About the author

Laya Millman


  • Crap! And I just bought my Palestinian prisoners at a 2-for-1 mid-Pesach sale…I’m such a sucker. I knew I should have held out…

    (Seriously, you earn an LOL for this one!)

  • Yes, i have been going through a conversion over the past 14 months. The fact that you viewed my blog brings my readership up to about 4 ๐Ÿ™‚ In any case, i am to be finished right after pesach, and i couldn’t be more excited…I’m looking very forward to becoming jewlicious!

  • And Elon? It’s LAYA not LAYLA. Yes. She is cute, as are all our Jewlicious posters… except for muffti after a 3 day crystal meth binge before he gets his huevos rancheros fix. I’ve heard that that can be a very frightening thing to see.

  • CK, be nice to Elon. He’s new to our people.

    You want cute? Stay tuned for Jewlicious’s new “you-shouldn’t-know-from-suicide-girls” photo essay, coming soon to a fictional site near you.

  • ck, you refer to yourself and to me as cute?

    Elon, what’s your background, if I’m not prying? How did you decide to convert? How have you found the process?

  • TM: I think yer cute. Especially when you start pulling out snapshots – then mr. bad ass becomes mr. softie and we all begin to understand why you’re such a relentless bastard sometimes. Relentless, but still cute.

    As for me being cute? Well, I was obviously being very liberal in my definition of cute. I was obviously not talking about my rottweileresque mug.

  • Do I need to set up a session for you with Esther? You know, one where she helps you with adjectives. I mean, “cute?” How about, I dunno, striking or debonair? “Cute” just sounds so…so cherubic.

    And moreover, how can you say I’m a relentless bastard? Me? ๐Ÿ˜€

  • Welcome to Jewlicious: where our delusions of grandeur and mutual admiration for each other are rivaled only by our self-loathing and in-fighting. “Just like the Jewish people, only bloggier!”

    TM? A relentless bastard? Have you seen the sheer number of smileys he uses? No one could use that many smileys and be a bastard…Can’t vouch for cute on him, because he’s married and therefore useless to me.

    CK, step back on the canine comparisons. Don’t make me come over there and kick your whiny ass all the way to Jerusalem, you friggin’ tard. You’re plenty cute, so shut up. Happy to help you unpack your adjectives, though.

    For the record, we women don’t always love the word “cute” either. Gorgeous, stunning, ethereal, heartbreakingly beautiful, yes–but cute means “Friend Zone City,” so we’re not big fans of that four-letter word.

  • I don’t know why, at 24 i still use the adjective cute, but that’s just how it came out.

    ck- I will make the neccesary spellling changes ๐Ÿ™‚

    T_M- You aren’t prying at all. This only came up in this comment session because i made a post about it on my blog.
    I was born into a very Baptist home and was basically forced to go to church every sunday until i got my driver’s liscence in high school. At that point, i started “going to another church”, which meant doing something else. By my freshman year in college, i had no interest in going to church anymore. Theologically christianity made no sense to me…at all… and i was no longer forced to go, so that was that.
    From then on, i started reading tons of books on Philosophy and other systems of belief. It was funny, i never believed in Christianity, but i was still searching for a spiritual home. Then 9/11 happened and i studied Islam thoroughly and contemplated a conversion but there were some things that bothered me and there was something deep inside me that didn’t feel right. I took this as a sign, and walked away with some great scholarly knowledge.
    Judaism was the last stop on a spiritual evolution. For me Judaism was revolutionary, it engaged me so strongly intellectually and spiritually that i felt immediately connected. I started driving from eugene to portland (that’s oregon) to go to an intro to judaism class (required for study with a rabbi) every thursday for 14 weeks and when that was through i moved up to Portland to study with a rabbi for the summer. From there things started snowballing…life cycle events, bar mitzvahs, developing kosher eating habits, shabbos, i was doing it all and felt a profound connection to the Jewish tradition and people.
    Grad school took me to Rome, Italy for a few months so my studies were slowed down a bit, but my practice didn’t stop…although Rome didn’t make it easy. Dissapointment in Rome led me to New York, City where i met with a rabbi my first week here and prepared to finish my conversion.
    Whew! That was longer than i wanted it to be, i don’t mean to burden people with a long “comment”, but there it is. Oh and my name isn’t Elon, that’s the Hebrew name i chose for my conversion, but being as this is Jewlicious, i thought why not post under it…hope that’s ok.

  • Elon, thank you, that was interesting. You were close to me geographically at one point in the story.

    I have one more question. Can you define what it is that you find attractive about Judaism and the practice of Judaism? I guess what I’m asking you is why, since you had a menu of as many religions as you wanted from which to choose, did you select Judaism?

    Stop answering when you feel I’m prying.

    Esther, I don’t even rate “cute?!”

  • Protestors: Free Tibet! Free Tibet!
    Peter Griffin: I’ll take it!
    *runs to a phonebooth*
    Peter: Hello, China? I have something you may want. But it’s gonna cost ya. That’s right. All the tea…

    Now then, let’s modify it.

    Protestors: Free Palestinian whatevers…
    Me: I’ll take it!
    *runs to a phonebooth*
    Me: Hello, Machmood Abbas? I have something you may want. But it’s gonna cost ya. That’s right. All the afikoman…

  • yay, Jason; that was exactly the original “I’ll take it” point of reference I had in mind!

  • Please, CK, it takes four days to ruin the Muffti’s nearly ineliminable cuteness.

  • a 4 day crystal meth binge? dude… you’d be dead. You have no idea what you’re talking about – you couldn’t handle a 4 day marshmallow binge.

  • T_M- Are you near Portland? The thing that first attracted me to Judaism, and i should note this is something that i think a lot of converts with baptist upbringings share, is that Judaism encourages asking questions and debating the issues pertaining to g-d and what our relationship to g-d is. It started off as a very intellectual attraction, and developed from there. But the intellectual attract was just the beginning, i think through study I began to feel a deep connection to the tradition and the people and i felt “at home” for the first time ever if that makes any sense. I knew when i made the decision to convert that i was making the right decision, there was no internal struggle there it was a natural progression.
    I hope this answers your question…if not you can always email me, i really don’t mind talking about it.

    May 1st new family guy ๐Ÿ™‚ giggidy giggidy gigidiy…all right.

  • Laya: Best. Episode. Ever. That, and the post-apocalyptic episode.

    Lois Griffin: PETER. You just finished off a years supply of food.
    Peter Griffin: What a waste. I’m still hungry.
    [Peter drinks a glass of water and gets really bloated]
    Peter Griffin: Everyone leave. I have to poop.
    [Everyone looks at him]
    Peter Griffin: NOW.

    Elon: The new episode is so good. So very, very good. The first scene makes the whole episode worth while ๐Ÿ˜€ *cough*

  • CK, Muffti knows what he’s talking about. He knows he couldn’t survive a 4 day meth binge. He thought that was part of the joke since truly, Muffti probably wouldn’t survive a 3 day meth binge either.

  • Conservative. And i know, this disqualifies me from being considered Jewish in some if not most Orthodox communities, but i am taking all the steps neccesary to make sure i get a halachichly sound conversion. Which movement do most of the people on Jewlicious indentify with? What about those in Israel?

  • Elon, even if you had studied with Rabbi Heschel himself and lived an entirely observant Jewish life and stood on your head for three weeks straight, tzitzit fringes ticking your ears, virtually all Orthodox Jews would consider you still a non-Jew. Don’t worry, it ain’t personal, they would do it to any well meaning Conservative Jew who wasn’t born of a Jewish mother.

    Know that the vast majority of Jews will accept you as a Jew after this conversion. If you wish to be able to live in Israel, as a foreign convert, they will allow you to be considered a Jew, but you will have a challenging time finding a rabbi to marry you in that country. According to ck, if you’re devout and knowledgeable enough, an Orthodox rabbi will convert you in a very short amount of time to make your conversion kosher in Orthodox eyes, but it may take a bit longer than that.

    Most Jews today identify with Reform and then with Conservative. The smallest number identifies with Orthodox, and those can be broken down into a number of streams (modern, hasidic, etc.). The Orthodox are also multiplying faster, especially in Israel.

    In Israel, many are traditional and about 15-20% identify as Orthodox. The vast majority are secular but very aware of their Jewish identity. It’s much easier to be Jewish in a country that shuts down on shabbat and has bakeries close for Passover.

    As for Jewlicious, Muffti is an atheist, ck is a traditionalist, Esther and Laya are modern Orthodox (correct me if I’m wrong), and I am unaffiliated and unsure but probably identify more toward Conservative than anything else.

    You should read the Bronfman post since it does discuss this issue to some degree.

  • T_M-
    Thanks for the info! I knew that when i decided on a conservative conversion that this would be the case. I’ve been invited to a modern orthodox shul by the rabbi for minyan before, and i think that’s where some of my confusion came in. But then again, my experience at a very guarded Chabad house in Rome gave me a very different experience. As much as i would love to go through with a orthodox conversion, it wouldn’t be honest for me to do so at this point in my life (and probably any point) since i disagree with one of the movements main assumptions.

    I guess my grand gesture of doing my 3 week, tzit tzit enhanced handstand in front of Chabad midtown is off….and that’s ok. Right now i’m focused on deepening my knowledge and visiting Israel, even trying to figure a way to go to a yeshiva for a while.
    I wonder, has anyone here had experience at the Conservative Yeshiva in Jerusalem?

    Ok, this has been long enough. Thank you again T_M.

  • that definitly is me in the photo. and apparently Iรขโ‚ฌโ„ขm modern orthodox, tho my forhead is all wrinkled up in perplexity right now thinking out it.

  • I dont watch south park muffti, my inspiration was The Family Guy, as I mentioned eariler on in the comments…read up yo.

  • …And she’s not cute, but rather Gorgeous, stunning, ethereal, and heartbreakingly beautiful. I’ve learned my lesson thanks to Esther ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Jeebus, Elon. Muffti sees that you’ve never mastered the subtle aspect of the art of seduction.

  • p.s. This joke is SO ripped off from that south park episode, ‘Free Hat’. Shame on all y’all!

  • I know! Sorry Muffti – those comedy Geniuses Trey Parker and Matt Stone totally made up that whole sub-genre of comedy, namely the whole “Free/I’ll take one” groove. Yup. And Alyssa Milano got her start on Charmed and Heather Locklear got her big break on Melrose Place.

    Sigh. There is no end to the arrogance of youth.

  • laya- you’re welcome

    muffti- I haven’t much mastered any aspects of the art of seduction, I still pinch girls and pull their pigtails to let them know what’s up…wait are those any of the aspects?

  • *Sigh* There is no end to the intolerance of the elderly.

    Elon: sorry. you are clearly a master of all the relevant arts you could possibly need.

  • I’d say “ignorance” rather than “arrogance.” They know not what they do, because they lack the life experience pop culture context to truly understand.

    I love South Park as much as (or more than) the next gal. But even I’m “life-experienced” enough to know that Trey and Matt didn’t invent comedy on Planet Marklar and ship it to Earth so that all the little Ethernopians could be adopted by a Sally Struthers/Jabba the Hutt hybrid. Some of these comedy structures have been around a lot longer than any of us. I understand the “Free Brontosaurus” cave drawing pre-dated “Free Hat” and certainly “Free Palestinians” by quite a long time.