Thursday, October 21, 2010

Some other articles I've written about Judaism


As I mentioned, I started this blog on the advice of a friend. The first posting was from a question that appeared on one of the lists I belong to (this is a list for people who are either new to Judaism or new to Orthodoxy or the people who love them -- I got on in the last category; at the time I joined the list I was dating a convert).

So as to not "reinvent the wheel" I have a number of other articles (called "lenses" on "Squidoo") about Judaism and other Jewish topics. I hope you find these helpful.

Squidoo lenses about the Jewish Calendar:

The Jewish Calendar
Jewish Calendar headquarters (group)

These are about the Jewish Months:

Tishrei and Heshvan
Kislev and Tevet
Shevat and Adar
Nissan and Iyar
Sivan and Tammuz
Av and Elul

These are about Strong Jewish (Biblical) Women:

Strong Biblical Women (Sara)
Strong Biblical Women 2 (Rivka)
Strong Biblical Women Part 3 (Rachael)
Strong Biblical Women Part 4 (Ruth)
Strong Biblical Women Part 5 (Tamar)
Strong Biblical Women Part 6 (Yocheved)
Strong Biblical Women Part 7 (Miriam)

These are about Jewish Holidays:

Rosh Hashana
Pesah (Passover)
Jewish Holiday Haiku (Just for fun)

These are about Judaism or Jewish philosophy:

Witches and Morality
Asking G-d for forgiveness
A Jewish Perspective of G-d
The (Ashkenazi) Jewish Wedding

Check out some of my other blogs:

Israel and it's Place in the World
Jewish Singles
Strong Jewish Women

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Welcome to "New to Judaism 101"


I just started learning with a friend who has no background, so she's asking me a lot of basic questions. Last night I gave her an analogy about this. First of all, one of the things I like about Judaism is that our "heroes" (like Avraham, Moshe, David, etc.)are NOT perfect -- unlike "J" and Mohammad. So that if we fail (as we inevitably will) we have models who failed and repented and were forgiven. So all we have to do is what our roll models did when they "fell off the horse".

Besides, from my perspective, keeping the Mitzvot is something we do for ourselves -- it helps US. So if we "sin" (the Hebrew word is closer to "transgression" and the same word is used for missing a bull's-eye with an arrow) we're only hurting ourselves.

With that in mind, this was my analogy:

You need to lose some weight so you start eating healthier. You cut out sugar, you cut out trans fats and saturated fats, you cut out white flour. And you're doing really well for the first 7 weeks. Then comes your child's birthday party and you just can't resist the gorgeous birthday cake so you have a big chunk... and then another chunk.... oh, and the kids left a lot over, so you polish off the rest of the cake........ And then you realize what you did and you get depressed and start eating badly and give up and go back to eating the way you used to and you gain back all the weight you lost and then some......

... Or you eat the cake and you realize that it's not healthy, but it's already done. So you make an all vegetable dinner (with some healthy vegetarian protein :-) and you resolve to go to the gym the next day and you just get back into your eating plan.

When it comes to transgression in Judaism, it's the same thing. You can beat yourself up about what you did or you can say, "ok, it's in the past. I'm sorry Hashem (G-d). I won't do that again. I know it's bad for me, spiritually." And then get right back on the spiritual horse.

So after reading this analogy to one of my best friends, she suggested I start a blog that answers some basic questions about Judaism.

If you have any questions you would like me to attempt to answer, let me know in the comments or e-mail me at

Check out my other blogs:

Israel and it's Place in the World
Jewish Singles
Strong Jewish Women

Check out some of my squidoo lenses (articles):

Strong Biblical Women
Strong Biblical Women 2
Why Be Vegetarian
Vegetarianism: Getting Started 1
Vegetarianism: Getting Started 2
Why be Vegetarian?Rosh Hashana
Quick Vegan Cooking
Creating new recipes from old
About the Jewish Calendar
Witches and Morality
Math Hints 1 -- Adding Fractions
Presidents1: George Washington