We sit alone. Occasionally someone crosses the divide, bridging that gap. Other families laugh, their freedom ensured by birth. The men breeze in and out of Shabbos services at will, an aliyah guaranteed. The women sit and talk, their unbound hair and jeans comfortable to them. They look at us, the outsiders who look foreign, … Continue reading Conversion and Holidays
One of the benefits of going to work so early that it's still dark is that I am able to get in a quick meal before a daytime fast begins. I scarfed a bowl of oatmeal and thought about Ta'anit Esther. Esther was a leader, but a leader within a pretty brutally sexist regime. Her … Continue reading A Day Without Women…and the Fast of Esther
Somewhere, thousands of miles to the south, there are political things happening. In my world, though, it's still dark. I wake, wash, pray, then head to work at 4am, dodging moose on the way. The snow has been heavy this year and they've sought shelter in the city, looking for food. They munch on leaves … Continue reading Of Moose and International Women’s Day
I am stubborn. I justify it often, using my height as a handy excuse. A low center of gravity must lend itself naturally to being hard to move, right? Or, my red hair becomes the excuse as if its inability to choose a more common color somehow influences my brain to stay in well-trained ruts … Continue reading Stubborn or Stiff-Necked?
Purim may be upon us, but most Jewish women's minds are on something else, something that generally can't begin until after the last crumbs of hamentaschen have been scattered from the front door to the kitchen and the last hidden maschaloch manos rooted out of the kids' bedrooms where they absolutely should not have been. … Continue reading Escalations in the War on Dust
This week has been...rough. It's one of those weeks which seems to drag into two weeks where it feels like everything I try to fix only ends up more broken, whether it's at home or at work. I'm tired, drained, both physically and emotionally. My day begins at about 4am so that I can make … Continue reading Commitment or Only When It Feels Good?
It's been a rough week here at the Safek house. First, there was the bomb threat to our Synagogue on Monday that shook the ground a bit beneath us, like a small earthquake, not enough to damage anything, but enough to remind you that the ground isn't as steady as you like to pretend it … Continue reading Shabbat Always Comes
Logically, it makes sense. In my head, I understand the reasons. After conversion, I may even agree with them, when they no longer apply to me or my children. For now, though, it hurts. Logical or not, the pain tears through me the same as it would if I was a child, a young girl … Continue reading You Can’t Sit With Us – The Grownup Jewish Version
I came across something online today that really kind of...poked at me in an unusual way. A woman in a conversion group posted two comments, stated as if they are immutable facts. I think her intentions were good, most likely trying to encourage people feeling down about their conversion process. "If you ever come to … Continue reading Is Spiritual Happiness “Wrong?”