a gay black woman's discovery of her jewish self

13 Days and a Birthday!

Posted on: August 4, 2011

Today is my blog’s 1st birthday!  One year ago today I “penned” my first post.  It was not very exciting.  It basically just said this is my first post.  I’d like to think that the posts have gotten better, a bit witty, and even helpful.  It’s been a truly wonderful experience to share this journey with you in the blogosphere.  It’s surreal that I’ve made actual real-life friends from this space, and it’s always a blessing to receive the wonderful e-mails that I continue to receive from ya’ll. 

In 13 days I will become Jewish.  My Hebrew name has been chosen, and will be revealed after I’m official.  I’m sort of past the anxiety part, or at least I thought I was until I remembered a vital part of the mikvah-blessings!

1. Barukh ata Adonai Elohenu melekh ha’olam asher kideshanu b’mitzvotav v’tzivanu al ha’tevillah.

Blessed are You, O Lord, our God, King of the universe, who has sanctified us with Your commandments and commanded us concerning the immersion.

בּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ אֱלהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם אֲשֶׁר קִדְשָׁנוּ בּמִצְוֹתָיו וְצִוָנוּ עַל הַטְבִילָה

2. Barukh atah Adonai Eloheinu melekh ha‑olam, she‑hehiyanu v’kiy’manu v’higi’anu la‑z’man ha‑ze

Blessed are You, Lord, our God, King of the universe, Who has kept us alive, sustained us, and enabled us to reach this season

ברוך אתה ה’ א‑לוהינו מלך העולם, שהחינו וקימנו והגענו לזמן הזה.

3. Sh’ma Yisrael, Adonai Eloheinu, Adonai echad (Did that one all on my own)

Hear O Israel, Adonai is our God, Adonai is one.

(Thank you My Jewish Learning and Wikipedia for the help)

13 Days.  13 days to memorize prayers that I will hopefully not forget while I’m naked in the mikvah.  13 Days to edit/revise my Personal Statement.  13 Days to figure out who’s coming to my conversion ceremony and Shabbat dinner.  13 Days to reflect on the past year and on the years to come.

I’ve recieved a few e-mails saying things like, “sorry to have just found your blog” or “I just found your blog now!” In my love of metaphors, I’d like to remind everyone that the blog isn’t ending as much as it’s beginning.  Becoming Jewish is one step, but Being Jewish is life-long.  This has just been one chapter in the book of my Jewish life.  I’m currently reading “Hillel If Not Now, When” by Joseph Telushkin and have found it to be wonderfully inspirational and wildly motivational.  Anyone who is in the process or thinking of considering the process of conversion knows that learning, reading, and questioning are three main components of a Jewish life.  Yes, there are the other things, the “commentary” but Hillel instructs us to study.  Being Jewish is a lifetime of study, of reading, of learning.  So while it’s been fun to fret over Hanukkah parties and Pesach seders the real fun is just starting.  I can stop calling myself a Jew-in-training or a Jew-to-Be and just call myself Jewish.  It begs the questions; What kind of Jew will I be.  How can I be the best Jewish me.  What will I bring to the Jewish community?  How will I impact my Jewish community.  What does my Jewish life look like? I could pose at least a dozen more questions but the questions mean that this, blog, this journey, this life that I’m sharing with you doesn’t end in 13 days-it begins.


5 Responses to "13 Days and a Birthday!"

you don’t have to memorize them, which was a blessing. i was a little overwhelmed and couldn’t have been called upon to remember my own name. 🙂 don’t worry, you’ll be great!

Thanks! I’ve read a few stories of mikvahs without the blessings posted…not the best reading! 😉

Congratulations on your journey and thanks so much for sharing it with the world. It inspired me to be more open with my spiritual journey as well.

Best wishes,


10 days to go for me – and you are blessed to have your Jewish name down, I’m still vacillating on mine.

Like others have said, the lady in charge of my mikvah let me know straight off that the blessings are engraved in the wall, so no worries here. Phew, ’cause my tongue gets tied during the Shehekiyanu.

And yes, Rabbi Telushkin’s books are awesome. Currently rereading Jewish Literacy myself.

@ Gretchen-9 Days! Wowza! I can’t wait to hear all about it! I don’t believe that they are engraved on the walls. I have a meeting with my rabbi on Monday so hopefully we can get the specifics then! I might even go to the mikvah before hand just to see it before the big day.
@ Mahri-Thanks so much for reading! It’s always great to learn about other people’s spiritual experiences-I find them very inspirational.

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