Showing posts from May, 2018

To End Child Sex Trafficking, Let God In

As a young woman I decided I could not — would not — give up my right to self-determination. I would not “mindlessly” conform to the strict Orthodox Jewish lifestyle within which I was raised.

Other people in my life, people very close to me, took another path. They weren’t mean about it, although some were pretty judgmental and still are. At one point I recall someone telling me that when the Final Redemption comes, with all its painful birth pangs, only the “Torah-true” minority stands a chance of being saved.

I remember going to the Orthodox synagogue nearby one Shabbos, very uncomfortable in my overly warm body armor of an outfit. Children in tow, I hid out in the furthest of the back seats in the back row — a habit I maintain to this day — and listened uncomfortably to the sermon.

“Beware of fake Jews!” the rabbi said, at some point, rousing me from my usual “eyes glazed over” stance. Instantly I was furious, as he continued to lecture from the pulpit about people who only pretend …

A Very Vivid Dream

A few nights ago I had a very vivid dream, which seemed important.
I hesitated to share it at first. First of all, like most people, I don’t normally share my dreams (social norm). Second of all most dreams are only personally relevant - they connect to your unconscious thoughts. Third, it’s disturbing - it’s too much information.
But then a few things happened. On this trip I had the opportunity to write about #pedogate, connecting some dots.I reflected on something Rabbi Nachman of Breslov (a”h) said - that when one travels it is exceedingly dangerous, but that the journey is also spiritually important. That in each place you travel you have something spiritual to rectify. This morning, the day we’re leaving, the time on the clock was exactly 6:13 - which is the number of commandments in the Torah - and I had been seeing this number everywhere for a few years while undergoing a spiritual reawakening.Putting all that together it dawned on me that the dream was a significant one and shou…

May God Heal Us This Shavuot

Most Jews don’t even believe in God, or they’re agnostic. I think a lot of them don’t even know they’re Jews (it goes by the mother). But I was raised to be very, very religious, and I’m not anymore.

I mean I sort of am, but not totally. Not enough for the modern Orthodox yeshiva person, certainly. Maybe enough to let me in to the conversation — from a significant distance.

You leave there and you can’t go back anymore. And although I am mostly happy with my choices, every once in a while a deep feeling of sadness overtakes me. And it’s not something I can easily explain to you.

There is this shul we go to, every once in a while. The tunes are the same as when I was young. Just enough that I can sing them, and follow without too much trouble.

The rabbi and his wife, I think, pretend not to know that I’m not “really” religious. After all I know the words and I wear the long, sweeping skirt to the floor, when I go there.

But there is a veil in that shul, an invisible dividing line. Everyone…

Deconstructed Branding & The New Economy

I’ve been on Twitter a lot for almost two years now (@drdannielle), really thinking about what’s going on in our world and what I see and how I feel about it. And I guess, all this time, operating under the paradigm that if you’re doing something heartfelt you shouldn’t be asking for money for it. Money Is Not The Root Of All Evil? Someone challenged me about that paradigm and said, “Why shouldn’t you be making money doing the things that you’re good at and that you love?” In the moment, I responded that for certain things I do, like self-help blogs, I really felt that God was kind of speaking through me, and that it would have been antithetical and even heretic to try and squeeze money out of something that came from a place of purity.But at the same time, I had to really ask myself whether something is wrong with me, that I can’t seem to come to grips with the issue of money in certain ways. And we went through a couple of examples of people who make money from inspiring other people…