Other Writing by Meryl Ain

SOAPBOX; Fighting the Evil Called Genocide

At a time when public schools are being bombarded with the demands of the No Child Left Behind Act and other mandates, their work in another area — promoting respect and tolerance — is sometimes overlooked.

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The Empty Seat At The Seder Table

As a little girl, my mother took me to see “Marjorie Morningstar,” a movie about a Jewish girl, played by Natalie Wood, who wants to follow an unconventional path in the late 1950s. When Marjorie’s Uncle Sampson, played by Ed Wynn, died suddenly of a heart attack at the summer camp at which Marjorie was working, I was shocked and upset.

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A Shiva Without Hugs

My friend Ronnie died last week after a valiant almost-six-year battle with ovarian cancer. She had more kindness, compassion, understanding and wisdom in her tiny frame than most people have in their larger bodies. If she had died in another time, she would have had a standing-room-only funeral and a house overflowing with shiva guests.

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How to Celebrate Passover During the Pandemic

Passover has been my favorite holiday since I was a child. But enumerating the plagues was then — and still is — the part I liked least about the seder. They always seemed so icky and extreme and far removed, surely the province of a distant time and place. (Locusts? Cattle Disease? Boils? ) They are alien and repulsive to children and adults alike.

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Musings on Mortality in the Produce Aisle

It was just another day in what has become my routine in the seventh week following my husband’s open-heart surgery. I was in a hurry, having left him at home with his fifth bout of atrial fibrillation since the surgery. I had to pick up yet another medication from CVS, where I am sorry to say they are all too familiar with my husband’s medications, and they know who I am.

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Keeping the Legacy of the Holocaust Alive

“How does one take on the memories of another person, let alone the collective memories of millions?”

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Moving Memories

It was the house in which my oldest son took his first steps, the house in which we brought home from the hospital two more newborn baby boys, and in which we celebrated all of their accomplishments and milestones.

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Holiday Grief: Losing Susan and Keeping Her Memory Alive

So how do I or anyone else who has had a loss get through the holidays? A simple way is to bake or cook something that your loved one made. In fact, Susan’s Cincinnati family held a carrot cake bake-off on Thanksgiving in her memory. Everyone put on blindfolds as they taste-tested Susan’s cake and other carrot cakes — one from a renowned bakery. While Susan’s cake didn’t win, the activity certainly kept her memory alive!

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Profiles in Courage: JFK’s Lasting Legacy

An article that I read on The Huffington Post alerted me to the fact that the JFK Memorial Library is soliciting stories from people of how President Kennedy inspired them. In honor of the 50th anniversary of his assassination, “An Idea Lives On“ website will feature people from all walks of life talking about the influence Kennedy had on them. The name is based on a 1963 quote from JFK, when he said: “A man may die, nations may rise and fall, but an idea lives on.”

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What’s a Grandmother to Say About the COVID-19 Pandemic?

It’s a beautiful day in my neighborhood and a wonderful morning for a walk. It’s early so hardly anyone is out yet, enabling me to pull my mask low on my face breathing in the sweet fragrance of the season, noting that this is exactly what spring smelled like when I was a child.

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