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

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

Surrendering to Surrender…Again

Surrender is something I always want to be good at, but really struggle with.  A great example is anesthesia. When I was 15 years old, I had to have my wisdom teeth extracted in a surgery.  For this, they had to put me under and when I woke up, I heard the WORST language being … Continue reading Surrendering to Surrender…Again

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