written. I don't think I've ever thrown one away. I buy and sell antiques and have bought old letters and postcards from estates. They meant the world to someone to have saved them all that time. ----- Someone said you learn more about a person by reading their letters than from having a conversation with them.
July 2, 2013 11:56 AM
To commenter #1--I certainly hope you are being tongue in cheek. You are free to write a letter to anyone any time you choose. Just yesterday I mailed out a thank you note to someone who was very helpful to me and my family. I LOVE the act of writing such a note and putting it in a nearby mailbox. I always print the message and sign my name. Alas, if I wrote the note in cursive I'm afraid the recipient would not be able to read my handwriting! I agree 100% with Lori Palatnik's sentiments.
July 3, 2013 1:29 AM
Tongue in Cheek
Not only tongue-in-cheek but with a pinch of sadness as well. I too remember mail-call in camp as being one of the most exciting times in the summer. I too wrote daily during rest period. We got to gather our thoughts, consider what we liked and disliked and appreciated about camp, and about how much we missed our parents, etc. Is it any wonder we have such difficulty with introspection and gratitude these days?
July 2, 2013 11:40 AM
DSL stands for Don't Send Letters. A terribly frightening byproduct of technology.
Display my name?
Your email address is kept private. Our editor needs it in case we have a question about your comment.