a gay black woman's discovery of her jewish self

Archive for the ‘Jewish Prayer’ 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-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 […]

Riding in the Front Seat

Posted by: erika on: June 4, 2016

If there was a hierarchy of Jews of Color (JOCs) I can confidently say that JOCs who are black Americans are at the bottom of the rung of the ladder. Followed next, possibly, by Jews of African heritage, then Jews of Indian heritage and right up on the color line until we get to the […]

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 […]

Jewish Grieving for a Non-Jewish Relative; Cross-Post

Posted by: erika on: July 22, 2015

I woke up suddenly in the wee hours of the morning on March 5, 2014. It wasn’t my alarm that had woken me or my cell phone, which was next to my head and on vibrate. It was a feeling. I believe that if you ask a doula or birth worker, most will tell you […]

On Being Jewish – A Cross-post from Ritualwell

Posted by: erika on: February 1, 2015

If you ask any convert to Judaism, they will likely tell you that as daunting as the conversion process can sometimes be, actually being a Jew can be harder that becoming one. Picking a rabbi and a community to anchor my conversion was the first step. After several months of shul shopping and ongoing conversations […]

A Prayer for #Ferguson- Cross Post

Posted by: erika on: November 25, 2014

“I live in two worlds. I am Jewish and I am black, and I am calling out to the Jewish community to please take notice of these past events, not just the events in Ferguson but the number of black men and people of color in our society who are stopped by police, arrested by […]

Meanwhile…

Posted by: erika on: August 4, 2014

I think of Judaism, Christianity and Islam as three rivers. If you are on either of the three, you run into some good spots and some rough currents. You sometimes float down lazily just to get to a stretch of water seemingly impossible to traverse. The three rivers run separately, of course. But, if you […]


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