August 9 15

Last Saturday morning, I woke up (in my bed! in my new house!) and headed downstairs for my regular shabbat morning ritual—Richmond bakery cinnamon bun, giant coffee, my current book. Only I realized that I had forgotten to leave our urn on, which meant there was no hot water for coffee.

Just then there was a knock at the door. I answered it, full of yesterday’s makeup, sleepy eyes, and bedhead. It was our neighbor Jake, dropping off a thermos filled with coffee, a little container filled with milk, and some packets of sweetener.

“You are a wonderful, wonderful human,” I said, and graciously accepted his gift.

And just like that, I resumed my regular shabbat morning ritual—Richmond bakery cinnamon bun (or two), giant coffee, my current book.

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It’s called chozrim b’tshuva (returning in repentance), if we’re getting label-ly, what our family is doing.

But, it should come as no surprise that I am uncomfortable with labels, unless they are Mabel’s Labels and are being stickered onto my children’s belongings. And truth be told, I don’t even think this particular label works, since nothing about what we are doing is returning—it’s all new.

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At 9:20pm last night, we pulled out the beeswax candle, the tiny clove-filled container, and the teeny cup Isabella brought home from camp. As she held the candle tight while her daddy said the prayers to end Shabbat, Isabella sighed, smiled and said, under her breath, “I just love this.”

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Me too, Isabella, me too.



  1. Love. xo

    Comment by Angella on August 9, 2015
  2. Beautiful.

    Comment by Michael on August 10, 2015
  3. LOVE!

    I have the biggest smile on my face!!!!!

    Comment by Kristabella on August 10, 2015
  4. Sorry. Not Jewish. You lost me. Wha??

    Comment by Nicole on August 10, 2015
  5. Hi Nicole!
    So, basically, what’s happening with our family is that we were orthodox/religious/whatever you want to label it (but I hate labels…we kept the sabbath and kept kosher, I guess, is how most people define it?) and then spent some years being unhappy, asking questions, not being orthodox, but over the last few years, we searched for the answers within our souls, and within our community, and decided that we want to go back to being orthodox again. So we moved our family into a neighborhood where we could make that happen and we are so so so happy, because tis time around we are doing it because WE WANT TO, and not just because we always have and that’s how we were raised.

    Comment by ali on August 11, 2015
  6. Wow!!!!! You do sound so centred and content Ali – I’m really happy for you and your family. Someone said to me a few years ago during a time of tremendous change in my life, “Sometimes it’s the journey not the destination which is important.” Your journey over the past few years has been an interesting, frustrating, exhilarating, alternatively happy/sad one – I guess what I can say to that is WELCOME HOME!!! Xo

    Comment by Heidi on August 13, 2015

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