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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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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A steep curve

Life has definitely not been quiet for the last few months. I don’t think anything can really fully prepare you for what a life with a newborn/infant would be like. Or at least perhaps I didn’t have a whole lot of a clue of how consuming it would all be. Sure some people told me sleep would be hard to score, sure he would need attention a lot, but very few went into specifics and perhaps I didn’t really listen well anyway. Well I definitely did not get a good enough preparation for how physically difficult postpartum would be but that’s a different story.

Anyway, would it have made a difference if I spent more than cursory amount of time with newborns or infants when I was younger? Maybe but really probably not. For me, as for a lot of new parents, until you are personally in the saddle, the reality of the end of YOUR days (and I’m sorry but once you have a child, your life as you led it before is over) and the need to accept that and adapt, became a key to survival. I’m still working on accepting it. Sleep is still a struggle on some days, so is performance anxiety but at least physically I no longer feel like I got totally wrecked. And my son is adorable. I live for his smiles and laughter which he gives with what seems like much forethought( the giggles, not the smiles-smiles are very much abundant :)). He’s learning constantly and doing and touching and leaning and wanting to do things his little body hasn’t mastered yet. And I do manage to read that aren’t total mush too!

I guess we will be learning each other for a long time to come.

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In Yossi Klein Halevi’s ‘Letters to a Palestinian Neighbor,’ an Intimate and Candid Story of Jewish Life – Tablet Magazine

Yossi Klein Halevi’s ‘Letters to a Palestinian Neighbor’ may not reach its intended audience, but it may well have another closer to home
— Read on www.tabletmag.com/jewish-arts-and-culture/books/261166/return-to-sender

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Cheburashka: A Soviet Beast of Unknown Origins – Tablet Magazine

The embedding of Jewish material into the Soviet animated children’s TV series “Cheburashka” by its Jewish creators calls into question the narrative that Jewish self-expression was wholly suppressed in Soviet popular culture.
— Read on www.tabletmag.com/jewish-arts-and-culture/260892/cheburashka-soviet-animation

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National Poetry Month: ‘Contraptions’ at Bay Area’s Contemporary Jewish Museum – Tablet Magazine

Bay Area pride! Love to see pieces related to where I happen to live!

National Poetry Month: ‘Contraptions’ at Bay Area’s Contemporary Jewish Museum
— Read on www.tabletmag.com/jewish-arts-and-culture/260192/jewish-contraptions

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