Let’s do this…

27 Sep

So I met with my Rabbi a week ago.  It was the first time in a long while that I’ve met with him to talk about my conversion.  We set a lot of goals and even developed a timeline for my conversion.  It looks like in six months I’ll go to the Mikveh.  I’m very excited.  I know that this is the right choice for me.  I am Jewish.  Let’s make it official already, I’m tired of talking about it.  One of the things that I took away from our meeting is a list of questions that I need to be prepared to answer for my Beit Din.  I thought it might be fun to prepare my answers for those questions here before my next meeting with my Rabbi.  Please join in on the discussion.  If you have something to add or would like to answer these questions for yourself (some of them are really thought-provoking) please do!  Please share your thoughts, feelings and opinions.  I’d love it.

What has/have been major turning points for you in your journey to becoming Jewish?

One moment stands out pretty clear in my memory.  I don’t know if it was a turning point necesarily, but it was definitely a moment that changed the way I think and feel about Judaism.  That moment is my friend Dana’s wedding.  I learned a lot that night.  Dana’s wedding was my first Jewish wedding.  I didn’t know what a Ketubah was.  I had never heard of a Chuppah.  I had never seen the Horrah.  I understood what it was to be Jewish on a very basic level.  Her wedding taught me something beyond basic cultural symbols.  I might even go so far as to say that converting was, up to that point, sort of a joke to me.  I had always been told I looked Jewish, had Jewish sensibilities and a Jewish sense of humor (whatever any of that means).  I had even been told by a college acting professor that I shouldn’t move to New York City to pursue an acting career because NYC was already full of  Jews from Brooklyn, I’d just be another.  I know, gross right?  The best part is that that professor is JEWISH.  That night?  Dana’s wedding night, changed everything.  It made me look deeper.  It made me pay attention and ask questions.

The biggest lesson that I learned that night was what (for me at least) is maybe the biggest difference between being a Christian vs. being Jewish.  That lesson?  Live right now.  Here.  Today.  In this space.  The space where you are.  Celebrate with every single stinking molecule of your being.  Dance.  Yell.  Laugh.  Now, I’m not insinuating that Christians don’t get to do that.  No.  What I’m saying is Jews aren’t preparing for a mansion on cloud 9.  We aren’t preparing for a better place that’s supposed to come.  We’re living right here in this world.  We’re trying to make this world a better place.  I want my dance TODAY.  Not only do I want my dance today?  I deserve that.  I deserve joy and happiness right now.  I saw people celebrating.  I mean really celebrating.  I saw true joy in a way that I had never witnessed before.

What changed me, what that joy changed in me was all of the anxiety that I had ever felt.  I’ve had some serious issues with Anxiety.  That’s neither here nor there, but it got me thinking.  If I could work harder at living for this moment and if I could stop worrying about the things that I can’t control, then maybe I could appreciate my life more.  Maybe I could live with more gratitude and be a happier person.  Maybe I could be happy.  I’m not perfect with that.  I get anxious.  I worry.  I just try give that up and away to something greater than myself.  That night was a game changer for me, because it stirred me up and made me really research what being Jewish is.

So I ask you the same question…what has/have been major turning points for you in your journey to becoming Jewish?  Think about it…

One Response to “Let’s do this…”

  1. Liz Rueven September 27, 2011 at 7:24 am #

    I love reading about your journey. While I find that the major life events re-affirm my love for being Jewish (nothing like a bris!), it is the striving to move that sort of joy into our every day. That’s what keeps me on track. You have it just right! Keep it up and Hag Sameah with best wishes for an adventure filled, happy and loving new year.

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