The Rebbe and Me

I never met the Rebbe.  Characteristically, I came late to the party.  My first introductions to Judaism were through Chabad, both a local Chabad house and through family, so I knew of the Rebbe very early on, but I wasn't sure what it had to do with me, personally.  The Rebbe always seemed to belong … Continue reading The Rebbe and Me

Tznius, Unicorns, and Being Different

She was in tears and camp pickup was the usual chaos of any school or camp pickup.  Her big blue eyes were clouded and her face was red.  Mr. Safek, ever the protective papa bear, was already trying to find out who had made her cry.  Having been a girl that age myself a few years … Continue reading Tznius, Unicorns, and Being Different

What I Wish More People Knew About Conversion Candidates

It occurred to me that this might be a good post to write.  Despite the fact that converts have always been a part of Judaism and that most communities have many, in most communities I've lived in, conversion remains for most people a kind of secretive process and there's a lot of misconceptions about it. … Continue reading What I Wish More People Knew About Conversion Candidates

Healing My Relationship With Wigs

Two weeks ago, I got a package in the mail that I had been anxiously awaiting.  I took a deep breath before unwrapping it, nervous, hopeful.  It was like I was carefully measuring hope, not wanting to get TOO hopeful and be disappointed, but still really hoping. That package was a wig and I have … Continue reading Healing My Relationship With Wigs

Spring and the Sabbath Always Come

It's sunny and warming up here in the frozen north.  Everywhere I look, the snow is melting and we're seeing patches of green grass underneath, a glimpse of the world that will be ours in just a week or two if things continue.  The world is waking up here after the long winter and birds … Continue reading Spring and the Sabbath Always Come

Religiously Religious?

Sometimes, the strangest questions come to me at the oddest times.  It's a gift really.  In this case, the thought popped into my head as I was preparing to do a sinus rinse.  If you've never done one, they're not the most fun thing to do.  You essentially put saltwater up your nose and it … Continue reading Religiously Religious?

The Ups and Downs of “Practicing” Pesach

To boil or not to boil?  Which customs shall we use?  How stringent do we want to be this year?  These are all relevant questions we face as we clean out cabinets and work to gobble up all the chametz (leavened foods) in our house prior to Passover.  We're often on our own to try … Continue reading The Ups and Downs of “Practicing” Pesach

The Kindness of Strangers and Our First Shabbat in the RV

My heart is full today.  Yes, it is snowing again and the roads are a mess and the Spring that seemed so close by last weekend now feels like it has fled south to the lower 48, but...this weekend is our first weekend in our Shabbat RV and we have invitations to both Seders from … Continue reading The Kindness of Strangers and Our First Shabbat in the RV

Passover Prep – Alaska Style!

The sun is now up past bedtime.  It peeks through the little edges of the blackout shades, sneaking into the room, tiptoeing to my eyelids.  Granted, bedtime at the Safek household is around 9-9:30pm.  We hit the hay early and get up early.  But still, the sun is coming back, regaining his dominion over life … Continue reading Passover Prep – Alaska Style!

Choosing Minhags (Customs)…or Not?

The snow is still piled high, but the sun is setting late, nearly bedtime already.  Spring in Alaska is a time full of contradictions and calling Pesach cleaning "Spring cleaning" never quite seems to fit...and yet it does.  Even if more snow may come, the days growing strangely long tell my body that summer is … Continue reading Choosing Minhags (Customs)…or Not?