What Is It Like When Nazis March Past Your Synagogue?

I feel it's important to share this article, written by the President of a Reform Synagogue in Charlottesville, Virginia about their firsthand experiences this past weekend.  It's a really well-written account that captures all the complexity of their experiences.  It does talk about the fear as armed white supremacists marched past their Synagogue shouting Nazi … Continue reading What Is It Like When Nazis March Past Your Synagogue?

The View Of Virginia From Alaska

The Sabbath still ends pretty late up here.  Havdalah was at 11:35 last night and we weren't done until later.  There were a lot of visitors this weekend and things ran a little late.  By chance, we opted to drive home after havdalah, to sleep in our own beds instead of the RV.  I came … Continue reading The View Of Virginia From Alaska

And You Shall Teach Your Son (and Daughter)…For Converts and/or BT’s

One of the things I passionately love about Judaism is the focus it has on lifelong learning, the idea that even if you've read the weekly parsha every week for your whole life there is still some little bit of wisdom hidden there for you to dig into.  Or, the idea that there are so … Continue reading And You Shall Teach Your Son (and Daughter)…For Converts and/or BT’s

Parshas Eikev – Turning Our Eyes to a New Land

This week's parsha continues the theme of Moses preparing the Jews to enter the land of Egypt.  He wants them to be ready for the challenges that they will face and he uses a mixture of encouragement and also some reminders of their past failings.  He's essentially been the father of this people, bringing them … Continue reading Parshas Eikev – Turning Our Eyes to a New Land

How to Avoid a Victim Mindset: A Brief Primer for Converts to Judaism

I stumbled across this article today written by another conversion blogger and I thought it was fantastic reading for anyone working on Orthodox Jewish Conversion, considering it, or even those who have already converted.

Johan René Schaper


By Johan (Yoel) Schaper

Being a convert to Judaism is not always easy. After having established that Judaism is the true religion and that you should join it, you suddenly realize that you are getting more than you bargained for. The religion comes together with an entire culture that you didn’t sign up for.

It is often this culture that creates trouble for the convert. Not all cultures are compatible; a convert’s upbringing can clash with the new Jewish one.

Take a Southern Baptist who grew up with the non-confrontational Southern culture. She rejects the New Testament, keeps the Old, and embraces Rabbinic Judaism. To convert, she moves up North to be in a larger Jewish community where she suddenly is thrown into this extremely forceful Jewish environment, filled with the usual teasing and in-your-face confrontational disagreements. All the poor gal did was change some core doctrines and add a…

View original post 878 more words

Caribou and Kosher Camping

**That is a picture I took of Denali, just 2 days ago.** My daughter and I hiked up, up the mountain, our legs burning as we climbed.  Both of us were in skirts and my sheitel (wig that some Orthodox married women cover their hair with) was soaked through, but we were grinning.  My husband … Continue reading Caribou and Kosher Camping

Leveling Up

In the past week's parsha, we read about Moses preparing the Jewish people for their next big challenge...entering the land of Israel and keeping the laws of Torah there.  Over and over, he stresses how much better their lives will be if they follow the commandments and it's clear from the commentaries that he knew … Continue reading Leveling Up

Finding One’s Place in the Jewish World

One of the things most critical to the success of any convert is finding a community where you can fit in and have the support needed to keep growing and observing.  It's so critical that most reputable Orthodox Beis Dins (Rabbinical Courts) simply won't convert you unless and until you have found that community and … Continue reading Finding One’s Place in the Jewish World

Patience, Patience, and a little More Patience

I am not a patient person by nature.  Even at a young age, I was gifted with a strong will to push forward.  The characters in books and movies I admired were adventurers who pressed forward, not people who patiently waited for their fates to find them.  As a daughter of midwestern farmers, sprouted from … Continue reading Patience, Patience, and a little More Patience