belarus family Jewish

Train Travel Through Time and the Search for Belonging

They left Belarus in 1923 and the good life that they had created. Times had changed and the place of their home was no longer one in which they could remain. Just as I am departing now on this train to Minsk, my ancestors too left Vitebsk, six of them including my grandmother crammed into […]

belarus Jewish on traveling

The Magic of Travel

All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware. Martin Buber The Magic of travel is happening here for me in Belarus. I’m currently in Vitebsk, the childhood home of my grandmother and her family. After spending a few days in Minsk, I’ve been here for 7 days so far, mostly exploring and […]

belarus family

Returning to Belarus – A Journey of Discovery

I’m on an airplane to Belarus and I find myself a bit teary. Not quite sure why, but it just feels like I’m feeling the sadness of my family for having been such a long time away. A return to this place is assuredly bittersweet in the hearts of my people. My grandmother Sonia Breinin […]


Cosmic Situation

The heavenly illuminations in this image are galaxies.  Not stars, but galaxies, with each point of light housing its own collection of millions of stars.  I noticed yesterday that stars don’t really exist in my mind/experience during the daylight hours, but only when they are visible at night.  Somehow the depth and expanse of the […]

poems & stories

Any Moment is the Right Moment

People are often asking me what’s it like to be back from India, to be here in America. So far it’s been wonderful. I feel in a way like I can be anywhere and still be fine. I was reminded of this quote below by Panchen. He/she knew something very simple, yet very wise. Any […]