I began this blog to explore Jewish and vegan cuisine, and through it, the deeply rich cultural, religious, social, and anthropological complexities of Judaism. What began as an exploration of foods from Jewish communities around the world to uncover the richness of my ancestry quickly became a central force in my life and has infiltrated several moves, academically and personally, physically, mentally, and spiritually.
Raised secularly, I came to Judaism slowly, and in bursts, like a car sputtering uphill. On one of the first warm April days in 2012, I stood in a plain cotton dress and canvas shoes, scrubbed from head to toe, hair still dripping wet, and recited the Sh’ma. Backwards and in tears. What did it mean to ‘become’ Jewish? I had no idea. I just knew what was presently before me. Synagogues often smell like fresh bread to me, and like old paper.
At home, my growing collection of Jewish texts and cookbooks were overflowing, falling off the edges of my bookshelves and onto my floors, but I hadn’t a clue how to keep going, how to keep Judaism alive in my heart and in my home. Over the last year, I have thought a lot about my sustenance, through my bread and about my paper. Cooking up a storm. Concocting my life through the kitchen and into all the rooms of my heart. I have thought a lot about the old and the new. What’s come before me, and what will come after. I have not just thought about this through my cooking, but in the ways that I began, little by little, to live Judaism. I’ve begun to live more fully than I ever have before. In cooking through history, across the world, through my own foreign emotions, I have also built a home.
Although this is primarily a food blog, is it also about a newly Jewish lifestyle. It’s about a 20-something’s life in the ever-shifting, transitory capitol of DC. It’s about DIY culture, returning to our more basic selves, filling in the gaps of personal history. Through a Jewish lens, I have ruminated on life’s important questions, and I’m always trying to be just a little bit better than I was the day before. Judaism, and my aspiring veganism, has given me the whole world. Prompts and circumstance, and purpose. Now the Heebavore is really the chalkboard for the growing equations of my home economics.
Since I opened this blog almost a year ago, already a Jew, I stumbled, teary-eyed through a heartbreaking split with the man I love, mumbled frustrations through job transitions, watched old friends go, and have made space in my heart for the new. I’m always finding new treasures, and learning, too, to let go, control less, live and love more freely. Looking out at the beautiful life I’ve been living, I realize there’s so much to rejoice, and so much to share.
A part of everything, I’m discovering endless sources of beauty in making my house a home. Another DIY blog, this time Jewish ‘n’ vegan. It’s a slow process, but I’m happy to have you here. So is Cheetah.
Cheetah, the newest addition to my life, is my attention-grabbing little tabby. She is a daily reminder of the love that is always present in life, cuddling up to strangers, trusting everyone, endlessly open-hearted.
Welcome to my story.
Find out more in my first blog post from May 2012: New Beginnings
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Shout Out; Reach Out; Say Hello