For parents (and family) of Converts

This past Friday I “officially” became a member of the tribe, with a Rabbinic conversion (Mikvah, Bris, and Beit Din). One of the last, and most important steps was telling my parents. In fact, I had written my conversion letter last July. With 32 year in the book of life under my belt, ripping the... Read more »

I'm Ready

As I prepare for my Mikvah and Beit Din, I’m struck by how Jewish I now consider myself. For a long-time, I considered myself a fraud, and because I lacked a Jewish past, was concerned about my Jewish future. My Jewishness was a Judaism of the head and not the heart. True I was well... Read more »

If It Walks Like a Duck…

If It Walks Like a Duck… In the Donald’s words, there is no one less Anti-Semitic you’ve ever seen. There is no one less racist, so sayeth our tiny handed, orange tinged, and unhinged leader. Trump, it has been noted, has Jewish grandchildren, a Jewish daughter and son-in-law. And according to Trump, Benjamin Netanyahu has... Read more »

The Past 3 Months

The Past 3 Months I haven’t written in a long time. I’ve been dealing with my own health issues, trying to get my mind and body right. At the beginning of 2017, I aimed for no smoking, daily meditation, exercise, healthy eating, and limiting stressors. A month in and I’m still smoke free (100 days... Read more »

Be the Light

Be the Light With the furlough day, I had some sorely needed time to myself. I started my day at the National Museum of Mexican Art, partly because I hadn’t been in over 7 years, and partially as a form of protest against America’s wall-building inclinations. Next up was the Ukrainian National Museum in West... Read more »

Islam and its Misconceptions

Islam and its Misconceptions On September 11 2001, I remember staring at TV screen in my high school weight room as part of a morning gym class. I was in study hall when the second tower was hit. We were dismissed an hour later. My mom stayed glued to the TV along with my brother... Read more »

Make America Fear Again

Make America Fear Again History is non-linear. Most places around the globe instinctively know that the best days are not always ahead, nor promised. America remains one of the few that views progress as inexorable, as inevitable as February snow in Minnesota. Students of history of course, know a different truth. America has retreated into itself... Read more »

What Now?

During the lunch hour, my wife called me crying. A woman of color from a rainbow family, and a member of a religious minority group – I could feel her shaking in fear and anger through the phone. She wanted reassurance, to know her place still remained in a post-Obama America. I could summon no words... Read more »

Today, God is a Cubs Fan

Today anyways, God is a Cubs fan. After 108 years of itinerant wandering, the Cubs are back to the Promised Land – and the Tribes of Israel have nothing on Cubs fans. 40 years? That’s peanuts compared to the curses of Goats, Black Cats, and headphone wearing Steve Bartmans. After Rizzo stepped on the bag,... Read more »

Goodbye 5776, Hello 5777

I thoroughly enjoyed my second High Holiday season. A year ago, I was just dipping my toe into the proverbial waters of Judaism. The words of Rabbi Zedek still stick with me: “Once you stop wanting to be a Jew, and actually become a Jew, you are a Jew.” There is the process of learning,... Read more »