Marcy Nehorai photo 4
Rivka Nehorai, contributing blogger
Rivka Nehorai, a Highland Park native, currently resides in Brooklyn, N.Y., where she contributes to the Jewish art scene. Rivka is the program director for AMALIA, an organization dedicated to advancing artistic Jewish mothers towards their creative dreams. She is also the proud mother of two children. She is invested in the power of art as a tool for expression, raising awareness, and social commentary. She’s also a huge fan of gefilte fish.
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It’s hard for me to keep quiet, even at a bridal shower, when I hear ignorance spreading thicker than chunky, vegetable cream cheese on a toasted bagel. In my opinion, it’s a courageous act to correct misconceptions. After all, who else will shed light on the truth? If not me, who? If not now, when?

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Any moment now, it’s going to ring. I’m watching my phone. My body is preparing itself to receive two words emphatically digitally shrieked from the confines of a New Jersey suburban home: “I’m engaged!!!”

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The word god in today’s culture brings about a skeptical, corny aftertaste. I say this not because I don’t believe in Him. Oh baby, I do. But I don’t believe in the god that people talk about when they try to allude to His Existence. My God is a Jiving, Loving, Free spirited, All Powerful, Hilarious, Hopeful, Helpful, Beautiful, Energetic, Quantum Physics Genius. My God delights in hip hop, romantic conversations, and good coffee.

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Rosh Hoshanah is coming. Step up to the starting line. Wait for the shofar blast… And you’re off. Running is boring only to those who do not understand it; those who have never tripped on a runner’s high or been calmed by the meditative rhythm of their feet partnering with their will, defying what was previously believed to be their bodies’ limitations.

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I’m getting married. The wedding will probably be mid-January; my fiancé and I are figuring that out this week. You’re all invited for the dancing. Really. It’s going to be a wild time. At Jewish religious weddings, anyone can come and dance.

I’m Glad I No Longer Wear Dr. Seuss Boxers photo_th

One of the most external changes in my life in the past 10 years has been my style of dress. If you knew me at Highland Park High School, you would not be surprised to see me walking through the halls in my Dr. Seuss boxer shorts, socks pulled up to my knees, loud mismatched ensembles, tie dyed color robe, and blue face paint on any school spirit day.

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It breaks my heart that I cannot explain it, because it is unexplainable. Like God, just so beyond that it can't be contained in words.

Jewish community leadership statement on Jerusalem bombing photo_th

I was in the kitchen, dreaming absentmindedly while washing meat dishes, when I heard it. An explosion, ricocheting solidly from within.

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 I’ll never forget the day I stood, in deeply perplexed contemplation, the book “The Tao of Pooh” clutched tightly in my hand. 

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The more I learn about pregnancy and labor, the more I am amazed at the process of the human body and the incredible strength of the woman who puts it all together and pulls it through.

Take that Target photo_th

What is the daily inner work of the contemporary Jew? How do we, as the Passover Seder demands of us, become liberated human beings?

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My mind is wrested, entangled, and unsure of how to fit this one together with the rest of my inner philosophy and understanding of the world.

My birth story photo_th

Twenty-seven days ago, Tanya Ester Avigyle came into this world, alert and alive, looking wide-eyed at me while I stared at her in disbelief, gasping, “oh my God, oh my God” on repeat for what felt like forever.

Reflections from a visit to an Israeli Post Office photo_th

His eyes were warm and for some reason following me as I walked through the metal detector. I turned and somehow found myself in conversation abstractly and he was saying something to me and it felt as if i had come into the conversation midway helter skelter.

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A baal teshuva is a term often used to refer to Orthodox Jews who did not grow up religiously observant and became religious later on in life. Literally, it means "master of return"; returning to who we really are, on an essential level.

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She looks at you with these eyes
that want love and you laugh so hard
at everything she wants to do.

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Hurry up and get boring. That’s the advice I would give to new moms and pops everywhere, or what I would name the title of a terribly boring television show detailing the lives of first time parents.

Can the masses appreciate good art? photo_th

That’s the way it is, he sighs, and grins at his ability to profit off the stupidity and ignorance of others. He’s happy with the money, he told me so himself, through our translator who herself is a partially broken artist; broken down and beaten into reluctantly accepting the status quo, the way nature must be.

Behind the breath photo_th

I began doing yoga, recently, after resisting it for years. Initially, it felt so boring. As one of those obsessed-with-running runners, it certainly didn't allow for that type of animal pleasure of digging into the earth, ripping through the world, passing people by, grimacing through the snow and the heat and the rain, pushing myself to my limits.

In the midst of Hurricane Sandy, in Brooklyn photo_th

In the midst of Hurricane Sandy, in Brooklyn
It is, of course, true
that we, humble and powerful, witty and nimble,
are servants to nature,
must bow at its beck and call,
must recognize that it rises against us.

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Why is the Newtown tragedy affecting us so much more than other acts of violence? There are so many random, senseless, acts of violence out there. Why does this fill our hearts with such sorrow, shock, and disgust, but hearing about the Batman movie massacre only fills us halfway?

Supermom Doesn't Exist photo_th

The entire phrase "you can do it all" must be dismantled from its shaky roots, swaying in an imaginary location deep in never-never-land, where children with needs do not exist, where a day is made up of 200 hours, and where choices do not have consequences.

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It was an ordinary Thursday afternoon. My little, vibrant 18 month old girl was feeling a bit out of sorts. Mingling between sort-of-cranky to probably-had-a-fever though our cheap thermometer didn't seem to get a great reading, plus, how do you get kids to sit still for that long with something sticking under their arm?

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It was too big. I knew it the moment I saw it, as she dropped it off, bringing it through the heavy front door of my apartment building. "I didn't realize it was partially broken," she apologized, gesturing to the slight incision in the plastic seat. She had given me something before, something equally used, appearing as if it had been rolled around in the mud for a while and then hastily cleaned.

Ode to the Housekeeper photo_th

The mess whirls around me, taunting me,
Subtlety grating on my every nerve
I have nowhere to look or step
Thinking is virtually impossible
Except for the incessant downtrodden and angry assaults on my greater incapacity to do anything.

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What’s in a name? It’s a strange, funny story, especially when you go by one name your entire life, and then travel to a foreign land (Israel) where everyone squints at you with a confused expression after hearing your name, but then nods in deeper understanding and appreciation when you, with a hand gesture, add in a side note that your Hebrew name is different yet more familiar.

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What a fantastic way to come into this world. "Imminent delivery!!!"



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