This is the week of the shameless plug, it seems. It appears a story of mine made Nextbook – a site boasting, “a new read about Jewish culture,” that I’m going to have to check out.

Here’s the link. (Title: “The Jewish Egg Donor Agency”)

It’s a story for the World Jewish Digest, for which I write at least a story per issue, and they’re usually meaty stories that have substance, context, and poetry. Stories that make you think, that are inspiring, that make you smile in some way.

I wrote about NY Lifespring, an agency in New York that matches Jewish wannabe-moms with Israeli-Jewish egg donors. The owner, Ruth Tavor, is a secular Jew, born and raised in Israel, who herself wanted an Israeli donor because it’s what she knows. As she said, “When you choose [a Jewish donor], you can imagine that 3,000 years ago you were part of the same tribe, you share the same gene pool.”

This Passover, I’ve spent a lot of time pondering the way almost all Jews observe this holiday and its significance – that we became a people, a nation, upon leaving Egypt. And I’ve thought about we all sit down for a seder or two, but we do it so very differently.

There are many ways to live an authentically Jewish life. That’s not a very popular philosophy among my more religious brethren, but it’s what I believe. Every day, I see secular Jews doing things that could be considered to be a Kiddush Hashem, a sanctification of God’s name. There are so many ways to model the values and mores of our collective past.

As we ease to a close of this spring holiday, I hope we’ll all walk away from this labor-intensive, food-centric holiday with a little bit of humility and a great deal of enthusiasm for the many choices we have and the world in which we live. We walk free, to use a word from the Haggadah, literally and metaphorically.

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