Holidays, Judaism

It’s hard to say goodbye to the High Holy Days

I love the Jewish High Holy Days. While we have a lot of holidays on the calendar, I’ve been practicing Judaism long enough to know that Yom Kippur is my favorite holiday. Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year, is joyful and celebratory, and Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, is serious, somber, and breathtakingly powerful. This year was especially poignant because I attended the Yizkor service, which honors those who have died during the previous year and comforts those who are mourning.

Yom Kippur is about ensuring that we have righted our wrongs so that our names are inscribed in the Book of Life for another year.  Continue reading “It’s hard to say goodbye to the High Holy Days”

Family

Three weeks, one day

Three weeks, one day.

These days, I measure the passage of time based on my father’s passing. In these subsequent 22 days since his death, grief has taken its place in my life like a shadow. My only real reprieve is for a few hours of work each day when I’m so immersed in the crazy world of employee relations that I can compartmentalize my pain.

Continue reading “Three weeks, one day”

Family

I’ll never feel normal again

My dad holding newborn me in late 1978.

My dad died nine days ago after having suffered a massive stroke two days prior. He died in a hospital in southeastern Indiana while my connecting flight was sitting on the tarmac in Salt Lake City, getting ready to take off for Indianapolis.

I didn’t get to say goodbye.

Continue reading “I’ll never feel normal again”

Judaism

Reflections from a new Jew

Two weeks ago, the conversion step of my Jewish journey was completed. After close to two years of reading, journaling, soul-searching, and hours and hours of talking to my rabbi-turned-friend, I sat in front of her and two other rabbis at my beit din (Rabbinical court). Continue reading “Reflections from a new Jew”

About me, Obsessions

The obsession I can’t cure

I’ve previously blogged about my love of Mustangs. For a brief time, I had a Mustang – a pretty 2005 V6 that I put a lot of money into in order to bring her back to life. Then we moved to the Seattle metro area, where traffic was a gnarly, terrifying beast that the Mustang, with 130k miles on it and a lot of quirks, was ill suited to handle. I transitioned to a Fiat 500 and I loved it, but… let’s face it, a Fiat is not a Mustang.

Soooooooo….. I bought a new Mustang! A 2017 V6 I’ve named Luna. Here she is. *pets her lovingly*

I’ve figured out Seattle’s traffic and, since we live on the peninsula, I don’t drive into the city that much. Ferries, Uber/Lyft, and my company’s shuttles get me where I need to be. Planning so many spring and summer adventures in this car!

faith, Judaism

Essay: Why I want to become Jewish

Note: As part of my conversion process, my rabbi requires that I write my religious autobiography, which is made up of a series of essays. I’m posting these essays here, as well, to share my journey. I’m nearing the end of this process and will soon meet the beit din (rabbinical court) who will decide my Jewish “fate.” If my request for conversion is approved, I’ll then enter the mikveh and, when I emerge, I do so as a Jew.

Here is my first essay in the series, which is all about what compelled me to make this decision.

When starting out on my faith journey in my early twenties, I carried with me the God of my youth. This God was one that, if my prayers were sincere enough, my heart true enough, and my deeds good enough, would grant whatever it was that I wanted. If my prayers weren’t answered, it was because I had sinned or had fallen short of God’s plan for me. God was like a magical ATM in the sky, dispensing money, happiness, and an occasional new car to those that were worthy and devout.

Continue reading “Essay: Why I want to become Jewish”

Home

The new centerpiece of my home!

Ahhh! Our new piece! Isn't it spectacular?
Ahhh! Our new piece! Isn’t it spectacular? (Click on the image for larger resolution.)

More than 24 hours later, I’m still kind of in shock. Yesterday, we went to the Josephine’s Redeemed Revival Spring Market at the Kitsap County Fairgrounds to shop for vintage/reclaimed/antique art, collectibles, and household goods.   Continue reading “The new centerpiece of my home!”