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       Wednesday, January 07, 2004

Got married!

Well, we did it - we're married! The entire celebration was wonderful and I just posted an enormous amount of pictures. Since the ceremony was a blend of Jewish and Wiccan traditions, once I've edited the script to maintain the privacy of the participants I'll post a copy here on Jewitchery.

To marriage!

   posted by Melissa 1/07/2004 10:42:06 PM

       Friday, November 07, 2003

A long time gone

So welcome back, I say to myself. Recent interest in Jewitchery has motivated me to pay some attention to the Jewitchery website, in particular, the message board Simcha!. The mailing list thrives, but my urge to build community (and the former BBS sysop within) longs for online discussion!

So I've upgraded the thing to PHP and hugely improved the forum selection - here's to community building!

The next task is to toy with PostNuke, a free PHP based content management system, and see if I can keep the look of the Jewitchery site while enabling all the wonderful options that go with a database driven system. Articles from all over, commenting on articles, a calendar... ah, the dream lives :)

So, news in my life - Fiance and I are nearly there. Almost everything has been done for the wedding in December - the largest task left is assembling the chuppah. We're using copper pipes for the structure, and my mother's friend embroidered this amazing panel for the front with Hebrew that translates to "I am my beloved and my beloved is mine" from the Song of Songs. Still need to find a cloth to match, but we'll get there! My dress is ready this weekend - it's gorgeous, and I feel like a cross between a wild gypsy woman and a princess when wearing it.

The ceremony has been the most fun at this point - it's also nearly complete, and our officiants, a married couple who are elders in our Wiccan tradition NROOGD and are dear friends, have been wonderfully helpful.

Everyone in the coven is an initiate - woo hoo! Next year, After Wedding, I'll have room to take on open sabbats again and present at PantheaCon 2005.

Kitties are marvelous, Fiance is amazing and wonderful, job is, well, I really really love the people. But there were layoffs, and that, coupled with a huge transition project operating under an impossible schedule has got everyone stressed.

That's life in the tech industry.

I had back surgery in March - the disk finally ruptured beyond the point of withstanding it, and a wonderful neurosurgeon went in there and cut away the bits that were pressing on various nerves. It sounds dreadful, but actually, it's been the best thing to happen to my back for a long time! Fiance and I went to New Orleans in May (that's another Blog) and after that I started a low-carb diet (NOT Atkins) to take off the weight I'd accrued as my world grew smaller due to the pain from my disk. I took the PT exercises I was taught after the surgery and after I regained a modicum of strength, I've managed to incorporate a blend of my old Yoga work with weight-lifting and other strength building exercises. I'm back in my old clothes, which is amazing, and I feel so much stronger than I did this time last year!

Now I want to find some sort of fun cardio workout that's (a) safe for my back [read: low impact - the disk is no longer protected and I have to be careful], and (b) NOT BORING! :D I've thought about taking up belly dance - I'll have to talk to contacts in the East Bay to see if there's a good teacher down here in the South Bay. I'd love to go back to attending Barefoot Boogie, but that's in San Francisco - a bit of a commute!

I'll try and post more often - no, really, I will!


   posted by Melissa 11/07/2003 06:25:35 PM

       Saturday, January 18, 2003

A Year and a Half Later


Obviously, life got away with me and this journal has languished, unattended. In the time between, the Jewitchery mailing list has blossomed. The membership is 100 strong, and the conversations are intelligent, interesting, and from the heart. I'm extremely proud of how it has evolved.

As far as the message board, Simcha! - alas, that has floundered. Partially my fault - I set it up, announced it, and hoped it would take wing on its own as the mailing list did. While folks love to post to the guestbook, they must find Simcha! too intimidating. If there are any out there good at fostering web based conversation and have a few minutes to spare, I'd love it if you took a look at the board and gave me your advice on how to improve it so that community grows.

As to the website: it needs some serious updating of content, if only to bring the timing up to the present. I'd also like to refresh the site so it fits today's larger resolutions. And I'd dearly love it if people contrinbuted more to the Essay section!


My long term lover and I have decided to get married at the end of the year. Of course, this naturally led to the discussion of what we want to include in the ceremony. As witches, we want it to reflect the ceremony of our tradition. I'd like to include facets from Jewish tradition. He needs to make sure we don't shock his Lutheran relatives. All of this while remembering why we want the ceremony in the first place so that we keep it lovely and meainingful to us. Oh, and the 200 odd people who will be joining us in celebration!

We'll incorporate the breaking of the glass and the chuppah. The Ketubah is something else - I'm waffling on it. The ladies on the mailing list think it's a grand idea, but I like to write my own words, thanks. Also, I have my own opinions about pre-nuptual agreements and the Ketubah leaves a stale taste in my mouth.

I've had requests from non-Jewish / non-Wiccan friends that we play Hava Na Gila. Oy. It brings back the echoes of all the bar and bat mitzvahs I attended as a teen. But these non Jewitchy friends, well, they like the dance. Go fig.

Other tidbits... last I heard, there are several books on Jewitchery brewing. I look forward to their publication and hope they start a new dialogue among Jews regarding the necessity of a sacred feminine to balance the sacred masculine. Cross your fingers.



   posted by Melissa 1/18/2003 01:00:27 PM

       Thursday, June 28, 2001

Summer Musings

It's been two months since this site went live and, thinking over what sort of changes have occurred in respect to Jewitchery, there just isn't much.

The mailing list is very very slowly growing - not really an "online community" so much as a loose network of folks who feel pulled towards Judaism and Witchcraft.

The interesting thing, to me, is that there are a fair share of people who are converts to Judaism who are now in turn looking to seek out the pagan and/or magical roots. My first gut reaction to this is always, "after all the work involved to convert to Judaism, why?"

It isn't easy to convert to Judaism. Rabbi's don't recommend it unless someone is deeply driven and deeply committed. At least that's what I believed growing up - perhaps they've widened the gate? Or perhaps my childhood belief was in error?

I live where the climate is similar to that found in the Mediterranean - in summer, the hills grow gold and wheaty and fire is real and present danger. It makes me think of warmer places, and wonder about the deserts.

I went to Israel with my family in my early 20's and was struck by the Negev desert. The sand forms waves and patterns and it's endless, vast. An ocean, really. What kind of magic lies sleeping in the desert lands?

Okay, so I'm waxing trite. But you get my point.

I recently picked up a book called "The Hyena People" which is about the Falashic Jews in Ethiopia. It interests me because of the claim Raphael Patai makes in the "Hebrew Goddess" that they have, to all intents and purposes, deified Shabbat to a true bride of god. Should be interesting.

So the mailing list. More than anything, it's becoming a place where magic users of one sort or another who are also Jews are coming to talk about stuff. Not necessarily about being Witchy Jews, but about being Witches and speaking from our own Jewish perspective.

I like that. I hope it grows.



   posted by Melissa 6/28/2001 04:16:13 PM

       Thursday, April 05, 2001


I host a list for Jewitches via YahooGroups (initially with eGroups but who can stop the chain of giants eating giants? But I digress...)

I've been mulling over the various introductory posts that have occured on this list and it seems there is always one thing in common: we are drawn to practice the religion of Wicca or some aspect of Paganism, yet we are not just loyal, but loving towards our identities as Jews as well some or all of the aspects of Judaism. There is a great deal of pride in our culture and our heritage, yet we serve as priests and priestesses to another religion.

Are we different than the witches who were raised as Christians? Why? And why do we struggle to keep both of our sides intact?

Pondering it, it seems to me that it's rooted in the way that Jews are united not just by a religion but by our culture and the deeply held awareness that we started as a tribe, a nation. That we are also a people, no matter how diversified our wanderings and genetics have taken us.

Most of us who are Jews and are drawn to or have become priestesses of the Craft seem to be women, but I'm basing that on nothing but anecdotal information so don't quote me ;) Again. Why?

In my own experiences, the practices of Judaism seemed sterile and flat. Not the family stuff - but the stuff in Temple. Perhaps because Judaism is so male-oriented, with the exception of Shabbat, we feel that we must look elsewhere to feel strong in our magic. Is this statement completely wrong or does it resonate for other Jewitches?


   posted by Melissa 4/05/2001 03:53:07 PM

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