Since blogs appear to be the 21st-century diary, I would like to share with you how my husband and I have grown since I first posted on this website in January.
I started saying Tehillim when my mom went in to the hospital for a routine procedure and ended up staying there for two weeks fighting a nasty hospital-acquired infection. Given her fears and my anxiety of not being with her, I turned to Tehillim as a direct prayer to Hashem. I never said Tehillim before, and I didn’t even understand what I was saying, but reciting the Tehillim – saying something – somehow eased my fears and calmed me. Once my mom was discharged (and I flew to visit with her) I continued reciting Tehillim and I have found the daily practice to be my time with Hashem, a time when I can focus on what I want to accomplish and communicate that.
I started doing negel-vasser after an offhand comment by the Chabad rebbetzin here. Before I started to help make salad for Shabbat lunch, she asked if I did negel-vasser in the morning, because if not, she didn’t want me to touch the food until I did. I hadn’t thought of negel-vasser since I was in school when I remember thinking it was annoying…but something about it appealed to me now. A sort of “washing away the night” ritual…cleansing…I started to practice it regularly. At first I didn’t tell my husband although I knew he noticed the washing cup in the bathroom – but this past weekend I heard him do it for the first time. We bought a new washing cup for the bathroom (instead of using our Shabbat one). It’s nice to be able to share this with him.
Also this past weekend, my husband started to wear tzitzit. I really don’t know where this came from since my husband never discussed this desire with me, but we were in a Judaica shop in Teaneck and he bought two. I was so proud of him but had to laugh when he asked me how to wear it (tucked in, not tucked in, etc)! I wasn’t sure what to say, since I had never worn one but only saw my male classmates wear them, so I told him to ask someone who would actually know! I can tell that he loves wearing them by the way he folds them carefully on the dresser (if only he folded all of his laundry so lovingly!).
In my first post, I wrote how not being in an established community gives my husband and me freedom to discover what is important to us and how we want to grow in our observance without the pressure of community norms and standards. I am actually really excited that we are doing these new mitzvot, and I am happy with our pace. This blog actually gives me the confidence to try new things, not to mention the incredible amount of learning that takes place on the blog. So thank you to all of you – you have all been an inspiration – and I hope to share more milestones with you!