Hidden Blessings in Difficult Times

We just completed a period of mourning in the Jewish calendar last week, the three weeks leading up to Tisha B'Av.  Usually, we'd wrap up that period with an intense day of mourning, most of it spent at the Synagogue mourning the destruction of the Temples along with many other calamities that have befallen the … Continue reading Hidden Blessings in Difficult Times

Chanukah, Light, and Happiness Amidst Adversity

It's Chanukah, but we never got the decorations up.  I have quite a collection of Chanukah decorations, most of them delightfully cheesy, like the string of menorah lights.  Most years, I put them up before Chanukah with the kids and it makes the house a little more cheerful amid the winter gloom.  This year, I … Continue reading Chanukah, Light, and Happiness Amidst Adversity

Vayeitzei, Cancer, and the Power of Laughter

In this weeks parsha, poor Jacob goes through a lot of trials.  First, he has to flee his home under threat of violence from his brother.  Then, he sleeps on a rock and wrestles with an angel, earning him the name Israel and a wound he carries the rest of his life.  When he does … Continue reading Vayeitzei, Cancer, and the Power of Laughter

Asher Yotzar and Watching Him Sleep

When my children were babies, I used to catch myself staying awake even though I was exhausted just to watch them sleeping.  I'd marvel at their perfection and I would have this feeling of not wanting to miss a single moment.  I wanted to make time stand still and memorize every feature of them. Since … Continue reading Asher Yotzar and Watching Him Sleep

Cancer

It's a word that cuts through all other noise, that stops one story and begins a new page.  It's the word I was struggling to process this last Wednesday, as Mr. Safek lay drowsy in front of me.  We'd come in for a colonoscopy to explain some symptoms he'd been having and we were leaving … Continue reading Cancer

Elul and the Great De-Beigification of 2019

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

One Year A Jew and One Year Married…Again

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

A Year as a Jew and More Questions

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

The Tree House and Another Move

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