The Calm Before the Storm

On the farm, you could see storms coming from far off, the wide, flat horizon offering a good view of storm clouds gathering miles away.  More than that, though, you could just tell when a storm was coming.  Birds would quiet and the air would still, feeling heavy.  Before a big summer storm, it would … Continue reading The Calm Before the Storm

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

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

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

Asbestos Roofs, Passover Cleaning, and Other Things You Learn to Love

Note:  That's not our roof! Tomorrow night Pesach begins.  I know...I should be cooking right now, but, instead, I'm taking a break from work to update this blog and think about all the cooking I should be doing.  Happily, we have invitations for most of our meals for the first 2 days of Passover!  It's … Continue reading Asbestos Roofs, Passover Cleaning, and Other Things You Learn to Love

Elul Workbook! And…my first Elul as a Jew.

When my daughter first got out of the mikvah after her conversion, she celebrated every tiny thing she did "as a Jew" for the first time.  (I'm combing my hair...AS A JEW!!!)  Actually, she still does!  It was such a touching and sweet expression of joy. I tend to be focused more on fewer, bigger … Continue reading Elul Workbook! And…my first Elul as a Jew.