So, why would I start a second blog? The first one has kept me quite busy and I still plan to add to it on a regular basis.
My first blog is very spontaneous and off-the-cuff many times. I need that, but since my bat mitzvah (more on that later), I feel the need to write something more focussed.
I ended my d'var torah (Torah lesson) at my bat mitzvah by stating I planned to re-examine the mitzvot (sacred deeds) to see where I needed to grow, to become more adult. It seems the right time for this as I've been Jewish for about 5 years in a wonderful congregation that has allowed me to play and dance through 'time and tradition'.
When I thought of a focus point for it, it came to 'shalom beyt', a peaceful household. Traditionally, this seems to mean peaceful relations, and it is at its core that. However, since I live alone, this has several elements to me:
-an orderly household that runs smoothly. This is true of housekeeping as well as financial management. I'm not great at managing my money and I frequently find myself not able to maintain my household the way I would like.
-a Jewish household. I received a mezuzuh for my conversion that I've never used. A mezuzah is a case holding a small scroll with the sh'ma, the root prayer and statement of Judaism. It is an ancient artifact of Judaism and one of the most clearcut ways to show one runs a Jewish household. There are other ways to show a household is Jewish and I will be exploring those as well.
-a hospitable household. I used to entertain when I was younger--sleep apnea, fibromyalgia and other issues have interfered with this. I would like to start doing this again; Shabbat meals, holiday events, and welcome others to share my life more intimately
-a base for increased contribution to my congregation and community.
So why this name? I guess it comes primarily from my background as a psychotherapist. A philosopher said 'The unexamined life is not worth living'. Various schools of psychology work to help an individual examine life. In some cases, a person can end up with all kinds of insight and stop there, staying in much the same state as they were prior to examining life. What is required, to me, is a response--an active response--to make your life more what you need it to be. That is what I want to accomplish with this blog--put insight into action.