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
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
I've written a lot about the good sides of having a long Orthodox Jewish conversion process and I think there are some obvious downsides, but there is one downside that became readily apparent recently that I hadn't really stopped to think about and has come up for us. You can become TOO comfortable with being … Continue reading The Downside of a Long Conversion Process
Years ago, in 2011, I traveled to Israel. At the time, we thought that we were close to completing our conversion process and it was important to me to see Israel before that happened. I wanted to see the land of my prayers and see if I felt a connection to it. To me, to … Continue reading What Israel Means to Me as a Non-Jew in the Conversion Process
I have a couple of really wise friends that I listen to and always learn something from our conversations. Today, we were talking about the power of teachability and it seemed to fit exactly with a lot of what has been going on in my life recently as well as struggles I have seen around … Continue reading Teachability, Conversion, and Life
This week's parsha is a blockbuster, with the sin of the golden calf and Moses destroying the first set of luchas. It's a sin that reverberates through history, a major turning point in the relationship between Hashem and His people. Hashem is angry enough at the idolatry that He threatens to wipe out the entire … Continue reading Of Golden Calf
I needed some humor this week after the news we received that we'll be beginning our conversion process over again after our move. So, in honor of our upcoming delay...I decided to focus on the positive and try to laugh a little about this all. So, here it is...the top 20 best things about taking … Continue reading Top 20 Things About Taking a Decade to Complete Your Orthodox Jewish Conversion
First off, happy Tu B'Shevat! It's the New Year for trees and we're celebrating as best we can. I went to the store to find fruit and, being winter in Alaska, the pickings were slim and poor, but I did find some different fruits to make a seder. I also spent $20 on 3 pieces … Continue reading Happy Tu B’Shevat and Bli Ayin Hara
When I was just out of college and in one of my first apartments, I yearned for pets. I'd grown up with cats and dogs and my time as a college student had left me missing furry companionship. By chance, my apartment lease allowed me 2 cats. First came Grendel, a temperamental female cat that … Continue reading The Days of Iggy the Cat
Yesterday, we returned from our trip to scout out a new community for our family. It was a whirlwind trip and had a lot of layers and highs and lows, but we definitely found a connection to one of the particular communities we visited on the trip. It is small, but has everything we need, … Continue reading Back in Alaska and Life on Fast Forward!
At the northern edge of humanity hidden in a polar embrace forbidden candles flicker and dance outside wind howls in the hallway, workers trudge day and night Inside, there is an island, tiny and fragile my lips whisper blessings my cup holds only water, not wine my table only matzah, not challah my family far … Continue reading In the Darkness of a Blizzard
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!