I always have the best of intentions and plans for Elul. Really I do. I usually plan a new class or book to read on it. I look forward to the month anticipating all the wonderful deep spiritual work I'm going to do. And then, it always seems like life happens. Elul is the season … Continue reading The Ups and Downs of Elul
The man who owned our house before us got a really great deal on some very drab beige paint. I know this because there are still 5 gallon buckets of it in the basement and it covers all the walls, ceilings, and up until last week, even the crown moulding. That beige is everywhere, making … Continue reading Elul and the Great De-Beigification of 2019
Yesterday was my wedding anniversary and, as usual, the biggest question most of my friends had was "How long have you been married?" In this case, like so many others with my family, this was a simple question with a complicated answer. It all depends on how you look at us. From a Jewish perspective, … Continue reading One Year A Jew and One Year Married…Again
The title of this blog, "The Safek" refers to the Hebrew word, safek, for question. Up until last summer, that question was my husband, who lived his life in the awkward position of neither being a Jew nor NOT a Jew for 7 long years before that question was answered. (Spoiler alert...he was a Jew … Continue reading A Year as a Jew and More Questions
A year ago, we were anxiously awaiting our meeting with the Beis Din. We were hoping and praying and adjusting to life down from Alaska. A year ago, we drove all the way to Brooklyn, NY through the night. Now I'm planning a trip back to New York in August for work as an Orthodox … Continue reading A Year After
It was a year ago that we left Alaska and boarded a plane for the midwest. Since then, it's been a hectic year with our conversions, Mr. Safek's heart surgery, and the busy-ness of living in a fully functioning Chassidic community. I have loved this year, even the tough parts. Our children both had some … Continue reading The Tree House and Another Move
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
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