Jews/Jewish/Judaism/Orthodox Judaism · pesach · writing

Oh the places we will go!

Sometimes, every once in a while, I get this heady sense of how far I’ve come in the last few years. Five years ago, I couldn’t have told you the difference between Reform, Conservative and Orthodox, forget the differences between Haredi, Centrist Orthodox, Modern Orthodox or even Open Orthodoxy. Okay, so I cheated and looked up all the terms on Wikipedia!

Four and a half years ago, I had absolutely no idea that there were ANY Jewish newspapers were out there and I was grateful but totally surprised when a prominent Jewish blogger noted me as someone to follow. Now I’m waiting to hear back about a show I was featured on and in the past month, I was mentioned in The Forward,, Chabad (in Monsey no less!) and I’ve had the opportunity to speak everywhere from Greenwich to Rockland to Teaneck to people I’d never imagined would be interested in little old me.
All this, even though I was kind of stumped when someone asked me this Pesach what I thought my message was. Message? I’m still trying to survive! (Hint: That might be a message in itself.)
Sorry, I still don’t have any updates on where I’ll end up after June when my husband graduates from rabbinical school. It seems that most of my friends and family are in a total state of denial about the fact that I’ll be leaving New York City eventually when my husband finds a full-time job. And I get it, I mean, who could have ever imagined that a staunch New Yorker like me, could ever pick up and leave the five boroughs? I remember vaguely swearing once (before I met my husband who is from Los Angeles) that I had no interest in EVER leaving New York. I said I would “never leave new York!” Well, here’s the thing about “never”…it’s just asking to provoke G-d. And besides, as they say, man plans, G-d laughs!
My priorities are still all screwed up, of course. I ran a whole bunch of errands today but nearly died schlepping toilet paper, forgot to eat lunch and I’m staring at my gym bag right now with complete and utter aversion. At least, I didn’t gain any weight this Pesach. Apparently, it gets easier to digest matzah, the longer I’m Jewish. (Be sure to check out The New Yorker’s take on the seder.)
I have absolutely no idea what’s going to happen next and that’s kind of scary for someone who has had a plan (and even alternate plans) since age 8 but every time it seems overwhelming, I get a wonderful letter from a fan reminding me that I am brave, smart and strong and I can do anything I set myself my mind to do. I’m also a good listener…though my little sisters will disagree. And so for now, that’s all folks!
Interesting tidbits:
Uncovered another fictional Jewish vampire proving that Jews, indeed, are everywhere.
Inspired by two cool Orthodox Jewish authors I know, Tova Mirvis and Ruchama King Feuerman, I’m reading all the Jewish fiction I can get on my Kindle and from the New York Public Library, which is having a “dream raffle” you should check out!
Realizing I’m not the only writer who gets hate mail.
Missing my family in Santo Domingo (and Santiago, where my family is from), where the economy seems to be doing no better than it’s doing here. Can’t afford to visit them but I’m glad most of them have discovered Facebook.
Buying presents I can barely afford for bar mitzvah boys, newborns and blushing brides (and grooms!). But this is a small price to pay for being part of an ever-growing Jewish community. Insert smiley face here.

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