Passover and the Meaning of Exodus: Making it Personal

After years and years of creating what our family and friends had come to refer to as an “alternative Seder” I’ve realized I just don’t have it in me anymore. Or perhaps it would be more fitting to say the format doesn’t fit — again for me that would be. The presence of very young grandchildren in our lives may just have tilted my world just enough for me to realize some other reasons that it’s time for a change.

For over 40 years we did our version of an alternative…


Forgive us our Sins: Guantanamo and our Aversion to Remorse

“To dehumanize another human being is…a process and a programming. It takes energy and reinforcement to deny what is self-evident in another member of one’s own species.” P. 141

p.142 “A caste system relies on dehumanization to lock the marginalized outside of the norms of humanity so that any action taken against them is seen as reasonable.”

Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents

Isabel Wilkerson, Random House, 2020

According to the Moral Injury Project at Syracuse University, moral injury is “the damage done to one’s conscience or moral compass when…


After Part 1 of “Allen v Farrow,” as a Therapist I felt Ashamed

I was one of many, practically raised on Woody Allen. I was a New Yorker but he was New York. He lived and loved the city. I was Jewish and there he was to expose and at times to glorify the crazy family settings that were familiar to me. But more some of his films were brilliant, glorious and layered and smart. “Annie Hall” was the classic but then there was “Hannah and her Sisters”, so very rich and fabulous. …


After Part 1 of “Allen v Farrow,” as a Therapist I felt Ashamed

I was one of many, practically raised on Woody Allen. I was a New Yorker but he was New York. He lived and loved the city. I was Jewish and there he was to expose and at times to glorify the crazy family settings that were familiar to me. But more some of his films were brilliant, glorious and layered and smart. “Annie Hall” was the classic but then there was “Hannah and her Sisters”, so very rich and fabulous. …


The use of the word “hopping” (no not the Easter bunny just yet) for me conjures up the term used for tourist buses for which you buy a ticket to see different tourist destinations in a given city, and then can hop on or off where you like. It has the connotation of fluidity, changeability and in this case also change of mood. And while often this does have the appeal of being able to go on and off at will, right now the direction that I would choose would be off.

I was one of the people not only…


A Valentine for Toddlers

To begin with, toddlers cry and rage and despair, and they often stamp their feet. They want what they want and what they feel they need. They drive us to change our minds and “give in” or they drive us to stamp our own feet and insist it is our way or the highway. And of course, we have good reasons: they need to learn to be polite and now, without signs of shyness, and this is just the tip of the iceberg. We all have our standards which to some people some of the time…


We are constantly bombarded by combinations of information, emergencies, requests to take sides. Violence in the Capitol may take the cake for the moment, but combinations of the crushing assault of Covid 19, racism, inequality and climate disasters are constantly assaulting us. We pay attention and we care, or we don’t, depending on our states of exhaustion, of distraction, and sometimes of not knowing what to take seriously or not.

We are induced to pay attention or to ignore — or even deny — issues of import due to the value systems we learned growing up, and due to the…


Originally printed in Huffington Post, January 1, 2012

It is the 40th anniversary of John Lennon’s death by shooting by gun in New York City. I wrote the following in a flood of upset and grief and a sense of loyalty to the truth — at least to my own and what I interpreted as John Lennon’s.

At a moment in time when religion seems to have gotten more and more press and power in America, the lyrics to my own ode if you will, are more radical than the way I usually speak or even write. …


I’m in Colorado and I tried Texas and Pennsylvania but in very small doses. In summary, the things I was aiming to say in those calls were: Please vote; please vote Democratic and please tell us how we can help you make up your minds so you might at least consider doing so. And at the very least talk to someone about your doubts and fears related to having Trump reign again for another four years.

In this very short round, first there was Texas: I got to listen to and see Beto O’Rourke, whom I very much like and…


As a liberal I have frequently been haunted by an experience of helplessness when I argue with Conservatives. What happens to me is that I “lose my English” (in my case a first language). This isn’t new to me and I suspect it isn’t new to other liberals who share this uncomfortable tendency with me.

When my older brother bellowed an argument in his English accented (the country, I mean here) baritone voice oozing with apparent confidence, the effect on me was that of shaming. At these moments, I got little practice in, or modeling of, self-defense. It was enraging…

Carol Smaldino

A psychotherapist, a New Yorker living between Colorado and Italy (in good times) I am passionate about the role of emotions and awareness for evolving,sanity

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