Hello OOTOB Readers,

Somehow, this summer sneaked right by and I failed to notice that this past July marked ten years of my blog, with my first post, The Bridge, having appeared on July 25, 2011 (when I read it now I cringe at my writing style, naivete, and grammar gaffes). I thought it only appropriate to look back at the past ten years of this blog, and of the relationships I’ve had through it over the decade.

My blog has changed and morphed since that original goal, and is now basically a place to park my writing, speaking info, podcasts and books in one place. Instead of directing people to my blog to read my writing, a choice which requires one extra click and is therefore a disincentive, I usually just post the piece itself right on Facebook, Instagram, or WhatsApp. So whereas I used to be very interested in my blog stats, I never check them because most of my traffic is directed to my social media instead. Also, I switched this blog from blogger.com to wordpress.com (with help from my amazing tech person, Andreia) in 2015, so I don’t have saved data from the first few years.

But here are some stats that may interest you:

In 2016, my most widely read post was about parenting kids who are no longer religious, which got 1,649 hits on my blog.

In 2017, it was about how to clean for Passover in one day (2,620 hits).

In 2018, it was “In Shifra’s Arms,” an interview with a woman who runs an organized for Jewish women experiencing unwanted pregnancy (4,015).

In 2019, 2020, and 2021, Passover again (1,588, 910, 484).

So as you can see, the stats go down each year as people are accessing my writing less on my blog and more on my social media platforms. My blog hits peaked in 2018, with over 40,000 hits in that year.

Another change is that this blog is no longer a community, a conversation; it’s not personal. And while I miss that, it’s also a relief. The responsibility of representing Judaism is great, and getting comments from strangers is scary. I used to think I had to handle that fright, but now I no longer do.

I write less often too. When I started blogging I was posting almost daily. Now it’s once a month, when I write my column for the Cleveland Jewish News, which I started in August of 2017. I was writing for them every other week, then posting it here. Now it’s once a month. My first column for them is here, about my identity as a rebbetzin.

But truthfully, when I look back at my first post, here’s what I said: “I want to bring us all together. That’s the concept here: bringing the Ortho out of the box. And building a huge, friendly bridge for us to all stand on together. No issue too big, too small, too ignorant. Join me in my journey. I can’t wait.”

I mean, yeah, that was kind of naive and pollyanna-ish, but also, we’re kind of still doing it. And that’s thanks to the magic of publishing and the internet. And to you. To all of you.

Thank you, and mazel tov on our decade-long blogoversary.