How Leaving Home Awakened Me To What I Missed All These Years

Last Saturday, as usual for Saturdays, I took my son to my parents home. We had lunch consisting of mashed potatoes and meat cutlets – the staple dishes in my parents’ Russian cuisine. My dad read a couple of children books to Ayan. My mom reminded me of my commitments the next week and worried that I don’t exercise enough. All as usual. The same familial ritual that occurred hundreds of time before. But something was different. I wasn’t in a hurry. As a matter of fact, I wanted to stay longer. Continue reading “How Leaving Home Awakened Me To What I Missed All These Years”

Why Marrying a Non-Jewish Woman Is The Best Thing That Happened To Me

My wife and I have lived most of our lives 6,000 kilometers away from each other. Our meeting, unlikely as it was, has led to a close friendship which turned into a marriage. We are what you may call an interracial couple – I’m Ashkenazi Jewish and Oxanna is Buryat-Mongolian. But while many interracial couples have to cope with cultural differences, for us it isn’t the case. Continue reading “Why Marrying a Non-Jewish Woman Is The Best Thing That Happened To Me”

Echoes From My Tribe – Story of Intermarriage In Israel

My parents always wanted me to marry a Jewish woman. So when they found out that I’m getting serious with someone who isn’t Jewish, they were quite upset. I tried to understand their point of view, but was struggling to do so. I knew that their objection wasn’t religious – having lived all their life in atheist Soviet Russia, they are distinctly (but typically of their generation) secular people, and immigration to Israel didn’t really change that. So what was it that made it so difficult for them to accept? Aside from the usual caution we keep for strangers who don’t fit into our familiar world, there was something that disturbed them on a much deeper level. The answer lied in their past. Continue reading “Echoes From My Tribe – Story of Intermarriage In Israel”

Ski in Bulgaria

Going to Vacation Alone (And Surviving It)

Just a couple of days ago I returned from a ski vacation in Bulgaria. Not only it provided me the much desired opportunity to learn and practice skiing in a real European ski resort,  but also the dubious pleasure of enjoying the sole company of myself. Since my vacation was bounded to specific dates (after discharge from army, before beginning work), and my budget restricted my options to Bulgaria’s ski resorts, I couldn’t find anyone to join me. Continue reading “Going to Vacation Alone (And Surviving It)”


My Experiments with Transformation

I have never given too much thought to questions of nutrition, healthy food, eating habits, etc. Being skinny isolates you from the world of calories-counting and diets. But as I have discovered, no one is safeguarded from the advances of excessive fat, especially after certain age. After gaining 10 kilos in 6 months (apparently living alone can have this side effect), I started to think that maybe I should start noticing what I eat. But I wasn’t ready then to do anything about it. Continue reading “My Experiments with Transformation”

Standing on the edge of cliff

How I Have Come to Face Freedom

Lately I have been thinking about the burden of freedom. What I mean by freedom is not the civil freedom of being out of jail, but an existential freedom: freedom from unfulfilled desires, from debilitating illness, from time-consuming commitments, from limiting beliefs. The kind of freedom that makes you wake up on Saturday morning, have your breakfast, come into the living room and think to yourself “no one expects anything from me today, I have the whole day to myself, to do anything I want. So, what should I do?” Continue reading “How I Have Come to Face Freedom”