Why You Should Not Pursue an “Open Orthodox Conversion” – An Article

I should preface this with, "If your intention is to live within an Orthodox community and be accepted as a Jew most places, including Israel and for your children to be seen as legitimate Jews in Israel and among Orthodox Jews."  There are plenty of converts for whom these really aren't serious concerns and who … Continue reading Why You Should Not Pursue an “Open Orthodox Conversion” – An Article

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

What Israel Means to Me as a Non-Jew in the Conversion Process

Years ago, in 2011, I traveled to Israel.  At the time, we thought that we were close to completing our conversion process and it was important to me to see Israel before that happened.  I wanted to see the land of my prayers and see if I felt a connection to it.  To me, to … Continue reading What Israel Means to Me as a Non-Jew in the Conversion Process

Rockets Fall in Israel

A branch not yet fully grafted to the tree fragile, only just beginning to be connected looks back at the trunk, solid and strong drawing strength knowing it is there once a strange land, now home the branch wavers in a strong wind fearful of the coming storm the trunk stands resolute having weathered many … Continue reading Rockets Fall in Israel

Hashem as a Life Coach

I came across a great quote today that stuck in my head. My manager at work is one of those people who is naturally intellectually curious about life in general, not just his specialty and he finds my observance fascinating.  I enjoy our conversations because his questions challenge me to better define and articulate portions … Continue reading Hashem as a Life Coach

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?

Converts, BT’s…Heck Everyone – You Can’t Control What Others Will Think Of You

An interesting discussion wandered across my social media feed this week.  It began with a post suggesting "Comebacks For Converts," basically a list of ideas for dealing with nosey questions that converts often encounter.  The post itself is pretty good and has some good ideas.  The discussion that ensued, however, made me think for a … Continue reading Converts, BT’s…Heck Everyone – You Can’t Control What Others Will Think Of You