Category Archives: Discussion

Shabbat Jan 18

Shabbat Candles

We have found a way of life that works.
We have 3300 years of testing under every possible social, economic, political and geographical condition to prove that.
Yes, you could do it yourself—test all the possible styles of life, make comparisons and come to your own conclusions. But what a waste of precious time it will be, for yourself and for the world that could be benefiting from you. After all, how much life will you have left after reaching your conclusions? – Chabad

This “Thought for the Day” from Chabad is certainly an interesting way to make the case that deciding to accept a Jewish life will lead to more time to live a fuller life. The same could be said for many other faiths, I know, but I especially liked the point that Judaism has already been tested – for more than 3300 years, no less.

For me, Judaism has proven to be the best vessel for a set of beliefs and practices that resonate with me. I hope whatever journey you are on and whatever faith ultimately resonates with you, you will be equally content.

Oy Vey

UncertaintyOne of my children is being evaluated for a fairly serious medical condition. It’s not fatal. It is treatable. But it is going to cause some changes in how we do things. All in all, it’s something we can handle. The part that’s been difficult is hanging in there while we go through the diagnostic phase.

I’m a person who is not thrilled with unplanned events – unless they are parties. Those are definitely okay with me. So – having a perfectly healthy child suddenly frequenting Children’s Hospital is not something I’m comfortable with – but then, who is? The good news is that the staff and our doctors have been wonderful. They definitely get it that it’s a stressful situation for all involved, and they work to keep it all low key.
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Thin Skin and Interfaith Marriage

Sad_sThin skin and interfaith marriage do not make for a healthy combination. I know this because when I was first married, and then again when I was first converted, I’m pretty sure I was the Princess and the Pea of anything to do with interfaith life. I also know, given my personal history, I came by this honestly. But really. That wasn’t who I wanted to be. I’ve worked hard to appreciate that the things that seem insensitive to me are often parts of a religion that does not actively seek converts, working to find a way to integrate people from a variety of backgrounds into their religious life. At this point, I get it that it’s not easy on either side. Continue reading

Adoption: Culturally Trivialized!

I’ve been mulling over the Bognar post on Lilith for a week now. I absolutely share her surprise at the depiction of adoption as anything but a fundamentally positive act. I, too, am surprised when I hear adoption viewed as other than a win-win — at least I am in 90% of the cases. The other 10% – those that involve children from countries without a concept of adoption – leave me with a lot of mixed feelings still to sort.

Ambivalent as I may be about that 10% of adoptions, I am 100% certain that I’m unhappy with the way adoption is trivialized in our culture. More and more, news items about adoption treat the adoptive family as more a foster family or babysitting entity. The”real” mother will look for her “lost” child in time and, when she does, those “nice” adoptive parents will back off.  more…

March Discussion: Function of Religion

Each month I’m going to have a discussion topic related to the creation of your own, unique Jewish identity. For some, it will be the process of envisioning who they are as a new-to-Judaism Jew, for some it will be envisioning who they are as they become a more observant Jew, for some it will be envisioning the identity of the children they’re raising in the Jewish faith. Read more