"Don't tell God how big your storm is; tell your storm how big your God is."

I believe in God.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

It Had to Happen

Over the last few weeks, my chronic pain has kicked up significantly.  After much thought, heartache, and a rehab attempt gone horribly wrong, I have started a new blog on my other Google account.  It's called "Life in Pain, with Dignity"; the link is lifeinpainwithdignity.blogspot.com .  If you want to communicate with me, COMMENT OVER THERE, as that is the blog I will be checking.  See you soon!

Friday, October 3, 2014

"Approaching Yom Kippur"

Here is a poem I wrote in anticipation of Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the year.  Its title is, naturally enough, "Approaching Yom Kippur."

"Approaching Yom Kippur"
To everyone I've injured,
I am sorry.

To the limping,
The wounded,
The maimed and the bleeding,
I'm sorry.

Kol Nidre.
U'N'taneh Tokef.
I'm sorry.
I'm sorry.

Forgive me?

Sunday, September 28, 2014

I Am a Mystic

For years now, my parents have been calling me a mystic.  It was not a title that I wanted to take for myself because it just felt too...pretentious, or something.

Then...well, then, this past Rosh HaShanah (Jewish New Year) happened, and Oh. My. Goodness.

On the first day, I fended off a demon and glimpsed the angels.

On the second day, I spent time sitting with the angels.  I learned that they are formless by default and take forms when necessary.

Oh, and they left me a handle to tug on to take myself back to them.  It doesn't always work; I'm still learning how to use it.

But I would like to say that now I am a mystic.  Like, for real.

Sunday, September 21, 2014


Over the past few weeks, through all the darkness and uncertainty, I have found comfort in clinging to all that I KNOW.  Here is a list:

I KNOW that God is with me.

I KNOW that God will not abandon me.

I KNOW that even if there is no light at the end of the tunnel, there is meaning in the moment, and that is enough.

I KNOW that I have friends who love me.

I KNOW that I have family who love me.

I KNOW that one day, if only in the World to Come or following the coming of the Messiah, my suffering will be ended.

I KNOW that I am walking this road with as much dignity as possible, and I KNOW I can be proud of myself for that.

All of the above, I KNOW.

Thursday, September 18, 2014


Here is another poem about my disability, written today.  Its title is "Dawn?".

My heart pounds with my effort.
I swear to God I'm trying.

I do not swear easily,
Nor do I take God's name in vain.

My stomach churns.
My brain is spinning.
I cannot see the light of day.

Reeling, I try to comprehend
My new reality.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

"Disabled Sweetness"

I have been thinking for a while now about the best way to do this post, a post on what being disabled means to me.  I finally decided to just let a poem I wrote today, "Disabled Sweetness," speak for itself.

"Disabled Sweetness"
Bending to the forces of a disability,
To the hand that shoves you down
And will not let you back up.

Asking for the help you need,
Always scared that they'll say no.

Learning to fall with dignity,
And--tearless--rise up again.

Sweet lessons of life.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Sabbath Lamp

This nifty little contraption is a Sabbath lamp, designed for those who do not change the state of electronics on the Sabbath, but still wish to have the convenience of a light.  It is a system of two cylinders, one inside the other, with a fluorescent light bulb in the center of all that.  Each cylinder has a window, as shown.  Match up the windows, and the light shines through; twist the top so the windows do not match up, and the lamp goes dark.

 This lamp alone does not make it bright enough in my room for me to read on my bed--I need a bigger light on a timer for that--but it does ensure that I can get ready for bed with ease at whatever hour I choose. 

This adorable lamp (I feel like an advertisement) comes in about a dozen different colors--I have a blue one for my room at school--and costs around forty five dollars.  The price did make me cringe a little, but seeing this in person, I can honestly say it may be one of the best Judaica purchases I have ever made.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The Penitnetial Season

Last night kicked off the "Penitential Season," as one of my prayer books calls it: The Hebrew month of Elul leading up to the New Year and Day of Atonement.  It is at this time of year that we as Jews really contemplate life: our deeds and our relationship with God, where we were this year and where we'd like to be next year, and the changes we must make in order to get there.

This is also the only time of year when I allow myself to play my favorite Youtube recording of U'n'taneh Tokef.  U'n'taneh Tokef is my favorite part of the Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) liturgy.  It talks about how we are nothing but dust and ashes, how we never really know our fate, and how on this day we all pass before God so God can decide what will happen to us--perhaps even how we will die--in the coming year.  No one is exempt from God's judgement; but repentance, prayer, and charity can mitigate the evil decree.

This part of the service is so special to me that I save my favorite recording of it for this time of year, but for these few weeks, it becomes the background music to my life.  I have already played it once last night and three or four times today.

Somewhere in my house is a book about the New Year and Yom Kippur called "This Is Real and You Are Completely Unprepared."  I want to read it at some point.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Building my Jewish Home

I have recently decided to use every opportunity to acquire the things I need for my own Jewish home, which I just might have starting next year.  For Hannukah this year, I am getting my own fancy-but-usable (it's made of metal) menorah, and for my birthday I am probably getting full-size candlesticks.

Maybe I should explain about the candlesticks.  You see, for years now, whenever I light Sabbath or holiday candles, I have used little candlesticks, as befits a girl in her mother's home.  However, as my mother pointed out to me, in the societies where that is the norm, I would be married and in my own home, perhaps with children, by now.  I would definitely be lighting using full-size candlesticks.  I will be 22 this coming birthday; I'm fairly certain that that makes me an adult.  It is time for tall candlesticks.

The pair I want comes from the Emanuel Judaica site.  (Are you surprised?) They are made of metal, six-and-a-half inches tall, and they are pink! They cost $39.00 for the pair, which I think is a pretty good deal! Then, if I get money from my grandparents, which I usually do, I will buy a pretty hand washing cup and towel for when I do ritual hand washing in the morning.

So excited!

And posting "Jacob's" picture again, just in case:

Jacob sm

Sunday, August 24, 2014

A Magical Sabbath

Without using electricity, I really felt that this past Sabbath was...magical is the best word, I think.  I truly felt as if I were floating in midair, with zero cares, concerns, or worries.  Time truly seemed to stop, if only for a day, and the result was...fantastic.

Things like a Sabbath lamp (http://www.kosherimage.com/kosherlampMAX.html; I have a blue one already for my dorm room and will be getting one in the cherry wood color for my room at home), a timer for another light (is what it sounds like; any old timer will do, and I might even have one somewhere if I search), and a Sabbath alarm clock (http://www.kosherimage.com/kosherclock3.html) will make all of this much easier, but what I did this Sabbath is doable even without these fancy gadgets.

Now, of course, I had to laugh when I realized when the holidays are this year.  The Jewish holidays all fall Thursday-Friday this year, and from there we go straight into the Sabbath.  I will be doing this no electricity gig, while I'm still fairly new at it, for THREE. STRAIGHT. DAYS.

Oh well.  As sacrifices go, this one is fairly minor.  I can do it.  I can do it.  I can do it.


Friday, August 22, 2014

A Big Jewish Step

There is a raging debate in the Jewish world over whether or not electricity equals fire as relates to use on the Sabbath.  In short, if it does, then I can't use it; if it doesn't, then I can.

Until this weekend, I was part of the "I can use it" camp.  Then I realized the following:

At home, I mark the beginning of the Sabbath by lighting a candle.  That candle is symbolic and significant because I go on to not use fire for the rest of the Sabbath.

At school, I will be using electric Sabbath candles.  Now, either electricity is not fire, in which case I can use it, but it doesn't count for my candles; or it is fire, in which case I can't use it, and it does count for my candles; but I cannot say that it is fire for my candles and not elsewhere as well.

So.  Deep breath, big step, here I go.

Monday, August 18, 2014

"Heather's" Visit

I just got done having the most fantastic visit with my friend "Heather" from school.  She came Friday, and we just dropped her off at the bus station to go home.

Friday afternoon, we hung out for a while, then joined my family for Sabbath dinner, complete with the singing of Hebrew songs and the grace after meals afterwards.  Saturday morning, we joined my parents for services; we then ate a picnic lunch in the back yard and headed off to the park.  At the park, we enjoyed the swings and slides, went on a walk, and made liberal use of the water fountains.

On Sunday afternoon, my parents drove us to a used book store, where we both found some very cool books.  Throughout the course of the visit, we played multiple games of backgammon, stratego, and blockus. 

We talked a ton, and I really enjoyed having a "prayer buddy": "Heather" wanted to do all the Jewish things I did! What a fabulous visit!

(At "Heather's" request, I took no pictures.)

Thursday, August 14, 2014


My biggest "someday" dream, apart from becoming a Rabbi and falling in love (in either order) is to adopt a hard-to-place girl.  Hard-to-place means older or disabled.  It will be challenging at times; from what I've read, it may be very challenging all the time for a while.  But I feel called to do this.  This is my dream.

Please dream it with me?

And "Jacob's" picture, of course:


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Gathering Prayers for "Trudy"

Some of you may remember "Trudy," an older girl on Reece's Rainbow about whom I blogged several months ago.  Her picture is here:


"Trudy" was born in 1998, which means she will age out of the system sometime in 2014.  The end of 2014 is fast approaching; "Trudy" only has a few more months.  Because she has HIV and no other disability, if I understand correctly she will be thrown out on the streets.  She will have no access to her medication, and will likely die of AIDS.

I had always intended to be "Trudy's" Prayer Warrior once "Jacob" got adopted, but it doesn't look as if that will happen any time soon.  I have found a Prayer Warrior for "Trudy"--I recently got yet another friend hooked on Reece's Rainbow and she said she'd do it--but I am asking anyone who reads this blog, and believes in the power of prayer, to pray too.  You don't need to commit to praying for "Trudy" every day; please just think a prayer quickly as you read this.

And here are pictures of the Reece's Rainbow kids, "Neal" and "Stanley," whose Prayer Warriors are friends of mine:


Neal Photo 3 rec. Jan-2013



And of course, "my kid," "Jacob":

Jacob sm

Sunday, August 10, 2014

My Last New Skirt (For Now)

Yesterday, the last of my new skirts arrived in the mail.  It is absolutely gorgeous; here are pictures.

Friday, August 8, 2014

My Quilt

I am so excited to finally be sharing pictures of the quilt I am making! Twelve squares in a row, there will be 18 rows, and every stitch will be done by hand.  (I hate sewing machines.)  This first one is for me, but if I enjoy making it and it turns out OK, I may make one as a gift for someone next.  For whom, I'm not completely sure, but it will be someone very special.

Anyway, enough of that.  Pictures:

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

My New Skirts

They came! They came! My new skirts from myculottes.com came! They are long (mid-calf), with waistbands that fit, and SO cool! There is a deep brown one (pretty), a black one with small, multi-colored flowers (gorgeous), and a denim one (good to have the basics--I had originally wanted royal blue twill, but they were sold out).  I am having SO much fun planning outfits right now...as in which skirt, with which t-shirt, with what jewelry...

And here are pictures:

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Tisha B'Av 2014

So now it is officially Tisha b'Av.  One law that I forgot to mention is that the tallit and tefillin, normally worn at morning prayers, are not donned until the afternoon.  I prayed without them this morning, and honestly, it felt just as if my ties to God had been severed, and I understood on a gut, emotional level the loss that the Jewish people had suffered with the destruction of the Temples.  In other words, for the first time ever, I finally got it.  I got it.

Also, on Tisha b'Av the scroll of Lamentations is read in the synagogue.  Because of my delicate mental health, I couldn't stay for the whole service last night (had to get home and to bed), but I read myself the first three chapters in English while members of the congregation chanted about a chapter and a half in Hebrew.  I finished up the English sitting on my floor (as is customary for the Lamentations reading) in my nightgown first thing this morning.

I am not wearing my arba kanfot right now because I figured that if a tallit (whose whole point is the tzitziot, or holy fringes) was not to be worn, I also should not wear my arba kanfot (whose whole point is also tzitziot).  I am fully dressed--t-shirt, skirt (a NEW skirt), etc. right down to a kippah/yarmulke (black velvet today, from my younger brother's Bar Mitzvah), though of course no jewelry--but I feel naked.  Arba kanfot are such an integral part of my wardrobe that it really does feel as though I am skirtless, or not wearing underwear, or something of that nature.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Erev Tisha B'Av 2014

Today is erev Tisha b'Av, the day before the ninth of the Hebrew month of Av, and tomorrow is the day when Jews everywhere will alter their behavior in specific, prescribed ways to demonstrate their grief as they mourn the loss of the two Jewish Temples in Jerusalem.  The Temples were both destroyed on the ninth of Av, one in 586 BCE and the other in 70 CE, and to this day we mourn.  This is the post I had planned for tomorrow, but I want to post it now. 

I could write a lot about Tisha b'Av.  I have a lot of feelings about this day.  I have decided that this post will be a bit of a "how to," descriptive post, along with some notes about what I personally plan to do tomorrow, and tomorrow's post will be more reflective, moody, and mournful.  Tisha b'Av begins around 8:20 pm tonight, and will end around 8:50 pm tomorrow night.

Here is a list of the ways we mourn our missing Temple, a piece of the Jewish people that is no longer here, and which we pray will one day be here again.

  1. Fasting: From start to end of Tisha b'Av, we do not partake of any food or drink, yes, including water.  I am actually not fasting this year for medical reasons.  For me this is actually the hardest part of this day; even though I have the "go ahead" to drink and eat from both my doctor and my Rabbi, I feel as if I am...cheating, somehow.
  2. Abstaining from Sexual Intercourse: Well, this one is pretty much self-explanatory!
  3. Wearing No Leather Shoes: Leather, and especially leather shoes, is considered a sign of comfort and luxury.  On Tisha b'Av we wish to humble ourselves, even to the point of discomfort, so we do not wear leather shoes.  Footwear at the synagogue takes every form imaginable! I will be wearing a pair of old sandals.
  4. Refraining from Bathing, Washing, or Anointing: On Tisha b'Av, as we mourn, we do not take a bath, wash with soap, put on lotion or even deodorant.  We do not wear perfume.  We do not brush our teeth.  Naturally, I will be doing all of the above (except the perfume) shortly before 8:20 pm tonight.
  5. Abstaining from the Wearing of Jewelry: Again, no luxury, no comfort.  This one will be hard for me this year because I just recently fell in love with jewelry and am rediscovering my jewelry box.
  6. Sitting on Low Chairs or the Floor Until Midday: Sitting on low chairs or the floor is a mourning practice in Judaism. and because Tisha b'Av is a day of mourning, many people observe this custom.  I myself will be sleeping in my bed tonight, but maybe (not sure yet) I will observe this custom tomorrow morning.
That's it, I think! More tomorrow.  Tonight I will be attending part of the Tisha b'Av service at my local Orthodox synagogue, because they have the only one in town.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

And Little "Jacob's" Picture

It's been ten days (four entries) since I posted anything about my "Jacob," so I thought I'd give him an entry all his own.  Here is his picture:

Jacob sm

His other picture:


And his Reece's Rainbow profile says that he is available to single moms! Just throwing that out there...

Giving Thanks to...Whom Else...GOD!

I thought it would be fun to thank God for as many specific blessings as possible, thereby giving you all a window into my current life.  Ready...Steady...GO!

  1. My good mental health, just recently regained and very fragile
  2. My friend "Charlotte" who has seen me through every episode and "blip" I've had since starting college, and our almost-daily phone conversations
  3. My friend "Heather" and our visit this coming weekend (I will try to take pictures!)
  4. The selling/donating/general ridding myself of the vast majority of my childhood dolls, as I move on to a new phase of life
  5. The quilt I am making
  6. The residential community in which I will be living this coming year...I can finally shout it from the rooftops...I will be living in a community specially designed for LGBT folks, and I am super excited!
  7. My Jewish faith, always, even when it is hard (Watch for a "hard" post on Tuesday.)
  8. My nightgowns...I'm sorry...but they're pretty!
OK...I think that's it...short list.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

"Works of the Heart"

The other day, I discovered the most wonderful clothing site called "Works of the Heart."  I do not remember the exact URL; go ahead and google it, please! Like "My Culottes," "Works of the Heart" is very Christian in origin, nature, and mission, but it serves my purposes well and is so much fun!

You see, I recently discovered/decided my "personal style": old-fashioned, flouncy, ruffled, etc.  Think pioneer or Victorian era.  The clothes on "Works of the Heart" fit this description perfectly.  They sell every kind of women's and little girls' clothes, in many fabrics.

The fun comes in with the way the site is designed.  Each clothing item is shown with a line drawing, and then you get to pick your fabric.  Most of the items have names to go with them.  For example, this winter I will be getting "Lydia's Dress" (not sure what fabric yet; something polyester but I don't know exactly what), "Rhoda's Dress" (polyester again, again not sure exactly what), a side-button jumper in pink corduroy, and a blouse, not sure exactly which one yet, in white flannel to go under the jumper, or to be paired with a denim skirt on "warmer" days.

Friday, July 25, 2014

My Doll Collection: Portraits and Biographies

Over the years, I have amassed quite a collection of mostly porcelain (one vinyl, one clay) dolls.  I thought it would be nice to take individual shots of them and introduce them to you.

This is Cloud.  Formerly known as Flitter, she comes from Paradise Galleries and was a Bat Mitzvah gift from a friend and colleague of my mother's:

Here is a picture of the rest of the doll display:

This is Emily.  I got her at a souvenir shop in Canada, near the border, following a houseboat vacation with my family:

This is Anne of Green Gables, bought in a similar souvenir shop following a similar vacation.  I wanted her for years before I got her:

This is Helen, also a Bat Mitzvah gift:

This is Maude's teddy bear, whom she calls Vanilla:

And this is Maude.  Maude is my favorite doll in my whole collection.  She also comes from Paradise Galleries, but I forget her original name.  I bought her for myself.

This is Suzy, a gift from my father following a military trip to Italy:

This is Jessica, purchased in a museum gift shop on a trip with my father:

This is Victoria, a Hannukkah gift from my maternal grandmother:

This is Sweet Woman (formerly known as Very Sweet Woman), a Hannukkah gift from my parents:

This is Hitty Plum, sculpted and painted by me, and modeled after Hitty in the book Hitty: Her First Hundred Years:

This is Anne, a sixth birthday present from my parents (although I picked her out) in 1999:

This is my Build-A-Bear, Mathilde, but everyone calls her Tillie:

Last but most definitely not least is Devorah, also brought back from an Army trip to Italy by my father:

Thursday, July 24, 2014

My Nice, Clean Room (Bragging a Little)

Over the last few days, I have put a total of about six or seven hours into cleaning up and organizing my room, because I decided that a lady in skirts cannot live in a junk heap.  I am so proud of the end result that I had to post pictures.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Back to Once-A-Week Laundry!

Because I only have two casual skirts, I have recently been doing laundry every day, washing the dirty one while wearing the clean one.  However, that is about to change.

With permission from my wonderful mother, I have purchased two more new skirts.  At the cost of roughly eighteen dollars each.  I am super excited.  One has three panels in front of black, navy blue, and red; the other is royal blue and flares out, with a sheer, royal blue band near the hem.  Both are beautiful and graceful, yet will be fine paired with a tee shirt and Nikes! As soon as those, and the myculottes.com skirts, come in the mail, I will have seven skirts, and can go back to once-a-week laundry.

Because I like to give credit where credit is due, I should note that I got the above-described skirts at www.romwe.com.

And here is a picture of "Jacob," just in case his special someone sees him today:


Monday, July 21, 2014

More About Skirts

The best piece of advice I ever picked up about skirt-wearing came from Erika Shupe at www.largefamiliesonpurpose.com.  She writes that skirts must already fit your "personal style," the wardrobe you already have and love.

I'm not quite sure what my winter wardrobe will look like yet, but I know that in the summer I love my tee shirts.  They are cool and breezy, loose and comfy, and a lot of them have sentimental meaning to me.  So I need a nice, casual skirt to go with nice, casual tops.

Even more than my tee shirts, however, what I refuse to give up are my Nike sneakers.  I absolutely adore Nikes: they are practical, casual, and supportive, which I need for my flat feet.  Nike is my preferred brand of sneaker, at least for now.

What sort of skirt fits with tee shirts and Nikes, yet still leaves me feeling feminine and pretty, you ask? Well, naturally, I have an answer! www.myculottes.com sells practical skirts in many colors and fabrics.  They can be customized as far as measurements, and I know from experience that they can be dressed up or down by your style of shirt and shoe.  I heartily recommend www.myculottes.com!

I feel pretty!

Wearing skirts has done the unexpected for me, something I honestly thought impossible at this point: I FEEL PRETTY! I think that is actually my primary reason for wearing them; it is not so much that I want to present a femme image in the LGBT world, or about how I get treated by certain sectors of the Jewish world.  Plain and simple, this really is about feeling pretty.

What fascinates me is how quickly I have learned to "move like a woman".  The first day in a skirt, I had to deliberately curl up my legs to the side rather than crossing them in front when sitting.  Now that position is my "go to" sitting position.  Sleeping in a nightgown, I curl up under the blanket to cover my legs, even though no one can see me.  It just feels right.

Now, because I haven't posted a picture of myself on this blog since my brother's Bar Mitzvah nearly five years ago, here is a picture of me in a skirt.  This one is old--you'll notice the patch--and a little too short for my liking.  I prefer a skirt in which I can sit cross-legged on the floor if I want.  However, this skirt has tremendous sentimental value, and besides I cannot afford to throw away wardrobe pieces, so it stays.

And now for the photo:

And now for a picture of "Jacob," because it's been too long since I posted about him:

Jacob sm

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Wardrobe Makeover

I'm so excited: I am going to start dressing in a much more feminine manner.  This is not a religious or idealistic move at all; rather, I simply believe that I have been sending the world the wrong message about my personality via the way I dress, and I aim to correct that.  To that end, I am purchasing two new summer type skirts and one that will carry me into the fall; if I'm still sticking with this by the time the weather turns colder I will look into "cold weather" skirts.  I am also wearing jewelry every day, and planning--for now--to keep my hair long.

I am aware that dressing this way takes more work than the short hair or ponytail and "guy shorts" I have been wearing up until this point.  But I am not butch; I am not butch.  I do not want the world to get the wrong impression.  A little work to ensure the correct impression, in my opinion, is worth it.

Friday, July 18, 2014


I have so many things for which to be thankful, that I thought I would just go ahead and list them all.  It's a good exercise for me as well, because my chronic pain is spreading into my hands, and I could use to think about something else.  Tacky solution, I know, but here goes anyway:

  1. Family: I have the most wonderful mother and father, who provide for me financially and with love.  They take me on trips, help me move in and out of dorms, and listen to my problems and concerns, as well as my hobbies.  I also have two most excellent brothers who do a good job listening and caring as well.
  2. Religion: I am a Jew, and very proud of it.  When times are darkest, I can turn to my strong relationship with God that I have built up over the years, and that will get me through anything.  I write letters to God, as well as praying in a more conventional Jewish manner, and I do feel that God listens.
  3. Writing: Writing poetry provides solace for me like almost nothing else.  It is a true gift to be able to put one's words down on paper, and I know not everyone can do it.
  4. Sewing: Sewing is my other major hobby.  Primarily I make doll clothes, although I recently completed a quilt for a special teddy bear and eventually I plan to make a quilt for myself.  I have also made my own tallit/tallis (Jewish prayer shawl).
  5. Work Ethic: I have the native, inbred ability to work harder than almost anyone else I know, and that is vital and necessary if one wants to get through college in four years, which I do, while managing two chronic conditions, which I have (Reflex Neurovascular Dystrophy and bipolar disorder).  The only way to get through school on time if there are periods when one simply cannot work is to buckle down and work away when one can, including over summer vacation (as I have for the last two years) if necessary.  I'm not complaining at all here; in fact, the emphasis was supposed to be on how blessed I am to be able to work this hard!
  6. Friends: Let's face it, being friends with me is tough.  I like to say that I'm not necessarily needy in the classic sense of the term, but I do have genuine needs.  Being chronically ill is hard work; I need people to whom I can turn every time.  And...I have some.  Not every friendship has worked out; some people have gotten overwhelmed and dropped contact.  But I do have about five friends to whom I know I can come with anything, at any time (within reason), even if I came to them yesterday with the exact same thing.
There...I think that's enough for now.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014


Earlier this morning I was reading the Hebrew Bible (my current Jewish reading), and I was specifically reading about Noah and the flood.  As I read, I realized that the ark that God asks Noah to build is not a boat which Noah can steer, but a box in which Noah must shut himself up and simply trust to God that everything will be OK.  And you know what? Noah does it.  He builds his box, loads it up with animals, climbs aboard, closes it, and rides the waves for forty days and forty nights.

I wish we could all have that kind of faith.  Sometimes life gets really hard, and it's difficult to believe that God is looking out for us after all.  But God is.  God really is.

Let's all learn from Noah.

Monday, June 30, 2014

I'm in Love

I'm in love, simply in love with my Judaism.  Every moment of my day is steeped in my religion, as it should be.  These are the Jewish things I do each day:

  1. Pray morning and afternoon (I'm going to add in evening prayers starting tonight.)
  2. Put on tallis (four-cornered prayer shawl with holy fringes) and tefillin (black leather boxes with parchment scrolls of scripture inside, on leather straps that go around the head and arm) when I pray in the morning, or in the afternoon if I somehow missed the morning, but never the evening because they are a daytime commandment.
  3. Recite a special blessing after each time I use the bathroom.
  4. Recite blessings before and after eating.
  5. Put on arba kanfot/tallit katan (special undergarment with four corners and holy fringes) and kippah (skull cap) each morning when I get dressed, and leave them on all day.
  6. Learn Jewish stuff for two hours every day, ideally one hour of Talmud with my brother and one hour of something else, but lately it's  more often been two hours on my own.  Currently I am reading the Hebrew Bible cover to cover, with as much Hebrew as I can manage.
And now, a visual aid.  I don't think I have ever posted pictures of my tallis and tefillin before, and if I have, it's been a long time:


And, of course, I close with a picture of "Jacob." I will never stop fighting to find him a home.  Never!



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About Me

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I am a bipolar, Jewish young adult (had my Hebrew birthday, the one I count, and turned 23 this past January) who also suffers from Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy. I love life and I live for my best friends: they are my purpose and my reason for trying so hard. I remain passionately devoted to those I love; I will not let my disorders make me totally self-centered. I like to read, write, and sew. My Rabbinical school plans did not work out, and I am now hoping to go into the field of Early Childhood Education. Please note: I am currently maintaining only Carried in His Hands. Enjoy!