Friday, December 12, 2008

The December Delima

Three weeks ago I posted the below on two different list serves/blog forum sites which are for persons considering or who have converted to Judaism. I found the answers/responses to be very interesting. Some were quick and harsh, others were maternal and empathitic. All comments were helpful to me.

hello all,
it is that time of year again, and I could use some advice,help resources.I am in my second marriage (just got married in April and formally converted just shortly before the marriage) My only child, 20 year old daughter was raised in a religiously eclectic way. Unitarian Universalist with strong emphasis on both Jewish and Christian ritual. He father, my ex, is Jewish but is anti religion.My conversion has basically caused the cancellation of Christmas for my daughter. this has caused some tensions, last year my then soon to be husband and I got a tree.It was his first, he is a fairly observant conservative Jew. It is important to note that for most of my child's life I had strong Martha Stewart/Rachel Rae energies! the decoration thing was something I enjoyed and was a family event. My divorce was the beginning of a transformation of me, that has caused many emotional changes for all of us and my daughter sometimes has felt orphaned because I was not the same...not fair but just the way it is. She has had professional help, but now we are at the center of the change again. Christmas. she wants a tree, has begged for a tree. I feel bad for her, but if left to my own wants, I would not do a tree....I feel split. she has accepted so much, has been there and remained engaged....yet I feel I am betraying my new life if I get it, the tree...HELP

so I came up with the compermise....Katie has a "tree"......

what do you think!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Shinning Light

I entered the mikveh by choice. Thus my connection to Jewish history, and rituals is deeply felt but also informed by intense study. I have no personal Jewish history, my history is Jewish history. I read the stories of heroic women and men, of times of strife and pain, joys and miracles. I struggle with a feeling of bereavement, why had I not found my true home earlier…why was my path so long? Hashem alone knows that answer…I do not spend much time questioning history that has no human answer, I have too much to learn!
I have become aware that I get briefly tearful when I hear stories of childhood memories of candles and challah, but rebound with joy with the help of the collective warmth of our tradition. Lighting Shabbat candles is more than an obligation, a mitzvoth to be adhered to. Lighting the candle connects me to our history, our stories our covenant. It is both a deeply personal meditative experience while it is also my public declaration…” I am a Jew”


“The Yoke of Joy”

I watch you pray
Book in hand
Words tumbling out
In an amazing array of surging song and muttered whispers
Wrapped in the cloth of your father’s father
My eyes fill with tears
Centuries of devotion on my love’s lips
As you gently finger the strands reminding you of who you are
My heart sings along Although I can’t yet form the words.

“Sisters/ Brothers” December 2008

Strangers to me, thousands of miles away
The little boy
The picture of the happy couple
My heart tearing at each updated report
Sorrow and anger dancing in me
I feel the pain of my Jewish sisters, my brothers
The wheel turns once again
The covenant is complete
What the mikveh started blood has finished
I will light the candles, remembering not what is known
But knowing what has been given
Today I am a Jew

Dunking Rachael

Love, Faith and Life