Archive for the ‘judaism’ Category

This made me giggle

September 14, 2012

The last name of tthe rabbi at my new synagogue is “Learner”.  Little ironic things in life always catch my attention — since “rabbi” means “my teacher” — but I guess it’s perfectly appropriate, too, since as Jews we’re supposed to constantly be learning and teaching is a great way to learn.


I think this will turn out to be really powerful

June 18, 2012

While we were on vacation in Florida, we took a day trip to Miami and visited the Miami Holocaust Memorial.  I’m going to have this picture flipped and blown up to an 8 x 10 :

and then I’m going to crop photos of the names of the death camps that are in the tunnel (like this one):

and shrink them to wallet size, arranging them on the page so that they surround the star of David.  The scrapbook page will be black, and I’ll frame the first photo in a golden-yellow color.
What do you think?

Because I’m a proofreader

December 20, 2011

(And please excuse the F-word)

I love Yom Kippur

October 9, 2011

I know that sounds rather strange to some people… after all, how many people say it’s depressing, they’d rather not go to shul but they have to, etc., etc.?

I wish I had a recording of the rabbi’s sermon from our Kol Nidré service because it was brilliant.  He spoke about how we weren’t created to adulate G-d, but rather to imitate Him and to partner with Him.  He also spoke about how teshuvah is not just repentance, but also a return — to G-d, to our community, and to our true selves, the people we were created to be.  And he talked about how forgiveness is a completely separate concept from forgetfulness.  G-d doesn’t forget our sins when He forgives us, and that’s a good thing — because He remembers how we’ve returned to Him and the covenant.  And what a wonderful thing for Him to remember!

I always come out of Kol Nidré feeling lighter, more connected, more genuine… It’s my favorite service of the year. 🙂

This smacks of Nazism to me

October 9, 2011
A quote from Bryan Fischer, a director at the American Family Association, during the Values Voter Summit:
Mormons and Muslims have a completely different definition of who Christ is than the Founding Fathers did, and do not deserve First Amendment protections as a consequence.
Back in the 1930s, the Nazi party slowly but steadily stripped Jews of the rights and protections afforded other German citizens because of their religious beliefs.  We all know what that led to…  How can people in America who claim that they have “values” spew that kind of bigotry?

And hey, I’m Jewish — I definitely don’t have a Christian definition of Jesus because I don’t think that he’s the Christ.  Does that mean that I should have no protection under the First Amendment?

Another “you don’t look sick” moment

September 18, 2011

At shul this weekend, one of the men had the gall to criticize me for not standing up during kiddush.  I felt like saying, Look, dude, I’m not deaf.  I heard the rabbi invite us to stand.  Neither am I blind, (actually, that’s not entirely true — I’ve got some sight loss in my right eye), I can see that everyone else is standing.

But I didn’t.  I just smiled and nodded and ignored him for the rest of the service.

What gets me is that there are little old ladies who don’t stand for the same reason that I don’t — we’re not capable of staying on our feet for that long — but nobody dares criticize them.

Maybe I need to start wearing stage makeup that makes me appear sickly…

Next year’s Purim costume

August 22, 2011

The other day I came up with a brilliant idea for my next Purim costume.  I already own a purple bathrobe, so I will pair it with:

  • an eyepatch,
  • a party hat, and
  • a pair of angel wings.

Can you guess who I am?




















The one-eyed, one- horned, flying purple people eater!

It couldn’t have gone better

July 17, 2011

When the rabbi decided to honor my conversion classmates and me with aliyot to the Torah this past Shabbat, I got nervous.  I’ve got sort of a Julie Andrews thing going on — I used to be able to sing beautifully, then I had an accident and my vocal cords were damaged.  No more singing — at least, not like I used to be able to, as half my range disappeared.

I’m not one to get stage fright, but I sure had it yesterday.  There’s no dress rehearsal, and you don’t want to let down the rabbi during what is essentially your introduction to the congregation.  My eyes were glued to the five who went before me so I wouldn’t make a stupid mistake.

When my turn came, I did great.  I had worked at home to find a key that I could chant in properly, and I didn’t mess up the words.  It’s a good thing I took my own Siddur from Geneva — the transliteration they had up at the bimah was entirely illegible.  I never learned Ashkenazic transliteration in French, much less in English.

To top it all off, I got to chant the blessing for my very favorite Torah portion — the story of the five daughters of Zelophehad in parasha Pinchas, which is where my Hebrew name comes from.  It really doesn’t get any better than that. 🙂


I have a dilemma

June 8, 2011

My conversion is going to be finished in about a month, and I have to pick a Hebrew name. There are two things that converts usually do — either pick a favorite Biblical character or pick a name that sounds similar to or has the same meaning as their English name.

So I’m torn between two names. Either Tirzah, who was one of the five daughters of Zelophehad, and whose name means “pleasing” and who embodies personal qualities that I possess and am proud of, or Kelilah, which has the advantage of not changing my initials, and which means “perfection”, which is similar to Kitty, which means “purity”.

Or I could go the less conventional route and pick two names and call myself Kelilah Tirzah.


1 Kings down, 2 Kings to go

June 5, 2011

So far I’m keeping all the stories straight.  We’ll see how long that lasts!