Judaism 101: The Torah and Other Sources of Holiness


What various sources do Jews consider holy? How they approach and use these various sources? How do Jews of various persuasions differ in their approach to and use of these sources? In this installment of Judaism 101, we'll be talking about the sources Jews consider holy and the various "denominations" within Judaism. Judaism 101 involves ten Jewish readers of my blog answering questions about Judaism in a panel format. (I introduced this project and provided bios of each pa … [Read more...]

“Boys Are Wonderful and Wild and Dirty”—And So Is Sally

11 girl in field

I just came upon this sentence in a comment on a blog post on some other blog out in the blogosphere: Boys are wonderful and wild and dirty and tender and love their mamas and want to be like their daddies. Here's the thing: Sally is wonderful and wild and dirty and tender and loves her mama and wants to be like her daddy.A couple months ago I was at a wedding, and an older woman stopped by me to admire my small son Bobby, who had just started furniture creeping. He had a bruise on his … [Read more...]

Judaism 101: Sexism and Violence in the Torah


In bringing together the various responses from my Judaism 101 panel into the Creation Stories post, I edited out a few of the responses, because they went off on some tangents and the post was long enough as it was. But I did find one of these tangents really interesting---a discussion of grappling with sexism and violence in the Torah and other holy sources---so I've pulled it together here to give it its own post. So here you go. (For an intro to this series and a bio of each panelist, see … [Read more...]

CTBHHM: My Mr. Visionary


Created To Be His Help Meet, pp. 80-85This is a weird post to write---a very weird post to write. In her section on the Command Man, Debi got essentially everything terribly, horribly wrong. She was literally laying out the profile of an abusive husband, and arguing unabashedly that the wives of Command Men must be doormats, focusing only on serving and obeying. Her section on Mr. Visionary---who is supposed to be a reflection of the Holy Spirit---couldn't be more different. Rather than laying … [Read more...]

You Might Be a Homeschooler If . . .


This video is hilarious.I got to the following point before burst out laughing: "You might be a homeschooler if you judge the length of car rides by how many episodes of Adventures in Odyssey it's going to take to get there." Until this moment, I thought was just my family. I am duly corrected! Here are some more that I could definitely relate to: "If you ever did two days of school in one so your family could leave on vacation.""If the first an only R rated movie you ever saw was … [Read more...]

Homeschooling and the Parent-Child Socialization Divide


Lana over at Wide Open Ground has been hitting it out of the park lately with her posts on homeschooling. The most recent two, one by her and one a guest post, both bowled me over, because they put words to things I have long felt but never fully articulated.In the first, Lana explains that, no matter how hard they might try, first generation homeschool parents can't actually know what it's like to be a homeschooled kid. Here is how she explains that: I am so often amazed at the … [Read more...]

When “I’m Sorry” Means “Please Don’t Hit Me”


Yesterday I finally brought a Christmas mug I was given a couple months ago home from the office. Sally was playing with it in the car, and when I opened the car door it fell out onto the pavement and broke."Oh, I'm sorry, mommy!"Sally was heartfelt and genuine, and that took me aback, because I realized something in that moment. I realized something that hit me in the gut.When I was a child, "I'm sorry" meant "please don't hit me."Reeling from this realization, I queried Sally about … [Read more...]