Shalom,

Yesterday was Thanksgiving, so first and foremost I hope you had a happy and safe Thanksgiving and got your grub on! 

I’m sorry this post is a bit late, but we had a huge celebration at my mother’s house; Sam and I, my mother, my uncle Bill, Sam’s mother, and father drove in from NC, and our four kids… it was hopping at mom’s house. We all broke our diets and ate so much food and had so much fun, it was a great one to remember for sure. We took pictures, which I’ll show everyone once we gather them from everyone’s cameras. 

Meanwhile, today is the Shabbat, so Shabbat Shalom… We’re going to be heading to the synagogue later to celebrate with our congregation and tomorrow the In-laws want us all to go see the liberty bell and other American historical sites while they’re in town. Then Sunday is Hannukah, the festival of lights and we’re so excited to celebrate our first Hannukah!

So to Jews in the diaspora of America, I hope you had a fantastic Thanksgiving, and to all others, Shabbat Shalom!

 

I have added so many new articles here and new wallpaper, with more on the way!!!

So much has been added since my last update here and pretty much on a daily basis to boot. I have been trying to promote this site to show that change is possible for everyone and to help those who are possible converts to Judaism to learn a little more than the basic holidays and such, from someone converting. So, I want to say thank you/Todah Raba to everyone who has been sharing this site with others, my hits are reflecting the love from all over the world <3 

New everything is coming, more content will be steadily being worked on and added as soon as possible, so check back often!

The wife and kids will be home in four days, the high-holy days are coming and this is Elul, I’ve been adding new content here, I am working on the new corporation and I am back on my art game… all at once. I have been exceedingly busy with everything in my life, but am really glad it’s the Shabbat tonight (Shabbat shalom btw) and I can unwind and relax a bit. I’m still adding content here, and have been thinking of new content I could add to the mix as well, so if you have any ideas, contact me and let me know.

I am working hard on so many projects, some more secret than others (especially my art projects), and have been so busy as of late cleaning and getting ready for my wife and kids to return, that I don’t know up from down anymore lol. So give a look through this site, there’s a bit of new content throughout, and I’ll be getting back to work!

I have decided to blog more often on here, and much like the section here with articles, it will be partly based on my life and partly on my journey into Judaism. I have a lot to say and not all of it needs to be written out into an article here. So expect a blog or two a day, depending on what else I add here, based on a variety of topics and thoughts. 

I wrote an article here basically giving the advice that if you’re converting, jump in headfirst and full sail, but I didn’t take my own advice recently. You see I have had problems with maintaining prayer three times a day and tried all sorts of methods to “make it happen.” I don’t need something external to “make it happen,” I needed to make it happen, I needed to, as a sneaker company so eloquently stated, “Just do it.” After a little over a month, it becomes a habit anyway and you’re now doing as prescribed. 

Now I am on course, full steam ahead like a barreling locomotive of Judaism!

Some of you might know that I owned a successful wellness business, helping clients from around the world. Well, after 280 hours of practice, I am closing star of dawn wellness (my small business)… please don’t be sad just yet if you were a client…

My wife Samantha and I are soon launching a corporation unlike any the world has seen. This new venture is based around wellness, healing, self-help, mental health, and teaching the techniques and tools to help yourself. C.I.B. (Come into being) Global is the name of our fledgling corporation and it is wholly unlike what you’ve experienced in the past. We create customized treatment plans for our clients and treat and work towards a cure for whatever elements hold you back in life. 

So, this is a huge step for us and one that will facilitate our helping far more people (than star of dawn wellness) throughout the world. This has been an amazing start to this roller coaster-like ride for Sam and me and one we cannot wait till it’s taken shape and is fully live and active.

It’s also the Shabbat, and so Shabbat Shalom to my global Jewish family. 

Since the wife and kids left for a month in NC while I watch our cats, I’ve been taking things apart and deep cleaning every nook and cranny. This has not been an easy venture with 2 adults and our four kids, things get messy in the oddest places. Needless to say in 5 days since they left, I am about 25% done with cleaning the house already, I’m really pushing to get it done so for the rest of this month I can work and relax… but the pain!

My Ankylosing Spondylitis has been flaring up horribly during all of this, no doubt due to all of the bending over and standing in place. The pain has been pretty bad, though I’m luckily still mobile, even if I’m walking a bit funny from the issue. Today, just like yesterday, I’m still going to be cleaning off and on, but am making sure to relax a bit more, maybe I’ll watch something or play a video game. 

I’ve also been doing back strengthening exercises specifically for spinal reinforcement, which is probably why I’m not stuck in a bed right now. So baruch Hashem for that!

I updated this site with a bit more content than usual, but as I said, I relaxed a little more yesterday. Several new articles are up and I’ve been blogging pretty steadily. I am going to add some new media here as well, so be sure to check back often for all of the updates (daily I add something). Also, don’t be shy, ask me questions, send me an email, let me know the content you’d like to see added here, I promise to do my best to help. 

Okay, so things I’ve learned since this pseudo vacation began;

  1. I hate cleaning.
  2. I’m a really good cook and should cook more to lighten Sam’s work around here.
  3. I really hate cleaning.
  4. I miss them… I even miss the kid’s constant bickering and my wife replying to me “You know nothing, Jon Snow!”
  5. I think the cats miss them too
  6. I don’t think I mentioned how much I hate cleaning, have I?
  7. I love Amazon, if I run out of something, I don’t need to leave the house to get more, SCORE!
  8. Cleaning bites.
  9. My mom worries about me a lot, but she doesn’t need to, but I worry about my kids a lot, but I don’t always need to, ah parenting!
  10. Okay, yeah cleaning sucks, but the enjoyment of clean house after is payment enough.

So due to FedEx screwing up delivery of my wife’s new Cochlear implant piece, it’s out for delivery today, which means we have to wait for it at home. This will be the very first Shabbat service we’ve missed in six months consecutively. We both feel horrible about missing it, but we’re going to watch it online and head to Torah study tomorrow morning. If we miss this FedEx delivery, they told us we’d have to go to Greysferry which is an hour and a half one way by bus, taking 4 busses to get there, and four to get back. 

We will still be doing our full Shabbat ceremony and meal at home, but it feels alien to miss the service honestly. I truly miss seeing everyone in the community here and seeing how their week has been. I’m still looking forward to some introspection and relaxation this Shabbat, after this week I truly need it. 

Shabbat Shalom!

 

Yesterday we went to our synagogue Rodeph Shalom for the first time, it was finally opened since the Covid-19 pandemic began. It was also the first time our new cantor sang for us all, so it was doubly a special occasion. We (my wife and I) gathered up our four kids, hopped on two buses, and arrived with just enough time to talk to others a bit during the pre-Oneg. It was almost surreal seeing so many people we’d only met through Zoom in person, there was so much love and so many hugs (Don’t worry our synagogue is mostly vaxxed and still we all wore masks) even by our two rabbis. 

My sons are on the autism spectrum and my youngest son Gabriel kept saying, “there are too many people, I don’t want to be here dad,” so I kept reassuring him it was going to be okay and to push through it. We found seats in the sanctuary and almost immediately this absolutely holy sound filled the sanctuary, surrounded us all, and embraced us… it was the voice of the new cantor!

While we have been praying at home and attending every online Shabbat service, we got a little lost during the service due to being hard of hearing, but caught up and always felt blanketed in this palpable feeling of joy and holiness. We were lifted by the spirit of prayer and song unlike anything we’d felt before, and it was utterly amazing. I can safely say, we have found a spiritual home in Rodeph Shalom. My eldest son Adrian felt a little overwhelmed by all of the sounds and took a five-minute break, but soon came back (next time we’ll have headphones for him to wear to quiet it a bit. 

The end of the service, they’d said if everyone wanted they can meet and talk back in the courtyard and Gabriel my younger son, who initially wanted to leave said, “Can we meet in the courtyard and stay a little longer,” and that was a true miracle!!!

We got home and went through our Shabbat ceremony with each kid helping to perform a station of it (as we always do), but it went nearly perfect this time. This was a Shabbat unlike any other we’ve experienced, it was powerful beyond measure for our family and we look forward to many more. 

We just returned from Shabbat services (Our favorite part of the week) and while it’s still before the official Shabbat, I wanted to say Shabbat Shalom to all of my readers.

If you get a chance, look through this site, a ton has been added and a ton more is on the way… Shalom Aleichem!