Yesterday, my husband and I wed again according to Jewish law and Lubavitch customs. It was a beautiful ceremony, full of meaning and a very emotional time for us and our family. My daughter cried openly and there were tears shed by my husband's family and even our community as they helped us celebrate this … Continue reading Beyond the Veil
It's been about 2 weeks since our family emerged from the mikvah and I've had a little time to rest and recover from the trip and all the kashering and toiveling of our kitchen. I'm still in the midst of planning our wedding, but I took a weekend off to attend a Jewish women's retreat … Continue reading What Changes After Conversion?
Once you've converted...you spend quite a bit of time at the mikvah, it seems or at least preoccupied with toiveling. Toiveling is the act of removing ritual impurity from a person or object and it requires a kosher mikvah. Conversion requires toiveling a person as do the laws of family purity, but anything that a … Continue reading Toiveling vs. Kashering
It's only a few steps down into the mikvah, but it's taking me days to really emerge. Around midday Monday, my children and I were each converted. My husband completed his second gerus l'chumrah right after and we began our first day as a whole, Jewish family...by searching for our car. My husband walked, puzzled, … Continue reading Emerging from the Mikvah
We always knew that my husband's great grandfather was a prominent Rabbi in Washington DC. We knew little more besides that he had fled Russia in one of the many pogroms there and that my husband's father had, sadly, had contact with that part of his family cut off when he was four years old … Continue reading Our Story Takes a Dramatic Twist
There are three groups of people mentioned repeatedly in the Torah that the Jewish people are reminded to be careful to be kind to: converts, widows, and orphans. To me, the one commonality these groups all share is that they lack much or all of the support of a Jewish family. In some ways, I'm … Continue reading Converts, Widows, and Orphans
We have our mikvah date and just about a week left before it arrives. It's a unique place to be in, where we have just one more week as non-Jews and my husband has one more week as a safek. So...what goes on in this time period between when a conversion candidate has been approved … Continue reading The Space Between
I expected to be asked mind-twisting questions on kosher law...or Shabbos observance. In our first meeting with a Beis Din, 6 years ago before we moved to Alaska, I'd been asked some doozies. This time, though, it was different. Yes, they wanted to make sure we knew how to be observant, but the main focus … Continue reading Questions and Answers – How OUR Beis Din Went
What is a Beis Din? Is it different than a Beit Din or Beth Din? These are often questions early conversion candidates have. Simply put, a Beis Din or however else you pronounce it or spell it is a Rabbincal Court. These courts are courts in the justice system sense, not the royal sense and … Continue reading Beis Din? Beit Din? Beth Din?
As we heard our flight announced canceled, Mr. Safek sprang into action, heading to check on whether or not we could catch a later flight. I kept on knitting, working on a baby blanket for the next little one that would come along in our new community. I didn't yet know we were about to … Continue reading The Beis Din That Nearly Wasn’t
I should preface this with, "If your intention is to live within an Orthodox community and be accepted as a Jew most places, including Israel and for your children to be seen as legitimate Jews in Israel and among Orthodox Jews." There are plenty of converts for whom these really aren't serious concerns and who … Continue reading Why You Should Not Pursue an “Open Orthodox Conversion” – An Article
The week before we flew out of Alaska, it seemed to be a good idea to climb a mountain. The weather was beautiful and the kids really wanted to do something uniquely Alaskan, so we grabbed a couple of their friends and I drove us up to Flattop mountain while Mr. Safek worked. Climbing a … Continue reading Climbing the Mountain