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

Passover and Freedom from the Emergency Room

Sometimes, despite your best intentions and planning, holidays go sideways.  This is how we ended up at the emergency room yesterday on the second day of Passover. My husband is a type 2 diabetic on an insulin pump, along with high blood pressure, heart disease, and a triple bypass last Fall.  Even before we lit … Continue reading Passover and Freedom from the Emergency Room

My First Winter…as a Jew!

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!

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!!!

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

Questions and Answers – How OUR Beis Din Went

I expected to be asked mind-twisting questions on kosher law...or Shabbos observance.  In our first meeting with a Beis Din, 6 years ago before we moved to Alaska, I'd been asked some doozies.  This time, though, it was different.  Yes, they wanted to make sure we knew how to be observant, but the main focus … Continue reading Questions and Answers – How OUR Beis Din Went

Preparing for Shavuos and the Conversion that Wasn’t

Over a year ago, we sat in our Rabbi's office and he promised, honestly and earnestly, that our conversion journey would finally end in the mikvah the coming April.  This April slipped by with little fanfare and drama, peacefully but busily, as we prepared for our move.  At this point, there is no more timeline … Continue reading Preparing for Shavuos and the Conversion that Wasn’t

Why Orthodox Judaism? Why Not Another Type?

It's a question I get asked often, particularly when non-Orthodox Jewish friends and family learn just how long our conversion has been taking.  I've even had Orthodox friends on the more left side of the Orthodox spectrum question our dedication to Orthodox Judaism.  My answer usually depends on how much time we have to talk. … Continue reading Why Orthodox Judaism? Why Not Another Type?