America, the Earth is too small to be far from you
“There is not a segment of Earth that is not touched by America. Although Americans see themselves as diverse and riven, we who are far from you, like the astronauts seeing our planet from space, see a single light: the light of liberty.”
Originally published in Tax Notes 

We cannot part
“I once asked: how can they shut down civilization? But one sick person turned into two, and two into four and four into eight, and it only takes twenty-seven days of doubling to go from one to a million… So we tell our loved ones goodbye; we will see you again in another season, or another year or on the screen.
From Viva Hammer’s piece in Jewish Action 

The Corona Diaries, family Zoom calls
“We are exceedingly busy doing absolutely nothing. Washing our hands again and again then washing the towel that washed the hands.”
From Viva Hammer’s piece in Jewish Action

We are exceedingly by

Family time during COVID-19
The strongest human need is the need for each other. We wish for connection, we ache when we cannot find it, and we are punished most intolerably when we are cut away from one another.”
From Viva Hammer’s piece in Commonweal Magazine

Isolation during COVID-19
“We are in isolation now we and all the world. Each household on its own. And in our isolation, we are together. I had called my friend to comfort him, but the conversation ended with him comforting me.
From Viva Hammer’s piece in First Things 

Prayer Bless the Lord O my Soul

VHammer Prayer

Sabbath Alone


Matchless: An Observant Jew Searches for Love


Bareheaded: Uncovering My Hair After Divorce

Bareheaded final

Bareheaded Lydia Polimeni

Orthodox Baby Boom!

Why are Orthodox Jews having so many children?  Did they always have so many? Viva Hammer’s groundbreaking article describes the new phenomenon.

Jewish action final

Choosing Homeschooling

Are schools a must or an option?  Viva Hammer describes one family’s journey to Teaching Their Own.

Choosing Homeschooling PDF

Blood Rhythms

Sacred Books

Always Artful Jew

In this era doused with fleshy image, we need not be ashamed of our wordy heritage devoid of sensual media. Despite the destruction of synagogues and communities, confiscation from us (many times over) of vast gilded wealth and bonfires of book burnings, we have held on to our words.

Artful Jew

Black Fire Upon White Fire

Men’s prayer comes together so naturally, so seemingly effortlessly.  Every day, twice a day, a boy waits for his moment, while his sister waits at home. Creating a prayer service entirely of girl novices, who have spent their lives waiting at home, never having been apprenticed or even mingled with the performers, is like conducting a symphony with an orchestra of nursery children. You might lose a few notes.

Black Fire

Voice of a Woman

A mother’s voice is the prime stimulus the unborn child receives from the universe: the sound of a woman is the most arousing thing there is.

Voice of a Woman Voice of a Woman

Brides of Blood

I spent the week between my son’s birth and his circumcision on the kitchen floor, breast pump in one hand and telephone in the other, searching for a mohel.

Brides of Blood

Hametz and Taxes

April 15 is the day Americans must file their taxes, which means that for Jewishly observant accountants, the Passover season is as hellish at work as it is at home.


Every Hour a Kiss

Two unforgettable events remain with me from my last visit to Israel : a kiss and a hug.

Every Hour A Kiss


When my daughter was thrust into Hebrew immersion in first grade, I seized the chance to start speaking Hebrew at home. For an Australian living in America, this wasn’t an obvious choice.


Landswoman at a Jerusalem Mikva

Standing on the edge of the mikve pool, lighted and hidden by candlelight, in the midst of a total electrical blackout and of the darkness of the intifada, we chatted about the incomparably beautiful hometown which we had both abandoned.



The moon is the woman’s parallel in the unequal upper spheres, and I show my partnership with her by joining the community in song on her monthly birthday.


Fasting, mourning and nursing at the Trianon Palace

Communing While Commuting

The rabbis require mindful prayer thrice daily. Such a goal is for angels. It is neither possible, nor necessary for human beings – and certainly not for working parents. I step into the train, find a snug spot between the benches and the driver’s cabin and begin, Hoydu laHashem kiru bishmoy hoydi’u b’amim aliloysov, Give thanks unto the Lord, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the people.

Davening before the mixed multitude of Washington commuters, I reckon I have fulfilled all three of the verse’s prescriptions. Not an ecstatic encounter, but not a bad beginning for an ordinary Monday morning.


The Rebbetzin Will Keep Her Name page 20,

No Daddys Here, Please

No Daddys Here Please

Runaway Sistah

Runaway Sistah

Chelsea’s Yarmulke

Chelsea’s Yarmulke

Titles Do Not the Rabbi Make

Titles Do Not the Rabbi Make

Making a Meaningful Bat Mitzva

Kosher In Israel

Kosher In Israel

Ten Righteous Souls

Ten Righteous Souls

Diaspora Holiday Bonus

Diaspora Holiday Bonus

Abominable Dilemmas

Abominable Dilemmas

Holiday (mis)Givings

Holiday (mis)givings

Be Thee To Me Betrothed

Be Thee To Me Betrothed

Stay at work (kollel) wife

Stay at work internet

The best driving failer in the state


Falling on Deaf Ears

Falling on Deaf Ears Internet

Are You Hungry?

Are You Hungry

Educating Bruria


“Alternative Energy Gets a Second Wind,” Tax Notes, Nov. 22, 2010 TNT 2010-11-22 Wind
“Martin Ginsburg, Who Found a Good Job, Along With His Wife,” Forward, July 9, 2010
“What’s New in US Tax and Accounting?” Derivatives & Financial Instruments, IBFD, Vol. 12, No. 4, July/August 2010 DFI 2010-7 Updates
“US Taxation of Foreign Currency Derivatives: 30 Years of Uncertainty,” Bulletin for International Taxation, IBFD, Vol. 64, No. 3, March 2010 FX Bulletin VH
“Did Credit Derivatives Cause the Financial Crisis?” Jurist.Diction, Autumn 2010 Credit Derivatives and Financial Crisis
“1256 and Currency Contracts: It’s a Mess Inside,” in the compendium “Examining the Straddle Rules after 25 Years,” Tax Notes, Dec. 21, 2009 TNT 2009-12 Straddle FX
“Taxation of High-Yield Debt – Beware the End of the Reprieve,” Tax Notes, Vol. 124, No. 11, Sept. 14, 2009 TNT 2009-9-14 AHYDO
“Financial Products Audits: Understanding the Process and the Issues,” (with Ann Singer) Derivatives & Financial Instruments, IBFD, Vol. 10, No. 6, November/December 2008 DFI 2008-2 Audits
“Oil Speculation Tax Discussion Roils the Markets,” Derivatives & Financial Instruments, IBFD, Vol. 10, No. 5, September/October 2008
“Evolution of Safe Harbor Rules under Section 475,” (with Ann Singer) Derivatives & Financial Instruments, IBFD, Vol. 10, No. 3, May/June 2008, reproduced in Chartered Accountant Practice Journal, Vol. 24, Part 5, December 2008 DFI 2008-7 MTM
“How Should a Corporation Strategically Review Its Capital Markets and Financial Activities in the United States,” Derivatives & Financial Instruments, IBFD, Vol. 10, No. 1, January/February 2008 DFI 2008 Financial Prods Review
“The Taxman Commeth,” Alpha Magazine, Institutional Investor, September 2007
“Insurance Derivatives: A Tax Angle,” Practicing Law Institute, 2001-2010
“Review of Current Financial Literature,” Derivatives and Financial Instruments, IBFD, November/December 2003 DFI 2003-11 Review financial lit
“Financial Engineering: Derivatives and Risk Management,” Journal of Financial Institutions, November/December 2002
“Theory of Financial Risks,” Journal of Financial Institutions, January/February 2002
“Insurance Derivatives: U.S. Tax Issues,” CCH Journal of Financial Products, Spring 2001
“FASITS,” Derivatives and Financial Instruments, IBFD (2001), with Ann E. Singer DFI 2001-1 FASIT
Financial Products Columnist, CPA Journal, Journal of the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants, 1996-2000;col1
“Taxation of Index Options,” Derivatives and Financial Instruments, IBFD, January/February 2000 DFI 2000-1 Index Options
“Taxation of Hybrid Instruments,” Derivatives and Financial Instruments, IBFD, November/December 1999 DFI 1999-11 Hybrids
“Methods of Mathematical Finance,” Derivatives and Financial Instruments, IBFD, September/October 1999 DFI 1999-9 Methods Mathematical Finance
“Taxation of Credit Derivatives,” Derivatives and Financial Instruments, IBFD, July/August 1999 DFI-1999-7 CDS
“Financial Risk Management,” Derivatives Tax, Regulation, Finance, November 1998
“Accounting and Tax Implications of Credit Derivatives,” Credit Derivatives, ed. Satyajit Das, John Wiley, 1998
“Taxation of Equity Derivatives,” Equity Derivatives: Applications in Risk Management, Risk Publications, 1997
“US Tax Aspects of Equity Derivatives,” Tax Management Financial Products Report, November 1997 TMFPR 1997 Equity Derivatives
“US Tax and Equity Derivatives,” Tax Management Memorandum, October 1997
“US Taxation of Foreign Currency Futures, Options and Forwards,” Tax Management Financial Products Report, August 1997 TMFPR 1997 FX
“Taxation of Financial Instruments,” Tax Notes, July 1997 TNT 1997-7 Taxn of Financial Instruments
“Demystifying the Mathematics of Derivatives,” Derivatives Strategy, June 1997
“Derivatives Demystified, Twice,” Tax Notes, June 1997 TNT 1997-6 Derivatives Demystified Twice
“Australian and US Transfer Pricing Rules Track Each Other,” Journal of International Tax, June 1994