Showing posts from December, 2019

Dear Mom Trying To Keep It Together.

It has been a long year. It all started with a New Year’s resolution to find some time to yourself, maybe go to the gym more often, eat better, craft more, be more patient…And then, the winter and its short and cold days meant the kids got sick, or the snow locked you in, and you had to take out stock on Kleenex and chicken soup companies just to get by. With all the times that you had to keep the kids home, you hit your insurance deductible by the beginning of March, probably because someone in your kid’s class when to school with a “low grade” fever, or the stomach flu, and of course your little germ-magnet love bug who loves to share caught it. The groceries delivery driver now knows your name and how you take your coffee, and even then, every day you realize that you forgot one or two ingredients for the meal that you have so carefully planned for your family, so you’ll load up your children in your car, wrangle them in and out of their coats and in and out of their

Judaism and Immigration: Where Do You Stand?

I have a confession to make. I don’t like talking about immigration to other people. Maybe its because politics is just one of those subjects that can either make you relate to someone, or shatter a relationship, or maybe it’s because it makes me vulnerable to criticism or unwanted feedback about my own story. December 2 marked seventeen years since I immigrated to the United States. Now, I am woefully aware of my privilege in that I had the financial help and moral support from my family, since the immigration process is incredibly expensive. There was no running from danger, no imminent threat, no fear for my life. Just a teenager who was looking forward to a new educational and social experience. I was received with (fairly) open arms; joined clubs in college, joined a sorority, had great friends, the usual college experience. Not once was I asked how I came to the United States, where my papers were. Back then, when it was time to renew my Visa, I was able to mail my passport t

Separating The Holy And The Profane

What is Havdalah and is it really necessary? We have talked about Shabbat, and its holiest place in our weeks. But why is it only one day? Why does God give us just sunset to sunset to experience this, rather than encouraging us to go through our whole week in this place of spiritual wholeness? One could argue that this “one-off” chance a week is a way to truly elevate this opportunity. Ok, fine, I can (somewhat) get on board with that, but that doesn’t really answer my question as to why. There is an order to a Shabbat service. The order may vary depending on which branch of Judaism you identify with, which synagogue you go to, or even how you choose to usher in Shabbat on your own. We light candles, bless wine, usher in the Shabbat bride through the Lecha Dodi , engage in silent prayer through the Amidah , sing Adon Olam , and head on home for some kind of meal that is sure to make all the time you spent praying standing up worth it (not like its not worth it on it