a gay black woman's discovery of her jewish self

Archive for the ‘Israel’ Category

MikvahVersary-And a New Name!

Posted by: erika on: August 17, 2016

Five years ago today I became a Jew. It seems like forever ago and like I’ve been Jewish my whole life. I have fond memories of Christmas, enjoyed getting new Cabbage Patch dolls for Easter, Jesus is alright with me, but being Jewish fills my neshema, my soul. It’s who I am and it’s hard […]

So, How Was Israel?

Posted by: erika on: August 8, 2016

This is a question I’ve been asked for the past two weeks, and it makes sense. I did just spend an entire month funding for my trip to Israel and then almost one month in the country. Folks want to know. What did I do, where did I go? Did I engage in the conflict? […]

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 #7 – Scribe Life

Posted by: erika on: July 23, 2016

I’m not sure if it’s purposeful, but after two weeks of study it’s nice to see ways in which the classes that I’m taking overlap with one another. Scribal Arts, a sort of elective, is only given twice a week and I had to pay extra money to take it. Taking a step back and […]

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 Entry #5 – The Joys of Jewish Study

Posted by: erika on: July 19, 2016

Because of my limited Hebrew skills I’m limited in the classes that I can take at Pardes. So instead of pouring over a line in a tractate of Talmud word by word with a Hebrew/English dictionary, I get to spend my morning sessions talking about the Matriarchs and Patriarchs of Judaism (and I would argue […]

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 […]


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