Blog: For Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Jews... Or, Much A-Blog About Nothing...

Friday, December 29, 2006

Hälsning från Sverige!

Editor's Note: I wrote this post on December 26th while at my grandparents' apartment, but Blogger was having some kind of issue (I think) so I wasn't able to save this draft or publish it when I wrote it, and I haven't been able to get online again until now that I'm back in the States. Oh well, I figured I'd post it anyway. Enjoy :-)

Hey there, J-bloggers! Thought I'd stop by to let the 2 of you that read this that I'm alive and well. I'm still in Sweden visiting my grandparents, and won't be back until the 29th, so I probably won't post again until New Year's Eve. Hope everyone had a great end to
Chanukah and such! Things are going alright here but it has been a very stressful trip for all of us. It is especially hard for me to see my grandparents because each time they seem to have gotten much worse than the last time I saw them. I know it is hard for anyone to
see someone they care about deteriorate mentally and/or physically, but for my family it is exacerbated by the fact that my grandparents were once such lively, vibrant people--even just a few short years ago. They used to ski. swim, sail, hike, dance, and travel all the time--well into their 70's!!! Now, my Farfar (Swedish for Father's Father and what I call my grandpa) is paralyzed on one side after a stroke and while it didn't affect him mentally, the stress from trying to keep track of my Farmor (Father's Mother) who is growing more and more difficult to deal with as her Alzheimer's worsens and she becomes less and less functional due to her sciatica. It is just too sad. I am thankful that they are still with us, don't get me wrong, I just wish there were some way to improve their quality of life. I know they are lonely here, and with things getting more and more difficult to handle, I think that they may need to move into
full-time assisted living in the near future. Anyway...On to more pleasant (sort of) things!

The weather here has been unseasonably warm, and so far no snow (which makes me sad but everyone else is happy!) boo! We will be going to see some of my cousins tomorrow and I'm very excited about that, as I haven't seen them in almost 8 years! It will be a BLONDE family gathering, that is for sure. My three cousins, Caroline, Cecelia, and Catarina are all blonde just like me, plus my younger brother and mother are blonde. The rest of the crew is grey-headed so I guess I will lump them in with the blondies ;-) Ha ha. It should be a good time. I hope.

Oh, I'm sure you all are wondering how the trip here was? Well, fuggedaboutit. I ain't tellin' ya, cuz it was SOOO miserable!

So don't even ask. I'm not gonna crack.


Ok I lied. I want you all to hear about my suffering
So, I think we all knew it was a bad sign when we were informed that the first leg of our trip (to Chicago) had been canceled due to weather and delays in Chicago. But we all chose to ignore it thinking that international flights would be ok and we drove up to Chicago figuring that everything would be hunky dory. Oh no no no, sirree, that 'twere not so. Why? Oh, well, let's see. First off we went to the wrong terminal TWICE because they have redone things in the airport since the last time FamilyHila has been there. Then we finally get to the United area and are told that no, for our flight we have to go back to a different terminal to check in because the flight is really through Scandinavian Airlines and NOT United
(which is horse puckey because, as any of you regular travelers know, you check in with the Airline that you booked your flight with, regardless of which airline
is actually responsible for the flight). So we get to the SAS line and of course there are about 50 people and onl 4 people working the check in desks. Yippee. And of course we think we're all top banana because we get to go in the "Premium" line since PappaHila flies so much for work that he has a membership card and whatnot that entitles him to this shorther line, but does that mean jack squat? No, of course not, why would an airline want to do anything, ya know, LOGICAL?!?!? So we waited in a shorter line but an equal amount of time to check in, only to find out that our flight to Denmark (yes, why would we want to fly directly to Sweden when we could complicate the trip ourselves?I. Don't. Know. Ask PappaHila!) is
delayed approximately 5 hours. So we go and eat, and then figure we should look at duty free stuff only to be told that we'll have to put our stuff back because we can't take the liquids through the security checkpoint and that oh by the way the store on the inside is closing in 20 minutes. Well skit(that's Swedish for something I shouldn'tsay in English :-D).
So we go through security, only to discover that the duty free store inside the
waiting area was more like a kiosk and didn't have most of what we wanted. Whatever.

It was then time to "hurry up and wait" as MammaHila likes to say. We at least had some cards so we played rummy for awhile and we all had magazines and books to read, but man does waiting for 5 hours suck when you know you're then going to be trapped on an airplane for 7 hours. Or more like 8, in our case, because as soon as we got on the plane
apparently someone got sick and they had to get an emergency crew to come and get him off the plane, which literally took an HOUR!!!! Grrrr....and don't even get me started on the bratty little toddler who wouldn't stop crying the ENTIRE FLIGHT!!!! I am so glad I brought earplugs...Typical Scandinavian parents who don't discipline (or even parent) their children
just let the little bugger scream his head off without batting an eye. Now before I get a bunch of angry parents out there telling me that I have no room to talk because I don't have kids, let me say this: I don't have kids of my own but I might as well because my cousins all have enough to populate their own village and I take care of them a lot of the time, so I know a thing or two about kids' behavior and how to deal with them. I also would have given the boy the benefit of the doubt and said he was probably just tired and in pain from the pressure on his ears, but
this kid started screaming long before we were even about to taxi down the runway and didn't stop until several hours into the flight, which even then was only a momentary silence. Anyway, enough about the brat. I managed to sleep a good 4+ hours so I can't complain too much. We arrived in Copenhagen safe and sound and all of our luggage made it too, so that was a blessing. The bad news was that we had missed our original train to Linköping (where my
relatives live) by a looong stretch, and had even missed the second train that my aunt had kindly re-booked for us when she heard we were delayed, because that extra hour waiting on the sick guy to get taken care of cost us the time to make it to the train. (I know I know, shame on me, I really do hope the man is doing better). Anyhoo. So we were kind of in a pickle, because if we took the "night train" it would take us all the way to Stockholm first (about 2 hours out of the way) and wouldn't let us off until about 7 am. If we got a rental car, it would be PappaHila driving the 5 and a half hours it takes to get there because I'm not old enough to drive a rental car and MammaHila was too scared. If we took the bus, it would get us there more directly but would still take 6 hours and wouldn't get to where we needed to be until 3:30 in the morning. It was a meckofa hess. In the end we decided on the bus, which went smoothly and got us there intact. But boy were we all tired. *sigh* Let's hope my trip back
doesn't requre an entry this long!


Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Hi ho, Hi ho, it's off to the tundra I go!

Hello, blogheads! :-)

Yet another one of my quickie stop-ins to say hello and to let you all know that I'll be absent for awhile. I am going to be in The Land of the Really Blonde People and Lots of Snow visiting my paternal grandparents and some other relatives.

It's a good thing I managed to get my passport in just ONE DAY!!! Yes folks, I know they tell you that it takes 6 weeks to get a passport, but if you're sly and wily like Hila, you can get it in just a few short hours! How, you ask? Be a dingleberry and misplace your passport and not realize it until a few short days before your trip is scheduled to occur. Fill out all necessary forms and have all required forms of identification as specified by the gov't and be willing to shell out a large chunk of change and bada-boom, bada-bing, prest-o change-o rearrange-o, you'll have a shiny, new, United States passport in no time! :-D

Actually, I take that back. You'll have it, but you will have to wait for it. And wait for it. And wait for it. I am not joking when I say that you actually have to make an appointment to wait to see a clerk. Seriously. What. the. heck. I called and made an appointment, foolishly thinking that upon arrival I'd simply check in with a receptionist of sorts and would soon be pleading my sorry case to some desk jockey and then away I'd go. Much to my chagrin, however, this was not to be. Instead, I had to wait in line just to check in with the receptionist, who gave me a number so I could sit and wait 30 minutes (mind you I HAD AN APPOINTMENT) to speak to someone, just to in turn wait 4 hours to come back and WAIT AGAIN for them to call my name when my passport was finished, which I was informed would be processed at random...Egads is all I have to say about that!

Anyhoo, back to my trip to Sveeeeeden (aka the Frozen Tundra) Am I excited, you ask? Of course! I haven't seen my grandparents in over a year, so I am really looking forward to spending time with them. I am not, however, looking forward to the only 6 hours of sunlight a day and the -2384939843 degree temperature and the 4.23775 feet of snow that will be on the ground...Ok, ok, so I'm exaggerating. But not about the darkness. That's gonna be a trip.

Anyway, I'll be thinking about you all while I'm on my little vacation. I'll be back in time for New Year's Eve so maybe I'll post a little around then!

Wish me luck in my travels!


Tuesday, December 19, 2006

A Home of His Own

Hey everyone...

Chanukah Sameach! Just checking in real quick to say hello, and also to put up this
very important link to MOChossid's post about a wonderful boy called Judah. Please take the time to read his post and see if you, or any one you know, would be willing and able to give this sweet young man a place to call home.

Hope you are all enjoying your time with your loved ones and your latkes!


Monday, December 11, 2006

So inspiring...Makes me believe in chesed again

Ok, I know I am a sap, but I just had to post this video link. Free Hugs Guy--Juan Mann No doubt a lot of you have probably seen it already (it's been featured on Oprah). At first I thought maybe it was a joke, but if you watch the whole video, it's really awe-inspiring. What a simple act, and yet it can mean so much.

I'm a firm believer in the "little things." When I was a teenager, I wrote a speech once about how you don't have to think big to make a difference in the world. Small gestures, like opening the door for someone else, smiling at someone you pass, saying hello or simply waving can all make a positive impact. I'm a firm believer in these things, and I make a conscious effort to do them every day. I'm always amazed at the reactions I get. Sure, sometimes people probably wonder why I am smiling at them as I pass them on the street, but more often than not they smile back. When I hold the door open to a lecture hall or restaurant, I am always greeted with "thank-you" and "you're so kind, thanks so much" and the like. I'd have to be a liar to say that this doesn't make me feel good in return. I wouldn't call it an ego boost, but it certainly lifts my spirits and inspires me to take on bigger challenges. One small step at a time, folks. We can do it.

*sigh* Back to studying now. And I PROMISE my post that RaggedyMom
inspired will be up soon. I just couldn't pass this up for now!


Thursday, December 07, 2006

I've been tagged!!!

Hooray! I've been tagged for my first blog meme! I'm going to post all of my "yes" answers in bold white and everything else will be normal text. I may add in some commentary in italics


01. Bought everyone in the bar a drink I'm a poor college student, what do you think? :-p
02. Swam with wild dolphins I've never swam with them, but I've seen them from my Grandpa's sailboat, does that count?
03. CLIMBED A MOUNTAIN. Several different ones, in fact. Mt. Rainier, Storm King Mountain, and Mt. Fuji to name a few.
04. Taken a Ferrari for a test drive. I don't think they'd even let me on the lot! That is, if there even were a Ferrari dealer out here in the boonies!
05. Been inside the Great Pyramid Not yet, but someday soon, G-d willing!
06. Held a tarantula Eew gross, NO!
07. Taken a candlelit bath with someone. Not yet, but maybe once I'm married :-)
08. SAID "I LOVE YOU AND MEANT IT" Yeah, to my family and friends...
09. HUGGED A TREE. I'm with Raggedy Mom on this one, I hugged everything as a little kid!
10. Bungee jumped. No, but PappaHila promises to take me sometime in the near future (when we can sneak it past MammaHila)
11. VISITED PARIS. Class trip after my freshman year of high school. 'Twas good times!
12. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Seen the Northern Lights.
15. GONE TO A HUGE SPORTS GAME. STL Cardinals, Seattle Mariners, Chi-town White Sox, etc...
16. Walked the stairs to the top of the leaning Tower of Pisa.
17. GROWN AND EATEN YOUR OWN VEGETABLES. Yes, when I was younger we had quite the garden.
18. Touched an iceberg
20. CHANGED A BABY'S DIAPER. Plenty of times. I babysit for my Rabbi's kids, as well as my cousins' and neighbors.
21. Taken a trip in a hot air balloon
23. GOTTEN DRUNK ON CHAMPAGNE. I'm Swedish, I'm Jewish, and I'm a college kid. Triple strike right there!
24. Given more than you can afford to charity
26. HAD AN UNCONTROLLABLE GIGGLING FIT Um yeah, a lot. Especially with my crazy and amazing friends.
27. HAD A FOOD FIGHT. Yeah, and my MOM was the one who started it!!!
28. Bet on a winning horse
29. ASKED OUT A STRANGER. On a bet, and it actually turned out pretty well. We're still friends, so that's a plus :-)
30. HAD A SNOWBALL FIGHT. Yes, I have brothers. Need I say more?
31. SCREAMED AS LOUDLY AS YOU POSSIBLY CAN. PappaHila is a retired Marine, and former Drill Sargeant and Master Sargeant. Try getting into a screaming match to see who is loudest. PappaHila will always win.
32. Held a Lamb.
33. Seen a total eclipse of the moon.
34. RIDDEN A ROLLER-COASTER. Yeah and they still scare the pee-waddin' outta me to this day!
35. Hit a home run *snort*
36. DANCED LIKE A FOOL.If any of you knew me in real life, you'd be laughing your heads off right now!
37. ADOPTED AN ACCENT FOR AN ENTIRE DAY. Yeah, MammaHila still complains that I sound like I'm from "Chicaaaaagoowww" whenever I visit on break.
39. Had two hard drives for your computer.
40. Visited all 50 states.
44. WATCHED WILD WHALES. Once again viewed from Grandpa's sailboat.
Yeah, I took a men's bathroom sign from a restaurant one time cuz it had fallen off.
46. Backpacked in Europe.
48. Gone rock climbing
49. Midnight walk on the beach. Who stays up that late on purpose?
50. Gone sky diving
51. Visited Ireland.
52. Been heartbroken longer than you were actually in love
53. In a restaurant, sat at a stranger's table and had a meal with them
54. VISITED JAPAN. Actually, I lived there. For over a year. Konnichi wa!
56. Alphabetized your CDs
57. Pretended to be a superhero
58. SUNG KARAOKE. I've done it where it originated, even! And I DOMINATE the playstation game, "Songstar" so don't even mess with me! :-D
59. LOUNGED AROUND in bed all day. Again, I'm in college :-D
60. PLAYED TOUCH FOOTBALL. I have a gaggle of cousins. Go figure!
61. Gone scuba diving
62. Kissed IN THE RAIN
63. PLAYED IN THE MUD. Here in college, we do a lil' something known as "Quad Diving" where we jump around in the mud on our Quad when its raining. Awesome times!
64. Played IN THE RAIN
66. Visited the Great Wall of China
67. Started a business
71. Played D&D for more than 6 hours straight. What is that?
72. Gotten Married.
73. Been in a movie
74. Crashed a party
75. Gotten divorced
76. Gone without food for 5 days
78. Won first prize in a costume contest
79. Ridden a gondola in Venice
80. GOTTEN A TATTOO. I know, I know. Shock. Gasp. Horror. I got them before I learned that we (meaning Jews) aren't supposed to. So shoot me.
81. Rafted the Snake River
82. Been on television news programs as an "expert"
84. PERFORMED ON STAGE. I have been dancing since I was 6, acting since I was 11, and singing since I was 14. You do the math :-D
85. Been to Las Vegas
86. Recorded music
87. Eaten shark
88. Kissed on the first date
89. Gone to Thailand
90. Bought a home.
91. Been in a combat zone.
92. Buried one/both of your parents
93. Been on a cruise ship
95. Performed in Rocky Horror
96. Raised children. Again, not married...Although I guess in today's world that's not necessarily a pre-requisite...
97. Followed your favorite band/singer on tour
99. Taken an exotic bicycle tour in a foreign country
100. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over
101. Walked the Golden Gate Bridge
102. SANG LOUDLY IN THE CAR, and didn't stop when you knew someone was looking
103. Had plastic surgery.
104. Survived an accident that you shouldn't have survived
105. Wrote articles for a large publication.
106. Lost over 100 pounds
107. Held someone while they were having a flashback. I counsel survivors of sexual assault, so this is a pretty regular occurrence.
108. Piloted an airplane
109. Touched a stingray.
110. BROKEN SOMEONE'S HEART. So I've been told. But man, that sounds conceited. And depressing. *sigh*
111. Helped an animal give birth
112. Won money on a T.V. game show
113. BROKEN A BONE. My nose (lil bro smacked into me during a game of Blindman's Bluff) and my middle finger of my left hand (Cousin slammed my hand in a car door)
114. Gone on an African photo safari
115. HAD A FACIAL PART PIERCED OTHER THAN YOUR EARS. I used to have my nose pierced, but MammaHila practically disowned me for it, so I took it out. You can't even tell I ever had it.
116. FIRED A RIFLE, shotgun, or pistol.
118. RIDDEN A HORSE. I have been riding since I was about 5. I love horses!
119. Had major surgery
120. Had a snake as a pet. No, but I used to find garter snakes out behind my house in the woods and bring them home to show my mom.
121. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon. No, but I've been to the top of it :-)
122. Slept for more than 30 hours over the course of 48 hours.
123. Visited more foreign countries than U.S. states.
124. Visited all 7 continents
125. Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days
126. Eaten kangaroo meat
127. EATEN SUSHI. I lived in Japan. It's sacrilege not to. Although I'm not a fan of fish in general, so I don't make a habit out of it.
129. CHANGED SOMEONE'S MIND about something you care deeply about
130. Gone back to school. Uh, I'm still in school. Duh. :-)
131. Parasailed
132. TOUCHED A COCKROACH. Only to smash it with my shoe/book/any other hard object I can get my hands on.
133. EATEN FRIED GREEN TOMATOES. Yes, my Midwestern family likes to think they are from the Deep South, so they actually MAKE fried green tomatoes. And let me tell you, they are A-MA-ZING!!!
134. READ THE ILIAD AND THE ODDYSEY. In 6th grade my Social Studies/English teacher told us the story, complete with voices and acted-out scenes. But I did actually read it my freshman year of college.
135. Selected one "important author" who you missed in high school, and read.
136. Killed and prepared an animal for eating.
137. Skipped all your school reunions
138. COMMUNICATED WITH someone without sharing a common spoken language.
139. Been elected (dictator) to public office. Not unless being elected Secretary for F.C.C.L.A. counts???
140. Written your own computer language
141. Thought to yourself that you're living your dream.
142. Had to put someone you love into hospice care
143. Built your own PC from parts
144. Sold your own artwork to someone who didn't know you
145. Had a booth at a street fair
146. DYED YOUR HAIR. I got tired of being platinum blonde my sophomore year of college so I went to auburn red. I had to dye my eyebrows too because they are so light. I was tired of it about 2 months later and it was so ridiculous to keep up, so I went back to my signature blonde. People recognize me this way :-)
147. Been a DJ
148. Shaved your head
149. Caused a car accident
150. Saved someone's life

That was fun! Ok, now I'm tagging:
Chana (Jewess with Horns)

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Thank you, thank you---I'll be here all week

A big thanks to RaggedyMom for mentioning me in her post "International Promote-a-blog Week"

You definitely should check her blog out, if you haven't already. She's definitely one of my new favorites! And I just happened to read her latest post, and it has inspired me to write my next one--hooray! Too bad I probably won't get to write it until next week.

I have a final this week and it's also the last week of class before finals, so it's time that I hole myself up in the library fowevew (*Homestar voice*)

In other news, today is indeed my Birthday. Gratis på födelsedagen to me :-)

Hope everyone had a good Shabbat, I know I did! Until next time, as we say in Sverige, "Vi ses" ("See you later", literally "We will see eachother in the future")

More on all that stuff next time, though! Ta ta!


Monday, November 27, 2006

Hello again!

Hey everyone,

Just wanted to say hello again and that I hope everyone had an enjoyable Thanksgiving! I know I certainly did. I was definitely proud of the way my pumpkin and apple pies turned out! Apple pie is my specialty, but I'd never made pumpkin pie before, so I was a bit nervous.

Anyhoo...Now I'm back at school, and let me tell you, I can't wait to be done! Only two more weeks of class, and then finals. Thank goodness. Blogging will be somewhat limited in the next couple of weeks, probably, but I hope that those of you who actually do read this don't disappear completely! I promise to post at least once a week, ok? :-)

Alrighty, time to get crackin' on my homework (yeah, right!) hahahah


Thursday, November 16, 2006


Hello there, Blogland!

So, I had a bunch of *great* ideas for posts, and somehow in the miraculous act known as sleep, I lost them all. So alas and alack, I've got nothing. Cwap

Oh shoot! I just noticed this little warning doo-hickey that says there's a scheduled outage for 12:30, and it's 12:19 right now. It also says PST, so maybe I don't have to worry...But just in case, I'll stop for now and come back later.

The only real point I had to making this post was to announce that I'll be venturing even further into the cornfields (known as "home") for Thanksgiving break, but first I'll be spending Shabbat/ the weekend in Chicago (and hopefully making it to Milwaukee on the 18th!). I'm really excited because I'm heading up this evening, and so before Shabbat tomorrow MammaHila is going to go shopping with me! Woohoo...'Cuz ya know, I have to by birthday presents and what not...Seems like every darn relative I have has a birthday from Nov.1- Jan. 31st...Hmmm...Interesting point to ponder. But I digress. Bottom line is I need to get busy. Wish me luck dashing around and avoiding all the Christmas shoppers who will no doubt be all decked out in red and green splendor and buying like crazy. This will undoubtedly include MammaHila, who goes nuts at Christmas. Should be good times, as always!

Have a safe and happy Shabbat, as always! And a great Thanksgiving surrounded by your loved ones if I don't get to post again for you all before then!


Monday, November 13, 2006

Dad is great! Gives us chocolate cake!

Click on the title for the link to PT's original post. Read on for my thoughts that are only related to said post in terms of the fact that they are about my Dad:

This post is dedicated to my adorable, goofy Dad. I call him Pappa, actually, and have since I was little. I can remember all of my friends at school looking at me funny because I didn't call him Dad or Daddy. But he wasn't Dad. He wasn't Daddy. He was Pappa. I didn't know why until I was a little older, I just knew that I didn't call him anything but Pappa. My Mom tells me that when they got married, he insisted that no matter what, the children were not going to call him Dad or Daddy, it was going to be Pappa or else they'd call him by his first name, but he wanted them to use the Swedish word. I'm almost 22 and I still can't bring myself to call him anything but Pappa.

Anyhoo, over the years many a person has commented on how much I resemble my dear old Pa, both in terms of looks and personality (I've yet to determine if either way is complimentary, but alas). My Pappa is a character, someone I look up to immensely yet often find myself groaning in embarrassment from in front of other people. Of course, as PT (and Shfira, too, I believe) has said, parents live to embarrass their kids, and I think this is especially true of fathers, because we all know that wives are really second moms to their husbands. ;-)

My Pappa is funny. He's smart. So smart, even, that I kid you not, many of my friends are convinced that he's a spy. Obviously, we will never know, for if he is/was, he cannot tell us about it. But we get a kick out of dreaming up crazy spy stories and adventures for PappaHila to go on, fighting evil and terror worldwide! LOL.

The reason I was inspired to write this post was a conversation I had with my Pappa this weekend. You see, the school I go to has a Dad's Weekend in the fall, and a Mom's Weekend in the spring. So PappaHila came to visit me for the weekend. It is a rare occasion that I get to spend one-on-one time with my pops, so it was a great time. It was especially great to get to talk to him about a variety of things, instead of just the usual things we talk about, like school and financial aid and all the minute details of life. Instead, we had a really interesting and lengthy talk about religion. I guess I've never really talked too much on here about how I've come to want to be Jewish, and I'll save it for another post 'cuz otherwise it'd take forever, but suffice it to say that my Pappa did not grow up being religious at all. He told me this weekend that he pretty much decided around the time of his Confirmation in the Lutheran Church (which used to be the State Church of Sweden, when PappaHila was growing up there) that he thought it was pretty much poppycock and that he wasn't going to swallow all the hoohah that they were trying to push down his throat. Instead, he says, he decided that he'd figure out what religions/G-d/spirituality were all about on his own, in his own way, and on his own terms. Hmmm, so THAT'S where I get my independent/stubborn streak from?? No way!!

So anyway, we were sitting in my dorm room, and he happened to notice the plethora of books on Judaism lining my shelves---I explained that some of them were for classes I had taken/was taking, and that others were just ones I found interesting. And that's when we got to talking about religion, etc. It was interesting to talk to my Pappa about this stuff, because he didn't try to lecture me about wrong vs. right or anything, he didn't try to tell me I was a nutjob for not believing in Jesus, etc. He just listened to me, applauded me for having done my homework and research, and told me that he firmly believes that the most important thing is for someone to find their own path, whatever it may be, that works for them and fulfills whatever needs they have. So, he said, if that means Judaism or Islam or Buddhism, then do it. "I don't have to agree with you to see your point of view." I couldn't agree more. I don't believe anyone else is "wrong" in the sense that they aren't entitled to fulfillment via religious practice just as much as I am because I've picked the "right" religion, I just don't identify/understand their beliefs because they don't make sense to me. And that's ok. It doesn't have to make sense because I've found what does.

I am so lucky that my Pappa is so understanding. Finding where one fits in the world is difficult, and religion/spirituality is often the most controversial one amongst families. Baruch Hashem, my father understands my need to do my own thang, and hasn't tried to make me feel ashamed for following what I believe. I am so lucky.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Public Service Announcement...I promise I'll limit these but this one is too important

I found this little gem when I was being a bum and reading blogs---go figure, right? Well, as I've mentioned before, I'm involved in the anti-rape movement very heavily, and it's a cause that's very important to me. This pretty much sums up the message I give to the literally thousands of students I facilitate workshops for each year. I only hope that somehow, someday, it will get through and sink in.


A lot has been said about how to prevent rape. Women should learn self-defense. Women should lock themselves in their houses after dark. Women shouldn't have long hair and women shouldn't wear short skirts. Women shouldn't leave drinks unattended. [F*], they shouldn't dare to get drunk at all. Instead of that [b*s*], how about:

If a woman is drunk, don't rape her.
If a woman is walking alone at night, don't rape her.
If a women is drugged and unconscious, don't rape her.
If a woman is wearing a short skirt, don't rape her.
If a woman is jogging in a park at 5 am, don't rape her.
If a woman looks like your ex-girlfriend you're still hung up on, don't rape her.
If a woman is asleep in her bed, don't rape her.
If a woman is asleep in your bed, don't rape her.
If a woman is doing her laundry, don't rape her.
If a woman is in a coma, don't rape her.
If a woman changes her mind in the middle of or about a particular activity, don't rape her.
If a woman has repeatedly refused a certain activity, don't rape her.
If a woman is not yet a woman, but a child, don't rape her.
If your girlfriend or wife is not in the mood, don't rape her.
If your step-daughter is watching TV, don't rape her.
If you break into a house and find a woman there, don't rape her.
If your friend thinks it's okay to rape someone, tell him it's not, and that he's not your friend.
If your "friend" tells you he raped someone, report him to the police.
If your frat-brother or another guy at the party tells you there's an unconscious woman upstairs and it's your turn, don't rape her, call the police and tell the guy he's a rapist.
Tell your sons, god-sons, nephews, grandsons, sons of friends it's not okay to rape someone.
Don't tell your women friends how to be safe and avoid rape.
Don't imply that she could have avoided it if she'd only done/not done x.
Don't imply that it's in any way her fault.
Don't let silence imply agreement when someone tells you he "got some" with the drunk girl.
Don't perpetuate a culture that tells you that you have no control over or responsibility for your actions. You can, too, help yourself.

If you agree, re-post it. It's that important.

This goes for any gendered rape, male on female or female on male or female on female or FTM on MTF or non gendered to dual gendered and so on and so forth....

-author unknown

Friday, November 03, 2006

Of cabbages and kings....Or, On Christian Fundamentalists: Man do they bug me!

Tonight I decided to post an interesting conversation I had on instant messenger with one of my dearest friends, whom I'll call Chaya for the sake of this post. I was just soooo fuming stinking mad after reading this stuff that she showed me that I couldn't help but share it. I usually try to be as accepting as possible of other faiths/religions/spiritual paths/lifestyles, but this is just ridiculous...And people wonder why I turned away from Christianity!!!! (Not that I was raised in this kind of Christianity, but you get my drift)...

Note: Some of the language maybe be somewhat offensive to some people, although I don't think it would be considered inappropriate (no cussing or anything). Please keep in mind that this was a conversation between myself and a friend and we were both having very heated reactions to the information we were discovering...

With that said, please enjoy and feel free to add you thoughts and opinions in the comments section!

Chaya: OMG
Chaya: crazy fundie alert
Hila: lol
Hila: wha?
Chaya: also check out this bit of pious wifely duty:[tt_news]=81&tx_ttnews[backPid]=72&cHash=9044220656
Hila: WTF i can just tell from the URL that its fundie
Chaya: hahahhahahaha
Chaya: read that second link. itll blow your mind
Hila: lol
Hila: ok im on it right now
Chaya: the last page is the "best"
Hila: hahah i am waiting for it
Hila: God Hates DIVORCE
Hila: *yikes*
Chaya: more than beating people and raping kids, apparently!
Hila: yup
Hila: and you know what, this wackjob is SOOO wrong
Chaya: im so glad i dont worship that "god"
Hila: yeah no s***
Hila: i mean, divorce in Judaism is perfectly legal
Hila: in fact, husbands HAVE to grant a divorce to their wives if in any way they violate the ketubah (the marriage contract)
Hila: and this is just in a religious context, we're not talking civil
Chaya: right
Chaya: you knwo what i hate about christianity?
Chaya: notice how all the bible they quote is corinthians, romans, etc
Hila: umm i can think of lots of things
Chaya: why should i give a s*** what paul had to say?
Hila: yeah the occasional matthew, mark, luke, john
Hila: why is his word GOSPEL more than any other disciple of jesus over the past 2000 years
Hila: but rare....always corinthians and romans,
Chaya: i thought the gospel was supposed to be frickin jesus
Hila: i did too
Hila: um, maybe paul was really jesus? :-P
Chaya: romans is the one they pull out for the gay bashing, theres one about laying with another man or something
Hila: well its in leviticus ch. 18
Chaya: obviously paul is more important than jesus, he has like 10 books compared to 4
Hila: which is old testament
Chaya: yeah, theres leviticus and romans
Hila: but they fail to quote that because they REFUSE to follow the old testament, unless it suits them
Hila: thats another thing that doesnt make sense
Chaya: but leviticus, well when thees people start refusing to wear clothing made of mixed cloth, and when they keep kosher, ill take them seriously
Hila: they want to include the Old Testament in the "Bible" but refuse to follow it unless it fits their needs...Yeah no kidding! Thats what i was abotu to say!
Chaya: until then theyre just picking and choosing so they can justify hating gay people
Hila: exactly
Hila: there have even been many rabbis who have said that the translation of the words in hebrew in the sentence from Leviticus "Thou shalt not lie with another man as with a woman, it is an abomination/abhorrence" really is not meant to be taken so seriously
Hila: like, its not good because you cant produce children and therefore you're not fulfilling Gods will to the fullest extent, but it doesnt mean that you will be struck down by lightning
Chaya: right... and honestly, is the need to produce children in our civilization as pressing as it was for an ancient civilization that depended on kids for labor and population?
Hila: nope
Hila: and thats another point of judaism---a bit of a conflict amongst orthodox /conservative/reform jews
Hila: but still most jews have realize that our world is over populated as it is
Hila: the main reason ortho families have so many kids is because of the dying Jewish population, not so much because they want to populate the world
Hila: but you know what i mean
Chaya: right
Chaya: yeah and i understand that, but its not like its like "you are a sinner if you dont have 10 kids" like fundies are
Chaya: because its "what god wants"
Chaya: wow: But if your husband has sexually molested the children, you should approach him with it. If he is truly repentant (not just exposed) and is willing to seek counseling, you may feel comfortable giving him an opportunity to prove himself, as long as you know the children are safe. If there is any thought that they are not safe, or if he is not repentant and willing to seek help, then go to the law and have him arrested. Stick by him, but testify against him in court. Have him do about 10 to 20 years, and by the time he gets out, you will have raised the kids, and you can be waiting for him with open arms of forgiveness and restitution.
Hila: ugh see i just closed the page because i couldnt read any more
Hila: i didnt even get that far
Hila: but now i have to read it for myself!
Chaya: thats definitely the worst... theres also advice if you are physically abused. the trick is to be a doormat, and loving and not punish your man so that his heart will be warmed by how loving you are towards him
Chaya: If your abusing husband fully understands that you have the power of the law behind you, he will learn to keep his hands in his pockets. I am not suggesting you do this to be vindictive or to get even with him. It must be done in humility and love. If your husbands knows that you are the weaker vessel, desperately seeking your survival and that of the kids, and that you are not trying to punish him, but that you are going to stand by and continue to love him, that you are going to wait for him to get out of prison and then try to start over again, it may move his heart to fear if not to repentance.
Hila: OMFG
Hila: SERIOUSLY I like want to report this it is soooooooo vile
Hila: I dont know who I would report it to but DAMN
Chaya: i know. what they are advocating is illegal... the part about forgiving your molesting husband because god wants you to... its a felony to knowingly expose kids to a sexual predator
Chaya: this same site has child rearing "advice" which pretty much consists of beating the kids into submission
Chaya: i heard that they had to wait until the kids were adults to publish it for fear of PROSECUCTION
Hila: where did you hear that? i mean abotu the waiting till the kids were adults---and what kids? their own?
Chaya: i think so. someone on my blog said that so i have no corroboration for that statement
Hila: hmmm interesting
Hila: where's the beating part LOL
Hila: these people should be turned into the police
Chaya: The following article is designed to be used as a resource in defending your faith on Biblical child training. If the Federal or State agencies take me to court over advocating corporal chastisement, this will be part of my defense.
Hila: WTF!!!!!!!!!!
Hila: Oh dear GOD!!!
Hila: who the hell can we tell about this---seriously i want to vomit even more now!
Chaya: i know. the sucky thing about the internet is its not within state boundaries.... i dunno where these wackf***s live, i assume someone has reported them... and im not sure of the law here. i am not sure if writing a book advocating child abuse is illegal, or if youd actually have to have evidence of a real life kid who is abused
Hila: yeah it blows.....grrr, ok, there they go again f****** quoting the Old Testament only when it suits them
Hila: let me tell you, Jewish parents DO NOT HIT THEIR CHILDREN
Chaya: oh god, im sure not
Hila: Maybe in some cases
Chaya: this seems to be a fundy xtian phenomenon
Chaya: i mean im sure some have but not because they thought gawd was telling them to

And that's where I'll leave off with that. Again, I'm sorry to any of you who are offended, or who do not agree with my interpretation/representation of Jewish beliefs. But it's my blog. I can say what I want. Gotta love the internet :-)

Fighting Fundies since 1984

Ok, so to preface this post, I want to turn your attention to the illustrious Fred Phelps, if you haven't already heard of him. His various websites include,, and This man is BEYOND what I affectionately call "fundie" principles. The following is an email that I sent to the "Westboro Baptist Church" I put the title in quotes because, as far as I know, no real church of any kind would support the kind of hatemongering whackjob beliefs that Phelps and his family's "church" preach. Please note that much of this e-mail is intentionally tongue-in-cheek. Enjoy.


I am a Swedish Jew. And a woman. So yes, I know, I'm going to hell,
according to your principles. I am curious, however, who is NOT going
to hell, then? If I am correct, according to what I have found at your
site, the following kinds of people are going to hell:


Now, if we expand that and look at it further, we see that that pretty
much leaves no one except for members of the Westboro Baptist Church
who are going to heaven, because the reason Americans are going to
hell is because they live in a country that supports gays, which are
considered an abomination according to the Bible. So, we can infer
then that non-believers are also going to hell, which would include
anyone who does not strictly adhere to the doctrine of Fred Phelps
and/or the Westboro Baptist Church. Therefore we can safely assume
that all peoples of other religions/beliefs, even within Protestant
Christianity, are doomed to the fiery depths of hell. This would mean
that approximately 4.4 billion people (at least) are most assuredly
going to hell (this is based on my research of how many people
identify with various belief systems throughout the world.
Christianity in all its variations comes in with around 1.6 billion
followers worldwide).Am I correct so far?

So, another question I have is, if you hate gays and America, in turn,
for "supporting" gays, then why are you still here? I mean, it's a
free country, after all---you can leave at any time and I'm sure no
one will mind too much. Now don't get me wrong, I am all for you
having your right to free speech---so I'm not about to tell you to
shut up. I really could care less, you see. I'm just curious. I mean,
America is basically an abyss of perverted nutjob sinners, so why
stay? How about Canada? You could move to Russia, too,
perhaps--Siberia is pretty deserted so there's no risk of crazy
fag-lovers there!

Oh, and about your stance on "Bloody Butcher Bush": shouldn't you be
praising him? I mean, your site clearly states that you wish the
numbers of dead soldiers in Iraq were exponentially higher than they
currently are, so shouldn't you be thanking Bush for sending the evil
fag perverts over to get killed? Call me crazy but I'd be dancing
around a bonfire chanting his name if I were you. Alas, I'm just a
stupid Swedish Jewish woman. What would I know?


A tree-hugging-liberal-feminist-queer

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Oh Fundamentalists/Extremists...How I LOATHE thee!

Editor's Note: I have changed some of this post because I realized that I was being unfairly critical and not keeping in mind that there are indeed fundamentalists and extremists in every religion (at least the 3 "major" ones). Since this post I have written about my distaste for Christian fundamentalism and extremism, but I have yet to work up anything about Judaism. Don't worry, though, I've been gathering some great material, and I'll be scribbling something down pretty soon here.

Wow. Words cannot even begin to describe how appalled I am by this article (click on the title of the post)!!! Now before someone jumps down my throat accusing me of being a Muslim-hater, just hold on to your socks there, folks, and let me explain. I don't approve of fundamentalism, in any form. I strongly dislike Christian fundamentalists (see November archives). I am also very much against Jewish fundamentalism. I don't think that any time where people go beyond logic and reason and try to impose their idiotic beliefs on others can be considered righteous or moral, regardless of the faith I choose to follow or which faith issues the decree. I value all religions and all faiths, even if I do not hold the same views that they do. I also respect people first and foremost for what they are, humans. Shocker, huh? Yeah, I know...

So before anyone sends me hate mail, please note that I will be posting more of my opinions on all kinds of fundamentalism whenever I come across it. All in good time, folks, all in good time.

Original Post:
(I am keeping the following here because I feel that it is appropriate material for those who are unaware of what the main views of women are within Orthodox Judaism. Of course, this is not the fundamentalist viewpoint, which as I said above, I'll get to sometime soon.)
In Judaism, women are beloved. They are mothers, wives, sisters, and daughters who are cherished and protected. Some might think that they are not viewed as such because they do not understand the halacha regarding issues of tznius (modesty--in dress, conduct, and thought) and about why men and women are separated in shul (synagogue), why women don't participate in leading services/read Torah, etc. Of course, to someone on the outside, this all would seem anti-feminist in a way, but it is far from anti-women at all.

Judaism tells us that there are separate roles for men and women, and respects both of these roles deeply and equally. It recognizes that the Jewish mother is the pinnacle of the family, she is the center around which her family's world turns. She is not a piece of meat to be abused, mistreated, and degraded. She is not to blame for someone else's actions. Tznius requires modesty in both men and women, and it is ultimately the fault of the person who commits a crime (such as rape) and not the victim "just because she wasn't dressed modestly."

As someone who is very involved in the anti-rape and domestic violence awareness movement, this kind of article appalls me because it suggests that the reason men rape is because of sexual attraction to women that they cannot control. This is so far from untrue that it is almost laughable! Rape (sexual assault, if you prefer) is a crime of power and control. It has nothing to do with sex, except that sexual parts of the body are used as a medium to commit a crime. Women who are dressed provocatively are not at fault if they are raped. Nothing anyone does is a rape-able offense. We can't "make" people hit us, nor can we "make" someone rape.

I know it seems easier for us as a society to blame victims for something terrible happening to them, but to blame a person who has been raped really puts us at risk because we choose to believe that we can prevent rape. The sad truth is that we cannot prevent rape unless rapists stop raping. We need to stop trying to educate women about how to protect ourselves against predators who choose to take advantage of them, and start teaching our sons to be accountable, respectable men who respect women and do not objectify them (hmmm maybe we should just make them all live in Jewish homes??? hahaha)

Look at it this way: we wouldn't DARE blame the victims of terrorist attacks for going about their daily lives and "being in the wrong place at the wrong time," so WHY do we blame victims of rape for what someone else chose to do to them?!?!?!?

Just something to think about...

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

So excited!!!

I really should be getting to bed because it's 3:45 in the morning where I am, but alas, I am online reading blogs and whatnot! I am sooo super duper happy excited about this upcoming weekend!!! It's time for the XYZ Conference in ABC Town, Anystate, USA!!!! LOL!!! Originally I had put the real name of the conference/location, because I thought well, that doesn't really say where I'm from only where I'm going but after thinking about it a bit more I realized that the majority of people who go to said conference reside within a pretty limited area here in the US of A, so I changed it. Sorry. If you reaaaaallly wanna know, e-mail me and I'll tell you. Although you could wait until I get back, because I'll more than likely post about the workshops I attended, which will probably give away what conference it was anyway...*sigh* hahahah

Anyway,I went to this conference last year and it was such a blast, so I am really looking forward to it again this time! Unfortunately not all the cool people who went from my school last year are going this year, but it will still be a great time and I am looking forward to meeting lots of new people!

I'm already mentally packing all my outfits! hahahah I know, sad...But hey, a girl's gotta have aspirations ;-) jk!

I had the midterm from hell on Friday morning, but at least now things will calm down a bit for awhile...Yay for having my life back! Hahaha yeah, right, not for long!!! *sigh*

Other than school, not much is going on at the moment...Hope everyone is doing well! Look forward to reading all of your updates soon!


Tuesday, October 10, 2006


Chag Sameach!!! Hope everyone is enjoying Sukkot!! Shabbat/Erev Sukkot was such a great time! Had a lovely service that I actually got to help with, which was such a joy! We had some students from a group on campus that basically study other cultures/religions to learn about them and help with multicultural relations, so I got to speak with them and explain some of the customs of Shabbat, as well as the whole Sukkot business. It's funny that I was one of the people to speak to these kids, 'cuz often I feel like I don't know nearly as much as the rest of the people at services, but they keep telling me that I know more about Judaism than they do, so go figure! Either way it feels good to share the beautiful parts about Jewish life with another person!

Tonight we had Hebrew convo class w/ our Israel Fellow...He is SOOOO funny! I can't help but laugh when I'm around him---bless his heart, his English is so cute!!! And his girlfriend is just adorable! I can't get enough of the two of them!

After the class, I skipped back to shul for hookah in the sukkah....So much fun! We had a really great turn out, too!

Things are going well here. Lots of school work to keep up with, but I'm feeling pretty good about it all. Working on getting in better shape/losing weight hasn't been going so great lately with all the holiday food I've been eating, but hopefully I'll be back on track soon! I hope everyone is happy and healthy!


Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Yom Kippur, etc...

Gmar Chatima Tova! I hope everyone had a safe and easy fast. While I don't want to come off sounding like I'm bragging, I want to say that I am very proud of myself because I did manage to fast the whole time this time! I won't go into detail, but that's a big big big deal for me because I have some serious medical issues that require I take medicine which in turn requires that I eat, but after careful consideration I decided I would try and get through it and only eat if I absolutely had to (don't tell my doctor, he'd shoot me!) *evil laugh*

Anyhooooooo....What's new? Well, besides the fact that school=my life right now, not much. Learning more each and every day, trying to be a better person, etc. You know, the usual. Reading everyone else's blogs while not updating my own. I have to admit I'm not as techno-savvy as I thought I was! Darn.... Definitely need to read up on HTML coding, etc...

Oh, in good news, I have requested my official conversion application form---yes, this is it people, I'mma do it now!!!! :-D I have been wanting for so long to actually start the official Orthodox conversion process, but so many things seemed to be standing in my way. That changed this Rosh Hashanah, however, when I was introduced to someone (who shall of course remain nameless) who took the time to guide me in the right direction and help me get things sorted out that I needed in order to begin my "real" journey. See my first post as to why actually starting the official process would be/is difficult for me. (Main problem being lack of Ortho community around where I go to school/live---long drive to nearest place and I don't have a car) Baruch Hashem someone amazing who is on the same path as I am (has been practicing Judaism/exploring it for a bit of time but hadn't actually made the formal attempt to convert until now) has offered to let me accompany her on trips to the city-where- ojews-actually- live for Shabbat/classes. How amazing I feel about this!!! I cannot even describe it to you. I know some of you out there do not understand why anyone would want to convert to Judaism, and Orthodox Judaism in particular, and I can appreciate that. I did not understand that it was what I wanted myself when I first started studying religion. All I can say is that my soul truly feels at home among the Jewish people, I identify with the culture, the community, and most importantly, the religion. I have never felt so genuinely at peace than when I am davening and when I am at shul/amongst Jews. To those who read this and feel that I have no right to ask to be accepted among you, I ask for compassion to understand a "lost soul" who is making her way home. I in no way want to offend anyone, and if I have done so, or ever do so, please correct me.

*pause to wipe eyes* Yikes...See, this is what I mean, I get SUPER EMOTIONAL when I try and articulate my feelings about Judaism. I have never felt this before (and I wasn't raised without religion at all---quite the contrary, actually) I believe my soul was present at Mt.Sinai just like every Jewish soul that ever was or ever will be. I know it is true because my soul sings when I am among Jews, when I daven, when I perform every mitzvot of daily life. I am truly in awe of Hashem and I am so excited to be on this journey. And wow do I sound like some evangelical Christian whacko right-wing nut job on TBN right now!!! Wow, please excuse me. It's just my emotions are so overwhelming and this is where I choose to let them flow. So please understand. Or don't---that's your choice :-)

So, uh, yeah, anyway, I really feel like Hashem is opening up new doors for me in the form of the amazing people that are being brought into my life, and the wonderful things that have happened to me just in the past week or so. I am hoping to live up to the expectations he has for me, and to do my best to honor all of my commitments in the coming year. I hope everyone will be inscribed and sealed in the Book of Life for a healthy and prosperous year!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

learning Hebrew...etc...

Nothing much new going on here. Still recovering from a MAJOR sinus infection (gross!) but feeling much better... School pretty much consists of reading, reading, and more reading. Which is ok, since that's something I'm actually good at. Ha ha. Better than having to do chemistry or something awful like that.

Rosh Hashanah is coming up, and I'm excited for all the holiday festivities. I'm even taking the Rebbetzin's crash-course in how to read Hebrew (since I definitely don't know how right now) I have to say that I'm picking it up pretty quickly---I missed the first class last week and I still managed to pick up and follow along tonight at class! I think it's easier for me than for a lot of students because of my extensive knowledge of languages, especially ones that have different alphabets (and no, I didn't give myself away there, there are LOTS of languages that use different alphabets). Of course this class doesn't focus on actual understanding of Hebrew, but it's ok because a good portion of the text in the book is taken from the Siddur so I can follow it already anyway (I've been reading portions of the prayers with the transilterated Hebrew). Anyhoooooo.

I really need to daven now, my famliy is going through a bit of a rough time. A close family member is not doing well, health-wise, and we (my family and myself) are all quite afraid we may lose her soon. But I know HaShem will look out for her and all will be as it should be.

Well I hate to end on such a sour note, but I really am tired now and must get some reading done before bedtime. Plus, I want to watch re-runs of Project Runway :-)

Hope everyone is well!


Wednesday, August 30, 2006

back to school....back to school

back to school...back to school

Definitely have the song from "Billy madison" in my head...

School started last week, and already it feels like I've been here for 2 months! So much reading to do, I think my eyes are going to pop right out of my head. Guess that's what being an upperclassman is all about...:-
Missed Shabbat services at shul last week, which was sad. The first Shabbat back @ school is always so exciting, so I'm disappointed that I couldn't go, but I had to go home-home in the afternoon so oh well.

Loving where I'm living so far this year, so that's a plus :-) I also like my classes (for the most part) which will make actually going easier. LOL. I'm taking a really interesting class all about Jewish culture & customs, which is going to be fabulous. I loved the professor from a class I had with him last year, and I can tell I'm really gonna love this class because it's everything I've been wanting to learn about but haven't had the chance/resources to do so. And hey, what a great excuse to buy a Siddur and a great book all about the Jewish Holidays??? I even splurged and bought a book I saw that was listed as required reading for another one of this particular professor's classes, the Jewish Study Bible: TaNaKh Translation :-D heheheh *chuckles gleefully*

I really wish I knew how to actually put links to things in here like Chana and RenReb and Shifra and all the other "cool" J-bloggers do. Hmmm....Cha-na! *calls to Chana for help* heheheh sorry girl, you got suckered in! JK JK

Anyway, time to get back to the reading...Take care, everyone!!!


Wednesday, August 02, 2006

so sad...

Today is a "crying day" for me...

With all that is going on between Israel and Lebanon and everything, I just cannot seem to keep track of it all and it boggles my mind to no end...Add to that the fact that I have been working 24/7 (well not quite, but it sure seems like it)...So I don't have much time to keep up on the latest info. Of course it doesn't help that the news coverage around here isn't the greatest (suffice it to say that where I live, the Jewish population isn't exactly large and therefore, almost invisible...)

Anyway, that's not the point...I mean, it is important and it upsets me, but it isn't the only thing that's been on my mind lately... Mostly I have been sad that I haven't been able to study or learn any more about Judaism than what I had when I was still at school for the year. Not that that's anyone's fault but my own, but it makes me sad. Every day I want to learn something more, something that will bring me closer in my path towards Hashem.

I suppose I do learn something every day, through the blogs I read (goodness I've become addicted!) and the vast learning tool known as the World Wide Web :-)...but it isn't the same, somehow. I guess I don't feel like I've "learned" something until I've had an actual conversation with someone about it, until I've asked my questions and gotten some answers. But I feel so stupid sometimes, some of the questions I have seem so trivial and unimportant, and I have no clue who I should even ask.

My other big concern lately is finding a rabbi to actually help me convert...One would think that wouldn't be too much of a problem, seeing as there are plenty of rabbis who help conversion candidates all over the country. However, where I live...well, it doesn't exactly have a large Jewish community, and it certainly does not have a large Orthodox community. I mean, don't get my wrong, the rabbi at my shul at University is great--I've studied with him and the rebbetzin, and they have been more than happy to answer my questions...But the rabbi isn't certified/qualified (I don't really know he just told me he isn't authorized to do conversions) so I'm still sort of at square one. Hmph...

I suppose all of this sounds pretty pathetic, but hey, it's my blog and I can write about whatever I want. So there. :-P

Well, I suppose that's all for today...Time to get ready for work (again) :::sigh:::

PS: Shout out to Chana for helping me figure out how to delete/moderate comments--thanks a bunch!! :-)

Wednesday, June 28, 2006


well, as you can see i haven't updated this since i started it...*sigh* i've been so busy with working and everything that i haven't had time...oh well...

lots of things going on...wishing i was able to study more, missing shul because of work really sucks...can't wait to be back at school where i can be with all of my awesome jewish friends and talking to the rabbi and rebbetzin again :-)

had to have a fasting blood sugar test done this morning so i am starving---time to go eat some food. take care everyone!


Friday, May 12, 2006


So this is my attempt at making an "anonymous blog" seeing as how all the other ones I've had until this point have been pretty obviously mine...

I wanted a space where I could write about my spiritual journey and my path towards converting to Judaism. I wanted a place to say "this is who I am and this is why I have chosen this path" without fearing the repercussions such statements would have on myself and my family.

I wanted a place where I could sort out my wide array of personal contradictions, particularly my "culture clash" issues with being from a mixed heritage family and choosing a religion that no one in my family ever has.

I'm not looking for a huge fan base or any kind of ego boost, just
"putting my feelers out" to see if there really is life out there....

So that's it, in a nutshell. I hope that in finding an outlet for all of my random thoughts I may help someone else out there who is struggling to find a place in this world, to find out where his/her God is in all of this seemingly random string of events we call life...I know that my struggles and questions are not uniquely my own at their very essence: Why am I here? Why am I questioning what I know of God? Where should I go? What can I do? How do I do it?

Anyone who is questioning their religious/spiritual path/upbringing has these questions, not just those who wish to convert to Judaism, as I have chosen to do.

I also hope that this blog will be a way for me to find out more about the religious path I have decided to follow, and will help me better understand and follow God in all aspects of Jewish life.