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 →
May 10 2012
Mayyim Hayyim in Newton, MA. Credit: Tom Kates
I spoke about the mikveh (Jewish ritual bath) at the Silicon Valley JCC last weekend. This happens to be the mikveh that serves people like my adorable mother-in-law (who used this mikveh when she joined the Jewish faith almost five years ago), and it was a real pleasure to speak in front of her and some of my other Bay Area family.
I was asked to speak on the history, meaning, significance, and usage of the mikveh, a talk I have never given before. It’s a daunting task to speak about mikveh in a non-Orthodox setting, largely because I hold to the restrictions and halachos (traditional Jewish laws) known collectively as Taharat HaMishpacha (the laws of niddah), which many people in Reform and Conservative circles reject.
Here’s a rundown of the talk and a little about my personal experience with the mikveh. Read the rest of this entry →