Boy with a Coin

September 3, 2010

So I was listening to Boy with a Coin by Iron and Wine when I realized that I didn’t know the meaning behind the lyrics (I’m big on lyrics and hidden meanings). So I started to look it up, and I got all these different opinions that it’s about Death and Life and G-d, etc. One of the opinions that I read over made me remember the age-old argument about how, “If there’s a god, then why would he let us suffer? Why are there rapists, murders, and other injustices in the world? Why does he hurt us so?” So this thought got me thinking more, and I realized that it’s like a parent-child relationship.

I think that G-d is a parent to us, and like all parents, can only help us so much. Since he cannot physically be here with us, he gives us our own set of parents to protect and watch over us until we are old enough to leave the house. He gives our parents the responsibility of protecting us, since he cannot physically be here, and in that sense, parents are all little “gods” I guess you could say. But anyway, just like a parent, he can only protect us from so much. Mother birds push baby birds out of a nest to teach them how to fly, and that’s how G-d works. He gives our souls bodies to teach us how to live, and it is then up to us how we chose to do things. We can either let Him help us, and in turn become better people, or we can totally ignore him, which doesn’t make you a bad person, it just doesn’t help, just like it never helps to not let your parents do what they can for you to make your life easier. G-d isn’t negligent and doesn’t have bad parenting, he’s actually the ultimate parent in the way that he let’s us make our own choices, and only interferes occasionally (have you ever had those “miracle circumstances”? yeah, in those instances). Just like any good parent, he lets us fall on our butt a little to realize what we’re doing wrong (like a mama bird to her baby birds) but he protects us too, when we let him.

G-d gave us free will to do what we want, just like parents have to do once you’re eighteen. It’s then up to you how you decide to use or abuse that free will. A parent won’t save you from everything, just like G-d. It’s a good way to teach you about life, and how to live it.

This was a little confusing, and it may have sounded a little ignorant, but it’s just my perspective on things.

With so much lovin’ and so little time,

the Jewbie

Tefillin and Tallis

August 16, 2010

I just got the best gifts I have ever received. They have such a huge significance, that it made me cry when my great uncle  gave them to me. He gave me my great grandfather’s (on my mother’s side) tallis and tefillin! I mean, I’ll probably never use the tefillin just because while I can see tallis and kippahs being used by women, for some reason I can’t see tefillin being used for women. Besides the rocking chair my great grandfather made for my grandfather (on my dad’s side),  I have never received anything that previously belonged to a family member. Especially not something of such meaning that has such a relevancy to my life right now. I mean, here I am, trying to find my place in this world and my path in Judaism, and I get this amazing gift that I just cannot believe I have been given. I’ve never met my grandparents besides a grandmother on my mom’s side who I don’t really talk to, and to have been given something that was once theirs makes me feel like I have a connection to them that I never had before, and to be given something with such significance to them, and that is so relevant to where I am right now, the feeling is just beyond words. For some reason, it has fueled my desire to continue along my path of Judaism (not like I was going to stop) and to better understand it and find my place in it. It has given my faith a really big, new, fire because I feel such a deeper connection to it. It’s awesome.

On a side note, I’m having a lot of fun in New York.  I’ve gone to go meet all types of family members, and I’ve made some really great memories. I met a distant cousin of mine (5th) and we (my mom and I) stayed with him and his wife for a couple of days. They have llamas and sheep and dogs and cats and chickens, and pretty much everything. It was pretty cool. It was also pretty cool to meet family members that are observant of the mitzvots. They taught me quite a bit in the couple of days I stayed there. And tomorrow, I’m going to go with my great aunt, mom, and cousin to some small town with an apparently awesome little Judaica shop. I’m very excited for that. And I’ve also gotten to have shabbat dinner (only my third. Can you believe that? I’m going to be working on being shomer shabbos in the next couple of months, maybe when the high holidays come up) which was awesome. And I went to a conservative shul (for morning minyan), and it was pretty cool to see what they did (and to go to a morning minyan and recite the prayers, although I couldn’t read the hebrew in the siddur).

So all and all, I’ve had an amazing vacation so far (and it’s only going to get better, I hope!) to add onto an even more amazing summer vacation.

Well, I’m off to go learn the prayer for donning the tallit so that perhaps I can wear it to shul next week.

Ahavah Olam,

The Jewbie

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

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.