Becoming Jewish
One Girl's Journey

Effervescence is a state of mind. It's about choosing to bring sunshine to the day.
Every person I meet matters.

If it's written down, I know it (If it's not written down, I don't know it)
If it's color-coded, I understand it (If it's not color-coded, I don't understand it)

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Updates and Updates

Long Awaited Updates - Gracious. I had no idea it had been months and months since I'd written! Let's see, since then:

I took two Hebrew language courses, back to back. The first one was primarily the "start from scratch, learn the letters" kind of course. There were a few times I felt out-of-place, because I'd already studied Hebrew last summer, and this was more of a refresher course for me. But still, there's so much more for me to learn, and I just wanted to be another student in the room. I learned many things in that course, so it was well worth my time.

Then our instructor, Janet, offered a second course immediately following. The second class went straight into learning two of the more common prayers from services. And when I say we were "learning the prayers" I really do mean both learning how to read as well as learning the music that goes with the prayer. Our instructor recorded wav files of each prayer and emailed them to us, which I converted to MP3 and loaded to my iPod. For those of you familar with the service, we worked on V'ahavta and Avot v'imahot.

So, right after the second Hebrew class: High Holy Days. I went to Rosh Hashanah services, and even attended the Monday night service, and all day Tuesday services [taking the day off work], and then "Tashlich by the River" in the afternoon. Yom Kippur was at the same time as GWW (which is a HUGE annual camping event over Columbus Day weekend), so it was a huge scheduling issue to get the camp site in place, and then make it home in time for services. I went to a "before we start fasting" dinner with Adrienne and Jeff (and their synagogue), then went to my synagogue with Melissa (Meala) for Kol Nidre service on Wednesday night. On Thursday, I made it to part of the morning Yom Kippur services, mostly the Torah portion, and then got ready to head off to GWW. Theresa and Alan just got their new home, and she invited me to come share "Break Fast" with them before leaving for GWW. This was a *perfect* idea, so I braved the Los Angeles afternoon traffic, waited out the sundown with them, and we had a wonderful meal together. It was a wonderful Holiday season this year.

The Big News - But the biggest reason to catch you all up: I've been able to tell some of my family about the fact that I'm converting. First, I told my sister and brother-in-law, in late August. They were both VERY supportive, which was a wonderful relief. Then just this weekend, I was at my sister's for my niece's birthday. My older niece came up to me, to tell me she was excited to have heard from her mom that I was becoming Jewish. She thought it "was really cool." *hee hee* And since my step-sister was there, and us three girls were chatting, I ended up telling her too. I meant to tell my Mom before my step-sister, so I immediately got ahold of my mom for a lunch date this week.

We met for lunch today, and I told my Mom that I'm converting. My mom, my sister, and my step-sister each has similar first questions. "So, Jewish like Jewish or Jewish like Jews for Jesus?" No, Jewish like Jewish. "So you no longer believe in Jesus?" Well, it's more than just that. "So now you think Christ isn't?" Um, well it's more complicated than that, there's a much longer answer than just that.

So far, everyone's been very supportive. I'm still nervous about my grandparents, but the few people I've told in my family have all said "No, don't tell her" or "It's none of her business." It grieves me that I may not be able to tell everyone in my family, but it might be the reality. Next on the slate: Calling my dad. Still not sure what to do: How to let all my cousins in on things, without having to say, "Just don't tell grandmother." *sigh*

* * * * *
Today's Blessing That I'm Thankful For: My sibs and my Mom. Wow.

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