About jensjewishjourney

Well before I was a teenager, I began living a life controlled by logic and reason. When I was 38, I got pregnant and, no longer able to abuse caffeine to self-regulate my undiagnosed narcolepsy, I spent most of nine months asleep. After giving birth and beginning appropriate narcolepsy medications, I "woke up" to a world that I vaguely recall from childhood . . . a world full of wonder, awe, miracles, mystery, and faith in "the great unknown." This is my Journey.

Eighteen to Life

ב׳׳ה

Hebrew word “Chai,” which means “life” and has a value of 18

Eighteen to Life
Eighteen to Life
in a prison of sorts,
years passed from
one wedding to the next.

Thinking about Joseph and
his reunion with his brothers —
how he needed to test them
but cried when he revealed himself.

Wondering about his name
never being assigned to a tribe —
how his sons somehow fit,
yet Joseph stood apart.
Never again a full member of Israel
for we really can’t “go back.”

We can only step forward,
into THIS moment,
as we pray Gd’s Grace
keeps us standing upright.

Eighteen…….To Life!

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We dance as we cry

ב׳׳ה

We dance as we cry
Eilu v’eilu.
We dance as we cry.
For in All,
there is both joy and pain.
There cannot be love
unaccompanied by loss,
nor abundant life
without both sunshine and rain.
Every Journey holds Light and Darkness.
Every moment,
renewed love and heartbreak.
Eilu v’eilu.
We dance as we cry.

Consuming Fire

ב׳׳ה

Consuming Fire
There’s a Consuming Fire
on the alter of my heart,
flames dancing with untempered Love,
burning away the dross,
rendering me pure,
that I might be a vessel for You.

********************************

may Shabbat bring shalom to all, jen

my mind can’t understand

ב׳׳ה

my mind can’t understand

I wonder sometimes what it all means…
why the grass isn’t blue instead of green…
whether I’ve lived here before
in the palm of Your hand…
whether after I die
I’ll live here again…

Was I really taught those things
I thought I learned anew?
Or was I remembering facts forgotten
from an earlier manifestation of You?

So many of the things I wonder,
my mind can’t understand,
like whether I have free-will
or everything is pre-planned,
so I turn off my mind
and let my heart run free,
enjoying blessed moments
as Gd’s Love washes over me.

Star Wars Day!! 🤗

ב׳׳ה

May the Fourth is one of my favorite days of the year, because it’s “Star Wars Day.” And this year it’s extra fun because I have this picture I took of the wall next to the front door of our new apartment. The wall decal reminds us, as we enter and as we leave to keep The Force with us… now that I think of it, it’s sort of like a mezuzah, which Jews place on the doorpost to remind us of Gd when we are at home and on our way.

Shabbat shalom!! And May the Fourth be with you!! 😁😁😁 jen

Ha-Akedah (The Binding)

ב׳׳ה

Ha-Akedah (The Binding)

I once stood on Mount Moriah,
my heart bound on the alter,
fully prepared to slay
the very best of me.
But the voice of an Angel,
a messenger of The Eternal Hashem,
stayed my left arm, saying:
“Let the child live!”

Startled, I looked about
to determine whence the voice came,
and seeing a Heavenly Glow,
I could do naught but kneel.
The Angel sent me to sit in silence,
promising I could handle what I’d find,
and she gave one instruction:
“Listen when your child-heart speaks.”

Before my heart spoke
came a torrent of tears,
uncapping a deep well of pain
that I had buried in my self.
As the flood waters dried,
up sprang Wonder and Awe,
Joy at the very slipping
of one moment to the next.

I soon found myself standing
in the Garden of Eden,
dumbfounded at the improbability
of my existing at all.
My ego died as I wept
at the Beauty in that Garden,
for I am but a dust speck
next to the Truths that I saw.

And now here I sit
recording bits of this Journey,
to give honor to Hashem
and the Angel who spoke,
who stayed my harsh judgment,
suggesting I try instead Mercy,
and transformed my certain death
to Eternal Life in Hashem.

The Versatile Blogger Award

ב׳׳ה

The Versatile Blogger Award

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“The Versatile Blogger Award is an initiative for bloggers to highlight the work of other bloggers, helping each other, after all that is what the blogosphere feeds: sharing.”

It is an initiative to publicize blogs with less followers.  This Tag is very effective to meet new fresh bloggers as well as experienced bloggers with talent.  As I am to start the prize I’m going to nominate a blog, then the rules are simple:

Rules:

Thank the person / blog that indicated it.  Include the blog link that nominated your blog for the prize ( Thank you Dear ===).

Select and nominate another 10 blogs to attend.

And write 10 facts about yourself to the person who nominated you for the Versatile Blog Award. By participating in this contest you must wear my logo above “blue and pink crown” at the beginning of the post.

Thanks to:

I am greatly honored to have been nominated by Didi for the “The Versatile Blogger Award.”  You can read the post in which Didi nominated me here.

Didi is a seeker who has been aware of the Journey each of us is on much longer than I have been aware, and he is very adept at sharing the wisdom he has acquired.  Didi has answered numerous questions for me, helped me become more aware of the River of Wisdom that underlies and informs all the world’s faith traditions, and nearly always posts content that can help a seeker of any faith walk a more humble and holy path.  My life has been blessed by Didi’s presence in it, and I highly recommend his blog.  jen

Ten facts about myself:

(1)  It’s taken me a few weeks to respond to Didi’s invitation because I moved to a new apartment and I’ve been busy unpacking and getting settled.  

(2)  My new place has a south-facing patio door and porch, where I plan to spend quite a bit of time over the next few months eating meals, growing a small garden in pots, and relaxing with books and friends.   It’s also closer to the pool and bus stop, which makes my sons happy!!! 

(3)  Nearly 20 years ago —which feels so emotionally & spiritually distant from where I am now that it seems like it must have been a different lifetime— I obtained a Ph.D. in Psychology and a J.D. in Law, and I’ve been employed as a lawyer since then.    

(4)  I care very deeply about numerous issues facing our world, but my employment at a non-partisan state court requires that I not speak publicly about anything that could be deemed “political.”   Thus, I do not write posts that could be interpreted as commentary on political issues. Nor do I comment on or “like” posts by others that could be read as expressing a political opinion (even if only implicitly).  All that is to say: if you want to know whether I have opinions about guns, health care, taxes, social services, or the environment, you’ll have to come sit on my porch and drink tea with me!  😉

(5)  I teach religious school at my synagogue.  My class is for 7 & 8 year olds and I currently have four students.  We study Jewish holidays, Bible stories, and Hebrew letters.   Our main goal is to have fun as we learn so that the kids will want to attend.  

(6)  I also help coordinate quarterly activities for families with children too young to attend religious school.  Over the years I’ve found that parents genuinely appreciate an opportunity to bring pre-schoolers to a low-stress environment that is safe for kids and has other adults with whom the parents can interact.  And the simple lessons about spirituality that we can give these kids are in some ways the “most true lessons” because they still see the world with wonder and are open to feeling awe.  Of all the volunteer work that I’ve ever done for synagogues, this is my favorite!!!  

(7)  I was asked recently to join a new committee being developed by a branch of our Jewish Federation.  The committee is tasked with building bridges between the Jewish community and other religious and minority communities in our area (e.g., Muslim, Christian, Latino, African-American, LGBTQ).  The goal is to develop cross-culture social and educational opportunities that will foster understanding, compassion, and support between communities, and I’m very excited to see what impact this committee might have on our city!

(8)  I enjoy playing video games with my sons.  We support one another’s attempts to improve, and they laugh with me at my utter lack of skill.  I think it’s actually good for them to see me enjoying an activity while failing at it miserably — I am not perfect, they don’t have to be perfect, and we can enjoy life despite our imperfections!!!!  

(9) My gaming username is HoniTheSleeper, which is an homage to Honi The Circlemaker, a Jew who lived two thousand years ago in the land of Israel.  One of the stories of Honi is that he fell into a deep sleep for seventy years, which allowed him to learn the importance of planting trees for those who will inhabit this planet after us.  And I chose the name because I have narcolepsy and, without prescription stimulants, I’m fairly certain I could sleep for seventy years!!  ☺️

(10)  I’ve been researching a few distance-learning graduate programs that would all be described as “religious” — some practical and some theoretical;  some Jewish and some interfaith/inter-spiritual; all of them possible to complete without “quitting my day job.”  Whenever I get around to registering, I’m sure I’ll blog about what I’m learning!  

My 10 nominees:

slimming b’simcha

Eclipsed Words

The Vision of Poets

Daniel Swearingen

Ayesha’s Diary

Over the edge and beyond

Roth Poetry

JoHannaMassey

Coming Home

Lijiun

If you aren’t interested in participating, I’ll take no offense. I’m just happy to have an opportunity to share with others some of the blogs that I enjoy following. Have a great week, everyone!!! jen