Just Write

B”H

(Note: B”H is a shorthand version of “Baruch Hashem,” or blessed is G-d, used by frum [Jewish Orthodox] people. In other words, all that I write, say, do and am should be a blessing, as long as I am connected to my Creator. These two letters, whether in English or Hebrew, is the way many frum Jewish people start off anything in writing, as a reminder to themselves and others. This was one of the first things I adopted as I started living this life.) 

Welcome! After nearly 20 years of paid writing and journalism, earning a master’s degree and raising four children (that is still a work in progress, and my primary focus), I decided to put more time and effort into the art of writing and sharing, rather than just on getting paid for my work.

Not that the two need to be mutually exclusive. But for me, it seemed I was limiting my writing to intermittent assignments from editors and pending due dates. I needed to know that an editor on the other side of my computer would read and approve of my work, think it was good enough to post on their own organization’s website and mail me a check to cover my time and effort. My sharing only seemed essential if it warranted payment and overt approval.

Over the years, my work as a journalist and has appeared online and in print, including Aish.com, Chabad.org, Atlanta Jewish Times, JerusalemPost.com, New York-based Jewish Press, as well the Tampa Bay Times, where I received a Wilbur Award for religion writing in the secular media for my Faith in Motion column.

That was one of my favorite stints as a writer. I created the idea and explained it to my editor, who let me run with it. Each week I would find, interview and write about some interesting and quirky person in the community who had essentially hit “rock bottom,” then went on to do something amazing guided by his or her faith. I wrote about Muslims and pagans and Episcopalians. Jews and Buddhists and Wiccans. And I loved it.

During this time, I was having my own spiritual and religious awakening. After a few decades exposed only to secular, American-style Judaism, I discovered Chabad, a mystical, passionate, Torah-based way of living. As with any religion there are different denominations and ways to practice, and I have experienced most of them in my faith journey as a Jew. Now I live under the umbrella of Orthodox Judaism and continue to explore Chabad and Hassidic teachings, including Tanya. For me, it’s a way to make Torah relevant and practical, and help inspire me to be better.

For a while, religion was almost everything to me, to the point that it overshadowed my own inner strengths. I am grateful to have found a way to implement Torah Judaism into my life and to continue being a creative, passionate, inconsistent, seeking human being. You can read more about that part of my journey here, one of my favorite recent articles on TheJewishWoman.org.

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