Posted on: August 10, 2011
This time next week I will be Jewish. I’m not quite sure how to wrap my head around it, actually. It’s not like I didn’t know that this day would come, I’ve been planning for this day for over a year. Still, it’s seems so giant-and so incredibly small. Who cares?
For all intensive purposes I’ve been Jewish for over a year. I’ve celebrated every Jewish holiday on the calendar, I’ve celebrated Shabbat both in shul and in my home and with others, I’ve been working hard on making my home Jewish, I’ve created a Jewish circle of friends, I’ve gotten involved in Jewish organizations. I am Jewish-so why go through all of the hoopla.
Today I got a tongue-and-cheek FB comment from an acquaintance I know will be my friend when we spend more time together. He told me I had a few days to bail and no one would judge. The week before I got a FB Message from someone I’ve never met urging me to do the same-bail now! No one will know! Huh? What the Eff is going on here? The comment I found amusing, especially given the context in which I received it, but the e-mail was a bit alarming. Then, I go to my BG&J gmail account and tada! Another e-mail from someone urging me not to convert.
Thing is. In my heart and soul I’m Jewish and while I may not “need” to go through the hoops of becoming Jewish (which is the opinions I keep getting) you kinda do. Last I checked my mother wasn’t Jewish, neither is my father. Come to think of it, I can’t think of a single Jew in the Davis/Miller family. I don’t have any memories of Aunties lighting candles on Friday night-a remnent of a Jewish past. I am well aware that my slave ancestors were not Christian. Perhaps they were Jews-I’m not that kinda Jew. I’m the kind of Jew who was born Christian and became Jewish, by choice.
Early this summer another acquaintance asked, quite sincerely, if I thought that I was really Jewish. Like I was a part of twelve lost tribes of Israel and that is why I felt the urge to convert. I looked into her sincere and hopeful eyes and said, “No.” She was contemplative and then continued to ask me more questions about why I was converting. I answered her not because it was polite, but because she really wanted to know.
That’s how I feel about the e-mails I’ve received. People are really concerned, they care, they want to make sure that I’m making the right decision. Thing is, this is my decision. I don’t have a wedding looming in the future. I don’t have a Jewish spouse with future in-laws hoping I’ll convert calling me shiksa behind my back. I don’t have any other reason except for the fact that I felt the click that Rabbi K. told us we’d have then tried to re-word. Something happened, something changed in me and I wasn’t just trying on Judaism to see if it fit-I felt Jewish.
Wednesday is needed. As Jewish as I feel-I’m not Jewish and according to Jewish law a convert must immerse in the mikveh to become Jewish. I’m not sure that I’m going to have a profound change in that I’ve been living Jewishly for a year. I won’t all of a sudden gain the ability to read Hebrew, speak Yiddish, or get a “berg” added to the end of Davis. In fact, to the average outsider I won’t even “appear” Jewish. My conversion isn’t for the outsider. It’s not even for you, though I’m glad you’re here. It’s for me.