Jews/Jewish/Judaism/Orthodox Judaism · New York · prayer · rabbi

It’s not easy being Ruth

I’ve had it easy in New York. There’s no other place on Earth that makes it so easy to be Jewish. Okay, there’s Israel but why are all the package labels there in Hebrew? You know how long it took me to find milk in the dairy aisle? Anyway, when I decided to convert, all… Continue reading It’s not easy being Ruth

Jews/Jewish/Judaism/Orthodox Judaism · New York · news · prayer

Riverdale in the News? What?

Yes, I live in Riverdale. The Riverdale where the synagogues were almost blown up. Because converting to Judaism means now worrying about being blown up during prayer. An email from my local synagogue: “Last night, the New York City Police Department and the FBI apprehended four terrorists whom they were tracking for many months as… Continue reading Riverdale in the News? What?

culture/multiculturalism · Jews/Jewish/Judaism/Orthodox Judaism · language · prayer

Going, Going…er, Ghetto…Gone?

I’m not very good at guarding my tongue which is probably why that part of the Shemoneh Esrei, the prayer Jews say three times a day, that focuses on this common human defect is my favorite. But I’m working on it. I’m particularly watching the vocabulary I use and how that might be offensive to… Continue reading Going, Going…er, Ghetto…Gone?

books and reading · chronic pain/fibromyalgia · fans · happiness · Jews/Jewish/Judaism/Orthodox Judaism · prayer · rabbi · writing

The Conversion Process

According to CNN, Americans aren’t losing their religions, they’re changing them often. Wow, for some reason, I’ve never felt more like a statistic. I am one of those Americans who has changed religions but I don’t plan on changing it again…ever. First of all, it’s too hard and second of all, I’m too happy (even… Continue reading The Conversion Process

culture/multiculturalism · education · hair · Hispanics/Latinos · jews of color · Jews/Jewish/Judaism/Orthodox Judaism · prayer · race/racism · Shabbos/Shabbat · speaking · teaching

My Second Shabbaton: Ruminations on speaking at Brandeis University

My cousin O. wants to know how I’m making so much money talking about myself. But the answer to this question and similar mysteries can only be answered by G-d. And if G-d started talking directly to either of us, we’d probably be filthy rich (or locked up in Arkham Asylum). In the meantime, I… Continue reading My Second Shabbaton: Ruminations on speaking at Brandeis University

chronic pain/fibromyalgia · Jews/Jewish/Judaism/Orthodox Judaism · prayer

Happy Purim!

I know this is unusual but every single Purim since I got sick has been rough. So here is my prayer for Purim. Please G-d, let this be an easy one. Now, y’all get grogger happy.

chronic pain/fibromyalgia · clothing · culture/multiculturalism · funny · Jews/Jewish/Judaism/Orthodox Judaism · prayer · rabbi

My First Shabbaton

I suppose that technically all those Limmud conventions were Shabbatons. Also, we sort of held a Shabbaton before our wedding by sequestering our guests from Friday through Sunday. But really, technically speaking this past weekend at Brooklyn College Hillel was my first taste of a real, live Shabbaton. Because my husband was away on internship… Continue reading My First Shabbaton

Christmas · chronic pain/fibromyalgia · garden · hair · Jesus · Jews/Jewish/Judaism/Orthodox Judaism · marriage · prayer · religion · writing · Yom Kippur

Interfaith Couple Chooses Judaism

Here is an interview that should have been part of a larger piece tracking three interfaith couples and their religious choices. Batya keeps kosher but her husband isn’t Jewish. She paints a different picture of the statistics of intermarriage. We’ve heard them all by now: “Intermarriage threatens Jewish survival. Over 70% of the children of… Continue reading Interfaith Couple Chooses Judaism

Barack Obama · birthday · culture/multiculturalism · funny · jews of color · Jews/Jewish/Judaism/Orthodox Judaism · New York · pesach · prayer · rabbi · writing

Rough Draft: Beyond Sammy

Here’s a rough draft of a cultural criticism essay assignment for one of my writing classes. No one talks about what Sammy Davis Jr. contributed to Jewish culture. Nor do they talk about what the newly converted Isla Fisher, star of the “Confessions of a Shopaholic” film and baby mama to Sacha Baron Cohen, is… Continue reading Rough Draft: Beyond Sammy

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

Friends and Fibromyalgia

No one can really tell you how chronic illness will affect your life. It is a bumpy road with unexpected twists and turns. In so many ways, it has mirrored my road towards conversion. My day-to-day life has changed so much. I make blessings on food but it’s hard to hold a siddur (prayerbook) in… Continue reading Friends and Fibromyalgia