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Posts by Rabbi Nicole Guzik

Are You There, God?


Across the globe, it feels as if we are treading water. Part of us submerged, hearing more about who has Covid and the staggering consequences of the disease. And yet, part of us is out of the water, face towards the sun, seeing more people receive the vaccine, a symbol of hope that floating on the water’s surface may be closer than we think. But until that full reality comes to fruition, we continue to struggle out of the water.

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Teach Your Children


Like many of you, my heart shattered as I watched the insurrection at the US Capitol. News blaring in the background, tears streaming down my face, I thought, “What am I teaching my children?”

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A Bisl Torah for 2021


How do you begin
After heartbreak and breakdown
Vanished dreams, hurried goodbyes, exhaustion, disappointment, remnants of hope feeling very far away.
How do you start over in a world that looks so very upside down?

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Coping


The days are getting darker. Literally, the sun sets in the early afternoon and figuratively, it is hard to imagine the reality of the world in which we live. But just as the winter months eventually fade into spring, so too this darkness is not meant to last forever. We watch the rise in Covid deaths and know these next weeks and months will be difficult, tragic for many. And yet, in the same breath, there is the clarion call of a vaccine that may be rolled out within days. How does one cope while living in excruciating limbo? How…

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The Happy Place


Century City is offering a drive through parking lot experience called “The Happy Place”. We jumped at the chance to safely take our children…anywhere. The drive through lasted about ten minutes: a series of instagrammable scenes to help convey the definition of one’s happy place. A bathtub overflowing with bubbles, candy lane, a field of flowers, unicorn crossings, geographical depictions of beautiful California, and even, an inside your car dance party. Lots of smiles, giggles, and the appropriate end of ride question, “It’s already over?” This week seems to be the opportune time to ask where one’s happy place may…

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Make it Different


A common refrain: Thanksgiving just won’t be the same. Not the same people. Not the same food. Not the same traditions. Heaviness and disappointment blanket each conversation. It is true for many of us. This holiday season does not have the same kind of celebratory feel when we know it is best to stay home, feasting alone or with a much smaller guest list. But perhaps, one of the ways to lift our spirits is by first, acknowledging that things will not be the same. Allow the frustration and sadness to sit within. Not ignoring the pain. Recognizing the bit…

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What do we need?


My mom and I began to discuss Thanksgiving, a favorite holiday among the Guzik family. Usually, the dining room is bursting with relatives, new friends, tons of food, a warm fire giving the illusion that we experience seasons in California. Last year, my brother and sister-in-law announced their engagement and life felt content, a moment preserved in time. This year, the planning is different. A slim guest list, plans to eat al fresco, donned masks, and limited exposure to the people we love the most. Past Thanksgivings, we baked pumpkin and brownie pies and traditionally, picked up apple, pecan, cherry…

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