a gay black woman's discovery of her jewish self

Archive for the ‘Jewish/Muslim Similarities’ 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 […]

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 […]

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 […]


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 […]

I’m not a Bad Jew-More Reflections on Israel/Palestine

Posted by: erika on: November 19, 2012

 “No Time for a Rally” by Alana Alpert via JewishBoston.com Even if I believed we had no choice, I would spend this evening reading the news in horror and pain… Even if I believed it was us versus them, I would not rally as if this were a sport… Even if I believed this was […]

What’s Inspiring Me Today

Posted by: erika on: August 9, 2012

I’m still deep in the throws of new home drama. I spent the whole of yesterday in my apartment while my landlord/plumber worked for 6 hours-no exaggeration-on my pipes. I suppose I should be grateful to have a kitchen sink and bathtub that drains efficiently and quickly rather than standing water, but it was not […]

A week of cross-posting

Posted by: erika on: July 6, 2012

Going through a bit of personal stuff. No worries, M and I are doing well and my family is doing well, overall. Simply the ups and downs of having addiction wreak havoc in a family. Prayers of patience, understanding, and strength are greatly appreciated. I hope to be feeling motivated to write more in the […]

Is My Immodesty Showing?

Posted by: erika on: February 10, 2012

Earlier this week I talked to Emily Cherin from All Things Gay.  We talked about a lot of different things including why I cover my hair and my ideas about modesty.  As you continue reading remember that I’m not a Torah or Talmudic scholar, I don’t know the reasons that women do/do not should/should not […]

Shabbat Shalom!

Posted by: erika on: January 27, 2012

Working prayer into my life in a meaningful way has been difficult.  I struggle with the idea of formalized prayers with prescribed words and informal prayers that come from the heart every day.  I think that structure and tradition has its place, but I wonder how they can remain meaningful when they are rushed through for the […]

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