L’Chaim! To Life!!!

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!!!

Shabbos on the Cardiac Floor…with Our Palestinian Nurse

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

Emerging from the Mikvah

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

Our Story Takes a Dramatic Twist

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

Questions and Answers – How OUR Beis Din Went

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

Climbing the Mountain

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