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Monica Rozenfeld :
64 article(s)

September 12th, 2010

Rosh Hashana came to me this year as one of those holidays we often forget, like President’s Day. Oh, it’s President’s Day? What happens on President’s Day?
I didn’t prepare. I didn’t think long and hard about what I hoped for the New Year. I didn’t ask anyone for forgiveness. And I definitely didn’t make any Rosh Hashana plans. I let the holiday come to me like I would hope all things will come to me, easily.
I aimlessly trusted that my roommate Farrah knows what she is doing (and she does!) and so I went to the shul she started going to here in Brooklyn. I pretty much fell in love with the place, if not for any other reason than the decorative branches above the ark or their overly-joyed Rebbetzin. We prayed,…

September 2nd, 2010

Friday night was, for the first time in a while, a much-needed night for Shabbat. And while I had plans to go to an 80’s dance party with my one roommate Annie, I still had to ask Farrah what she was doing for Shabbos.
“I’m going to dinner at this really cool family’s house. Want to come?!”
Yes, as a matter of fact, I did. I looked for a Shabbos outfit that could somehow translate to 80’s in case I could milk both events for the night. My unruly, curly hair worked out either way.
I got to dinner at 9 pm (Shabbos starts late in the summer) with Stella in hand. About two dozen people were in the apartment, waiting for dinner to start. I was immediately taken back to all the times I kept Shabbat, and how meaningful they were…

August 20th, 2010

You may have been following my adventures at Rendezvous with G-d, from covering a website for religious Jews seeking extramarital affairs, to interviewing Muslim women and their views on wearing veils. You might remember stories about my personal life, some of which were so personal I chose to later take it down. And today, I close a small chapter of this blog, and open a new one as I move out again. This time I am moving to Brooklyn with a (non-practicing) Catholic and (semi) observant Jew. And more difficult than finding the apartment, might be how to live in the apartment with such varying religious traditions.
So meet the girls who have decided to take this interreligious journey with me. They too will now be contributing…

August 5th, 2010

You may have been following my adventures at Rendezvous with G-d, from covering a website for religious Jews seeking extramarital affairs, to interviewing Muslim women and their views on wearing veils. You might remember stories about my personal life, some of which were so personal I chose to later take it down. And today, I close a small chapter of this blog, and open a new one as I move out again. This time I am moving to Brooklyn with a (non-practicing) Catholic and (semi) observant Jew. And more difficult than finding the apartment, might be how to live in the apartment with such varying religious traditions.
So meet the girls who have decided to take this interreligious journey with me. They too will now be contributing…

July 19th, 2010

Making plans to move in with a kosher roommate has really made me start to think about what I will be eating when I make the move in a month. Recently, I visited a doctor who reminded me the importance of not cheating on my gluten-free diet. It causes all sorts of problems for me (fatigue, skin problems, allergies, and down the line can contribute to diabetes and certain types of cancers). Yet, for whatever reason, I have not taken it as seriously as I should.
It’s funny for me to think about how people who are ordered to follow diets by their doctors for health reasons often cheat, and many times go back to old eating habits, yet people who commit to a kosher lifestyle will never taste a shrimp cocktail or cheeseburger ever…

July 8th, 2010

It would only make sense for me, the Jewish girl who blogs on Busted Halo, to find two roommates — one Catholic, one a semi-observant Jew — to move in with. The beautiful part about it is my getting new material for the site.
When it was decided the three of us would find a place together, it was no question we would get along. We’re all in the same industry, have mutual friends, same crazy schedules (3 am work hours) and so on. But what happens if one eats bacon and leaves the lard out all over the kitchen table? And the other gets annoyed about having the lights on all night because of Shabbat.
“Would Annie get mad at me if I asked her if she eats bacon?” Farrah asked. “I hate bacon. It makes me throw up. And…

July 7th, 2010

In ancient Greece, luck was believed to be a lottery, only awarded to a certain number of people by the gods. In Chinese tradition, however, luck is believed to be governed by our own power. Creating space for luck to enter and travel is how we receive our lot of luck. That is, at least, what my new Feng Shui book says. In Chinese culture, Feng Shui is not looked at as a superstition or religion, but as a science and an art.
When one is ill or has bad luck in life, a Feng Shui  master may enter the home, cleanse the space of bad energy, reorganize furniture, bring in plants and remove items, and it is claimed that the person’s health and luck will change. This is often, in Judaism and Catholicism, something we leave up to prayer.…

June 1st, 2010

Everyone who knows me, knows I am a huge fan of Sex and the City. Carrie Bradshaw, NYC columnist with her funky outfits, happens to be my role model. And although I love the show, and liked the movie, I thought a sequel would be a bad, if not a suicidal, idea for the name. But once I found out the ladies will be in Abu Dhabi, I was excited to see what four City girls would be doing in what they call the “New” Middle East.
I’m not going to lie. The first half of the movie, with the Middle Eastern-inspired outfits and scenery made me want to take a trip to this paradise hosted somewhere between dry lands, poverty and political warfare. I even laughed when Charlotte used her maiden name afraid her Jewish name might cause trouble…

May 21st, 2010

This week, for the first time ever, I went for a TV audition. Let’s just say it was for a reality show that has something to do with millionaires and love. Why did I go? Despite my camera shyness, I thought it would be an interesting experience, the ya know, let’s see what happens… kind of thing. As a journalist, I get curious about basically anything. But reality shows, never (not to be in one at least). In my observation, it wasn’t a day-in-the-life for many of the girls at the audition either with the exception of a few who came with professional headshots.
For this casting, we had to fill out a 26 page application, take photos, and do a quick interview with the casting director. Questions asked were: What are

May 17th, 2010

This week is kind of a big deal. From May 18-20th, we celebrate Shavuot (Shah-voo-ote) which is the holiday of when the Israelites received the Torah from G-d on Mount Sinai. It happens to be one of my favorite Jewish holidays because the way to celebrate is by staying up all night, with a ton of people, drinking and studying text.
Last year, I went to the JCC in Manhattan where they had classes all night, plus Israeli dancing, musical performances, Krav Maga lessons (Israeli self-defense) and tons of food and wine. It’s overall a real high energy, exciting time where the City is filled with people walking from one shul to the next at all times of the night.
If you’re at all interested in participating in Shavuot,…

May 13th, 2010

It’s been several months of one transition to the next — moving, leaving a job, ending a relationship…the list goes on and I’m only 24! It’s easy to be spiritual when it’s easy to be spiritual. When the sun is shining, and everything is aligned in one’s life, of course it’s all G-d. But what about these shaky moments, the ones where all we want to know is that we’ll be ok? I used to be better with change, excited even. And now, I just want to run into a cage somewhere and hide with the bears.

I’ve learned something about myself lately – and that is I am as scared of settling or failure as I am success. What if everything does work out? What if I do get the job of my dreams, end up with my soul mate, spend a life of saving the world and telling stories of strangers I’ve never met? What once sounded like a fantasy could actually come true, and all I want to do now is find a mediocre office job where no one knows my name rather than the world-trotting journalist I dream to be.

So here I am – nervous, anxious, unsure, and I needed some words of wisdom. So while I have tons of books, and shuls, and friends to turn to, I chose Oprah, a modern-day successful and spiritual woman who battles her own self-doubts. Oprah, you have been my spiritual goddess and I want to thank you.

April 29th, 2010

It’s really cool for me, as someone who has spent so much time interviewing people of the Jewish faith, to remove myself and get to know more about other faiths – like Islam.
I recently read a book review for Marnia Lazreg’s Questioning the Veil: Open Letters to Muslim Women …making the case for Muslim women to remove their headscarves. I found this fascinating that a Muslim woman would tell others to just stop wearing the veil. As someone who didn’t know much about veiling, or covering, I assumed the veil was a heavy symbol of showing faith in G-d. Marnia has told me this is what many women believe, even those who wear the veil, but it is not. In her research, she attempts to prove the veil is a man-made tradition in

April 27th, 2010

The other day G-d spoke to me. He came in a form of a coffee vendor, shouting out, “Hey! What kind of coffee do you want?” Looking nice enough, I went over and requested my coffee iced.
We chatted for a bit. I surprisingly didn’t have to rush for once, being early to my destination. He asked to read my palm, his grandmother apparently was a big deal palm reader. He told me I will live a long life — 92 or 93. I will be married, have one son and be a millionaire by the time I’m 35. He also told me I will have some type of kidney problem in a couple of years. I’m not sure if I would be so upset about a kidney problem now, since the rest of my life sounds pretty good.
I have to ask though, who the heck is this guy? And why is he so certain…

April 26th, 2010
Helping others see the horrors of human trafficking

When Anthony Dodero and two of his church friends decided to quit their jobs and head out to Thailand, it wasn’t a thrill ride they were looking for, but the truth about a very horrific modern-day crime — human trafficking.
It is estimated by the United Nations that at least… 1.3 million young girls and women are sold into sex slavery worldwide. When Anthony read about this issue, he wanted to see it for himself, so he and his two best friends, Liem and Chad, set out to investigate, documenting the trip along the way. They called it The Blind Project.
“We called it The Blind Project because we were very blinded to the issue, and were hoping this trip would ‘unblind’ us,” Anthony said

April 18th, 2010

For the past several months, I have been lying to someone who I care about more than anyone in the world. Who it was and what the lie was is kind of irrelevant, but I was lying so deeply I didn’t even realize I was lying, until of course it was pointed out – with tears and a half-eaten Panini sandwich.
You might have noticed I have been struggling lately to do anything “Jewish” or spiritual. I haven’t been able to bring myself to light Shabbat candles or even sit down at a Shabbat meal. Part of me thought I was just losing my spirituality. The truth is I was losing part of myself. By lying to someone who could call me out just by looking at my face, how could I bring myself in front of G-d and lie to Him too. How could I light…

April 13th, 2010

It’s interesting to think about what makes one interesting, in particular one self. I’ve always had this kind of syndrome borderline paranoia which causes me to believe everyone else in the world has a story to tell, but not me. This made it all that much more wearisome to write a blog about being a twenty-something girl looking for G-d and a good fashion sense at the same time. Quarter-life crises can be more challenging than they appear.
As an aspiring journalist, I ask people questions all the time: What inspires you? How did you overcome your fears? Why are you so interesting and I’m not? I’ll just say that it’s much easier to ask the questions than to answer. Only recently I’ve been asked such questions…

April 5th, 2010

What does it mean to be religious or spiritual? Does a religious person have to be spiritual, and does a spiritual person have to be religious? I find it interesting how the two have become almost mutually exclusive for many people. “I’m spiritual, but not religious,” or “I practice my religion but I don’t believe in G-d.” I’ll repeat: What does it mean to be spiritual or religious? I find the word usage has become a bit disheveled and I’m attempting to clean it up.
A study that came out last year found that Christians are much more likely to use the word “spiritual” than Jewish people who were surveyed. When it came to events in life such as a birth of a child, a true love, a lucky break, the word…

March 30th, 2010

I have always wanted to travel to India. There is something incredibly powerful about that Country – the land, the people, the spirituality. And when I do finally go, I plan to visit the Jewish community there, just as I do when I travel to most places.
Unfortunately, the Indian Jewish community is shrinking according to a recent CNN article. The article begins “At 65, Ian Zachariah is one of the youngest ones left. ‘Can you believe it?’ he says, adjusting a borrowed yarmulke in a now-empty synagogue.”
Once a thriving community of 6,000, there are 30 Jews left in the City of Kalkata. And though there are two Jewish schools in the City, not one student is Jewish. However, as opposed to…

March 26th, 2010

Tonight is the Great Shabbat for the reason that it comes before Passover. Monday night, most Jewish families religious or not, will sit down for what is called a Seder meal. The 15 steps of the Seder are a. incredibly long, but more importantly b. resemble important parts of life and Jewish history.
For those unfamiliar, Passover is the holiday which commemorates the day Jews escaped Egypt as slaves and traveled to the Holy Land. Jews were literally “passed over” by marking their doors with lambs blood, as instructed by the Lord, and Egypt’s Pharoah let them go out of fear of the Ten Plagues – the final being the killing of all of Egypt’s firstborn.
A rabbi who I would even consider…

March 23rd, 2010

Glamour magazine and Torah have become my recent nighttime reading choices. They have become neighbors on my bookshelf, best friends in fact. I am not sure where my recent fascination for glitz and glam came from – something I always found to be a bit superficial, and unimportant – but here I am, fascinated. What are the 50 must-haves of the season? I want to know.
Concerned about my new hobby, I took the liberty of conducting a little research (via google) if there was in fact a connection with fashion and religion. I was pretty impressed with what I discovered.
From the history of religious dress, to Models for Christ, to “Fashion Gods,” to religious-inspired fashion lines, there was a whole world out there…

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