Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Mrs. Horwitz

Christian is a young African American woman who enthusiastically works nights at Nordstroms.

She helped me return my earrings tonight, and digged my voice and my ring from Israel.

When I met her, I loved her - and felt a strong Jewish vibe.

But she's not Jewish.

Oh, but her husband is.

They married, despite protests from both sides of the family.

But the man, Mordy Meir, didn't care. He was marrying Christian, no matter what.

So they got married.

And she's an open woman, interested and open to studying "a hundred bibles" and finding truth.

She's happy that her husband is now getting more into his Jewish roots. She's more than supportive, and interested herself. Even her own church-going mother is into "the whole thing."

I told her that Judaism believes in a G-dly soul, and that no matter where her husband is or what he's into, he deserves the right to discover and claim his roots.

She was totally down with that idea.

I now have her e-mail address, and she and her husband will soon be receiving some Shavuos info from me.

I just thought you all should know there's a woman out there named Christian Horwitz.

Yup, her name is Christian Horwitz.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

The real thing, my brother. You're in.

(Letter to a brother - May 24th 2006)

You're in New York right now because a Shliach called you and told you that you were the man to go affect and reveal a Jewish soul. The mission is simple and complex, soft and hard, and surely so huge and significant.

I want to impart something to you, give over something inspiring, say something that can spiral your heart during the next days of your incredible living - giving - taking -making - burning - learning mission.

But, alas, I have nothing exterior to add to your experience.

What's moving me, is the experience itself - everything it already is .

Sometimes I'm shocked at how far G-d tells us to go for the so-called details.

G-d says, "One Jew. That is my world." And immediately, you're on a plane to the east coast to treat a dreadlocks-wearing Jew like the royalty that he is.

I'm actually on the verge of tears as I write this.

I'm having feelings of, "Wow, G-d really is this great. Yiddishkeit really is this real. We really are supposed to be living this."

We go through life having ideals and values, and loving it, believing it.

And then, something comes along that transcends and encompasses all our beliefs. Something that shows us just how real it actually gets. Something that smashes the calmness of our ideology, and forces us to expect more from ourselves, and from each other.

It's something that comes along to ask, "How much do you really believe this? Do you really care? How far will you go?"

"This is the real thing. Are you in?"

Real Judaism doesn't let us rest. It interrupts our plans, and makes a real schedule of our time. It tests and stretches us. It shapes and teaches us. It make us dance, and move forward with a passionate, confident, and calm speed.

It gets us on a plane, all to do a Mitzvah.


Always remember to feel pride in being part of an incredible nation (not a philosophy, not a sect) that believes in the power of the individual, the power of what goodness and kindness can do to bring the whole world to its final redemption. A nation that believes in the soul, and it's world-blowing powers. A nation that believes in unity, and friendship, and connecting.

Be proud that you were chosen, that you have incredible integrity and strength and liveliness. Be proud that G-d believes in you in a way that he openly shows you the uniqueness of your strengths and mission.

It's downright awesome to call you my friend, and fellow soul-adventurer.

It's inspiring to watch you, and learn from you.

I await a good farbrengen with you.

I love you.

Your proud sister,


Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Everywhere, a Hilltop.

Washington's beautiful Mt. Rainier

It's my first morning back in Seattle, my hometown.

I'm sitting here, viewing my blog interface without the usual atmosphere of yeshiva bochurim, Ethiopian kids, and old men typing with one finger. There is no smell. I don't have to use headphones. I don't have to bring my own tissues for the bathroom. I don't have to leave at any time.

But there's one thing that's the same.

The fire. The inspiration. The need.

My blog profile still says "Location: Rechov Yerushalayim, Tzfas, Israel." I'm going to change it, and the meaning in that is very exciting. My blog, the inspiration and information that I hopefully transmit, transcends location. And not only that, but there is a whole new dynamic that I am about to tap into. New challenges, new lessons, new insights - fresh opportunities, a fresh outlook.

I initially chose the name "Live from the Hilltop" because, well, that's where I was. But it was a little deeper. A hilltop denotes a lookout point, a high place. It hints at being "on top of the world," which is certainly how I felt in Tzfas.

Ironically, my house in Seattle is on a hilltop. But, in terms of the real meaning of a hilltop, it's - on the surface - incomparable to Tzfas.

So, I felt funny about the name. I'm home, in Seattle. I'm not reporting live from any hilltop. I felt like the name was mocking me.

Then, the title came screaming to me in a new way. "Mimi, live from the hilltop!" Live your life from the hilltop! Wherever you are, that's how you live!

Then, I realized that the first Torah portion to welcome me back to America was Parshas Behar - "On the mountain."

Then, I thought about truth.

Then, I thought about G-d.

Then, I thought about my mission.

Sometimes, when you start working on a root-level, there's no room to see separation, to see the struggle, to see the exterior.

You see, when it really comes down to it, we can all make a hilltop out of the deepest valley. We can turn barren desserts into powerful and flourishing life. No matter what, we can live from the hilltop.

I am a Jew.

Wherever I find myself, that is my hilltop.

So, let's do it.

Once again, welcome to the hilltop.

This is Mimi Notik.

Reporting live.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

In Transition

I'm in New York with Tzfas by my side.

I feel goooood - du du du du dee dee dee. Oh yeeeeaaa. :)

General future agenda:

1. Getting sleep.
2. Visit friends and family in New York. Do some shopping.
3.. Visiting Philadelphia, the Chabad house I'll be working at.
4. Going home, to Seattle. Sleeping some more.
5. Getting back into blogging, sharing,
6. Be home. Loving my family.
7. Manis Friedman teen program. Live, learn, teach.
8. Be home, love my family more.
9. Go to Pennsylvania. Love my people, my family.
10. Hmm..

My number of profile views is up to 770. A good number, I'd say!

Speak to ya'll soon!

-- Mimi from the hilltop

[ Future attractions and topics: "Myth #4", "The Matisyahu Undertaking", "Trying to be Holy", "The Narrow Bridge? I think not.", "The Laughing Room" and more. ]

Monday, May 01, 2006

It's Chabad.

(Rabbi Stroch with fruit and vodka he brought to class in honor of Yud Shvat)

I am just a young bearded guy wearing a dusty black hat. What do I have to teach you? Who am I? I haven't been doing this for too long. But, whatever, I can tell you what I've learned. Of that, I am capable. For I am alive and passionate. I believe in something. I want to share it. I can't keep it in. You just have to hear this. You just can't live without knowing this.

I sit humbly in this crowded classroom. I play with my beard and sway back and forth. I'm concentrating. I'm investing myself in the souls in front of me.

Alright, it's 7:15. Class has started.

Let's do this.


He lifts his head.


Girls, this is a secret. No one else will tell you this. But I will.

He sips his water.


There are whole worlds out there that have been hidden. But they
exists in a real way.

He pauses and closes his eyes.


Let me make G-d real to you. Let's try and see him in this very room.

He grasps his beard.


This is why you were born.


This is the makeup of your soul.


This is your mission.


This is your Rebbe.


This is what G-d's doing right now.


This is why grass is green.


This is the beginning of all life.


This is what's truly meaningful. This and nothing else.


Let me show you what we can't see. There. You see it now.


This is how you'll change the world.


This is why you struggle. This is why you cry.


This is what you've been looking for.


Yes, you. And you and you. Rise to the occasion.


Question me. Get angry. Cry. Let's get to the core.


Leave this classroom.


You will find this truth outside. It's everywhere.


Bang. Crash. Smash.

A world is broken into and built up.

This all happens in a crowded classroom - with a Chabad Rabbi and
twenty strong, thirsting, questioning, and fired up girls.

It all happens because of the Rebbe's vision.

It's hitting the core.

It's explosive.

It's magic.

It's other-wordly.

It's nonsensical.

It's Chabad.