Ask an Orthodox Jew…

by Rachel Held Evans Read Distraction Free

Today I am delighted to introduce you to a woman who has become an invaluable source for both information and friendship during my year of biblical womanhood.

Ahava is an American-born Orthodox Jew who now lives in Israel with her husband (a rabbi) and three adorable children.

With a spiritual seeker for a mother and a devout atheist for a grandmother, Ahava was unaware of her Jewish heritage until her teens, when research revealed that her great-grandmother was an observant Jew. According to Orthodox law, which determines heritage through matrilineal descent, this made Ahava a Jew too. And it’s a good thing. As Ahava became more observant, friends connected her to a Jewish dating service through which she met Michael, whose priestly descent required that he marry a Jewish-born woman. “He also wanted a redhead,” says Ahava. “So I fit the bill on all accounts.” Michael and Ahava emigrated to Israel in 2007. 

Ahava’s quick wit and wise advice has made her my go-to-woman for all things Jewish. She helped me prepare for Passover, gave me tips for getting through “niddah,” explained Jewish holidays and traditions, and has spoken candidly about everything from sex to Schmaltz. Her explanation for how the Jewish community regards Proverbs 31 changed my view of that passage forever. My interactions with Ahava have inspired me to learn more about Jewish traditions and interpretations of Scripture, which have enriched both my book and my life.  

You can find some of Ahava’s recipes, stories, and  photos on her blog.

I’m so excited for you to get the opportunity interact with Ahava through our summer interview series. You know the drill. The point is not to debate or challenge, but to ask the sort of questions that will help us understand one another better. Please take advantage of the “like” feature so that we can get a sense of what questions are of most interest to readers. We’ll pick the top six or seven questions and post Ahava’s response next week

…Ask away!

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