Unatanatokef – Escaping the Shackles of My Hell

Posted on Sep 9, 2013 in Holidays, Religion

In between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur we Jews are prodded to remember, reflect and return. This past year, and honestly the year prior as well, have been well… Hell. I know, I know, Jews don’t believe in a place commonly known as “Hell”. It is just a bit different for us. For the past year my Hell has been right here on this earth, right here in my life, right hear in my head and right here in my heart. My Hell is a very personal solo...

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The Million Teenage Mom March!

Posted on Nov 7, 2011 in Children, Family, Parenting, Religion, Sex

I know one day my precious little girl Tova, who was in a car seat not that long ago, will come to me to say that she is going to or already has had sex. And when that day comes, I expect my husband and I will laugh and cry, feeling sad for the baby that has grown up in front of our eyes and happy that we have created a home in which she feels comfortable talking to us. I imagine the conversation about sexual safety that I will have with both...

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‘Dear God, Can I Please Have a Christmas Tree?’

Posted on Mar 7, 2011 in Children, Holidays, Religion

My kid was caught in the middle of the Christmukkah debate — only the debate was within himself. We were driving down the road in my black minivan. My son was quietly sitting, staring out the window. Through my rearview mirror, I saw him shut his eyes and say it! It was said in the most innocent way that only a child could say it, but they were simply not the words I wanted to hear. He said, “Dear God: Can I please have a Christmas...

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Religion Actually Makes You Happier?!

Posted on Dec 29, 2010 in Religion

Whenever I reveal that I was raised Roman Catholic and converted to Judaism, people — whether Jewish or Catholic — often say, “Wow — you get a double dose of guilt and shame!” I believe what they mean is that the Jewish side is the guilt and the Catholic side is the shame. So according to them, you would think that I would be pretty unhappy, right? Well, in general, I’m a very happy person — and...

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The Wrapping Paper Wars

Posted on Dec 22, 2010 in Family, Holidays, Religion

Back when I decided to convert to Judaism, I knew that the transition would be difficult for my family. But I had no idea that the real war would begin over holiday gifts. As I recall, the wrapping-paper war began in the early-morning hours. I had just gotten out of the shower and poured my second cup of coffee when my phone rang. Before I even picked up the receiver, I knew it was my mom (probably on her second cup of coffee, too). She most...

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TLC’s ‘Sister Wives’, The Price of Polygamy

Posted on Oct 20, 2010 in Marriage, Relationships, Religion, Television

During the “twenty-year wedding anniversary” episode of “Sister Wives,” the pain that wife number one, Meri, was feeling was palpable. This was caused by Kody Brown, her husband, showing his giddy affection for young wife number four, Robin, who is just joining the family. Meri has been married to Kody for twenty years. “Sister Wives,” the TLC series that is shining a spotlight on the polygamist culture...

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