a gay black woman's discovery of her jewish self

“I’m Not a Fair-Weather Jew”

Posted on: January 28, 2011

Ditmas Ave in Ditmas Park, Brooklyn

That line was uttered by fictional Jewish convert Charlotte York-Goldenblat on the HBO series Sex and the City. When Charlotte lost her lid and blew up at her lovable, bald Jewish boyfriend, Harry she put their relationship on a brief hiatus.  She was lamenting her lost love to her girlfriends at the coffee shop (naturally) and they assumed that because Charlotte’s relationship with Harry was over that she’d renounce her new-found faith and go back to being a Christian.  It’s a valid thought for a friend to have, whether that friend be fictional, well-scripted, and well-dressed or your friend is sitting across from you with no makeup and wearing clothes she’s picked out herself. 

It’s been a while since anyone has asked me that question and I’m not sure how I would react if anyone did.  It is an added bonus to my conversion that Mirs is a born Jew but she’s not the reason that I chose Judaism over any other faith.  That choice happened after a long time of searching and honest theological research.  Still, as much as we plan our lives they can sometimes throw us unforeseen curve balls that send you spinning.  I, of course, truly believe that my relationship with Mirs will end in lesbian Happily Ever After.  We talk often of our future, our kids, where we want to raise a family.  And if, God forbid, it were to all fall apart I would walk away broken hearted but a broken hearted Jew.

Last trimester in class there was a brief discussion about the difference between conversion for someone and because of someone, the latter being the most ideal situation.  I found a Jewish partner and a few years later found a Jewish life but the two happened independent of the other.  Or did they?  It’s hard to say now because I identify as a Jew.  I know that while I was attending church in the first year of our relationship I didn’t identify as a Christian.  She didn’t bring me to Judaism or encourage me to convert or even talk about Judaism.  Still, the “what if” is a thought in the back of my mind and probably in the minds of others.

It’s been all over the news, both local and national that the eastern coast of the United States is getting dumped with snow.  As a native Ohioan I’m not sure why this news of snow in January is so shocking but it’s been a big to do here in NYC.  Yesterday we were dumped on by the heavens with another foot of snow and the city all but shut down during clean up.  Schools were canceled, the roads were slick, and many transit lines were delayed or suspended for periods of time.  As a result I didn’t make the long trek from Brooklyn to the Upper West Side on Wednesday for my third conversion class.  Instead I snuggled up with my sweet Jewish girl over bowls of homemade tomato soup and gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches and enjoyed each other’s company.

Tonight is Shabbat, I will be running uptown after work to experience a Shabbat at the shul I joined.  I hope you all have a restful, peaceful, wonderful, and meaningful Shabbat; whatever that means for you.

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