Monday, October 20, 2014

Blog Roundup: Anniversaries, Racism, Post-Partum Practices, and the Shabbos App

Welcome back, OOTOB readers.  With all the holidays over, the kids are back in school and I'm itching to blog regularly again!

Since so many interesting things have piled up over the past month, I decided to do another blog roundup for my first post back.


Firstly, happy anniversary to me and my wonderful husband (as one favorite commenter here calls him, Mr. Ruchi.  We love that).  We married 21 years ago October 18th on an absolutely magnificent fall day.  I am supremely grateful for him and actually, he's the support behind this blog and all the things I love to do.  For my anniversary gift, I asked him for another year of being a great husband (together: AWW!).  Don't worry.  I'm still angling for a trip to Florida too.  I'm not THAT holy.


Saturday, October 4, 2014

Up For Air

Glug glug... Sorry, that's just me coming up for air. I know for some people Rosh Hashanah dinner and Yom Kippur break fast are the bookends, but for us the actual holiday season is just warming up.

Sukkos, here we come.

So I'm still alive. Just knee-deep in holidaying. Catch you on the other side. Lots to share.

Happy Sukkos!

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Thursday, September 18, 2014

Why Should This Year Be Any Sweeter?

Today I'm blogging at, talking about a new start.  The new year starts next week, and we're all charged for new beginnings.  But really?  Who says?

Check it out!  Let me know what you think.
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Sunday, September 7, 2014


'Tis the season for introspection.

Rosh Hashanah is upon us in a matter of weeks, which means it's time to engage in that self-reflective evaluation known in Hebrew as "cheshbon hanefesh." Which means a reckoning of the soul.

Each year I try, and delightfully (cough) succeed in coming up with something that I need to improve.  As I scan my deeds and lifestyle, there is one thing that consistently plagues me.


Saturday, August 30, 2014

Publishing and Other Blog News

Hey hey,

I know it's been kinda quiet on the blog of late.  Can you say "kids not in camp or school"?  OK, now say it ten times fast.  It's hard.

Anyhoo, figure I'd give you guys some exciting updates.

For one, I'm in the process (actually my daughter is - yay for tech-savvy kids) of creating an E-book of some of my posts.  WITHOUT THE COMMENTS, cuz that was somewhat emotionally and legally controversial.  Basically, all the posts categorized under "Why Orthodox Jews Do What They Do" (which is probably what it'll be called) will be collected, sorted by topic, and self-published.  It'll be on Amazon and all that fun stuff, and I'll let you know when it's all ready.


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Book Review: Growing Up Amish

Quick poll: how many of you are endlessly fascinated by the Amish?  I used to think it was my Orthodoxy and my simultaneous identification/feeling of "otherness" that drew me to the Amish, but then realized that many of my fellow MOTs, Orthodox and otherwise, feel the same way.

I know how I feel when I read a book or see a documentary about my culture through the eyes of others (find me a documentary about the Orthodox, made by the Orthodox.  Bueller?).  Icky, that's how.  They never really get it right.  So I'm wise enough to be skeptical when I see or read such stuff about other cultures.  I know they're not hitting the nail quite on the head.

A couple of months ago, my husband and I were in Amish country checking out a bed-and-breakfast for a possible retreat weekend with our organization, and in the room was a book called "Growing Up Amish" by Ira Wagler.  I flipped it over and saw that it was a memoir written by a man who tried, multiple times, to remain in the Amish faith and ultimately left.  I wanted to plop right down in the rocking chair and read it, but understood the technical issues inherent in that particular choice, so I made a mental note to READ THAT BOOK.

Why?  I could tell, just from skimming that:


Sunday, August 10, 2014

Guest Post: The View From Ashdod

Ladies and gents of OOTOB, I present to you today a guest post from one Revital Belz, who lives in Israel.  She blogs at and is sharing her viewpoint of the current conflict in Israel.  I know social media and the blogosphere have been abuzz with information and emotions, and here she is in her own thoughtful and inspiring words.  Revital will be available over the next few days to respond to your thoughts and comments.

Although I left my native United States for Israel almost thirty years ago, I always felt a bit
separate from the "real" sabra Israeli society. The moment I opened my mouth, taxi drivers
would start speaking to me in broken English, proud to have identified me as one of those
crazy Americans who came to make Israel their home. My Brooklyn accent stubbornly
stayed with me, and living in my Orthodox community in Bnei Brak I sometimes felt as if I
was being cocooned, distant as it were from the true Israel.