Forum Replies Created
OneofMany, perhaps it is a case of great minds thinking alike!
Toi, I apologize, but I am too much a newbie to know what “shehakol” means, so I will try to find a good definition on-line…
It is interesting to hear that New York is widening the scope of their child abuse/neglect reporting laws as well. That has certainly been the case here in Pennsylvania as well. Indeed, within the past several years, our CPS statute added the second-hand information requirement like New York. We have had numerous high profile deaths in Philadelphia of children known to Children & Youth Services. As you mention, there is also the Penn State situation in the forefront or background on any given day, and then we have the guilty sentence that just recently came down on the supervising Catholic priest in the Philadelphia Archdiocese who was found by a jury to have failed to take sufficient action to protect children from pedophile priests.
In the ten years that I have been practicing, I do not think that child welfare law has ever been so much in the daily news in the Commonwealth or perhaps the nation as it has been in the past year or so.
Good luck to you MorahRach!
In my work, I have noticed on many occasions a lack of communication between government entities that have specific protocols to interact with each other — e.g., children & youth services and the police department.
That being said, the unit of the police department that would be most used to interacting with and reporting to children & youth services due to frequent collaboration would be New York City Police Department’s equivalent of a Special Victim’s Unit (it may be called that in fact, as it was in the large city where I formerly practiced). The officer who responds to the equivalent of a 911 call initially probably is not an officer in the Special Victim’s Unit, nor a detective in same.
Nonetheless, the mandatory reporter fulfills the legal duty to report and avoids criminal and civil penalties by reporting to the local child abuse hotline, which is distinct from calling the police via the 911 equivalent in New York City. The mandatory reporter duty and the phone number for the hotline are posted on the New York City Administration for Children’s Services website.
More great commentary! Thank you to all 🙂
RebRY, the eating of the many fruits is one of things that I read about the celebration. Do you know if it is common in Orthodoxy generally to plant trees at that time as well, another practice I read about?
OneofMany, that is a very creative name for a cactus! At the time that I named my rescued kitty, she went by the name Fluffy Gina (!) , but I thought that something more classic was in order, so I chose Cleopatra after Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra. Then an acquaintance said to me within a couple days, “Don’t you mean Cleocatra,” and I knew then that it should be that instead!
Thank you The Chassidishe Gatesheader and HaLeiVi for the discussion of where and how exactly to mention these cats in our prayers, which was my overarching dilemma. CTG, you have done a beautiful thing by rescuing these poor, defenseless creatures!August 29, 2012 5:50 pm at 5:50 pm in reply to: music recommendations for Elul and the High Holidays #893563
Thank you takahmamash, I am very much interested in the classics of the past!
I am a child advocate attorney in a different state, where I have both represented children and before that represented a major city’s child welfare department (the city social workers).
When people have inquired of me in that capacity about things similar to your inquiries here, I have advised them that, in my state, there are criminal charges (misdemeanors) that can be brought against mandated reporters who fail to report to the local child abuse hotline.
In my very brief Internet search into New York’s child welfare laws, it appears to me that New York imposes both criminal penalties and can seek to hold mandatory reporters who fail to report liable in civil court for any damages that result due to that failure to report.
G-d forbid anything happens in the next two weeks.
I understand that you have a newborn and are moving, which makes the timing awful.
Nonetheless, I can not encourage you strongly enough to make the report as soon as possible, based upon the fact that you are a mandatory reporter and due to the civil and criminal penalties that New York imposes on mandatory reporters who do not report.August 29, 2012 4:04 am at 4:04 am in reply to: music recommendations for Elul and the High Holidays #893561
Thank you Srugie and especially Nechomah — your thoughtful suggestions really helped point me in the right direction. The music you recommended sounds like it will be exactly what I am looking for. Your larger explanation of types of music for the different holidays is so helpful, as at present all I have heard is just a bit of Hanukkah music. I appreciate your sincere well wishes on this great exploration and return home of mine.
That is good to know, thank you HaLeiVi…I live in an area with a great deal of wildlife (foxes, deer, and the like), which are amazing, but I am getting the sense that you mean more rare than that!
Wow, fantastic feedback, thank you everyone very much!
Whiteberry, I am sorry, the only one of the non-English words that you wrote that I know is “kosher.” I would like to understand what you are trying to convey to me if you read this and have a moment to clarify. I am sorry that I am so basic!
HaLeiVi, what you wrote is the kind of structural stuff that I am trying to figure out so that I can get a framework in my head. Thank you for that! Out of curiosity, what would be an example of an unusual creature? Is it a wild animal of some sort not native to the region one lives in?
sm77, thank you for the information on the initial question about whether blessing of pets happens at a certain time in the Torah cycle. I erroneously thought that the blessings originated in Judaism, not in another religion.
WIY, I appreciate your recommendations as well.
Yitayningwut, what you said was really beautiful, thank you so much for your blessing. Your suggestion about the timing sounds like a great idea to me. I am trying to find little ways throughout the day to let G-d know that I am very grateful. I am caring for my mother as she undergoes chemotherapy, and it has been absolutely amazing to me how both her cat and my cat have provided us both with so much comfort and unconditional love during this time. Their companionship has made the difference on some days when the side effects of chemotherapy have been at their worst.
Hello Mammele, thank you for those examples of appreciation of each little creature…that is what I was thinking of in relation to my cat. On the subject of living things, is Tu B’Shvat a holiday that is celebrated in Orthodox circles? I have read some about it, and it sounds beautiful!
Hello Curiosity, thank you for these insights. This is very interesting….because I know so little about how Jewish prayer works on a daily basis, I had been thinking that maybe prayers and/or blessings were broken down into categories of things, such as the blessing for bread, for lighting the Shabbos candles, etc. I just assumed that, since there are these blessings for things we do with inanimate objects, there would be blessings for the living things we interact with as well. I am trying to find a way to conceptualize things and am very much at sea. Any new information helps so much, so I thank you again!
Hello Curiosity, this is good to know, thank you…it sounded legitimate, but it is hard for me to know that as a newcomer, to be sure.
Even though there is not a special service regarding the blessing of pets, do you (or anybody) know of any special prayers that a person might say individually to give thanks for his or her pets, and if so, where could that text be found?
Thank you!August 28, 2012 3:01 am at 3:01 am in reply to: Where to start becoming Jewish when family roots discovered #991114
Hello Borough Park Mensch,
Thank you for your well wishes and suggestions on next steps. Everyone here has been very kind and generous with both.
I would feel terrible if any thread of mine here, or any questions of mine as a newcomer, were somehow the source of strife, controversy, or ill-will within this wonderful community where I am trying to learn so much and begin to develop a sense of identity and belonging.
In my work as a child advocate, I am always trying to bring people together — in that context, to help abused and neglected children. It has felt like a calling for me, and trying to bring people together has come to be a big part of my life in general — it is something that I ask G-d to help me do. It would break my heart to be the root of any divisiveness, here especially, where we are so concerned with G-d and the laws, traditions, practices, and customs that we use to express our love of G-d.
I hope that this makes sense, thank you all for considering what I have written.
Hello HaLeiVi, I am not even remotely sure of the specifics, I am trying to find out more. From the little that I have found online, it sounded like there may be some kind of special service around the Shabbos that centers on this Torah portion. It sounded as if special blessings were given over pets? What exactly happens and when and where is very unclear to me, no doubt because I am very much a newbie (I discuss this in my first thread from several days ago about becoming Jewish after discovering Jewish roots). I am sorry if this answer doesn’t really provide any more clarity regarding the subject…I will try to find out more somehow.August 28, 2012 2:29 am at 2:29 am in reply to: Good reading suggestions for Elul and the High Holy Days for a beginner #893155
Thank you Matan1, I had not even thought of audio CDs!August 27, 2012 7:59 pm at 7:59 pm in reply to: Good reading suggestions for Elul and the High Holy Days for a beginner #893153
Wonderful suggestions yehudaona and Matan1 — many thank yous! I really enjoy books that cover the whole year so that I get a better feeling for themes and cycles.
At least I have always enjoyed being a perpetual student 🙂August 27, 2012 5:32 pm at 5:32 pm in reply to: Good reading suggestions for Elul and the High Holy Days for a beginner #893149
Fabulous! Thank you yaakov doe.
Hello Shopping613, thank you! It is indeed just me — I have quite a time keeping up as it is with just my one as I try to soak up what everyone is saying.
Thank you takahmamash! So it seems that I (a native English speaker) will be learning a gendered language, as when I learned French and Latin in school. This is good to know!August 27, 2012 4:59 pm at 4:59 pm in reply to: Where to start becoming Jewish when family roots discovered #991112
Hello kollel_wife, thank you for sharing your thoughts with me! I have been learning a lot reading here and getting all kinds of perspectives. There is so much beauty and wonder in countless aspects of Jewish life and culture. Indeed, some of my very favorite books thus far have been those that describe cultural practices from around the globe with historical information on where the practices came from.
Sometimes conversations can become heated it is true. Like you, I am more typically a reader here (I had been reading quietly for more than a year before I posted several days ago).
I am trying to read widely of Orthodoxy to get a sense of the beliefs, practices, and areas of agreement and disagreement. I feel like I have barely scratched the surface!
Your well wishes on this journey of mine mean a great deal to me. Thank you for your support!August 27, 2012 4:43 pm at 4:43 pm in reply to: Good reading suggestions for Elul and the High Holy Days for a beginner #893147
Why thank you Rabbaim! I am not in a major city with incredible bookstores, so I am thinking I should probably order this online…is there a cite that you or anyone would recommend as having a particularly good selection? I live in the United States if that makes a difference.
Yes, quite nice, thank you The Goq!
Thank you I Can Only Try for your welcome and well wishes! I am very excited 🙂 And each new word I learn with help like yours makes me feel like one more little piece of the puzzle is falling into place.
Hello I Can Only Try,
I want to be respectful of Shabbos, so I inquired of the CR Welcome Wagon CEO The Goq regarding the beginning and ending time of the Shabbos that we just had. I inquired because I did not want to post at an inappropriate time, and because I am trying to change my ways that are not observant of Shabbos. I spoke a bit about all of this in The Goq’s welcome wagon thread. I also found a couple websites with exact Shabbos times for my zip code so that I will have this information for future Sabbaths (I don’t know the plural of “Shabbos” yet!).
What I am trying to say is, I understand your concern, and I am dedicated to making respect of Orthodox practices my top priority here.
There is so much I don’t know yet, but I am trying hard. I am embracing all the feedback and suggestions that I am getting.August 26, 2012 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm in reply to: Where to start becoming Jewish when family roots discovered #991110
Thank you SiDi, I want to make sure that each person knows that I am truly thankful for them taking the time out of their busy lives to share their perspectives, knowledge, and suggestions with me in such a warm and welcoming way. It means a lot to me, and at present, it is the only kind of Jewish community around me. I am really grateful for this! Thank you for your kind praise — comments like that warm my heart and stay with me for a very long time.August 26, 2012 5:20 pm at 5:20 pm in reply to: Where to start becoming Jewish when family roots discovered #991108
Hello JustARegularJew, that sounds wonderful, because that will help me address both issues at once! I am thankful that there are organizations like this that anticipate the need for their help. That is exactly what I am looking for. Thank you for making me aware of them!August 26, 2012 7:18 am at 7:18 am in reply to: Where to start becoming Jewish when family roots discovered #991106
Hello Shein, somehow I missed your comment from yesterday, but I just wanted to say thank you for suggestions too and for reaching out to me. It really helps having people like you who take the time to explain what must be basic stuff to me!August 26, 2012 7:07 am at 7:07 am in reply to: Where to start becoming Jewish when family roots discovered #991105
Thank you Mammele, your perspective helps me keep the task of establishing my roots in perspective (sorry for the redundant vocabulary, I just finally finished skimming all the old threads in Decaffinated Coffee at almost 3 am, and my brain is glazing over with my eyes!).
Reading the conversos story of Doreen Carvajal in her brand new book The Forgetting River, I was struck by how her Sephardic Jewish ancestors fought to survive, something I believe my Ashkenazi (I think that’s the right word?) family did too.
Like those conversos, it would seem that my relatives assimilated as part of that survival process.
When I have wondered in the past, how could they have affiliated with a new religion, a thought that initially frustrated and disappointed me, I have come to keep in mind several things:
They must have thought and known that their lives depended upon it. I can have no idea what that was like first-hand and I am not to judge from my privileged position of comfort and convenience in the year 2012 in the United States of America. And, perhaps (this is the thought that still makes me tear up), they realized that only by staying alive could future generations like me be possible, and thus able to find their way back to what my MomMom called “the one true religion.”
It is now a call within me to ensure that this precious and hard-fought-for family heritage is not snuffed out. I feel like a spark finding it’s way back to it’s original source of light. I feel like something is guiding me.
It is funny how deep thoughts come to one in the middle of the night sometimes.
You and each new person here are like lamps on the path back to where I belong. You illuminate the next step for me, and for that I am profoundly grateful. Thank you.August 26, 2012 5:34 am at 5:34 am in reply to: Where to start becoming Jewish when family roots discovered #991102
Thank you oomis1105 for your warm and encouraging words! When I feel overwhelmed by all I don’t know, I try to focus like you recommended on the next small steps for me to take. The unknown is less intimidating when there are warm welcomes and hands like yours extended.August 26, 2012 4:35 am at 4:35 am in reply to: Where to start becoming Jewish when family roots discovered #991100
Thank you SO much SiDi!! Any basic information like this helps me and sort of lets me see the larger structure of what I am trying to learn. You have been helpful and kind beyond words, which I deeply appreciate.
Thank you for all of your help The Goq! I hope you had a restful Shabbos.
I should have also asked what time (EST) that people begin posting tomorrow night? And Good Shabbos to everyone! …I am fearful that maybe I am posting too late already and am sorry if that is the case.
Wow, why thank you The Goq!! I was just thinking of introducing myself when I saw this thread pop up as being fresh…I had been digging through old threads last night trying to find it but kept getting sidetracked reading people’s fascinating discussions until 2 am (Eastern Standard Time in the USA).
Everyone has been so friendly and welcoming like you. I am a really new newbie, in that I am working towards becoming Jewish after finding Jewish roots on my mother’s mother’s side of the family. I have described a little bit more about this situation at the first thread I have ever started here (after reading a lot here for more than a year).
I look forward to all the learning and sense of community to come!
Can anyone tell me what time today (EST) that it is the practice for people to stop commenting due to the Sabbath?
I am trying to become more aware of my ways that are what I think you would call “goyish” (is that how you would phrase it)? I have gained some skill in the past year learning approximate meanings of words in these posts that are new to me, through context clues in the sentences. But I am very loathe to commit faux pas and do not want to say something inappropriate by accident!August 24, 2012 7:37 pm at 7:37 pm in reply to: Where to start becoming Jewish when family roots discovered #991098
Thank you yichusdik and sam2, this is very good to know. It is very kind of those families to go so out of their way to help newcomers like me who have next-to-no idea what they’re doing!August 24, 2012 3:41 pm at 3:41 pm in reply to: Where to start becoming Jewish when family roots discovered #991094
I have a practical question for anyone who might know — I would have to drive to get to any Orthodox synagogue or group on the Sabbath. It seems to me from what I have read that that is not permissible? Are there some exceptions for someone who is at a distance? Thank you for your feedback as always!August 24, 2012 3:33 pm at 3:33 pm in reply to: Where to start becoming Jewish when family roots discovered #991093
Thank you farrockgrandma, that is so true. While I wish that there was someone in my family — a parent, sibling, cousin, someone (I have not married yet and I don’t have any children) — who would want to do this with me, I will try to take heart in becoming part of a community and maybe meeting others like me.August 24, 2012 4:21 am at 4:21 am in reply to: Where to start becoming Jewish when family roots discovered #991091
Thank you Giyoress al pi Halacha! I would love to hear more about your conversion experience if you’d ever like to share. It is mystifying, the drive to convert…it must be something spiritual calling out to us! The research of the family tree is an endlessly fascinating endeavor. It has helped me get a better sense of who I am and what I am being called to be. What you have discovered is amazing too! I dream about being on that PBS show Finding Your Roots, even though I’m sure I never would be because I am not famous or in the public eye, just an ordinary person.August 24, 2012 4:06 am at 4:06 am in reply to: Where to start becoming Jewish when family roots discovered #991089
It does seem to be rather addictive!August 24, 2012 3:43 am at 3:43 am in reply to: Where to start becoming Jewish when family roots discovered #991086
You have indeed been very helpful SayIDidIt. I have been very moved by the warm welcome. I am trying to develop a game plan of next steps in my Jewish learning. My implementation might be a bit delayed because I am caring for my mother as she undergoes chemotherapy, but I still did not want to put my spiritual development on hold!August 24, 2012 3:34 am at 3:34 am in reply to: Where to start becoming Jewish when family roots discovered #991084
I think that I must have been doing what is pretty much my daily scan of news at Jewish websites and newspapers. I have been trying to familiarize myself with the various issues. And then I came across the Yeshiva World website over a year ago and have been reading up at least several times a week to get a sense of Orthodox concerns, beliefs, etc. I have just been reading quietly and taking it all in for over a year now. There seems to be a great deal of humor, even where commentators disagree!August 24, 2012 3:29 am at 3:29 am in reply to: Where to start becoming Jewish when family roots discovered #991083
How impressive that the education of everyone here is so deep! That is really awe-inspiring, Yichudsdik and Vochindik.
Thank you for the warm welcome and encouragement, SayIDidIt! I have really gotten the sense that a lot of the commentators know each other and genuinely care about each other.
Sam2, thank you for another great reading suggestion.August 24, 2012 3:14 am at 3:14 am in reply to: Where to start becoming Jewish when family roots discovered #991081
Thank you SayIDidIt, that is a good suggestion. I am finding that, at 35, it is still possible to feel like a child who has so much to learn. It is both exciting and overwhelming!August 24, 2012 3:08 am at 3:08 am in reply to: Where to start becoming Jewish when family roots discovered #991076
When I read the news and conversation here as I have for the past year or so, I sometimes feel rather daunted because the issues are so interesting but I wonder if I will ever be able to have a truly intelligent conversation about even one of them without devoting the entire rest of my life to intense study (I currently plan to continue working as a child advocate attorney, which I do love).August 24, 2012 2:50 am at 2:50 am in reply to: Where to start becoming Jewish when family roots discovered #991074
That is awesome SayIDidIt, that will be so helpful to me as I try to learn Hebrew. Thank you!
Yichusdik, and really every commentator here, thank you for sharing all these nuances of the laws with me. Is it standard that an Orthodox person who does not make his or her career as a scholar has such in-depth knowledge of the laws as the commentators here do?August 24, 2012 1:22 am at 1:22 am in reply to: Where to start becoming Jewish when family roots discovered #991071
I am back again from dinner and a meeting and am reading the new wonderful comments you left for me. Many , many thanks!!
YYTZ, it’s funny you should mention the situation of Hispanic conversos, as I have just finished reading a brand new and excellent book called The Forgetting River by Doreen Carvajal regarding her own personal quest in this regard. In fact, I rather think that it was that book that got my courage up enough to inquire in this forum!
RebRY, alas I do not reside in Brazil — it was my great grandmother and her six children who resided there for about a decade between the World Wars (my great grandfather refused to leave Germany, but my great grandmother insisted upon leaving and never going back because of how the people were treated there). II do dream of going to explore there someday in Sao Paulo where they lived, as well as going back to where they came from in Heidleburg Germany. I would be interested in hearing about your experience if you are ever so inclined!
YYTZ, it is good to have that context from you about The Guide for the Perplexed…the title is really what caught my attention because I was so perplexed, so I thought it would be a good way to dive into what I think would be considered Jewish philosophy?
Shmoel, it would be absolutely amazing if something like that were ever possible, but I am afraid that it would be a very uphill battle: the family lore has always been that everything was lost in the ship voyages from Germany to Brazil, and the family members involved have been deceased for a very long time. In addition, at some point my mother’s family affiliated with a Lutheran church is this country, and my mother was confirmed and my parents had me confirmed.
I wish I had the knowledge of the Jewish laws and intricacies that YehudaTzvi and you have, but I suppose that I must start where I am. At least legal systems are of great interest to me, as I am a child advocate attorney for abused and neglected children/wards of the state. And I love learning new languages!August 23, 2012 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm in reply to: Where to start becoming Jewish when family roots discovered #991063
Yes, very helpful and welcoming, thank you Charlie Brown!August 23, 2012 9:52 pm at 9:52 pm in reply to: Where to start becoming Jewish when family roots discovered #991061
So many wonderful comments, and I want to try to respond to everybody! Many thank yous to everybody, especially for the good wishes in my endeavors to become Jewish and connect with my family’s roots.
YehudaTzvi, I believe that my mother’s mother’s mother, my great grandmother, was Jewish, and that my mother’s mother was raised for a portion of her life as Jewish (while still in Germany, before moving to Brazil between the World Wars).
Yytz, thank you for the warm welcome and your reading suggestions. I have also been meaning to go back and read Guide for the Perplexed, which I read a few years ago when I first began my exploration of Judaism through reading.
Golfer, thank you for your clarification on possible gender constraints.
Nechomach, thank you for more basic info on Chabad/Lubavitch. I feel a real draw to Judaism both emotionally (I think due to my hidden family history) and intellectually. I often felt very moved in synagogue when the cantor and congregation sang — moved to tears. I am not close to Orthodox synagogues so I would go to services in the only local Reform and Conservative synagogues. The other reason I went to them was so that I could have some English translation so I could begin to understand what was transpiring during the services. I loved watching bar and bah mitzvahs, even though I didn’t know any of the people. I kept imagining me doing that some day!
Thank you again everybody, I am trying very hard to take everything in that you are saying. It is very kind of you all to give of your time and knowledge to someone like me who is rather lost but trying to find the way pretty much on my own.August 23, 2012 8:40 pm at 8:40 pm in reply to: Where to start becoming Jewish when family roots discovered #991057
Thank you snjn and charlie brown! Your suggestions give me great places to start and I’m looking forward to making this kind of outreach.
I wonder if there are occasionally other people like me in Orthodoxy who have discovered Jewish family background and then begin the process of becoming Jewish?