Last week the 29-year-old cellist Alisa Weilerstein, of New York, was named a MacArthur fellow, one of the country’s most prestigious honors in the arts and sciences. Each of the 22 recipients of the honor, also known as the “genius” awards, receives a $500,000 grant, spread out over five years, with no stipulations attached. The Jewish Week caught up with Weilerstein, the youngest honoree this year, the day after the fellows were announced.
On rare occasions, she surfaces in my dreams. During these nights, she’s a loving friend, her expressions animated, her laughter loud and long.
In waking life, I haven’t spoken to her since my children, now 6 and 9, were tiny toddlers so demanding that I couldn’t summon the energy to focus on our fight, even as the flames roared beyond control. By the time I was paying attention, our friendship was extinguished.
Just a few more days….Can you begin to picture it? We will all gather together, in anticipation of the New Year, and the new beginnings that come with it. The melodies we wait for all year will be surrounding us. Our prayers and supplications will rise towards the heavens and we will pray “Sh’ma Koleinu” - that God will hear our voices. The Shofar will wake us from our physical and spiritual slumber. The sweet apples and honey will delight taste buds of all ages.
‘Tis the season – the season for overeating, celebrating and gathering. It’s also the season of giving praise, whether to your mother-in-law (ok, to my mother-in-law) for her delectable stuffed cabbage, or to your children for decorating the sukkah with such creative flair, and to God – for His gifts, forgiveness, and patience with us.
I'm seeing big beautiful eggplants everywhere I go these days, and while they're delicious as a side dish, they have a hearty, meaty feel to them that is perfect in a main dish. Pairing that flavor with ground turkey results in a wholesome dinner the whole family can enjoy.
When scraping out the eggplant 'innards' - make sure to leave a thick enough shell behind so that the skin can still hold all the mixture you put back in. If you have leftover mixture, you can always form them into 'meatballs' and bake them alongside the filled eggplants.
Q - My brother and I are running the Chicago Marathon which is the day after Yom Kippur. We want to fast, however we have been told that it is unwise to do so the day before running 26 miles. Since this is an ethical dilemma, we need your advice.
A – Well, at the very least, by observing Yom Kippur you could label yourself a “fast runner.” Sorry.
At this time of year, I am often greeted by friends and congregants with some version of “this is your busy season, isn’t it?” Accountants like to say that this is “The rabbi’s April.” The teller at my bank this morning, an Indian woman, said benignly, “you have some holidays coming up, don’t you?’
The lead-up to Passover and Rosh HaShanah are the two times each year when kosher wine producers try to bring their new wines to the market. This fall, no doubt in part because of the continuing bad economy, and weak dollar, there are fewer new wines on the market than usual. However, many of the wines that are being released look intriguing.