The three weeks of mourning and simcha

Everything that goes up must come down. That’s science. Judaism says everything that goes down has the equivalent potential to go up. Our biggest national tragedies and our biggest personal weaknesses can be catapulted into our biggest simchas and achievements. And so the three weeks of national mourning is fast approaching, when the energy of…

Onion meditation

I must be going insane. Not only have I quit my awesome job, need to pack all my stuff that I’m thoroughly attached to, am losing my apartment and leaving my family, friends and community, I’m now also going to yoga and meditating. This is definitely a sign that I’ve lost the plot! But somehow…

Judaism, the limitless religion

To most people the word religion conjures up ideas such as restriction and obligation. As baalei teshuva we’ve heard it all before from our parents: “why would you want to limit yourself”, they ask rhetorically. And herein lies the profound beauty of religion. True religion that is.  Hold on to your seats.  True religion is…

Opening your heart to love

For some it’s an obvious extension of who they are. They’re emotionally open, daring. But they’re also sensitive. They feel the ups and the downs more. The air carries with it much potential and much disappointment. Life is a roller coaster. Few of these people can learn from the downs and use them to build…

Get out of my way or stop and listen?

Can you hear it? No? Probably because you’re running too fast, too tangled in your own thoughts. It’s all about you. Yes, I do it too. It’s the “get out of my way” syndrome. I’m a fast walker. I walk with a purpose, to get somewhere, to do something. There’s nothing wrongs with that per…

Baal teshuva poem: “alone”

A poem called “Alone” was sent to me by a beautiful young baal teshuva named Malka. It’s precious and I’m sure many can relate to the trials and tribulations behind these beautiful words. Alone I sit at my royal throne as I’m given a second soul to refine my connection I’m away from Jews, all…

At the core of Tisha B’Av: then and now

How different is the world we live in! When the Temple was destroyed, the dogged illusion of Divine absence settled over our world like a perpetual fog. In this world where Divine hiddenness has replaced Divine revelation, we grope for proofs of God’s existence, like fish debating about the existence of water. We are relegated…

Adass, unity and diversity.

Adass is a scary word for many people in the Jewish community. Whether you’re baal teshuva or not even religious the Adass community is seen as out there, extreme. Interestingly many non-Jews identify Jews with the image of ‘adassnicks’. Today i had a glimps at Jewish unity through Adass. The unity came from being in…

Modeh Ani every day: acoustic original

This music is my alarm in the morning. I wake up and try to internalise the words, to appreciate having one more day to create, to build, to accept. Life is so much more meaningful when you are thankful for the gifts you have around you. And before I hear you say ‘but’ consider all…

Connecting with your heart – prayer and hisbodedus

Wow, I just came across this blogger and I absolutely love the first article (and a few I’ve read since then). Anyway, check out this article about connecting to Hashem, personal prayer, effort, the heart and hisbodedus. A simple Jew.   Source: Uploaded by user via BaalTeshuva on Pinterest

10 things you can do to bring peace to the sometimes unstable baal teshuva life

It’s hard enough to change one’s life, to start being different from family and friends, and to re-build your ideals/morals/perspectives. All of these things can be unstabling to the most stable of people. For someone who doesn’t have a deep-rooted and inner-focused self-image it can be a constant struggle. You feel pushed and pulled and…

choosing the right words in prayer

“Prayer” has always being a scary word for me. It is something I associate with whimsical characters and light-headed emotional people.  Whether it’s due to my non-observant past or my very pragmatic personality, this concept is very hard to grasp, very scary and far removed from who I am. I’ve tried reading about it and…