Cape for Kali :)

Dear readers,

Please take a look at a delightful new children’s book published by my adopted sister, Rabbi Galina Trefil. In short, this book teaches kids that it’s ok to be different and that in fact, being different is beautiful!  I will be reviewing it later this month!

Link to Cape for Kali

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Thank you for sticking with me!

Just a quicky Hi to you guys! I am so honored that so many of you are still sticking with me even though I’ve been on a bit of a radio silence for a while.I want you to know that I am doing better and although I miss my mom every moment, I am learning to move forward. I am starting to read again at my usual pace and have actually a book in mind that was given to me during my mourning that I would love to comment on here. Alice Hoffman does wonderful nonfiction, you guys!

Anyway, I will be back soon, hopefully after this weekend’s birthday celebration. That would be my own, and I think I might be ready to celebrate myself even though I feel rather wistful at the same time.

Love,

Eugenia

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For my Rita

One month ago, my mommy had gotten diagnosed with diffused large b cell lymphoma. Two weeks ago, she began her first chemo cycle. Thirty eight hours ago my beloved mommy passed away. She handled chemo like a trouper, didn’t complain or ask for anything. For several days after chemo ended, she felt fine. Then the fatigue set in and things unraveled from there. On Tuesday she ended up in the ER and eventually ICU as everything got worse. On Friday, early in the morning despite putting up an insanely hard fight given how sick she became, my mother went back to her first family: her mother, father and older sister.

You may ask me how I can write right now. With a great amount of difficulty but full clarity of mind. I am the younger of two, and the daughter and I don’t think I grasped even the millimeter of how much I love my mother until now, how close I was with her. This blog is important to me and I feel like I’ve bonded with you all to the point where I can share my real life with you. My mom is (and I think I am going to be saying is for a long time) a very private, old fashioned person, I don’t think she understood what a blog really was and I seem to recall her pretty much rolling her eyes at me when I told her about it. But she cared about what made me happy and having this outlet makes me happy. She had the same attitude towards Facebook.

She instilled the love of reading and books in me which led me to this blog in the first place. As many kids, I didn’t share myself fully with mom and though I know she was often hurt by it, she understood. She raised me to be loyal and independent, stubborn and private like she was. I wasn’t always the easiest daughter but I know she always knew how much I loved her and how much she meant to me. On her last day, I started reading to her from a book she shared with me as a child, a book we both read as kids. And I know she was happy to hear me read to her, maybe she thought it was cheesy but I know she heard me and it comforts me that we could share this even when she was asleep.

I love you мама. 10351399_10100315302867559_3244375718699888115_n

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10 Great Introduction-to-Judaism Books | My Jewish Learning

10 Great Introduction-to-Judaism Books | My Jewish Learning
— Read on www.myjewishlearning.com/article/the-10-best-introduction-to-judaism-books/

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Thinking on a warm Sunday

I’ve been out walking with my son for the last hour plus, thankfully about15 minutes into it, he gave in and promptly began that nap he sorely needed since waking at 5:30.

Becoming his mom has definitely acquainted me with more than just early ass waking hours and stubbornness. It’s made me more aware of how my behavior emotionally impacts him. My husband thinks Raphi is shy because he likes to demure and hide his face in whoever is holding him chest. As a shy child myself I have no remedy for that but it does seem to make me smile at him even more than I already do and I wear his giggles and snorts like badges of emotional honor.

I don’t know much of the Jewish approach to mothering. My mother, I feel, wasn’t really Jewish in her caring for me, and honestly I don’t even really have a clue of what the hell it means though undoubtedly there are books on it I can at least get some insight from. Instead I wish I had the chance to learn something, anything from her example. Instead I must draw from my memory of her personality to understand how important patience is when raising a child. Oh my God, is it important! And that’s not a Jewish value, but a human value that dwarves most others.

Raising Raphi hasn’t tested my patience a whole lot yet, sure I lost my shit when he was tiny but that had more to do with the fact that I was in postpartum physical hell and he was a newborn. Instead (I keep saying this today often) I now think on the Jewish Ashkenazi wisdom of naming my son for his babushka. Raphael means “God has healed, healed by God, one who heals” in Hebrew and in infinite ways that’s exactly what he has done for my family. Though seeing his smile and hearing his laughs every day reminds me often heart wrenchingly (I’m talking watching Russian grandmas at a playground with kids and trying not to cry) that his babushka isn’t here to watch him grow, I see his existence as a great healing worthy of his namesake. My father was floored and almost destroyed when my mother passed three years ago and I didn’t know if anything could ever make him truly happy again. Well, Raphi has done that for all of us and especially for my father who is genuinely in love with his grandson. That’s the greatest healing there can be. What’s more Jewish than that?

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New Indian Jewish Art – Jewish Review of Books

The artwork of Siona Benjamin, who says she belongs everywhere and nowhere, recombines traditional and contemporary elements in surprising ways.
— Read on jewishreviewofbooks.com/articles/3153/new-indian-jewish-art/

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Rokhl’s Golden City: Bury Me Behind the Fence! – Tablet Magazine

Rokhl’s Golden City: Bury Me Behind the Fence! – Tablet Magazine
— Read on www.tabletmag.com/jewish-arts-and-culture/262631/bury-me-behind-the-fence

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Books: The Jewish DNA

“I cannot live without books.” These famous words were spoken by Thomas Jefferson on June 10, 1815, but they were most likely born on…
— Read on jewishjournal.com/culture/books/234206/books-jewish-dna/

Amen.

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On Shavuot, the Book of Ruth Offers Doctors a Prescription for Compassion – Tablet Magazine

On Shavuot, the Book of Ruth Offers Doctors a Prescription for Compassion – Tablet Magazine
— Read on www.tabletmag.com/jewish-life-and-religion/173596/prescription-for-compassion

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The Secret Lives of Jewish Mothers – Tablet Magazine

The Secret Lives of Jewish Mothers – Tablet Magazine
— Read on www.tabletmag.com/jewish-life-and-religion/171976/secret-lives-of-jewish-mothers

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Ask Unorthodox: What Do People Get Wrong About Judaism? – Tablet Magazine

Ask Unorthodox: What Do People Get Wrong About Judaism? – Tablet Magazine
— Read on www.tabletmag.com/scroll/262042/ask-unorthodox-what-do-people-get-wrong-about-judaism

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New Children’s Book About Women Who Changed the World Leaves Out the Jews – Tablet Magazine

New Children’s Book About Women Who Changed the World Leaves Out the Jews – Tablet Magazine
— Read on www.tabletmag.com/scroll/262015/new-childrens-book-about-women-who-changed-the-world-leaves-out-the-jews

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Ask Unorthodox: What’s the Perfect Jewish History Book? – Tablet Magazine

Ask Unorthodox: What’s the Perfect Jewish History Book? – Tablet Magazine
— Read on www.tabletmag.com/scroll/261542/we-put-together-the-ideal-reading-list

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