When I’m a Jew by Choice

Don’t kill the messenger.

The term “Jew by Choice” generally refers to one who converts to Judaism from another faith. The word “convert” tends to emphasize the change while “Jew by Choice” makes it clear the person is a Jew and shows s/he elected it. Anecdotally, people often note how Jews by choice are often more passionate than their coreligionists who have been born into it. One very actively decides to be and to do Jewish versus those for whom it’s just this thing s/he’s always had. (more…)

My Friends Write Cool Things [Links and Things I Say You Should See]

Per my last link round-up post, I sporadically feel the need to share a series of things. Today, those things were all things created by people I know. You should know them, too.

  • Office neighbor, nearest daytime spiritual advisor, Director of Initiatives for Boys and Men at Moving Traditions, and Donkey Kong enthusiast, Rabbi Daniel Brenner asks whether men will stand up against the sex slave trade in Israel. This is what they call a “must read.” I appreciate being called out for all those times I breeze over a serious issue problem. [Moving Traditions, Huffington Post]

You Will Inscribe Them Upon the Doorposts of your Pueblo

cactus mezuzahA bajillion years ago my aunt, uncle, and cousins in Phoenix, AZ bought me a beautiful mezuzah when I became bar-mitzvah. While they couldn’t make the ceremony, they sent that as well as an Artscroll chumash (the 5 books and selections from the prophets with translation and commentary). These were among the most memorable and thoughtful gifts I received. The chumash, beautiful in itself, had a lovely personal note which makes me think of them everytime I pick it up (whether or not I subscribe to all of the translations and commentary in artscroll, an Orthodox publisher, is another post and not the point). The mezuzah, as you can see, was equally beautiful, ceramic, and had a cactus on it. My cousins have always lived in Arizona and the cactus was the perfect touch. How could I not think of them when I looked at it? (more…)