This weekend, in a Chabad house not that different from my own Synagogue, a man opened fire and shot and killed a woman who dove in front of her Rabbi, saving his life. several others were injured. They were there celebrating the last days of Passover, much like I was, thousands of miles away. They … Continue reading Freedom From Hate?
Surrender is something I always want to be good at, but really struggle with. A great example is anesthesia. When I was 15 years old, I had to have my wisdom teeth extracted in a surgery. For this, they had to put me under and when I woke up, I heard the WORST language being … Continue reading Surrendering to Surrender…Again
Sometimes, despite your best intentions and planning, holidays go sideways. This is how we ended up at the emergency room yesterday on the second day of Passover. My husband is a type 2 diabetic on an insulin pump, along with high blood pressure, heart disease, and a triple bypass last Fall. Even before we lit … Continue reading Passover and Freedom from the Emergency Room
Note: That's not our roof! Tomorrow night Pesach begins. I know...I should be cooking right now, but, instead, I'm taking a break from work to update this blog and think about all the cooking I should be doing. Happily, we have invitations for most of our meals for the first 2 days of Passover! It's … Continue reading Asbestos Roofs, Passover Cleaning, and Other Things You Learn to Love
At some point in the conversion process, one of the biggest hurdles almost every convert encounters is finding a home or rental in an Orthodox Jewish community. It's a non-negotiable. No respectable, accepted Rabbinical Court will convert you unless you live within walking distance of an Orthodox Synagogue, preferably within a thriving Orthodox community that … Continue reading Home Buying…as an Orthodox Jew
Today I had one of THOSE moments where something just shifted into place. They happen every so often. This particular moment happened in the grocery store as I stood there with a bad chest cold trying to figure out what ingredients to grab to make some chicken soup. My throat was sore, my head full … Continue reading You Know You’re REALLY Jewish When…
It's been several months since our conversion and then Mr. Safek's triple bypass. Since then, it's been a whirlwind of Jewish Day school for the kids and classes and work for us. It really has flown by and now I think I finally understand why most conversion blogs seem to peter out after the conversion. … Continue reading My First Winter…as a Jew!
One of the defining characteristics of Judaism is that it is a religion of life. It doesn't focus on the afterlife or some eternal reward, but is grounded in what we do here and now. There is little emphasis on martyrdom. We are meant to live for Hashem and Judaism, not die for it unless … Continue reading L’Chaim! To Life!!!
Last Wednesday, my husband had triple bypass open heart surgery. We were grateful to schedule his surgery after Rosh Hashanah and everything went smoothly. By Friday he was in the step down unit, out of the ICU and we prepared to spent Shabbos together in the hospital. As chance would have it, we wound up … Continue reading Shabbos on the Cardiac Floor…with Our Palestinian Nurse
A great catastrophe has happened in my local community. A Jewish man, his mind split into pieces, believed our Synagogue was on fire in the night when it was not. In addition to a lot of damage he did trying to put out the flames that were only in his own mind, he also took … Continue reading Burying Our Torahs
Yesterday, I sat in the waiting room at day surgery at one of the local hospitals, my lips whispering tehillim (psalms) as I waited to hear news of how my husband's test was going. He was having his fourth heart catheterization, a procedure that shows cardiologists how the arteries that supply blood to his heart … Continue reading Broken Hearted
When my daughter first got out of the mikvah after her conversion, she celebrated every tiny thing she did "as a Jew" for the first time. (I'm combing my hair...AS A JEW!!!) Actually, she still does! It was such a touching and sweet expression of joy. I tend to be focused more on fewer, bigger … Continue reading Elul Workbook! And…my first Elul as a Jew.