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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The Bicycle Chain

The Bicycle Chain - So I was listening to my Blue Fringe albums this evening, and I queued my iPod over to display the lyrics to a few of the songs. I'd found a reliable source on the internet for lyrics to their 2nd album, and copied them over to the iPod files, so that I could scroll through them occasionally while listening. And as the English and the Hebrew lyrics started to sink in for me, I realized a few things.

In my Hebrew classes this summer, the second course took two prayers from the worship service, and our instructor taught us the melody, too. So we were reading and singing our assignments. She mentioned that there is a saying that a prayer that is sung is prayed twice. (Oddly enough, when I did an internet search on this saying, I found it attributed to St. Augustine and several Catholic prayer books, but no Jewish attribution to the saying.)

When I pick up a new CD from an artist, the music hits me viscerally first. Then as I listen to (and learn) the lyrics, it usually takes on a deeper meaning. In this case, not only was I finding the deeper meaning by learning the English lyrics, but there was that deep connection to learning lyrics in another language. There's a very good reason I enjoyed studying Linguistics so much in college. Languages hit me very strongly, emotionally, as well as the experience of translation and understanding the uniqueness that is each language outside of translation.

And if you didn't know this about me already: I cry easily. I'm moved by the smallest of things. I'm one of those saps who cries each time when re-reading a favorite book, or watching a tv show or movie. I can cry from a well-done radio commercial. Yes, I know.

So there I was, in my car, weeping over the impact of the music and the lyrics and the languages, just that much more thankful for having found these CDs.

But most clearly, I think I've got an image that describes what it means to me, my becoming Jewish. It's like there's been a bicycle chain in my life that almost matched up to the gears, but not quite. Pedaling the bicycle that was my life growing up, it mostly got me where I was going, although sometimes I was working harder than I knew I was, and there were those horrible moments when the chain would slip or pop off entirely.

Coming home to Judaism is like finally getting all the gears to click in place. The gears are the right size, they shift seemlessly now between slow and fast gears. My bicycle, my life, is moving with an ease now that I never knew was missing or was just slightly off-center. The chain and the gears were close, but weren't a perfect match before.

They match now.

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Today's Blessing That I'm Thankful For: Coming Home

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