We pack, box after box of costumes and props, a veritable panorama of Egypt into our RV and I marvel at the irony of us carrying with us the imagery of Mitzrayim in our own veritable mobile Sukkah. The Rabbi and his family were tired, up late the night before to prepare this experience for … Continue reading Joy of Small Communities
The sun is now up past bedtime. It peeks through the little edges of the blackout shades, sneaking into the room, tiptoeing to my eyelids. Granted, bedtime at the Safek household is around 9-9:30pm. We hit the hay early and get up early. But still, the sun is coming back, regaining his dominion over life … Continue reading Passover Prep – Alaska Style!
We don't live within walking distance of our shul. We want to be within walking distance of our shul on Shabbat. We weren't willing to pack up and move across town because it seemed wiser to wait and save up for a bigger move out to a bigger Jewish community. Enter... The Shabbosmobile. It actually … Continue reading Where G-d Has the Will, We Find a Way
Moses threw down the first set of stone tablets, shattering them to the ground. These were the tablets made by G-d himself, a gift to the Jewish people. The second set? They were made by Moses, still holy, but maybe not quite as lofty. In some of the commentaries, we learn that the Jewish people … Continue reading The 2nd Set of Tablets
A wise friend of mine is fond of saying, "There is potency in what is hidden." The culture around us seems to leave little to the imagination, from what someone has for dinner to their innermost thoughts, there is a pressure to share for attention. Some people have become celebrities for little more than sharing … Continue reading The Power of What Is Hidden
This week has been...rough. It's one of those weeks which seems to drag into two weeks where it feels like everything I try to fix only ends up more broken, whether it's at home or at work. I'm tired, drained, both physically and emotionally. My day begins at about 4am so that I can make … Continue reading Commitment or Only When It Feels Good?
I pinch off a piece of dough, separating that which is a sacrifice, holy, from that which is allowed to me. Likewise, my kitchen is carefully arranged to keep meat and dairy separate. A barrier separates men from women in the Synagogue. Judaism is a religion of carefully, intentionally categorizing and separating things. Wool from … Continue reading Separation
It is almost Friday. All around the world, that means that women are baking challah for the Sabbath. For many, it's easier to bake it on Thursday, leaving the bulk of the cooking time on Friday, the oven unoccupied. Or, they're on the other side of the globe, in Israel, where the Sabbath starts soon. … Continue reading Kneading In Blessings
I'd experienced passive antisemitism before, but this was different. Suddenly, it wasn't so passive. It sliced across a social media feed, cleaning cutting through friendships. People I had thought were "good people" suddenly so filled with anger, with hate. When I dared to speak my feelings, I was told that I was overreacting, that I'd … Continue reading The Day I Became “Other”
Some truths are smooth and silky and slide past the ears or tongue like satiny chocolate, the really good expensive stuff, or like the most expensive aged liquor. These truths are easy for me to devour, but like those decadent treats, they aren't the truths that feed me, that nourish me, or that help me … Continue reading The Bitter Taste of Truth
When I was a child, I LOVED "choose your own adventure" books. I don't even know if they make them anymore, but at the time, you could find them in almost any genre you wanted and I adored them. For those unfamiliar, they were written in such a way that you had to make choices … Continue reading Opening and Closing Doors
Nowadays if you ask someone if they are "faithful," they will most likely only think of adultery and its lack. A much expanded idea of faithfulness has been on my mind, though, a more positive idea of faithfulness as not just a lack of something, a lack of sexual infidelity, but as an abundance of … Continue reading Faithfulness