Posted on facebook group.
This was a beautiful moment to post a new Mezuzah outside of my mom's home.
Tashlich means to cast. It is during the beginning of Rosh Hashanah, when Jewish people all over "cast away their sins," by a body of water. Those who participate in this spiritual event, recite a prayer and then shake out their clothing.
We perform Tashlich to rid of our sins, crown Gd as our King of the Universe (including water), and to acknowledge that Gd is always watching and taking care of us. There are several other reasons given to this custom. However, most of them surround the idea of realizing Gds abilities and continuous support, respect for Gd and each other and overall repenting.
If I could cast away a sin it would be my lack of trust in Gds abilities, and my avoidance of surrendering to what could happen if I let go of my fears. The reason behind this, is that I am set on being in control of my life, I rarely let my spirituality and connection to Gd aid in me in letting go of my anxiety and trusting in everything happens for a reason.
1) Five minutes of prayer said with understanding, feeling, and a personal connection to the words and their significance means far more than five hours of lip service.
I love this tip. This tip could change someone's synagogue and prayer service. As a school teacher, I understand the importance of relating every lesson to my students and their lives and the same goes for prayer. This is the only way of making it meaningful and memorable.
2) “Unfulfilled expectations lead to self-imposed frustrations.” Therefore, don’t expect to be “moved” by every prayer or to follow along with the entire service.
Like every aspect of life, not every situation is going to be perfect or life changing. Therefore, it is unrealistic to go into synagogue with the expectation that you are going to change your life with every prayer. However, if you stay open minded you will find the prayers that speak to you and you can connect with.
5) You’re not that proficient in Hebrew? Don’t worry, G-d understands whatever language you speak. And, like a loving parent, He can discern what’s in your heart even if you can’t quite express it the way you would like.
As someone who is not proficient in Hebrew, this tip spoke to me, I often find myself in synagogue, looking towards the English translated side over and over. When I don't understand the Hebrew, I let the language I do know guide me. Therefore, I don't get frustrated and I might even learn some Hebrew.
The tip that I would give to someone would be to go into synagogue with an open mind and heart and be willing to open up and connect with new people. Having people at your synagogue to bond with, learn from, go to and from synagogue with, can lead to bigger spiritual revelations, incredible friendship, love, family, community and warmth.
This year I celebrated Sukkot while visiting my sister in Chicago. Her neighbor's two young daughters helped build a Sukkah in their backyard, and we stopped by to see the Sukkah and spend sometime inside. The most meaningful aspect was spending Sukkah with family and new friends, and being able to see how other families celebrate this holiday.
Yom Kippur is considered a high holiday because of the story it tells, what it represents and how it has shaped us as Jews today. It is taken so seriously, because this is the day we ask for forgiveness in order to start a new year.
I have observed Yom Kippur in some way every year. When I was younger, I observed Yom Kippur by having a Seder dinner with my family, attending services with my family, and breaking fast. As an adult, I fast every year and reflect all day.
I plan on continuing to have a Seder, fast, pray and break-fast among friends and family.
There are truly so many things I want for my future, my families future and the world. If I could ask for three things from Gd this year, it would be, for my family and friends to be healthy and happy. This is most important to me, because the people in my life mean everything to me, and my family have had rough patches in the past. I can only hope for a future for healthy and happiness for those that I love. I would ask Gd to guide me to find success and happiness in my life and career, since it is been a very difficult year for me and I am ready to feel complete in all aspects of my life. I would also ask Gd for for the world to find peace in order to stop hate and war.
I am currently very spiritually connected to my religion and the universe. However, I continue to meditate, pray, learn and ask questions to become even more spiritual in my life.
My Jewish identity is who I am and who I have always been, Being Jewish represents family, tradition and my future. It connects me to who I am, who I relate to and allows me to understand there is a higher power. I would like to grow spiritually, by accepting what I cannot change, and becoming the best version of myself.
My birthright trip was extremely eye opening for me spiritually. I went on a trip where I didn't know anyone, and left feeling like 40+ other Jewish young adults were my family. It allowed me to become even more welcoming and open to possibilities that involve bonding with people with similar interests and backgrounds as me, even if I don't know any of them and I might feel nervous or insecure.
Recently, I started volunteering for various charities. Through this work, I discovered much more about myself, the person I currently am and who I want to become. Seeing how much more I can give to the world allowed me to become more spiritually connected to myself and the world.
I went to a Chabad at UCF Jewish Alumni BBQ. I chose to go to this event to see my Rabbi and his family, and to see and meet other South Florida UCF Jewish alumni. Rabbi Chaim Lipsker from UCF Chabad hosted the event. I took away the feeling of family and how wonderful it is to surround yourself with people you love and connect with.
After reading all of the Hunger Games books, I had a lot of expectations from the movies. After seeing MockingJay Part 2, I was not disappointed. The issues the movie discusses are hunger, war, society classes, communism and ultimately a world where everyone is the same. This story line relates to Jews and the Holocaust in a very scary and similar way. Hitler wanted a world where everyone was the same, looked the same talked the same, acted the same and wanted the same things. He felt those he considered to be most beautiful needed to be put on a higher pedestal than those he felt were less than perfect. In turn, those he dismissed had to fight for their lives in more ways than one. In Mocking Jay there is a hierarchy and those that President Snow approves more than others. Those that don't fit his criteria must compete in the hunger games for their lives.
Planting a tree in Israel is a Mitzvah that brings celebrating and memorializing the life of someone to our homeland. Trees bring life and light to the world, and I donated the tree in honor of my deceased father who loved Israel.
I attended a Shabbat for Nova Law and Medical students and those they wanted to bring. My good friend attends Nova for Law school and invited me to attend the Shabbat dinner with her. It was so much fun meeting new people, and trying a new experience. I look forward to the next Shabbat dinner event.
I attended a shabbat at my good friend's house. It was full of old friends and new friends. It was a potluck so we all brought some food or beverage. Some of the people who attended were not Jewish, and this was their first Shabbat. It was extremely special, to be able to introduce my culture and traditions with people I love. I am looking forward to hosting my own Shabbat very soon.
Being a special education teacher, I loved watching a movie that goes into the head of a child. This movie focuses on the issues of miscommunication, depressipn, understanding ourselves and overall growing up. That being said, this movie can be connected to Judaism in the fact that as Jews we are constantly learning about ourselves, our past, our future, those around us and how we can learn form each other. This movie showed me that it is absolutely impossible to always be "joy," while it is impossible to always be, "sadness." It is our duty to discover who we are in our lives, in our families and in every aspect of our lives in order to fulfill the life we want and what Hashem expects from us.
The artist is Martina Shapiro.
I chose this piece because the colors and the image was absolutely breath taking. I feel that this piece represents a stereotypical image of the Jewish people. It looks like a scene from the famous movie and play, Fiddler on the Roof. While, this may offend others, I personally love the idea of representing my people with music, passion, emotion and tradiition.
It was not my first time baking Challah, but it was so much fun baking Challah with two of my best friends. We had a blast, and I am looking forward to baking Challah with my family and friends again soon.
The recipe is:
One package dry yeast
One teaspoon salt
Quarter cup of sugar
Quarter cup of Oil
One and a quarter cups of hot water
5 cups of all purpose flour
The artist is Josef Israels.
I chose this piece because Jewish weddings and their symbolism have always been very meaningful to me.
The meaning of this piece is love, tradition and family. You can see in this painting, that the couple ar ever so gently touching, while their family surrounds them looking on with love and hopefulness for their future. At the same time, they are thoroughly embracing Jewish wedding traditions.
I did the challenge with my mother, it was very special to be able to light the candles with her. Shabbat candles represent tradition, being a Jewish woman and connecting to my religion.
Rosh Hashanah 2014 was a tough year for my family, and we were all celebrated. However, I was welcome with open arms to my best friend Sarah's grandmothers house. It was a beautiful seder, full of yummy food and my closest friends.
The most meaningful part was being able to open myself up to new adventures.
This past Rosh Hashanah was one of the most incredible holidays for my family. After several years of being apart on the holidays, my entire family including both of my sisters, their husbands and all 5 of my nieces and nephews got together to celebrate Rosh Hashanah together. We celebrated at my mothers house, where family and friends came over for yummy food, stories and fun.
The most meaningful part was being together as a family.
The Yom Kippur before this last one was a different yet very meaningful fast for me. For the first time in my entire life, I was not in the same place as anyone in my family.
Therefore, my mom's best friends who is considered to be one of my adopted aunts took me to her families celebration. I was extremely nervous and emotional knowing that I would not know anyone but my mom's friend and her husband and that I was so far away from my own family. However, the dinner was beautiful with food, laughter and around 50 welcoming people.
The next day I fasted alone, and broke fast with my friends. It was a Yom Kippur full of reflection, new experiences and independence.
This past Yom Kippur, I celebrated my Yom Kippur at my mom's house with my entire family. My mom, sisters and I cooked Erev Yom Kippur dinner. Family and friends came over for food and quality time. I stayed at my mother's house the next day to fast, pray and spend time together. I went to my best friend's grandmothers house for break-fast that night.
The most meaningful part was that my roommate came to celebrate with us. Born half Jewish, and grew up in a very non Jewish area. I was excited to take her "under my wing," and show her my families traditions.
I donated to Chabad at UCF because they played such an important role in my Jewish life as college student. I spent many shabbats and holidays with the Lipskier family and Jewish community of UCF, and I want others to have their home away from home as well.
I donated to Birthright, because my birthright experience was life changing. I want nothing more for this program to exist for as long as possible. Therefore,, future young adults and eventually my own children can have the same experience as me.
AboutThe 100 Point Challenge is an opportunity for returning Taglit-Birthright participants to TRY a variety of Jewish activities, find those activities that they LOVE and want to continue to LIVE. Bring Israel Home participants can choose to complete any Jewish activity that speaks to them to earn 100 points. 75% or more of the American participants in a participating Taglit-Birthright bus must earn 100 points on the Bring Israel Home website within three months after returning from their Taglit-Birthright experience to earn a Bring Israel Home weekend reunion. All those participants who earn 100 points of Jewish activity are eligible for the weekend reunion. The Bring Israel Home 100 Point Challenge is divided into two milestones. Participants must earn 50 points within the first month of returning from their Taglit-Birthright experience to qualify for the following milestone. After achieving the first milestone, participants have two months to earn their final 50 points of Jewish activity. The milestones are clearly outlines below:MilestonesMilestone 1: 75% of a Taglit-Birthright bus must complete 50 points of Jewish activity in the first month after returning from their Taglit-Birthright experience. Milestone 2: 75% of a Taglit-Birthright bus must complete 100 points of Jewish activity in the two months after achieving Milestone 1. Please Note: Israeli participants should be completing 100 points of Jewish activity with their fellow American participants to be eligible to be flown in to the United States for the Bring Israel Home weekend. However, Israeli participants are not included as part of the 75% participation needed to achieve a milestone.