Category: Judaism

  • Parsha Project — Bereshit

    The Parsha In 250 Words (Or So) We begin with God creating the world in six days by (1) separating darkness and light, (2) forming the heavens, (3) setting the boundaries between the earth and the sea and creating plants and trees, (4) fixing the position of the sun moon and stars and thereby allowing […]

  • Some Thoughts on Vaera and the First Four Plagues

    This is a text of a d’var Torah I gave at Altshul on January 25, 2020      First, I want to say that I am so glad my family joined altshul a year and a half ago. The generosity and kindness of this community is amazing. I feel lucky to be a part of […]

  • Some Quick Thoughts on the Rambam, Mishneh Torah, and Chavrusa Learning

    Mishneh Torah – Talmud Torah Maimonides In March, my friend Noah asked me if I’d like to learn some Torah with him. Of course I said yet. By Torah here Noah meant the expansive sense of the word, covering texts of religious importance to Jews. After some back and forth, we settled on learning Maimonides […]

  • 100 Days of Milo: Day 26 — Interesting Gers

    As regular readers of this site might know, I’m what they call a “jew by choice” or, in the parlance, a Ger. It’s a bit of a strange place to be and I’m fascinated by the stories of other people who’ve also decided to convert to Judaism. On this page, I collect short pieces on […]

  • Interesting Gers: Sammy Davis Jr.

    God, what a life. Born in Harlem to a vaudeville performer, Davis faced physical and verbal abuse in an integrated army unit, returned to the states to become first a popular cabaret singer, and eventually, one of the most famous entertainers in the world and for many, many years a lightning rod in America’s discussions […]

  • Some thoughts on Shabbat and Cathedrals in Time

    The Sabbath, something E and I in our own way have been attempting to honor. We light candles, we say Kiddush,  but we’re not shomer shabbas (though I did schedule this posting, so it isn’t like I’m blogging on Shabbos!), and we don’t always get the candles lit by sundown. Still, you do what you […]

  • Interesting Gers: Jamaica Kincaid

    This week’s interesting ger is Jamaica Kincaid, African American novelist, big time gardener, and convert to Judaism. Kincaid, who is probably most famous for her novels Lucy and Annie John, hasn’t spoken much in public about her conversion. I read a number of pieces by Kincaid in college, but never once heard she was Jewish […]

  • Interesting Gers: Martha Nussbaum

    Almost five years ago now, I converted to Judaism. I did so because of a complex set of personal reasons including spiritual growth, intellectual development and love. When I was going through the conversion process, I gazed at my own navel a lot on a now defunct blog where I also wrote a couple of […]

  • Review: Drazin’s Maimonides

    Maimonides: Reason Above All Israel Drazin This is an odd little volume on the great Jewish thinker, the Rambam. Perhaps its worth a read for someone like me — a novice Jewish scholar. There is a lot of good introductory material here, but the book is kind of all over the place. Chapters focus on […]

  • Notes on Jewish Conversion

    Originally written for another website.  As someone pursuing conversion, one of the things I find it important (and difficult) to balance between enthusiasm and fetishization; between interest and hobbyism*. I’m excited about Judaism, I love diving into new areas of study and this is an area of study big enough to keep me busy for […]