Ruchi's column will appear in the Cleveland Jewish News every other week starting August 11th.

An Orthodox woman, wife and mother of seven, Ruchi Koval is the co-founder and director of the Jewish Family Experience in Cleveland. She is a certified parenting coach, educator, author, musician and motivational speaker. Her first book, "Conversations with G-d," was released in 2016. Find Ruchi on Facebook, Instagram, her blog at outoftheorthobox.com, and follow her podcasts and videos on SoundCloud, WhatsApp and YouTube. Ruchi was a recipient of the CJN's 18 Difference Maker award in 2015.

Latest Column

Disney/Pixar just came out with “Soul,” a delightful movie that explores themes like body, soul and the afterlife. The godlike beings in the movie, who are all named Jerry (except the one who’s called Terry), are kind and benevolent creatures with Picasso-like animation, who change shape as …

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There are some things that happen in my life that are so big, so overwhelming and overbearing, that I don’t even know how to make sense of them. Maybe this will finally break me, I think. Maybe I should finally see a psychologist who can make this right before it creates too much subconsciou…

A few months ago, I got a phone call from my friend Elissa. She told me that her life coach, Chris, was writing a children’s book about life after death, and that he was including different religious perspectives in his book. He’d asked her about the Jewish view, and she deferred to me, sayi…

Each week after Shabbat ends on Saturday night, I turn on my phone, always curious to see what messages have accumulated over 25 hours. On Oct. 3, after all my emails from the weekend had loaded, I saw one with the subject line, “Action Needed: Please confirm you made this purchase.”

I’ve had occasion to learn a lot about rehab over the past little while, and my brain is on overload. The rehab process, and the journey to sobriety, is a process that must teach us all. 

The lulav and etrog are verdant and vibrant, a riot of fragrance and color. I take them, shake them, inhale their power. As I do, I whisper the prayer: “May my shaking bring down blessings from the four corners of the earth, from the expanse of the heavens to my simple sukkah down below.”

The other day my daughter sent me an Instagram post that featured an “influencer” (I think this means someone who likes skin care) posting about the weather. I know, what could be more banal than the weather, but I guess when you’re an influencer even the weather becomes witty and trending.