Friday, October 31, 2008

Shabbat Shalom....I'm Gonna Need It!

Hello to you! I have a few fun things to update you on:

1) I am well into my second full week on Jenny Craig. Today is the....11th Day! I've gotta tell you, other than the cost (it IS pretty expensive), this plan couldn't be easier. I feel so good, so energized, and really positive about making this choice. It definitely feels great to be taking care of myself. You guys have witnessed so many changes in me over the past year or so. Thanks for coming along for the ride thus far!

2) I've got a BUSY weekend coming up, and I am totally excited about it. The New York region of the Union for Reform Judaism (the big umbrella organization that brings all Reform Jews and congregations together) is holding its Regional Biennial Convention tomorrow. The event will provide Jewish professionals and layleaders a chance to come together to learn, pray, eat (of course!), and network. I am SO HONORED because I was asked to lead the big Shabbat Worshp Service tomorrow morning. A cantor and I will lead the service, and help everyone get centered and involved in the rest of the day. What a great privilege!

3) The NYC Marathon is coming up on Sunday. A few clasmates of mine started a group called the Running Rabbis a few years ago. They run the marathon for a good cause each year, and they ROCK! Check them out - they're awesome :)

4) I am going to do my best to be a part of NaBloPoMo, a site that encourages bloggers to post every single day for a month. Think I can do it? Check me out to see if I keep up with it!

Shabbat Shalom!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Week 1 Weigh-In!!


I just got back from my first weigh-in with Jenny Craig, and....... I lost

4.8 POUNDS!!!!!!

Can you believe it????? What a great way to start!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Day 5 of Jenny

Well, my friends, so far, so good! I am now well into my fifth day of Jenny Craig, and it isn't hard at all. The food has been really delicious, and I am actually having trouble eating everything that the program needs me to eat. There are so many fruits and vegetables that I am supposed to eat throughout the day, and they are just too filling. What a nice problem to have!

I will be going in to meet with my "counselor" one-on-one on Tuesday, so I will definitely report back on how the first week went, weight-wise. I have been very careful NOT to weigh myself at all this week. I didn't want it to influence my mood (either depressing me or making me too confident). I just wanted to feel good, knowing that I have been starting a new chapter, and that I am taking good care of myself.

In all honesty, I am really scared that I will get there on Tuesday morning, and I won't have lost a single pound. Since that's pretty much been the story for the past few years, I am scared that nothing I do will ever help me to actually lose weight. I have been discouraged and disheartened so many times.... will it actually work this time? Are my body and soul finally ready to make another big change?

Two days to go until the first weigh-in........

Friday, October 24, 2008

Bereshit - Back to the Beginning

Happy Friday, my friends! I hope that you had a good week, and that you are nearing the end of the work-week. Doesn't Shabbat, the day of rest, the weekend, always come at just the right time?

Tonight, we Jews have returned back to the beginning of the entire Torah. We finished reading the whole Five Books of Moses, the very end of Deuteronomy, last week during the holiday of Simchat Torah, and now we find ourselves ALL THE WAY back at the beginning, Genesis, Chapter One, Verse One.

My dear friend, Andi, has posted a beautiful post about reading the beginning of Genesis. I hope you will stop by and give it a read.

I will be leading services tonight (as I often do), and I am going to be speaking about one of my favorite characters, Lilith. Who is Lilith? She is the answer to the fact that there are TWO creation stories in the Torah.

There's this one: (Genesis 1:27): And God created man in God’s own image, in the image of God created him; male and female God created them.

Then there's this one: (Genesis 2:21-25): And the ETERNAL God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the place with flesh instead thereof. And the rib, which the ETERNAL God had taken from the man, made He a woman, and brought her unto the man. And the man said: 'This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.' Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife, and they shall be one flesh. And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.

How do we reconcile these very different accounts of how humans were created (at least, as far as the story goes....don't get me started on creationism......)? Biblical Scholars just recognize that there are two texts, reflecting two different traditions, and they were edited together.

The rabbis of long ago, though, tried to make it one narrative - they brought in the character of Lilith: Adam's First Wife.

However, since she was created at the same time as Adam (in Genesis 1), she DARED (how could she?? Oy....) to think that she was equal to Adam. She was therefore banished from the Garden of Eden, and relegated to demon status from then on. The rabbis then state that Eve was the better choice of wife for Adam, because she knew that Adam was her master. Can you believe this?

So, gals, let's all live as proud descendants of Lilith - we can be equal, too!! Just as the creators of Lilith Magazine and Lilith Fair did, we can reclaim her as a proud feminine role model.

Shabbat shalom!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Meet Jenny - My New Best Friend

Well, dear readers, wish me luck.

I have decided to join Jenny Craig.
I am nervous, excited,
enthusiastic, cynical, optimistic, and scared. Yep, that just about sums it all up.

As you know, the past few years have been so incredibly difficult for me, physically and emotionally. The back injury kept me imprisoned in pain, and thus totally sedentary. Emotionally, I felt so helpless, I am sure that it didn't help. I gained so much weight, I can't believe it. Yet, I couldn't give myself a hard time about it, because I had no psychological energy to devote to it. Plus, the few times I tried Weight Watchers over the years of pain, I failed miserably, which only made me more depressed about the whole thing.

BUT, now that I am feeling so much better, and so much stronger, I have decided that it is finally time to work on this area. I am finally ready. I can do it for myself, and ONLY myself, and I can feel good about it. I feel like it just might work this time! Plus, I have a good friend who is doing Jenny Craig as well, and we are gonna be cheerleaders for each other.

So, I am well into Day 2 - we'll see how it goes! I will keep you up to date on this new journey in my life :)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

New Kids Concert Recap!

I attended the NKOTB concert at the IZOD Center in East Rutherford, NJ, with three friends. We were all fans 20 years ago, and couldn't believe that we were going to see Danny, Donnie, Joe, Jon, and Jordan in concert again! With me was Hope, Eve, and Lori. We made our own shirts...
...And, as you can see, we put our names on the back of each one!! It was so hard finding a place that still did "iron-on" lettering, but I found the one place in Manhattan that does it. I had a great time with the owner at Gifted, the only place that does lettering!!

Here, I had to take a private moment with a huge picture of Jordan Knight, my favorite. Excuse me while I make a kissy-face at him. Oy, he is still so sexy......
The five guys, in concert. They were so fabulous - still great performers, dancers, and singers. And, they were total mensches about the whole thing - they were so appreciative of us fans!

What a fun time!!!!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Been a Long Time!

Sorry for the long pause between posts - the Jewish High Holy Days are quite intense. AND, at my synagogue, we do TWO of each service! Thus, for my colleagues who are exhausted after a 3-hour long Yom Kippur morning service, imagine having to dive in and do it ALL OVER AGAIN!!

But, what was really amazing was FEELING GOOD throughout the whole 10 days of Rosh HaShanah (the Jewish New Year), the Yamim Noraim (The Days of Awe, in which we are reflecting on the past year and deciding how we want the new year to go), and then Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement). I have been in such exquisite pain over the past few years, and this year was SO DIFFERENT!! Sure, my feet were achy, my head was tired, and my voice didn't want to come out after 12 hours of rabbi-ing. But, my back DIDN'T HURT!!!! Isn't that incredible?

I had energy, vitality, and a smile on my face. It was a totally different High Holy Day experience for me, and I am so grateful for it. I kept thanking God for this new year, and a renewed sense of life and peace.

Now, we are getting ready for Sukkot, the Jewish holiday that celebrates the fall harvest and appreciates the earth's bounty. We build a Sukkah, a temporary structure covered with branches that allows us to connect with nature, see the sky and stars through the roof, and appreciate both the blessing and the fragility of life. The holiday begins tonight and lasts for 7 days. More service-leading, yes, but a happy holiday!!

Stay tuned over the next few days - I will be posting pics from the New Kids Concert and the Madonna Concert that I attended over the past few weeks. YAY!!!!!