My Jewish Community – What I Will Miss About New York – Part 1

I lived in New York for approximately 8 years, and there are plenty of things that began to grind on me over that time. But now that I won’t be living there anymore, I don’t want to focus on those things – I want to highlight the aspects of New York that I loved and I will miss. This is the first of a few posts I am hoping to do in this vein.

Now, here’s a fact that everybody already knows: New York is a mecca of Jewish life. The thing is, though, while you can know this fact, I don’t think you can truly understand this fact until you have lived in New York. When I first moved to New York, a guy I knew in law school who grew up on Long Island told me that for the longest time, he thought the entire world was 50% Catholic and 50% Jewish because that’s what he was surrounded by growing up. There are very few places in the world where you can say it feels like the population is 50% Jewish. 

And besides for just living in New York, to get the Jewish experience, I would even take it one step further and say you’re not getting the full experience unless you spend some time living close to an Orthodox Jewish population.

Continue reading “My Jewish Community – What I Will Miss About New York – Part 1”

Apartment Hunting 102 – The In-Person Visits

For our second trip down to the Raleigh area, we kind of procrastinated on booking flights, so when we finally got around to it, everything was expensive, and we ended up having flights at odd hours because they were cheapest. We flew in Thursday night late (I think we got in at 11:00pm) and flew out Sunday morning at 6:00am, not leaving ourselves much time to check out places, but determined to get things done. Raleigh welcomed us with a torrential downpour Thursday night, but our spirits were lifted when we found out what vehicle we would be driving around town in:

Continue reading “Apartment Hunting 102 – The In-Person Visits”

The Holiday Where We Enslave Ourselves to Celebrate Our Freedom from Slavery

Pesach. Passover. Ugh. I guess the best place to start here is with a little bit of explanation. I would imagine that the vast majority of people think of two things when they hear the word “Passover”: 

1. Matzah.
2. Charlton Heston in The Ten Commandments.

That’s in no particular order, but let’s be real, Charlton Heston is probably #1.

Anyway, in case you are unfamiliar with the basic gist of the holiday, Passover celebrates when God freed the Jews from slavery in Egypt.  Charlton Heston Moses approaches Pharaoh and demands that he release the Jewish people. When Pharaoh refuses, God unleashes the ten plagues on Egypt, the most horrible of which being the death of the firstborn son. The Jews paint lamb blood on the doorposts of their homes and are “passed over” by this plague. Afterward, Pharaoh allows the Jews to leave, so they grab their unleavened bread and get the heck out of there. Pharaoh, though, has a change of heart, and sends his army after the Jews to bring them back. God performs another miracle and parts the sea so that the Jews can pass, but releases the waters once they are through, crushing the pursuing Egyptian army beneath the waves.

To commemorate this amazing story, the Torah commands that we do a number of things. Do not eat bread with leavening for the entirety of the holiday, which can be either 7 or 8 days, an explanation for which can be found here. Retell the story of the exodus from Egypt. Have a festive meal where you drink at least 4 cups of wine while relating the exodus story. Wow, this sounds great, right?  Continue reading “The Holiday Where We Enslave Ourselves to Celebrate Our Freedom from Slavery”