We just completed a period of mourning in the Jewish calendar last week, the three weeks leading up to Tisha B'Av. Usually, we'd wrap up that period with an intense day of mourning, most of it spent at the Synagogue mourning the destruction of the Temples along with many other calamities that have befallen the … Continue reading Hidden Blessings in Difficult Times
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
I know we've moved on from the epic story of Jacob and Leah in the parsha. This week, we're talking about Joseph and his dreams and how he wound up sold into slavery. However, in my own life, this morning, the idea of Leah's eyes came to me. It's often said that Leah's eyes were … Continue reading And Leah’s Eyes Grew Dim
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
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 ago, we were anxiously awaiting our meeting with the Beis Din. We were hoping and praying and adjusting to life down from Alaska. A year ago, we drove all the way to Brooklyn, NY through the night. Now I'm planning a trip back to New York in August for work as an Orthodox … Continue reading A Year After
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
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
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
At some point in the conversion process, one of the biggest hurdles almost every convert encounters is finding a home or rental in an Orthodox Jewish community. It's a non-negotiable. No respectable, accepted Rabbinical Court will convert you unless you live within walking distance of an Orthodox Synagogue, preferably within a thriving Orthodox community that … Continue reading Home Buying…as an Orthodox Jew
It's been several months since our conversion and then Mr. Safek's triple bypass. Since then, it's been a whirlwind of Jewish Day school for the kids and classes and work for us. It really has flown by and now I think I finally understand why most conversion blogs seem to peter out after the conversion. … Continue reading My First Winter…as a Jew!
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!!!