Apr 29 2013
I know that I have so much to be grateful for, and I am. I live in a country of democratic ideals (even though it’s not perfect), I have a roof over my head, money for food and clothing and medicine, I am in fairly good health, I am employed, I have friends and family who love me.
I’ve talked a lot here on Kveller about my religious faith, even in the face of my horrible car accident, and even in the face of doubt and fear. And I think I have realized that it is that sense of faith that helps me get through my moments/hours/days/weeks/months of despair. Read the rest of this entry →
Apr 12 2013
Shabbat is great. Shabbat is lovely. Shabbat is 25 hours of no phone, no radio, no piano, no driving, no cooking, no TV (which I don’t watch anyway), no pressures of the outside world. You hang out with friends, eat lavish meals, nap, let your kids frolic as you get a “break,” and enjoy the synagogue of your choosing which both enlightens your soul and tantalizes your children. Unless…
Unless you live an hour’s walk from the nearest synagogue and have no friends within walking distance, in which case it’s a 25 hour test of wills: can I keep my kids happy? Entertained? Happy to be Jewish when the day seems like one long list of restrictions? Read the rest of this entry →
Mar 4 2013
Many of you may have seen The Big Bang Theory Super Bowl promo that our cast participated in. I believe it aired in the first 10 minutes or so of play in this year’s Super Bowl. The promo featured the entire cast of The Big Bang Theory swaggering down a smokey hallway, all decked out in football gear. The punchline was that Leonard was wearing his pads and jockstrap on the outside of his uniform. Read the rest of this entry →
Jan 24 2013
Allison Josephs, the woman behind Jewinthecity.com.
I’ve written about Jewinthecity.com here before. Allison Josephs, the woman behind Jewinthecity, is a one-woman dynamo machine of kiruv (outreach), making videos and speaking all over the country about her journey to Orthodoxy and how her life has been enriched and blessed from the changes she has made.
I know Allison because when she was working at Partners in Torah after I had my first son, she was “matched” to me as my study partner, and it was from our relationship that I made some significant and really rewarding changes in my life towards a better understanding of traditional Judaism. Allison has been my sort of Jewish go-to for everything from how to handle my grandmother’s funeral to my sons’ bris to the changing expectations on me as I have become more prominent on the red carpet. Read the rest of this entry →
Nov 5 2012
After a series of comments and discussions on my Facebook page about things ranging from vaccinations, breastfeeding, circumcision, and the opaqueness of the tznius clothing I wear, I decided to take a sort of break from Facebook.
This was several months ago, and it’s been good and bad. The good is that I’m less fixated on who’s saying what about me, I have more time on my hands (even since my accident when only one hand has been working for the most part), and I’m less stressed about public opinion, as it were. The bad is that I miss sharing articles I find interesting and thought provoking. I miss that kind of interaction in a positive way, but mostly I’m grateful to not have interaction in a negative way. Read the rest of this entry →
Oct 5 2012
Notes for my speech I wrote with my left hand. Not bad, eh?
A month and a day after the car accident that mangled my right hand, I hosted a Seudah Hoda’ah, a Feast of Thankfulness/Gratitude. Our tradition suggests that after surviving something life-theratening, we should recite the Gomel prayer in synagogue (which I did 10 days after the accident) and contribute to tzedakah.
The Seudah is another opportunity to give thanks, and I asked that people bring no gifts, no flowers, no wine, no nothing; just a check for any amount to the tzedakah of my choosing: Generosity Water, which builds wells in communities with no access to fresh water. Had I known when I set the date for the Seudah that I still would not have even a semi-functional hand, I might have put it off. But I made vegan Mac and Cheese (one-handed, requiring my husband to drain the pasta), Asian broccoli slaw with edamame and almonds (must include this in my vegan book I’m working on–it went like wildfire!), and we heated up veggie corn nuggets. Comfort food. Dessert was store-bought pareve chocolate covered almonds and peanuts. Read the rest of this entry →
Sep 7 2012
It’s been three weeks since the car accident I had which damaged my right hand and set me on a course of several months of recovery, lots of lying on the couch, and more negotiating with dosages of acetaminophen and ibuprofen than I care to discuss.
I have written about the accident cursorily and somewhat lightly: how I removed my false eyelashes in the ambulance, made jokes about desires for tummy tucks with my plastic surgeons who repaired my hand, and the breathing and meditative techniques of natural labor I utilized to manage pain and fear. But my religious identity has pursued me–or I it–throughout this ordeal, and I have a desire to write about some of the more complex aspects of the accident and recovery as an observant Jew. Read the rest of this entry →
Jun 22 2012
I was in New York this week to speak at The Jewish Center in Manhattan on Tuesday and the Hebrew High School of New England benefit in West Hartford, CT last night.
Tuesday night at TJC was a sold out (600 people!) crowd. I was the first woman to speak as part of a lecture series started by a prominent family in Manhattan and the first time they have sold out. That felt really neat, and it was such an amazing diverse community. The Los Angeles Modern Orthodox community is very homogeneous for the most part, and it’s both startling and grounding to come to a place like TJC where I meet men and women who are such a neat blend of modern and traditional. I felt very supported in my struggles towards observance in a secular world and I really felt like people don’t feel the need to “box me in” here as much as in Los Angeles or on the internet! Read the rest of this entry →
Jun 7 2012
The four inspiring women.
In the seven years since I had my first son, I can count on one hand the number of times I have done things really truly “for me.” I don’t say this so you think I am a martyr (although it has been suggested by a few people). I say this to set the stage for telling you about the third thing I did “for me” this past Monday.
As most of you (and America and the Western world) know, we practice attachment parenting and although what that looks like varies widely, in our house, the needs of our children in these formative years are often valued over our “personal” happiness and desires. So things like going to the movies (I have been to four movies in seven years), going away with girlfriends (has not happened in seven years), and luxurious vacations (has not happened in seven years) simply are not something we choose to do for now.
That being said, here are the three things I have done 100% “for me” in the past few years. Read the rest of this entry →
May 29 2012
I speak all over the country: at synagogues, schools, and homes, at conventions, commencements, and conferences. I love speaking about my journey to being observant-ish, being female, being a scientist, being a mom. I love speaking and I am excited for each and every talk I do.
But the talk I am giving on June 5 at the Riverdale Jewish Center has my heart all aflutter. No, it’s not just that one of the Maccabeats lives in Riverdale and he may come and I may sleep over at his parents’ house and have a slumber party with his sister after the talk (because all of that is totally happening). I’m all excited because the cause for which I am speaking is so fantastic, so amazing, and so meaningful that I literally can’t believe I get to be a part of it. Read the rest of this entry →