Like Tisha B'Av, Yom Kippur is sometimes a difficult holiday to explain to my non-Jewish friends, family, and coworkers. For most other people, holidays in general are associated with only happy events, but Jewish holidays really are holy days...and not all holy days are fun or easy. There is also the problem that the idea … Continue reading Yom Kippur
Morning sun awakens late half the morning gone at work I glance out the window, noting it's return I stand, book in hand hidden by cubical walls My feet point east to unseen mountains my lips begin to flutter my voice a whisper they never seem to notice or hear my prayers coded in a … Continue reading Whispered Prayers Within Cube Walls
Next year, Hashem willing, our children will be in Orthodox day schools. This is a requirement for most converts because we may not be able to teach our children everything they need to know when it comes to Judaism. Most day schools are simply private schools that follow a "dual curriculum." Students spend roughly half … Continue reading Judaic Studies…in Alaska (or how to teach your children when you live very remote from Day Schools!)
Every Yom Kippur, we read the story of the prophet Jonah, who was ordered to go to a non-Jewish city called Nineveh to tell them to repent. The Jews at the time were a mess and Jonah knew that the non-Jews he was going to would indeed repent. He didn't want to go, which is … Continue reading Jonah – Running from G-d
Here in Alaska, the leaves are leaving the trees quickly, fluttering to the ground and piling up. Our brief fall is fleeing and the chill is setting in. In this week, we've been preparing for Yom Kippur. It even feels like a whole new year with the house painted a new color, one of the … Continue reading 5778
I have a very wise, non-Jewish friend who often will say something profound and then later I'll discover that the idea she's spoken of already exists within Judaism. It's become almost a running joke with us. One of the ideas that she believes very strongly in is the idea that our perception of reality has … Continue reading The Power of Perception and Choosing Piglet Over Eeyore
I've often heard stories of miraculous happenings that occur when people are rushing to make it home in time for Shabbos or similar holiday stories. I did expect that this Rosh Hashanah, we'd have one of our own to share. Our home was being painted the two days before Rosh Hashanah and Mr. Safek was … Continue reading A Rosh Hashanah Miracle
I will not be online until after Saturday night, but I hope everyone has a wonderful Rosh Hashanah and is inscribed for a good new year. Shanah Tova! Our family will be coming home to a surprise. Our home is about halfway painted on the outside and won't be finished until Thursday or Friday, meaning … Continue reading Rosh Hashanah Surprises!
We had a meeting with our son's teachers this morning, just to check in on how he's doing and he's doing really well this year. During the meeting, one of the teachers said to us, "Well, I'm sure he's told you about the incident that happened in my class..." My husband and I looked at … Continue reading When Anti-Semitism Becomes Mundane
I'm not sure, but I think my first year observing Jewish holidays was one that had several 3 day Yom Tovs in it. If not, then it was at least when I was still very shaky in observing them. This oddity happens when a 2 day Yom Tov (holiday) falls either right before or right … Continue reading 3 Day Yom Tovs!
I have covered my hair for many years now, but underneath, was always a long, full head of hair. My husband asked me to keep it, even if only he saw it. He enjoyed running his fingers through it after I took off my wig or scarf and let it down at night. It was … Continue reading An Unexpected Sacrifice
I have been sick and away from my blog while I recovered, but I feel like it is such a huge blessing that I was made to slow down and rest before the High Holidays are here. I'm coming out of the fog at just the right time now to finish preparing and I was … Continue reading Crowning the King and Knowing Your “Why”