Posted on: August 15, 2010
M seems to think so so I did some more researching. I’m not going to lie, there’s something a bit off-putting when I hear the word Conservative. I know that the Conservative that main-stream society thinks of and Conservative Judaism are different but the word itself has definite negative connotations at times. For instance, I started with typing “Conservative” into my Google search engine and here are just some of the gems that came up.
I mean, even Charlotte York was confused when Harry Goldenblatt ordered pork. Figuring out what kind of Jew to be is hard.
So am I a conservative Jew (to be). I don’t know. It’s just another piece of Jewishness to be added onto my big ole plate of Jew. I actually hadn’t thought about it or learned about the movement as much as I have the Reform so I’m quite mystified.
There are things that I’m comfortable doing which would point to Conservative Judaism. For instance, I haven’t missed temple on Sabbath for an entire month now, I read the Torah daily, I pray a lot, and I’m keeping a Kosher Kitchen (as of September 8th) I have a new-found love and respect for Talmudic writings, the 5 books for my conversion class are on their way from Amazon in addition to the 2 Sephardic Israeli cookbooks I ordered so there’s no way I’m ordering a box set Talmud any time soon. I’ve got readings and websites coming out of both ears and all I’m really preoccupied with right now is planning Rosh Hashanah dinner. With all of those things, and the fact that I haven’t found a rabbi yet-I’m still on the path of discovery and of conversion which means at this point it’s all up in the air.
Which denomination am I converting to? Not sure yet. On Wednesday I have a meeting with NYCs LGBT temple and on Friday I’m meeting with a rabbi of a west side Temple so there’s still time. On the other hand, two of my new favorite Jews of Color, Aliza Hausman, a Dominican Orthodox Jew and Yavilah McCoy, a black Orthodox Jew are both, well, Orthodox. I came to bed the other night with a silk scarf on my hair and Mirs asked me, slightly horrified and slightly but, cautiously supportive, “Are you going to be an Orthodox Jew?!” I can understand her concern. I’ve been obsessively reading all that I can about both Aliza and Yavilah not to mention one of my new favorite blogs, Jew In the City, about an Orthodox Jewish Woman.
I assured her that my obsessions were just that-obsessions and elation at finding not only other Jews of Color but Orthodox Jews of color. It seems that a lot of the non-white Jews that I’m finding online have chosen Orthodox conversion or were born into Orthodox families. In term of “legitimacy” if I chose to do an Orthodox conversion I could walk into any temple any where and know that I was a “real” Jew. There are changes afoot in Israel currently on such topic so I know that I won’t have to (and have no desire) convert Orthodox.
My interest in the Orthodox has been one of curiosity and I’ll admit, fascination. The Conservative movement seems like a “middle ground.” Giving my Shabbat observance, my desire to be Kosher, and my need to study, read, and pray on a daily basis it seems like a good choice.
Does it matter? Yes and No. Yes, because I’ll be converting in a temple before a bet din and get submerged in a mikvah to come out on the other side as a Jew-I’ll have figured out who my rabbi will be and which synagogue in NYC will be my new home. No, because I still have a lot of time. Something as important as converting needs time, reasearch, and thought and cannot be rushed.
So there is no answer, really. I’m still just me, only more Jewish.