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

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

The Downside of a Long Conversion Process

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