[Fiction, National Magazine Award finalist, 2004] A girl is sent to stay with her cousin in Israel:

“My cousin says that when I go home I should encourage my parents to keep kosher, that we should always say b’rachot before and after eating, that my mother and I should wear long skirts and long-sleeved shirts every day. She says all this will help my mother recover, the way it helped her mother recover from the divorce. I try to tell her how long it’s been since we’ve even done the normal things, like go to the movies or make a big Chinese dinner in the wok. But Esty just watches me with a distant, enlightened look in her eyes and says we have to try to do what God wants. I have been here a month, and still I haven’t told her any of the bad things I’ve done this year—sneaked cigarettes from my friends’ mothers’ packs, stole naked-lady playing cards from a street vendor on West 33rd, kissed a boy from swim team behind the bleachers after a meet. I had planned to tell her all these things, thinking she’d be impressed, but soon I understood that she wouldn’t.”