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

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?

Eating Matzah as the Bears Awaken

There is one great comfort in the long, dark Alaskan winter and that is that the odds of being eaten by a bear go down considerably.  Bears hiberate during the winter, only occasionally stirring if there's a warm snap, but generally sleeping through the dark cold months in their dens beneath the snow.  About the … Continue reading Eating Matzah as the Bears Awaken

All That You Can’t Leave Behind

I used to be a big U2 fan.  I'll freely admit that as a child of the 80's, I was listening to U2 well into the 90's.  One of their songs that always stuck with me was the song, "Walk On," particularly the lyrics about "all that you can't leave behind" and the idea of … Continue reading All That You Can’t Leave Behind

Slowing Down and Building the Mishkan

In this week's parsha, we talk about the actual building of the Mishkan, the moveable tabernacle that the Hebrews carried around with them in the desert wanderings.  Up to this point, we've talked about why there needed to be a Mishkan and we even had a rather long parsha that explained in great detail all … Continue reading Slowing Down and Building the Mishkan

Teachability, Conversion, and Life

I have a couple of really wise friends that I listen to and always learn something from our conversations.  Today, we were talking about the power of teachability and it seemed to fit exactly with a lot of what has been going on in my life recently as well as struggles I have seen around … Continue reading Teachability, Conversion, and Life

Plot Twist!

This morning, I saw a particularly timely cartoon come across my Facebook feed. When something goes wrong in your life, just yell, "PLOT TWIST," and move on! My life has been full of plot twists.  Interestingly, I've always, in the moment, reflected on the fact that bad news, or a major life change, never seems … Continue reading Plot Twist!

Soon, My Children Will Not Be Mine

Orthodox Jewish conversion has a lot of fascinating quirks that a lot of people aren't aware of unless they've dealt with the process directly.  One of them, which I mentioned in relation to my husband yesterday, is the fact that once you emerge from the Mikvah as an entirely new, Jewish person in the eyes … Continue reading Soon, My Children Will Not Be Mine