My heart is full today. Yes, it is snowing again and the roads are a mess and the Spring that seemed so close by last weekend now feels like it has fled south to the lower 48, but...this weekend is our first weekend in our Shabbat RV and we have invitations to both Seders from … Continue reading The Kindness of Strangers and Our First Shabbat in the RV
When you're a safek or part of a family with one, life is full of unanswered questions. I often talk with Jews who casually mention calling their Rav's for a question or that their Rabbi came by to show them how to do something and I have to remind myself that, one day, that may … Continue reading Unanswered Questions
We pack, box after box of costumes and props, a veritable panorama of Egypt into our RV and I marvel at the irony of us carrying with us the imagery of Mitzrayim in our own veritable mobile Sukkah. The Rabbi and his family were tired, up late the night before to prepare this experience for … Continue reading Joy of Small Communities
Shifting colors, mostly green. First, they look like clouds, then, they take form, shifting in the night sky. It's so cold, just shy of the arctic circle. Still, I'll never forget the first time I saw the northern lights. We were north of Fairbanks, out in the woods, and it was the kind of cold … Continue reading The Power of Wonder
The sun is now up past bedtime. It peeks through the little edges of the blackout shades, sneaking into the room, tiptoeing to my eyelids. Granted, bedtime at the Safek household is around 9-9:30pm. We hit the hay early and get up early. But still, the sun is coming back, regaining his dominion over life … Continue reading Passover Prep – Alaska Style!
We walked, silently, around and around the fortress-like building in which we both worked. He wasn't yet anything more to me than a stranger, a slightly unusual guy who sat a cube row over. We were only walking because he'd overheard my conversation on the phone and my sobs after. Unlike all the other men … Continue reading What’s In a Name?
We don't live within walking distance of our shul. We want to be within walking distance of our shul on Shabbat. We weren't willing to pack up and move across town because it seemed wiser to wait and save up for a bigger move out to a bigger Jewish community. Enter... The Shabbosmobile. It actually … Continue reading Where G-d Has the Will, We Find a Way
Moses threw down the first set of stone tablets, shattering them to the ground. These were the tablets made by G-d himself, a gift to the Jewish people. The second set? They were made by Moses, still holy, but maybe not quite as lofty. In some of the commentaries, we learn that the Jewish people … Continue reading The 2nd Set of Tablets
The snow is still piled high, but the sun is setting late, nearly bedtime already. Spring in Alaska is a time full of contradictions and calling Pesach cleaning "Spring cleaning" never quite seems to fit...and yet it does. Even if more snow may come, the days growing strangely long tell my body that summer is … Continue reading Choosing Minhags (Customs)…or Not?
Conversion is often just as much about peeling back layers as it is adding them. You peel off parts of who you were and how you grew up, bit by bit and you slowly add other layers. It isn't always easy. In this week's parsha, Ki Sisa, the Jews face a similar issue. They've accepted … Continue reading Letting Go, Leaving Behind
A wise friend of mine is fond of saying, "There is potency in what is hidden." The culture around us seems to leave little to the imagination, from what someone has for dinner to their innermost thoughts, there is a pressure to share for attention. Some people have become celebrities for little more than sharing … Continue reading The Power of What Is Hidden
First off, thank you to Mozer G over at Hasidic and Jewish Thoughts for nominating me for the Sunshine Blogger Award. Since this is my first time being nominated for anything related to blogging or writing, you'll have to forgive me if I'm clumsy about how this works! You should check out both of their blogs if … Continue reading Sunshine Blogger Award Nomination!