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December 23, 2005


That was a nice story.

Lubavitchers are really all-welcoming. Many of them are baalei teshuva themselves, having found their way back to Yiddishkeit through an affiliation with this group.

It's nice to know that they've gently impacted your life; it shouldn't be truly any earlier that you shared this post with us. Taking on Yiddishkeit is a long and winding road -- you grow into it just as it grows on you. To give us a peek at your personal growth after a year is just about the right amount of time...
Happy Chanukah to you and your family. May it include a lot of brightness, but not necessarily a Hummer or two!

That was a very powerful piece and I really can relate to it. I'm also very impressed with the commitment that the Lubavitchers and other Orthodox groups have to Judaism. And it is very interesting that are at times more open-minded to different expressions of the religion, unlike the increasingly rigid Conservative movement. But I'll also admit that as a mostly secular Jew, I'm a little uncomfortable with someone "too" religious -- even if it is with my own.

Jack: Thanks.

Pearl: I don't know the term "baalei teshuva" but I get the gist of your comment. Thanks.

Neil: Not to worry, I still feel that way too, and the hubby's a stalwart atheist. Our observances are very mild, and I still much prefer the Reform synagogue and will probably join when we someday have money. It's just nice to have the Chabad around to inspire me.

Very powerful story Anne...I think it's true that the synagogue sometimes get in the way of a true religious connection...I hope you find your way back up to the top of the Santa Monica mountains and do your best impression of Julie Andrews while singing your father's praises!

Very well-written and fascinating account. Nice to read of a (mostly) positive experience with Orthodox Jews. I guess we do have some redeeming value! Can I call for greater use of the word "dandled"? A new favorite.

Randi: I can hear it now, "Oy, the hills are aliiiive with the sound of ... you call that music?"

mcaryeh: Dandle is "to dance upon the knee." I've no idea why I know this stuff.


Everyone has to find one's own path. Even your atheist husband. I'm very agnostic and I live a modern orthodox life. You don't have to buy into all of the theology to decide that Shabbat makes your family stronger and your life richer. You don't have to believe anything about the Creator of the Universe to decide that the first time you decide to forego shrimp because you're a Jew will effect you profoundly.

Anyway, I don't want to sound all holier than thou 'cause I was brought up totally secular. I just want to encourage both of you to look for your path.

Also you have a standing invitation for Shabbat lunch at chez Bean anytime. Coordinate details with my social director.

Oh. And having been brough up secular, I know how nice it is to have stuff translated.

ba'al [plural ba'alei] t'shuva -- A returner to faith. One who grows up not religious and becomes Orthodox as an adult.

Thanks for the invite Dr. Bean. My wife is likely to take you up on it soon.

As for my beliefs, or lack thereof, I've held them strongly and happily all my life.

I really liked this story, Anne. I wish we could have you guys over to our house for a shabbos meal. Then you'll that some women make their husbands work!

I think you should definitely take Dr. Bean up on his offer. You'll have a great time and some great food. And they have good toys over there too. Just don't touch the Lego...

Dr. B: We'll take you up on your offer, but I don't have B&C's email. Email me offline with it, pretty please.

PT: You'll get your chance to feed us when we're out in Wisconsin, possibly this summer, to visit the BIL.

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