conversion · disabilities · family · fans · fibromyalgia · friends · hair · Hispanics/Latinos · jews of color · Jews/Jewish/Judaism/Orthodox Judaism · Los Angeles · plantains · Shabbat

Mini Health Update from LA

Greetings! After nearly 8 months and thousands of dollars later, I have mostly recovered from the digestive crisis that made me balloon 20 lbs., put me in the emergency room several times with severe abdominal pain and routinely left me vomiting…among other things that would fall under the category of TMI (too much information). It… Continue reading Mini Health Update from LA

friends · jews of color · Jews/Jewish/Judaism/Orthodox Judaism · Shabbos/Shabbat

Defensive Maneuver: Conversion Judo

Annoying question at the Shabbos table from someone I barely knew: “Did you convert before or after you met him?” which, of course, really means…”did you convert for him or for yourself?” Usually, people just go with the latter and not the former. They’re more upfront. The whole table went preternaturally quiet when I said… Continue reading Defensive Maneuver: Conversion Judo

friends · Jews/Jewish/Judaism/Orthodox Judaism · news

Caught in the Middle

No one told me that becoming a Jew, an Orthodox Jew, meant that I had to snub my nose at Jews who didn’t live the same lifestyle. In fact, I’ve heard more non-Orthodox Jews snub their noses at Orthodox Jews than I’ve heard it the other way around. As someone who became an Orthodox Jew… Continue reading Caught in the Middle

friends · Hispanics/Latinos · Israel · jews of color · Jews/Jewish/Judaism/Orthodox Judaism · race/racism

I have the right to be treated…

like a human being. Not an alien from outer-space. And yet… According to some people, getting overly excited about being Dominican just isn’t Jewish. Repeatedly I’ve been told to tone down my Dominican pride because now I’m a Jew, just a Jew. And well, being proudly Jewish, now that gets on the nerves of some… Continue reading I have the right to be treated…

culture/multiculturalism · friends · Israel · women/feminism

Does someone who converts to Judaism really become “a Jew like any other”?

Kate Bailey is a self-described “young skeptical modern orthodox feminist convert” who writes deftly about conversion, hers as well as those of others. In her awesome piece in The Washington Jewish Week, “On Conversion”, she tackles many of the issues converts face in the Jewish community. Of the stories of converts, she writes: “The story… Continue reading Does someone who converts to Judaism really become “a Jew like any other”?

anger · chronic pain/fibromyalgia · friends · Jews/Jewish/Judaism/Orthodox Judaism · prayer · Riverdale · writing

Jerk of the Week

I finally broke down and asked my sister if she thinks I attract jerks. I expected her to respond dismissively as I have responded to blog readers who have suggested the same. But in fact, my sister responded with a resounding “Yes!” Yes, you do attract jerks. So why? Am I wearing some sort of… Continue reading Jerk of the Week

Elul · friends · Jews/Jewish/Judaism/Orthodox Judaism · Shabbos/Shabbat

My Latest Piece

Check out: “How a Workaholic Control Freak Learned to Relax: Adventures in Shabbat”

babies and pregnancy · celebrities · culture/multiculturalism · friends · funny · Hispanics/Latinos · Jesus · Jews/Jewish/Judaism/Orthodox Judaism · Shabbos/Shabbat

Stand-up Comedy Routine #6

And that’s all folks. It was six stand-up comedy classes for under a $100 at Santa Monica College. The teacher, Kevin Garbee, was awesome. And he coped well with my weird brand of Jewish Dominican humor. Here’s the last routine. Coming out to my family was difficult. Especially since I wasn’t telling them I was… Continue reading Stand-up Comedy Routine #6

culture/multiculturalism · driving · friends · funny · Jesus · Jews/Jewish/Judaism/Orthodox Judaism · New York · prayer · Shabbos/Shabbat

Stand-up Comedy Routine #5: Shabbos is for Shtupping

So as it turns out, this show is NOT going on the road. While my stand-up comedy class classmates will be getting together to perform two Sundays from now, I will be at a big fat Jewish wedding. My body cannot handle ferrying from both. Besides, it’s only a mitzvah to do one of those… Continue reading Stand-up Comedy Routine #5: Shabbos is for Shtupping

chronic pain/fibromyalgia · depression · friends · Jews/Jewish/Judaism/Orthodox Judaism

Air Hugs for Everyone!

Remember this piece? Read more about my battle with fibromyalgia and how it was affected my life as a teacher, friend, sister, wife and Jew: “Air Hugs: Fibromyalgia and the Power of Touch”