The Beautiful Captive – Parshas Ki Teitzei

This week's parsha (weekly Torah portion) is a doozy.  Even just from a perspective of trying to process it all, this week's parsha has 74 of the Torah's 613 mitzvahs in it, so that's a lot to take in.  Interestingly, though, this week's parsha also has a lot of mitzvahs regarding women.  My dear friend … Continue reading The Beautiful Captive – Parshas Ki Teitzei


Thinking of Houston From Alaska

Alaskans and Texans share a bond, created both in the common oil industries that support each state and in the pioneer spirit that the inhabitants of both states seem to possess.  Alaska is often filled with Texan transplants, both companies and workers and we often playfully tease each other, with Alaskans pointing out that while … Continue reading Thinking of Houston From Alaska

What You Get With Waiting

We had a good meeting with our sponsoring Rabbi last night who reassured us that he still plans on us converting in April 2018.  He has plans and is confident that they will work out.  So, we have only to trust him and continue doing what we're doing. While this has all been playing out, … Continue reading What You Get With Waiting

After the Rain

I've been silent for a while, contemplating my own personal storm that was shaking up my little world when I began to see pictures yesterday of a real storm, one that has displaced so many people, the storm down in Houston, Texas.  Seeing that level of devastation puts my own storm into a much more … Continue reading After the Rain

Conversion Setbacks and Crying in the Rain

I watched a really deep and profound shiur (class) once that said that the tears of a woman are the rain that causes blessings to come from above, that a woman's tears have great power to soften Hashem and call upon his mercy. Today, since it is fall and our rainy season, it is a … Continue reading Conversion Setbacks and Crying in the Rain

In Search of Jewish Minimalism

I have probably been a minimalist my entire life, before I knew what to call it.  I've never been much attached to heirlooms or possessions and I've always found a great pleasure in getting rid of things.  Even as a child, when my mother would decide it was time to cull the herd of stuff … Continue reading In Search of Jewish Minimalism

When My Yetzer Hara Tried To Be My Editor

Yesterday, I began one of the harder parts of my process of teshuva (repentance).  In Judaism, Hashem can only forgive those offenses that are against Him, not the mistakes we make that are against our fellow human beings and many people spend some time before the High Holidays seeking out those they may have wronged … Continue reading When My Yetzer Hara Tried To Be My Editor

Minimalism and Elul

Contemplating selling a house and moving thousands of miles has a way of helping you rethink your possessions.  I've always kind of flirted with minimalism, but lately, I'm all about it.  I know that the home we will move to will be much smaller than the home we're in now and I also know that … Continue reading Minimalism and Elul

Tools for Converts or BT’s – Bullet Journaling

If you're in the process of conversion or even if you're just looking to grow and add observance and study, there can be a lot to keep track of.  Classes, books to read, prayers to remember to can be a lot. Over the years, I've tried several different systems to keep our family on … Continue reading Tools for Converts or BT’s – Bullet Journaling

Parsha Re’eh – A Blessing and a Curse

This week's parsha comes at a very critical time, both in recent modern history as well as on the Jewish calendar.  We are at the end of the Hebrew month of Av and the month of Elul is about to begin, which is a month dedicated to repentance.  It's a time when Jews take stock … Continue reading Parsha Re’eh – A Blessing and a Curse

After the Ground Shifts

Alaska has a lot of earthquakes.  Not everyone knows this, but Anchorage, Alaska, my current hometown, was leveled in the 60's by the largest recorded earthquake ever to hit North America.  It was a 9.2 in magnitude and hit on a friday evening in 1964, Good Friday for most people.  It destroyed most of Anchorage … Continue reading After the Ground Shifts