a gay black woman's discovery of her jewish self

Archive for August 2013

High Holiday Guide

Posted by: erika on: August 30, 2013

After writing the piece on The Sisterhood about the sometimes woes that new Jews sometimes feel on the High Holidays, I decided to compile a list of welcoming, inclusive synagogues in and around the NY Area. I hoped to have a mightier list, but alas, this is what happens when you plan something at the […]

7th of Elul

Posted by: erika on: August 13, 2013

From Jewels of Elul We welcome the companionship but wish the circumstances were different. Will we know the meit (the deceased) or recognize the body that was loaned to him for his journey on this earth? We were told his name and the name of his parents – not much more. We know even less about his neshama, […]

3rd of Elul-Blog Round Up

Posted by: erika on: August 9, 2013

There are so many great jewels of Elul that I couldn’t pick just one. The first is from My Jewish Learning The hebrew letters that spell out the name of the Jewish month that we have just entered – Elul – are described in the Talmud as an acronym for the phrase from Song of Songs: ‘Ani L’dodi […]

2nd of Elul

Posted by: erika on: August 8, 2013

From Ritualwell. Each year as summer fades into fall, Jewish tradition invites us to turn inwards. The month of Elul precedes the High Holy Days of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. We dedicate this time to preparing ourselves for the holidays so that we can experience them as fully as possible. During Elul we are […]

1st of Elul, 5773 Rosh Chodesh Elul

Posted by: erika on: August 7, 2013

Today is the first of Elul. I’ve been asking on Twitter and Facebook for what Elul conjures or brings up for people and have gotten a wide variety of awesome responses. What does Elul mean for you?

Ask Erika-Judaism or Islam?

Posted by: erika on: August 5, 2013

I posted a blog from my friend and fellow black, gay Jewish woman (and Rabbi-to-be) Sandra Lawson this weekend. In it, Sandra shared not only her rabbinic journey, but her Jewish journey. In her blog she wrote about the need for Jews to not necessarily proselytize, but to be more open to sharing Judaism with […]

I’m Looking For a Few Good Baby Bums

Posted by: erika on: August 4, 2013

The Truth About Baby Oil and Vaseline-Looking for a Few Good Babes Ah, Johnson’s Baby Oil. It’s iconic script and scent are what memories are made of. I remember when my nephew, Shane, was born. His skin had the distinct smell of baby oil and the silky softness, no doubt from the baby oil his […]

Jewish Identity {A Cross-Post}

Posted by: erika on: August 3, 2013

Like many Jews of Color, Sandra Lawson is often questioned about how or why she is Jewish. Despite the fact that Jews have always been a multi-racial, multi-cultural people the idea of who a Jew is (and is not) is often based on how one looks. Many Jews of Color, those born Jewish, those who […]


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