Author Archives: thewordmavens

Valentine’s Day the Old-Fashioned Way

On Valentine’s Day in fifth grade, we remember sitting at our desks anxiously awaiting the distribution of cards from a shoebox wrapped in red foil. We could count on getting valentines from our girlfriends. Maybe a handmade one with stickers … Continue reading

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Thanks For Not Sharing: The Social Media Dilemma

The 24-hour news cycle doesn’t refer just to CNN and Fox News. It means that thanks to Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, we are constantly informed about the breaking news in the lives of our many online acquaintances. Social media is … Continue reading

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Matzah Ball Maven, M.D.

This article originally appeared in the Forward on Jan. 3, 2018. Like matzah balls, bagels used to be plain — or sesame if you were lucky. There were no pumpkin, jalapeño or asiago-cheese bagels on which to shmear your cream … Continue reading

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We Don’t Resolve, We Evolve

This essay was first published on WHYY.org on Jan. 13, 2018. We know the new year has arrived because we can’t avoid the ads for gym memberships and Weight Watchers. But we will not be making resolutions. This is not … Continue reading

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Should We Stay or Should We Go?

This originally appeared in the Philadelphia Inquirer, Sunday, December 24, 2017 In our young married days, both of us were city folks. We weren’t being trendy; we just chose affordable row homes as our first real nests. It was the … Continue reading

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Halfway Through Hanukkah

Like most Jewish holidays, Hanukkah is the story of a bad king who tried to get rid of the Jews but failed. Who was that king again? Antiochus or Ahasuerus? When our kids were little, we knew the answer right … Continue reading

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South Philly’s Hippest Bakery Has a Yiddish Name

Opening a Jewish bakery with a Yiddish name in an Italian neighborhood sounds crazy, but it didn’t take long before Essen had a line of regular customers lining up for its fresh-baked challah on Fridays. Tova du Plessis opened Essen, … Continue reading

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