TRACHT GUT VET ZAYN GUT: think good and it will be good

Hello Dear Readers, My Rabbi and dear friend passed away ten years ago, Sunday 6 Kislev. He was 34. A husband and father of four, he was adored and cherished by our community. I feel a little unmerited to write something in his memory. And even as I write that, I realize the folly of Read More

THE SABBATH QUEEN: our first Shabbos

If you remember, I had called Chabad as a possible avenue to learn about my new fascination with Jewish spirituality. I spoke right away with the Rebbetzin (the Rabbi’s wife Chanie) and told her I had very limited interaction with Judaism. I did have experiences in other spiritual settings and detailed my sundry explorations including Read More

ALL DRESSED UP WITH NOWHERE TO GO: so now what?

Now here I was with a new found fascination for Judaism…but with nowhere to go? Yes I Ioved the ideas in the books I was reading, i.e. “Seeing G-d” by Rabbi David Aaron, but what do I do with that? I called the only somewhat religious Jewish friend I had and asked her. Shari must Read More

LEAVING JUDAISM? a turning point

Sometimes it takes a bad experience to turn us around. Although I had basically no Jewish affiliation and was far along the secular continuum, our four year old son attended a Jewish pre-school. Now that we had children I thought I should try to offer them some kind of Jewish community/identity.  I certainly didn’t feel qualified Read More

AN IMMIGRANT’S STORY: After Ellis Island

My family, like so many Jews fleeing persecution and harm, arrived in the U.S. scarred and having survived trauma. This was the early 1900s. I can imagine their enormous relief and gratitude to arrive in the United States and be allowed to stay.  Of course my grandparents would likely have been killed in the Shoah if Read More

THERE WAS NO MISTAKE: Yom Kippur take 2

 Same day, same Yom Kippur Service, 2019. I was innocently sitting there gently striking my chest, whispering the sins listed in the Yom Kippur Siddur, when another wild wonderful realization came.  Having experienced a share of trauma growing up, I had wished many times I could return to the happy, unself-conscious, young girl who was Read More

TRAUMA: Yom Kippur & freedom

On Yom Kippur 2019 I was in Shul hungry, standing, sitting, standing, sitting, and as usual not really understanding what was going on. I began to feel guilty about something I imagined I hadn’t done well. A close friend was going through a tough time and though I had tried to support her, somehow I Read More

DISILLUSIONED: and cracking open

Sam was extremely good looking. A very good dancer with a twinkle in his eye, dancing was big when he was growing up and he was a star on the dance floor.  While his good looks and light-footed charm earned him some ease in life, Sam also faced hard lessons. Rifka, his mom, had experienced Read More

ROSH HASHANAH: and self worth

September 18/Tishrei 1 to September 20 (Tishrei 2) L’ Shana Tova everyone. May it be a good year for all. This year of course is different. The Services in the Synagogues are greatly changed or not happening. Many are spending Rosh Hashanah at home, many alone. I found a place to go hear the Shofar Read More

SWINGSTER: that girl can dance

My long lost cousin of sweet childhood memories recently contacted me. She had been reading my blog and of course related to the “characters” since many are her relatives as well. What I didn’t know is that over the past decade, she has been steadfastly researching our family’s history through the U.S. Census. She just Read More