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

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Truly a Tragedy

By now, I am sure, most have you are aware of the terrible tragedy that occurred at Virginia Tech yesterday. I don't have much to say on the subject, other than it breaks my heart, and shakes me to my very core.

I am sure that we are all praying for the families and loved ones of all those touched by this horrible event.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Freak Out Time

Ok folks...Or, RaggedyMom * Umm...So I'm in a bit of a pickle. Well, not really a pickle, so much, but I'm nervous. You see, I regularly attend Shabbat services at our University's Hillel but this week is different. That is because I have been asked to lead the Reform Services tonight. I've helped out in some way or another before when they've needed someone (High Holiday services, etc) but this is the first time I'll be completely on my own.

I have no qualms about it, in fact I'm honored that they would ask me, and also it's a boost to my already inflated ego because I get to sing but not only do I get to sing, I get to be in charge! Bwuahahahahah!!! Mmmm k, so I am a little evil. I'm ok with that ;-)

You see, while I consider myself to be very religious, and I try to live the most frum life I can, I don't always attend the Orthodox services at shul. Don't get me wrong, my rabbi "rocks my world" though I am not married to him! I have a great relationship with him and his wife, I have been a guest in their home, I babysit their children, etc. So it isn't because of that that I don't go to Orthodox services. No, it's because they are so freaking long and slow and boring. I went to a conference this past fall and attended Orthodox services at the Hillel at the college I was visiting, and it was AWESOME! Upbeat, enthusiastic, so full of joy and life. I was almost a bit scared that I'd accidentally walked into some Baptist revival or Evangelical service--just kidding! But the point is that I actually felt like I was a part of the service. Trust me, I understand that halacha about the mechitza, kol isha, etc. That doesn't bother me so much as the annoyingly monotonous and somber tone of the services at my Hillel. I think we need PT to come help us out and show us how it's done! Maybe it's because all of the men in the Orthodox services are completely tone deaf and they all seem to be obsessed with competing with each other to see who can be the loudest (and most off-key). I mean, "make a joyful noise unto the Lord" should apply regardless, right?

Anyway, so most of the time I attend Conservative or Reform services, depending on my mood. Thus, I am at least not completely in the dark about how the whole deal breaks down. I know which prayers are always done, which ones sometimes get thrown in, etc. (Pause) 1:15 p.m.

UPDATE 3:00p.m,: I just went to Hillel and got a Reform Siddur and the JCSC Intern was kind enough to go through it with me and make notes about which things we repeat, skip, or do in some odd fashion, so I feel much better about that.

Not that it would be a huge deal if I flubbed up a little bit, but I definitely want to make sure that I at least have a pretty good grasp on everything. It will probably be a small crowd anyway since it is Mom's Weekend here, but if need be I can always ask someone what tune they want to sing for a prayer or if they want to add something in--that's the beauty of Reform services, it's much more relaxed and therefore there isn't as much pressure on me (or anyone) to be perfect.

Alrighty, I guess I'm done babbling now. Time to read this week's parsha and try and come up with a meaningful d'var.

*You're the best! Thanks for the support!

Thursday, April 05, 2007

My First Passover Seder

Hello there J-bloggers! Sorry it has been an eternity since I've posted--I'm sure the 2 people who actually read this have since given up on me! School has kept me so stinkin' busy lately that I haven't had time to sit down and write anything worth reading. I'll post an update about what's been going on lately sometime in the next couple of days. For now, I thought I'd share my first Pesach experience.

You see, I "officially" decided to convert to Judaism in the Fall of 2005. In the Spring of 2006, I had to move home for various reasons, and did so right around Purim. Being from a small town (I mean reaaaallly small--4000 people give or take) there aren't any other Jews, let alone a shul. Anyway, suffice it to say that there wasn't really a way to get to a seder or do anything for Passover last year. So this year was my first official seder. (Ok yes I know there are seders on the first two nights, so I really mean my first two, but whatever, it sounds awkward)

Anyhoo... I don't really know what I want to write here. I mean, y'all know how the whole deal works so it's not like I have to explain it. I guess it was just an interesting experience for me. It was a "homestyle" seder so it was a combination of Hebrew and English---thank goodness for me because my Hebrew reading is slooooow! It was relaxed and fun yet meaningful and spiritual at the same time. There were students from all different backgrounds, so I didn't feel lost and everyone was like "Mazel tov that this is your first Pesach seder."

Just reason 5,30481 why I love Judaism and Jews :-)

Chag Sameach everyone! Hope your Pesach has gone off without a hitch so far