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Mar 16 2012

Friday Night: When the Man Does Shabbat

By at 5:01 pm

candle and handSo, my wife works wayyyyy more than full time. She’s an elementary school principal. It gets better! She’s also currently eight months pregnant. So, even if she had a flexible schedule, she doesn’t have any energy left at the end of the week to make Shabbat. I run a part-time law practice out of a home office, but I shut it down at noon on Fridays.

Just about every week, I take my 18-month-old son to the store to get challah (unless I baked it myself). I buy flowers. I cook a meat dish, usually in the sous-vide cooker starting days in advance. I make a chopped salad with a dressing recipe I’ve evolved by making it every week. I make sure we have wine. I set the table and make sure there are bentshers (Grace after Meals booklets) for everyone. During the week, I’ve put it out to my friends that they’re welcome to join us as long as they give me some notice so I know how much food to make. On top of this, I sit at the head of the table, make Kiddush, sing the songs, and say the blessings, just like a traditional male should. Read the rest of this entry →

The Best Dad Blogs

By at 3:46 pm

dude at computerWhile we won’t start completely ignoring dads now that Dude Week is coming to a close, we do want to set you up with some of the best dad blogs out there that treat every week like Dude Week. Many of these were recommended by our readers, and if you’re favorite isn’t listed below, please let us know about it in the comments!

DaDa Rocks

DadWagon

Pacing the Panic Room

Single Dad Laughing

Daddy Types

Smonk You

GeekDad

Dadand

Daddyshome, Inc.

Daddy Dialectic

Hot Jewish Moms Calendar Contest Winner!

By at 2:46 pm

As Dude Week winds up, we’re very excited to announce the winner of our Hot Jewish Moms Calendar contest. While it was definitely tempting to award one of the naysayers who found the calendar offensive or demeaning (seriously, we’re sorry if you did; it’s all meant in good fun, and we clearly subject both sexes to such silliness), the winner of the calendar is Yiftach Levy!

Congratulations, Yiftach. We hope you can cherish the calendar long after the year is over. (And p.s., we’re a big fan of your Facebook profile picture supporting the Bone Marrow registry!) Happy Dude Week, and have a great Dude Weekend.

The Childless Uncle & The Baby Take Manhattan

By at 1:18 pm
cvs in manhattan

Where else to take a baby in Manhattan?

I recently spent an hour and a half alone with my niece Lila–no competent adult supervising–on the dangerous streets of Manhattan. She survived. Both of us survived, in fact. This I see as a tremendous accomplishment.

The secret I suspect I share with many other first-time aunts and uncles is that we are paralyzed with fear. We are supposed to be people you can trust with your baby, but we have no idea what we are doing. I had never even seen a real baby up close until I met Lila. The first thing I said to my wife when we left the hospital, after visiting our hours-old niece, was that I was surprised she wasn’t making more eye contact. And even having expressed this preposterously idiotic reaction to meeting a newborn baby for the first time, I was still trusted to wheel her around a crowded city for 90 minutes–alone. Read the rest of this entry →

Women Congratulate My Husband For Spending Time With Our Kids

By at 12:04 pm

amazon moms

Why isn't it Amazon Parent?

People seem to think that my husband is an anomaly. He has spent the last three years splitting our parenting duties evenly, spending a day a week with our children and working the other four days. He took advantage of a program at his company that allowed him to have this schedule and, when he left it to start his own business, we made sure that he was still able to do it. He builds ramps out of cardboard boxes, teaches my son about cooking, encourages my daughter to cruise by tempting her with Cheerios, and adds little quirky things to our lives like “Twinkle Alligator” (the creative version of “Twinkle, Twinkle” that we sing to my son every night).

To me, none of this seems so strange. What does seem strange is when my husband comes home from dropping our son off at preschool and tells me that a woman stopped him on the street to congratulate him for spending time with his child…again. Read the rest of this entry →

The Not-An-Orthodox-Rabbi’s Husband

By at 10:26 am

man with diaper bagRussel Neiss’s wife, Rori Picker Neiss, is in school at Yeshivat Maharat. It’s the first institution to train Orthodox women as spiritual leaders and halakhic leaders. While his wife learns to be a Maharat, Russel is learning to be a Maharat’s husband.

I walked to the back of the synagogue clutching the overstuffed diaper bag under one arm and my screaming 10-month-old daughter in the other, and I wondered whether it was really worth it. This was her third diaper change since Shabbos services began that morning.

I’ve always liked taking her to synagogue. I especially loved those first few months where should would sleep through all of the morning prayers and the Torah service, only to awaken and cry at just the right moment before the rabbi’s sermon–thus affording me the perfect excuse to quickly exit, guilt-free.

The past few months have been different. Read the rest of this entry →

Mar 15 2012

Are Fertility Treatments Tempting Fate?

By at 3:47 pm

specimen cupThe following piece is written by the husband of frequent Kveller contributer Cara Paiuk. Cara has written about the ups and downs of her fertility treatments, and here, Alejandro offers the man’s perspective.

“Do you have the specimen?” the pretty nurse behind the counter asked me. I timidly handed over the plastic jar with my name on it. “Ummm, I noticed that on this form here it says that we weren’t supposed to use lubricant. Uhhh, I didn’t know that. Is the, er, specimen ruined?”

A few moments later, she handed me a new jar and told me that I had to try again. And so, my one contribution to my wife’s fertility treatment I had managed to screw up. I felt embarrassed to be in that office, embarrassed of what I had to do next, and embarrassed that I had somehow let Cara down. Read the rest of this entry →

A Day In The Life of a Dad

By at 1:30 pm

matthue roth myjewishlearning5:05 a.m.: The baby screams. She does this sometimes–wakes up, realizes it’s still dark, then goes right back to sleep. A second later, I hear her snoring. Baby-snores! The awesomest, most disruptive sound in the universe. She’s like a tiny tyrannosaurus.

6:00. I’ve been lying in bed for nearly an hour, awake, trying to force myself back to sleep. That’s my limit. I leap out, pass my still-sleeping wife, grab my laptop off the floor. We watched our token episode of TV together on it, The United States of Tara, before crashing last night. That was a few hours ago. It was our couple-time for the night. Basically these days, Toni Collette is the third person in our marriage. (I’m the token non-Australian.) The screen’s still up, and it makes a momentary loud noise before I close that window. My wife stirs, then falls back asleep. Whew. Read the rest of this entry →

Interview with Interesting Dudes: Rabbi Steve Greenberg

By at 10:44 am
rabbi steve greenberg

From left to right: Rabbi Steve, Amalia, and his husband, also Steve.

Steve Greenberg is the first gay Orthodox rabbi, which seemed reason enough for us to want to talk to him. Read on to hear about his challenging journey to become a rabbi, father, and activist in the gay Orthodox community.

Did you always want to be an Orthodox rabbi, ever since you were a little boy?

Well, I can’t say when I wanted to become a rabbi but it was probably a growing interest from my late teens. I became “frum” (religiously observant) when I was 15. I accidentally met an Orthodox rabbi who invited me to his house for lunch and he invited me to study with him every Shabbat, “over tea and oranges.” I was charmed and said yes. I was totally enraptured by the Jewish learning and became a valued member of his community in a year. I was probably thinking about becoming a rabbi when I chose to attend Yeshiva University following high school. But my first clear memories are when I was learning in Israel at a Hesder Yeshiva and spoke to Rabbi Amital about the idea. By that time I was 20 years old.

How did you and your husband go about having a daughter? Read the rest of this entry →

A Single Dad Explains Divorce to His Daughter

By at 9:01 am

dinosaur divorce book for kidsI am a (soon-to-be) divorced dad. What this means on a practical level is that I parent day to day without the input of anyone else, for the most part. Of course I have plenty of role models, but on the ground, I am winging it without another adult.

My daughter Ronia is 4, and though she is a curious and highly observant individual, she does not really pepper me with questions in the matter of some kindergartners in literature. Nor does she really respond to my questions/reveals in an outsized manner. When I warned her I was applying for a job with super long hours (I am fortunate enough to have only worked full-time for one month of her life) her reaction was: “Does that mean I can have more sleepovers with [her friend from school]?” Read the rest of this entry →

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