a gay black woman's discovery of her jewish self

Archive for the ‘Blogging’ Category

Can you be a “normal” person and be religious? This is a question I’ve been rolling around in my head for sometime that is now being asked much more loudly since my return from Israel and studying at Pardes. Tomorrow makes one week exactly since I’ve been back in the U.S and my heartache for Jerusalem […]

Travel bLog #9 – Heading Home

Posted by: erika on: July 27, 2016

I’m sitting in the lunch room at Pardes. Chavruta partners have all dispatched back to their classrooms, as the last twenty minutes of classes for the day wind down. I skipped my afternoon class today to get some last minute shopping done; spices and olive oil, and to pack up my room and belongings to […]

Travel bLog #8 – Coming Down

Posted by: erika on: July 25, 2016

As much as I consider myself to be a kind, loving, caring, giving person, I have a tendency to push people away. This usually happens when I know something they don’t know that may or may not be good or bad for them, when a hard decision needs to be made, or when I come […]

Travel bLog #6 – The Joys of Jewish Study?

Posted by: erika on: July 21, 2016

***WARNING: BABBLING STREAM OF CONSCIOUSNESS AHEAD!!***     I’m in a really weird, intense, intimate, mentally, spiritually, physically exhausted place. Learning Torah, Talmud, Midrash, Gemara, Halacha for 7 hours a day 5 days a week is beyond. The first week at Pardes I found myself on the brink of tears on many occasions. And now, […]

Travel bLog #4-Black and Jewish in the Holy Land

Posted by: erika on: July 15, 2016

WARNING: RAMBLING STREAM OF CONSCIOUSNESS AHEAD   I posted on FB earlier this week that Jerusalem has been a much welcomed (albeit slightly guilt-ridden) respite from the continuous killing of black bodies in the U.S. And while I would’ve loved to join friends across the States in protest, marches and demonstrations, the realities of the […]

Travel bLog-Entry #3 – Shabbat in Jerusalem

Posted by: erika on: July 9, 2016

My first Shabbat in Jerusalem and I’m alone on purpose. I attended a Minyan at the recommendation of a friend. The room was packed – standing room only. I felt a bit out of place and the Hebrew in the siddur and around me was overwhelming and intimidating. But the רוח ruach, the spirit, of […]

We Should be Working on Jewish Diversity Every Day

Posted by: erika on: June 25, 2016

I was browsing a few shuls in the Seattle/Tacoma area looking for the websites of prayer spaces that I have been in to be added to the Welcoming Synagogues list JMN has been curating for the last several years. As I browsed through some of the local synagogues I personally vetted I and noticed the […]

Heading (Back) to Israel

Posted by: erika on: June 20, 2016

In less than two weeks I will be going back to the Holy Land. A land that is holy to so many people and religious traditions and a land that is holy for me in my Jewish self and me in my Christian past. When I was home recently I listened to a lot of […]

We Will Not Be Silenced

Posted by: erika on: June 13, 2016

I get NYT updates on my phone and like anyone else who gets these updates, was started to read that 20 LGBTQ folks had been killed at a nightclub in Orlando. I read the article by the light of my phone and the bits of sunlight that had started to stream into our bedroom. As […]

George Santayana said that. I don’t know much about George, but I do remember the first time I heard that phrase. It was on a grade school trip, we were at a monument or a park or maybe neither of those places, but I took a picture of the words etched into marble because even […]


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