Posted by Ilana Angel
If you read Keeping the Faith with any regularity, you know I write about sex and faith, a lot. Both are interesting topics and both matter. Sex is wonderful, and being sexual is important, but I am at a point in my life where I am not willing to have sex without love, and I cannot find love without sharing my faith, so I struggle. Throw in that I am a single mother, and beginning a new relationship, and sex becomes complicated.
I am looking for guidance and answers, so I gathered a group of professionals to help. I am very excited about this evening and I hope you will join us. You can’t talk about sex without getting a little racy, and you can’t talk about God without getting a little fired up, so it promises to be a provocative and fun night. I can’t guarantee that it won’t get heated, or the language won't get colorful, but it will not get vulgar.
Rabbi Ed Feinstein is the senior rabbi of Valley Beth Shalom. He serves on the faculty of the Ziegler Rabbinical School of the American Jewish University, the Wexner Heritage Program, and the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem. He lectures widely across the country and is a brilliant and very cool Rabbi. You can learn more about Rabbi Feinstein at vbs.org.
Dr. Limor Blockman is a renowned Clinical Sex Counselor, Educator, Columnist, Speaker and Author. Dr. Limor holds a PhD in Human Sexuality, a Master’s in Public Health & Community Medicine, and a Bachelor’s in Psychology & Behavioral Sciences. You can read Dr. Limor's blog at jewishjournal.com/cradleoflove.
David Wygant has been earning the trust of American men and women looking to transform their love lives, for over 20 years. He has personally coached thousands of people, and is one of the most respected and popular relationship experts in the world. David specializes in helping men, and you can learn about him at davidwygant.com.
Danielle Berrin writes the Hollywood Jew column and blog for the Jewish Journal. It is a values-based take on the entertainment industry. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Guardian, British Esquire and The Huffington Post. You can read Danielle's work at jewishjournal.com/hollywoodjew.
Whether you are single or married, gay or straight, having sex or wanting sex, you should join us. Regardless of your your religion, or your level of observance, you should join us. We will discuss faith, the presence of sex in our religious teachings, and how to connect the dots to be sexually satisfied while embracing a comfortable and satisfying sexual and religious life. At the end of the day sex matters, God is watching, and a good sex life requires us to keep the faith.
Purchase tickets at http://www.hotandholyla.eventbrite.com
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11.28.13 at 7:59 am | Think. Laugh. Cry.
9.15.13 at 3:14 pm | I love you Russell Brand. (394)
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12.11.13 at 6:58 am | I watch in awe and stare with envy at these. . . (224)
October 7, 2013 | 10:44 pm
Posted by Ilana Angel
Last night I had a date with Coach and I don’t mind telling you I am a little giddy. It was the kind of date where everything happens exactly how you want. From the holding of hands, to the tasting of each other’s drinks, to the kiss goodnight, we were in sync. I find myself with a schoolgirl crush on a very cool and interesting man. Good things come to those who wait.
There are many attractive things about Coach. Most important, he is a wonderful father and speaks of his daughter in a way that makes me proud of him. He is dedicated to her and when talking about her his eyes light up. There is nothing sexier than a man who is a good father. Also, his ability to share his admiration of me as a single mother makes me want to hug him close.
He understands my sarcasm, gets my sense of humor, laughs with me and at me. He is not afraid of sharing his opinion or feelings. He is more than a foot taller than me and I feel safe next to him. I was going to wear heals but opted to wear flats just because I get so excited about his height. There is something very sexy about a munchkin next to a giant.
It is an interesting relationship because it is new, but there is intimacy in our converations. He is gentle with my heart, patient with my hesitation, embracing of my dreams, and just the right mix of coach and friend to guide me along the path I want so much to travel. We are beginning something wonderful and I feel grateful to have met this wonderful and charming man.
We are approaching our new relationship from the perspective that it matters. We are open, honest, communicative, and aware. It is all very grown up, which is interesting when you consider he makes me feel like a young girl with a crush. We are our true selves, say what we want, mean what we say, and speak of building something special. It's all very romantic.
If he is unclear he askes me for clarificaiton. If he disagreess he shares his perspective. He is not afraid or intimidated by what I share or what I write. He is proud of me, which makes me want to be better. A better friend, woman, mother, and person. He inspires me. I find him insanely attractive and his musical tastes are sexy as hell. Sidebar: He is a gifted kisser.
Last night we decided we will only date each other. It is a big deal for a girl when a man says he is going to focus all of his attention on you. I find myself wanting to make him happy because he makes me so happy. My heart is fluttering, mind is racing, body is melting, and fear is disappearing. I am saying a prayer, counting blessings, and keeping the faith.
October 6, 2013 | 1:30 pm
Posted by Ilana Angel
It has been a complicated week in my dating life. I was reminded of my past relationship in a way that has released me and allowed me to finally move forward. It has been seven months since the Englishman decided to be a coward and break my heart. This week rather than be sad about it, I was able to clearly see I dodged a bullet. He is not the man I thought he was and I am done thinking about him in any way other than as an asshole.
He wrote me a shocking email this week. After months of no contact, he actually wrote a lovely note. By lovely of course I mean childish and vile. Any hope I had for some sign of kindness is now gone. It no longer matters if he apologizes for what he did because I don’t care anymore. It is sad that as women we need closure to include an apology. Especially when we expect it from men who are incapable of giving it.
The revelation is not about his not being worthy of me as much as it is about me deserving better. I hung onto a relationship that was unfulfilling because he lied and I believed him. It is not his fault though. Blame is not necessary but if it must be assigned, I will own it. I should have known better, actually did know better, and opted to stay anyway. It was not just his note that changed things for me. It was meeting a different kind of man.
I have met a man we will call “Coach”. He has been courting me for two weeks and it has been really interesting. He is kind and funny, but also a great communicator. We are clear with each other. Clear on how we express who we are and what we want. He has taken the time to get to know me. He is secure enough to not be intimidated by how I share my life, and strong enough to make me feel like he has my back. He is a nice man.
It is an added bonus that he is tall, dark, and handsome. He stands 6’4”, has kind eyes, is Jewish, and makes me flutter. I have been dating and trying to move on but it has proven to be difficult. When you love someone and they stop loving you back, or perhaps never really loved you at all, it is debilitating. I have been forcing myself to move on and Coach has made me realize I could not move because I was not ready or available.
I am realistic enough to know he may be blowing smoke up my ass and not as great as he is appears, but in the end that does not matter. The important thing here is I am ready. We take pieces of all past relationships with us into the next one, but the trick is to remember them so we can learn, not hang onto them so tightly they kill any shot in hell we have of finding love again. By love of course I mean the love we have for ourselves.
I write a lot about the Englishman and now I am done. We were together for a long time and had built a life together, so it has been very hard to let go. This weekend however, I finally did. I am not able to let go of all the pain, but I am in a place where I can see it for what it was, remember the good things, and stop punishing myself for it not working out. A door was finally slammed shut in my face and it caused a window to fly open.
Through Coach I am reminded love is something I need in my life and relationships don't need to be hard. I don’t know if love will be found with him. I don’t even know if dating past this week will be our path, but I do know I think he is terrific. I am not comparing him to anyone, embracing who is on his own, and letting my guard down a little bit. At the end of the day maybe a girl needs a good Coach to teach her how to keep the faith.
October 2, 2013 | 10:16 pm
Posted by Ilana Angel
My son showed me this video today and I watched in true amazement. I’m not sure I would be brave enough to actually try it on my phone, but it really is remarkable. We are ordering this and I am going to spray everything.
Be amazed people.
If you have used it, let me know how it worked, and I will report back once we try it. To the geniuses who came up with this I say bravo. Will is really let my white shoes stay white? I am keeping the faith.
October 1, 2013 | 8:40 pm
Posted by Ilana Angel
I try to always take the high road but the truth is the high road can suck. There is no satisfaction in taking it when you are hurt. I consider myself one who travels it often, but when someone is hurt, mad, or sad, the high road brings no real comfort. Perhaps if the high road came with some really good pot it might make us feel better, but when it is just a simple road with no real high, it's just a road with no view.
Today I found out the Englishman is taking his new girlfriend to London. It has not been been that long since he took me and my son to England to meet his family, and for some reason I found the news upsetting. We are not friends and of course he should take this woman home. Why then, do I find it sad? More importantly, why couldn’t I just be happy to have dodged that bullet? There is no reason I should care about this.
I read the message he was taking her at the same time I was on a call to a man I am interested in. We have been getting to know each other and I really like him, yet due to some unfortunate timing, when we were speaking I blurted out that I could not believe my ex was taking this woman to England. Who talks about an ex with someone you are just getting to know? I broke the most basic of dating rules and I am mortified.
We were to meet for lunch and he ended up cancelling. While the two things could be unrelated, I went home and cried. I cried because the Englishman turned out to be a schmuck, and I cried because I allowed my hurt feelings to say something stupid to a man that has been wonderful and a real breath of fresh air. I find myself feeling quite broken, which is stupid because the power to be hurt and the choice to cry is mine.
I am strong 99% of the time and today I was weak. I have moved on and perhaps the reaction came more from fear than pain, but either way I really hope I have not sabotaged myself. I did not take the high road today. I lashed out at the Englishman. After no contact in forever, I was unkind. I wanted to hurt him for not loving me the way I loved him, but he lied and cheated so he was unworthy of me and it needed to end.
If I am going to be completely honest with myself, and you, it is my ego that is bruised more than my heart. I believed he thought I was special and in the end she is now special. Less charming and attractive, but still special. We all have demons that live on from past relationships and I am good at keeping mine at bay, but those bastards came out today. My ego got hurt, I was shocked, and am now disappointed in my inablility to take the high road.
I embarrassed myself today. Twice. I was mean to a man whose opinion I could not care less about, and I said something stupid to a man whose opinion matters to me. The heart is complicated, and today mine was an ass. Bless her. I was given an opportunity to take the high road and opted to take a different path. Live and learn. I will forgive myself, apologize to others, turn towards to the high road, and keep the faith.
October 1, 2013 | 3:45 pm
Posted by Ilana Angel
This is a video Jimmy Kimmel aired on his show last night.
I am not sure whether to laugh or cry.
We live in a country where old and out of touch men criple our government. A country where our elected President is asked to do his job with his hands tied behind his back.
Is this really the greatest country in the world?
We better all start to work together before it is too late.
May God Bless America.
Keep the faith.
September 29, 2013 | 3:28 pm
Posted by Ilana Angel
I have never seen an entire episode of Breaking Bad. This confession mortifies my son. He has been telling me for a year to watch it and I just have not. No real reason other than the fact that I don’t really have time. We tried to watch together once and it was so violent that I opted out after about fifteen minutes. My son was not allowed to watch it when it first came out, but this year he watched all the past episodes to catch up so he could watch the final season with his friends, leading up to tonight’s finale.
When he is watching Breaking Bad I am not permitted to speak. and must keep my breathing slow and shallow. He watches in total silence, then when it is over he jumps around screaming about how great it is, and how lame I am for not watching. He was finally so fed up with my lack of interest he started watching it with friends. Every Sunday he heads over to a buddy’s house, they order dinner in, and a bunch of kids watch. He then stays for an hour after to debrief and discuss. Tonight is their last meeting.
He is both excited to see how the series ties it all up, and sad that the show is over. He is sad to see it go, but also respectful of the fact that the time has come and he knows he will not be disappointed in the final episode, which will be “epic”. Who would have thought a show about making meth would be so popular? I suppose people who make meth, but this is beyond those few. This show is, according to my child, ”a brilliant piece of artistic beauty with writing so superb it catapults it to another level of American television.”
I imagine the number of viewers tonight will break records of some kind for cable television viewership. I might even watch it myself as I fear if I don’t I will be the only person in America who will not be able to talk about it tomorrow. To the creators of Breaking Bad, Mazel Tov on all you have accomplished. To the viewers who love this show so much, my child included, be strong. Enjoy the finale and feel free to talk about it for as long as you need to. As for another show coming along to fill the void, keep the faith.
September 26, 2013 | 6:19 pm
Posted by Ilana Angel
I totally have a crush on Cory Booker. He is smart, funny, aware, charming, and handsome. As the mayor of Newark, New Jersey, and a Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate, he is admired and respected by many, and has a promising career in American politics. People are trying to make a story where there is no story, in regard to his “relationship” with a stripper.
Lynsie Lee is a stripper in Oregon. She is cute, enjoying her 15 minutes of fame, and a fan of Mr. Booker. They are not in a relationship, but even if they were, who cares? Booker is single, as is Lee, and if they tweeted to each other, God bless. Lee is not even a Democrat. She is just a woman, who happens to be a stripper, that has a crush on a single, adult man.
Lee has been hitting on Booker over Twitter for the past year and I say yay for her. She has good taste in men. Lynsie is heavily tattooed, has a sweet face, a great body, and is a smart girl. She dropped out of college to dance because it was good money. She has a crush and it is harmless. People need to let her enjoy her 15 minutes and not spin a web around Booker.
I once tweeted that I love New Jersey and Governor Chris Christie tweeted me back, thanking me for the support of his state. It was random and totally made my day. Politicians are celebrities, they have fans, and it has nothing to do with politics or sex. To compare single Booker tweeting a stripper to married Anthony Weiner sending naked pics is insane.
Anthony Weiner is a pig and unworthy of political votes. Cory Booker is a rising political star, a single man, super hot, and should be applauded for keeping it real with the people. As for Lynsie, I am happy for her that her crush wrote back. Bravo Ms. Lee. Good luck with Booker. Can we move on now? Surely there are more interesting political things to discuss.
I wish Mr. Booker well with his run for Senate. I do not vote in New Jersey and even if I did it would not matter if he was getting my vote because this is not a blog about politics, or strippers, or strippers banging politicians. Grow up people. There is no story here. When it comes to politics people play dirty so I hope Cory Booker fights on and keeps the faith.