Ever since last year in Sept or Oct, we have met (almost) every Wednesday, and today was…the…very…last…anything…for Intro to Judaism. Holy moly. It doesn’t seem real. It doesn’t even seem right. I am so, so, so thankful that I took the opportunity to take the class when I did, because our Rabbi will not be teaching it again next year. It has been very much a commitment, but one worth doing. And hey… everything happens for a reason (my saying yes & taking the class this year).
We met at the Holocaust Museum for part I. Our Rabbi took us around and gave us a guided tour from beginning to end. I still feel the same way as I did last year when I got to go by myself right before the ceremony started. I thought of a story idea while looking at some of the items that were saved from the Holocaust. The idea matches the missing parts of some earlier ideas I had but couldn’t move forward on….because it didn’t start out being Jewish-based, but now it will be. The answer is always… Jewish.
Part II was eating at Meze119. OMG. That place is delicious. I think I want to go back this weekend, honestly. Our Rabbi ordered a bunch of things and we all shared: Israeli salad, grilled haloumi, hummus (garlic, eggplant, chicpeas), falafel, spinach cakes and one or two more things that had chicpeas in it. I’ve never had any of that food except hummus and my goodness it was so delicious! I hate spinach but I tried the cakes, and they were actually very yummy. I just can’t believe I’ve never tried any of this food before. I feel like I’ve definitely missed out. With the veggies and stuff I do get, I could make some of this on my own.
Anyway, we talked about our journeys, our almost year together, what we’ve learned and so on. It was a good ending conversation that merited as a celebration.
But, get this: End. Of. June. You know what is? That’s when–if we choose to do so–we can convert. (Meaning we’ve had our going further chat with our Rabbi and if everyone can get together to convert together.)
THIS SOON? THAT SOON?
I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. When he mentioned it, I felt like he was talking “very soon” but I really didn’t realize…. how so was very soon.
Now comes the panicking part: am I ready? WELL YES. I mean, I shouted it in the Purim Spiel “ARE YOU PROUD TO BE A JEW? YES! ARE YOU PROUD TO BE A JEW? YES WE ARE!” (and I really did tear up every time) or…the Jews Won song set to One from the Chorus Line…. or L’Chaim… to life… l’chaim to life… or any of it. And living as much as I could this year and last….and just to sit back and think on how much my life has changed because of my moment at Hanukkah December 2017.
Then comes the other part… WHAT DO I NEED TO DO? I feel like I need to wholeheartedly become myself before I can take an acceptance in the Mikvah and be born again….which means…opening up and becoming vulnerable in which was something I had to do the other day by accident and it was so scary. First time admitting it out loud, but it was in a room full of the same people as I’m discovering myself to be, so it was a little bit safer.
Still, what do I need to do? There’s so much. I need to have a plan. I’m freaking out that I have a plan but it’s not a plan until I start planning… I have dreams and goals, where am I taking myself on this journey? Vegas is calling me home; NOLA is flirting with me like the day I fell in love with Jazz music; Seattle and Massachusetts keeps writing to me; Philly, NY, and DC are like old friends and saying “When are you ever going to come visit me again? I’ve got new things to share with you.” And, ow, my brain. Like fire. In a few days, hopefully, I will have a scheduled meeting with my Rabbi to discuss my future. I’m so torn as to what to do, where to go, what to be…. this is not something to take lightly. I literally get a new life: I get to be reborn again, back into the arms of the stars in the galaxy that hold me to my destined life, and after being away from my tribe for so long… I will find my place to fit in, right where I belong… It’ll be home. So surreal to even think about…. and another dream of mine that gets to come true. All I want to do, though, is truly make a difference in the world (starting off with a couple people to a community to a state and all over), and create something beautiful for everyone to enjoy. I just don’t know what yet. I think my answers might be in writing.
I found out that most of the programs (classes & the like) will be shutting down over the summer… which I guess is okay because it leaves me time to do SOAs, write, focus on cleaning and planning…and studying on my own.
I am in so much trouble since I found thriftbooks.com. After I bought round 1 of books, I bought round 2. I was only able to do that because they were so cheap, I got another discount on that, and I get 2 free books out of my next deal. I found several books of true and fictional Jewish essays / short stories / fairytales, a few more Holocaust books (fiction & non-fiction), Art thru Judaism, proper books for Sabbath / Death&Mourning, poetry, Jewish holidays collection, being Jewish, Jewish convert stories, and a few books about Matzo ball soup traditions & etc. I think my summer is going to be well spent reading, and lucky you, you’ll get to read about what I’m reading! (I still need to catch up on a few reviews. Oops.)
Soon I’ll be talking about Shavuot, ice-cream and cheesecake!!