Wednesday, May 7, 2014

The Colorado Life

Sitting in a lounge chair watching Maury.
This is the American side of the Asher Yitzhak. :)

There are two things I can say outright now about being back in Colorado. One positive, one negative. Whether one outweighs the other is yet to be seen.

Awesome thing: Customer service here is amazing. I call and things are handled immediately. I need to return something, and it's not at all a problem. Used a couple of nappies in the wrong size? Take 'em back to Target and return them. Money back? No problem. Gift card form? Not an issue. Mr. T was absolutely baffled by the interaction.

Bummer thing: Shabbat is tough because our walk to the synagogue is along one of the busy drags in town, with cars flying by day and night. It doesn't feel like Shabbat. It's not quiet and relaxing and peaceful; it's loud and noisy and stressed.

There's more, of course. I like being able to walk into a store and get exactly what I need and not pay five million shekels for it. Being able to buy a shirt for $5 and knowing that it isn't going to fall apart is a blessing. Being able to buy the right things I need for Ash is brilliant. Finding inexpensive, delicious gluten-free food is wonderful.

Going places and everyone not being Jewish?

It's interesting. It's a weird adjustment. Even in Israel where not everyone is Jewish, you don't really feel like you're living in a non-Jewish country. Here, I get excited when I see another women in a head covering or sheitel (wig) in Target or King Soopers or at the Starbucks. But having people look at my name and say CHA-viva (like in cheese) is interesting and amusing. It's nice in a way. I get to share a little piece of information: "It's Hebrew," I say.

There's a delicate balance when it comes to living outside of the "Jewish state" of Israel. I find it both easy and hard. It's easy in the sense that it's more obvious here that I'm Jewish. I have to try harder. I have to think about things. I can't just buy things without thinking about it. Keeping kosher becomes more conscious than passive. And you get the opportunity to explain Judaism and its quirks to others when people ask you, curiously, what life is like in Israel.

On the other hand, it's hard because you can't just go anywhere and eat, you can't assume someone knows what you mean when you use certain words. Someone sneezes, you have to consider whether saying "l'vrioot" (lee-vree-oot) makes sense or a "bless you" will suffice. You can't go to all of your friends' homes for dinner, either, making building relationships something of a challenge sometimes.

But there we are. More reflections forthcoming, of course. This life is interesting, as it always has been. I'm just glad you're all coming along for the ride.


  1. How is Mr. T adjusting?

    Wishing you all the best!

  2. Come home soon, though I think you do feel very much at "home."

  3. I, for one, am excited to read more on your thoughts of Jewish life in CO, as I am considering making my own move there when summer ends. Happy adjusting!

  4. It's a slow adjustment, but he's getting there.

  5. I'm so relieved you posted this. I identify as Conservative and converted three years ago. I just just just went to my first Shabbat dinner a month ago (and then my second and my third) with my ultra orthodox neighbors. It was such an extraordinary experience that I nearly considered gong Orthodox...actually...I kind of wish they could just adopt me. ;) I have been reading your blog for a zillion years and I was completely under the impression you were always experiencing this (and I was always amazed when I would see you ask if anyone could ask you over for Shabbat lunch and such). My Jewish life had always been food alone and shul and that's it and that made it so hard to keep the day as restful as it should be. Just being at my neighbor's house I saw how much easier it was for them to keep far far away from any distractions because they had so much family and so many friends coming and going and enriching their experience. Sigh. I fear it is harder to have had full Shabbat and lost then no full Shabbat at all because I am just jonesing for my next invite! lol

    Anyway, I love where your blog content is going again and I love how happy you are in your move (despite the stress!). Can't wait to read more! Glad to to know I'm in such good company!

  6. I think I came late to this party. I also was introduced to Shabbat dinner and lighting the candles and making challah from the shabbos project. I am jewish but so far removed not even reformed. My family did not really observe. I loved the shabbos project it was such a great experience and so I light candles on Friday night ever since. It makes me feel good . I think it is beautiful. I don't know if I will take it further then that but it's a lot more them my mother did even though her mother and grandmother were orthodox . I will also make a point to show my daughter how to light the candles as well and it will be up to her to see if it makes her feel the way it does me. Knowing I am doing the same thing my great grand mother and grandmother did brings me closer to my family!