So I was in a car accident last night. My mom was driving my friend and I back to my friend’s place so that she could get her sleepover things together. As we were driving back home, one of those huge tractor trucks that carries all of the cars (I don’t know what they’re actually called, but they’re huge and can either haul many cars). Well anyway, this one didn’t have cars on it, but it was still really heavy.

It was two in the morning and we’re driving down the road, when this huge truck pulls up behind us in the left lane (we were in the right) and hits our bumper pretty hard. It sped up and then hit us again, intentionally pushing us off the road (the truck ended up in the right lane and stayed there). If it hadn’t been for my moms quick thinking, we probably would’ve either A) flipped or B) ran into some gates that we, at one point, got really close to (they’re apartment gates that enclose apartment complexes). We ended up on the sidewalk, going pretty fast. But my mom did this maneuver that saved us from getting hurt worse.

The weird thing is is that the side of our car, which got hit the hardest (and it was pretty hard), didn’t have any damage done to it. No dents or even a little scratch. Although the drivers side mirror was hit and some of the plastic around it is coming off, and the left back light near the bumper is smashed in and shattered, but for the most part, the car was just fine, and it shouldn’t have been. We all thought is was going to be messed up, because of how hard we were hit but it was fine.

Another weird thing was that my mom wasn’t supposed to be taking us to my friend’s I was. And Lord know’s that if I had been in the same position as my mom, driving as we got hit, then my friend and I would have either been really hurt (we probably would have flipped or crashed, because I, with less experience then my mom, wouldn’t have been able to think as fast) or worse. It was really chance that my mom took us, she decided it on the spot. And they’re are some really other chance-y things that I won’t go into, but the point of this story being that I have never felt closer to G-d before last night, because we walked out of that situation unhurt and without much damage to our car, when it should have been the complete opposite.

It’s kind of weird how these things work out, you know? They make you appreciate your life a little bit more, and they bring you closer to Hashem, which was probably the point. He kept me safe but made me realise that I needed him.

Love always,

The Jewbie

Let me just first ask: does anybody want to buy me Matisyahu tickets? He’s coming to the Boca Raton area (of course), and I ADORE him! He’s such an amazing singer. Quoting someone that said this before, “I love Jews that sound like Jamaicans”.

Also, I have this new fascination with sesame oil. I’m going to have to start posting some recipes of mine that I use with sesame oil. Something really simple, that I find delicious, is udon noodles with sesame oil and Ponzu citrus soy sauce. I ate a whole package of udon noodles in one sitting because I love them SO much with sesame oil and soy sauce. Yum!

As for temple, I went this morning (of course! Shabbat Shalom, btw), with my boyfriend. It was his first time ever going, and he actually liked it. He said he would go back again, which I found surprising but it’s pretty cool(: We made this deal that I would learn more about he things he loves, if he does the same for me. We read from the Siddur today at temple, and it was my first time reading from it, so it was nice to do that with him and not feel as uncomfortable when I got lost in the Hebrew transliteration.

So, tonight, my friend is coming over and she’ll be sleeping over tonight and tomorrow. We’re probably going to go and eat at Chipotle (yummy!) and maybe go visit some friends. I’m excited.

Well, I’m off.

Much love always,

The Jewbie

Tzniut

June 23, 2010

Tzniut is a Jewish law, that, according to wikipedia (yes, I know, not the greatest source for information, but for this it works) ” is a term used within Judaism and has its greatest influence as a notion within Orthodox Judaism. It is used to describe both the character trait of modesty and humility, as well as a group of Jewish religious laws pertaining to conduct in general and especially between the sexes. The term is frequently used with regard to the rules of dress for women.”

Basically, Tzniut covers dress codes, saying that men and women alike  have to dress modestly. Women wear womens clothes that cover a majority of there body, and men wear mens clothes that cover a majority of there body. Now, Orthodox communities and synagogues are mainly the only place in which you’ll find people strictly adhering to. You can also find this being practiced in Conservative temples, but not in the Conservative lifestyle (for the most part), and while it is practiced in Reform temples as well, it is not usually mandated, nor is it usually adhered to in daily life. But I’m not speaking for everyone in each of these communities, because everyone follows differently, no matter what denomination they follow, whether it be Orthodox, Conservative, Reform, et cetera.

I go to a Reform temple, and I LOVE it! They are so inviting and sweet and kind, and so accepting.  But from what I’ve observed, most Jews that identify with the Reform movement don’t really observe many, if any, of the 613 mitzvots.  Since I am “new” in a sense, to Judaism though, I’ve been teaching myself all of the stuff that I’ve missed  by not attending a Hebrew day school, or Monday night “youth group” or temple for the past 16, almost 17, years. And with that, I am very confused on which mitzvots each movement does and does not follow, or how they all celebrate, et cetera. So I’ve been relying on the Torah and books on Judaism to teach me how I should follow and practice. I’ve been reading over the 613 mitzvots and I’m trying to slowly incorporate each of them into my life, to the best of my ability. Now, some are harder than others, such as saying a prayer before many simple tasks (such as hand washing), and others are easy, such as knowing that G-d exists.

To get back on subject, I’ve been researching some of the Jewish laws, such as Tzniut, and while it sorta kinda isn’t a mitzvot (sort of), I want to try to abide by it, but it’s really hard to go all out and start wearing skirts down to my ankles and shirts down to my wrists, especially living in the hot and sunny state of Florida.  So, I’m going to try to follow the mitzvot that corresponds with Tzniut, which basically states  that a women shall not wear a mens clothing.

Now, this has changed in modern times, because women are always wearing pantsuits, jeans, and shorts. It’s what we do, but it hasn’t always been that way, of course. Before the 19th or 20th century, mainly before the 1920’s-30’s, you’d be a little hard pressed to find a women wearing a pantsuit and not being ridiculed by at least one person for it. This is why both the Reform, and Conservative movement, and even sometimes the Orthodox one, are becoming more lax on this law.

So, while I’m not going to go and totally throw away my skinny jeans and shorts just yet, I am going to try to incorporate more dresses and skirts into my wear, and keep my short and jeans wearing to a minimum, and wear them mainly when I’m going to be doing “dirty work” or going to a close friends house.

Apart of the  Tzniut law, also, is married women must keep there hair covered. It is also a mitzvot (correct me if I’m wrong) to wear a yarmulke. Now, women are exempt from this mitzvot, and some say it’s because women are naturally spiritually closer to G-d, and men aren’t, so therefore women don’t need to wear yarmulkes or tallits, as men do, but it’s becoming more and more popular in temples, mainly Reform and some Conservative ones, for women to observe both this law and mitzvot. Now, maybe it’s just because I’m trying to follow the mitzvots to the best of my ability, or because I love the idea of wearing a yarmulke, or even because I believe in being egalitarian, but I plan on (hopefully) crocheting my own yarmulke and start wearing it to Temple or when I’m praying. I also might either make (it might be too hard to make, with my little bit of expertise in crocheting), or buying a Tallit, because traditionally, you wear the two together, and many women I’ve talked to insist on wearing both together, even if the men in the Temple don’t.

Comment me with your opinions on the Tzniut and mitzvots discussed in this entry!

With much love,

The Jewbie

I love those lyrics. It’s from a song called “Jack and Jill” by Kim Richey. Listen to it, if you get a chance.

S0 my boyfriend is lying on the floor of my room, sleeping on a rug layered with thick  blankets, to make a makeshift bed. My mom said he could sleep in my room as long as it was on the floor and the door remained wide open so that she could check up on us periodically. I think we both crashed as soon as we hit our designated sleeping spots. We fell asleep around three, and I’m sure he would have stayed up longer if he could, but I was exhausted. He’s still sleeping, but here I am, lying awake, writing a blog entry.

Oh wait, he just woke up. I’ll finish this later. Time to eat breakfast! Au revoir.

Today (well, yesterday)

June 20, 2010

Shabbat Shalom!

I guess it’s a new day, since it’s 2:13 in the morning, so I’ll refer to what I still think is “today” as “yesterday” if that makes sense. To make it clear: today=Sunday, yesterday=Saturday. So maybe I shouldn’t have started this off with “Shabbat Shalom” since Shabbat ended about six hours ago (thanks to the rainy Florida weather, which I have to admit, I love. And, I’m not being sarcastic when I say that. No, seriously, I love the rain; it’s so calming and tranquil.)

Anyways, I went to Temple this yesterday morning (see, I’m already forgetting that it’s a new day) only to find out the I was one of the only three people that had come (not including the Rabbi). Since you can’t have a sermon (I forgot the real world, so I’ll just use “sermon” here to replace it) with only three people (you need 10) we read the Torah portion and discussed it. This week’s was about Moses and the Israelites (of course) and took place when they were wandering the desert (of course), and of course, the selfish Israelites complained the entire time and needed a miracle to be preformed for them, once again, lest they loose faith (and again, of course). It was a great Torah portion. The Rabbi even gave me a book to keep, so that I can learn more about Judaism, and we had the Kiddush afterwards, and all and all, the service was well worth getting up early in the morning for. I loved it.

Last Friday night, I saw CHICAGO! which is only my all time favorite movie, but I got to see the play this time. Can you say fan-freaking-tastic? Best this ever, and it has been happily crossed off of my bucket list. My mom wonders why I have one of those at such a young age, so I’m jokingly calling it “before-my-braces-list” which isn’t a funny title, even if you did understand the meaning behind it, and with that, I have my next piece of news.

I’m getting braces put on in less then two weeks. You know, I’ve been wanting them for forever, G-d knows why, and now I’m deeply regretting the wishes spent wanting them, because in preparation for my braces, I have to wear spacers between my teeth (basically, rubber bands that are seperating my back teeth from one another because they’re so close, and there needs to be room to put my braces on). It’s killing me, I tell you. We just bought some Lays Kettle Cooked potato chips (are those kosher? all well.) and I can’t even enjoy them! Oh the horror, the tragedy!  Count down the days for me, people, until I am no longer allowed to enjoy other delights that I love so much, such as popcorn and corn on the cob. We will mourn for my loss together.

Since my teeth are killing me from my spacers, I’m thinking about making soup to eat for lunch tomorrow today (the only food that doesn’t seem to absolutely murder my poor teeth and gums). I found this tasty looking (and easy to make) recipe online that I’m going to try out (and possibly add some of my own touches to? you never know!) and I’ll tell you guys how it tastes: beef dumpling soup. I don’t know whether it’s because I’m hungry, or whether it’s because I have had an undying love for beef ever since I gave up my five year reign of vegetarianism about a year ago, but that sounds delicious.

While you’re waiting for the review on that recipe, does anyone have any suggestion on how to ease the pain of these darn spacers? Tips would be much appreciated, since I’m growing tired of constantly megadosing on Ibprofen every six hours.

Loving fondly and redundantly,

The Jewbie

(ps, all those cross outs were all the times that I forgot that today was a new day. It’s so confusing.)

I’m a sixteen year old Floridian trying to find my path in this world, with the helping hand of G-d and the Torah.

I’m just another Jewbie, meaning that I’m new to Judaism, in a sense. I am a Jew, because my mothers family is Jewish, but I’ve never had a chance to study it before now, and let me tell you, I’ve never loved something more.

This is my trials and tribulations (actually, it hasn’t been that hard. I just really love that phrase) in my life and on my path of Judaism. I’m hoping to introduce you to my world, my religion, and my love of (kosher) food.

Love always,

The Jewbie.