Posted on: August 18, 2010
…and am the new owner of an Israeli shofar, coming from a a friend who’s currently in Israel. I also received all 7 of the books I ordered on Amazon including my new favorite cookbook, “Aromas of Aleppo-The Legendary Cuisine of Syrian Jews” by Poopa Dweck.
All in all, a great day yesterday! Let me rewind; Starting with the Tickets
High Holy Days, the Days of Awe, the month of Elul, etc.
As you all know I’m taking a conversion class at Central Synagogue in NYC. Our wonderful rabbi, has given us the opportunity to attend High Holy Day services at a very discounted price-Donation!! I’m grateful to be able to attend, and even more grateful that we’re not required to pay the high ticket prices. I understand why we have to pay for them,but do you? In case you don’t and thinnk that we Jews are crazy here’s a little explaination. Shuls, or synagogues, do not pass around an offering plate every Friday during Shabbat services. You don’t have to send a little check each week or month. Instead shuls have membership prices that range from holy cow that’s expensive to wow that’s expensive. I have yet to come across a shul that turns away potential members for their inability to pay the membership prices and most have a sliding scale based on income or other factors like being under 30, or being a student. With the price of membership comes tickets to High Holy Day services as well asmost events that happen at the shul. Folks like me, who are not members, often have to pay for admittance to High Holy Days. So it’s really an amazing opportunity that we’re allowed to attend services at a much discounted price, as we’re not yet Jews nor or we members of the synagogue.
One of my friends attends a Modern Orthodox shul in Brooklyn. She invited me to attend services with her. I will admit that I have a few reservations that are anxiety inducing. I cannot even begin to imagine what it’d be like to attend a service at an Orthodox Temple. Will I have to cover my head? My arms? My legs? Is it all in Hebrew? Can I wear flip flops? Do I have to wear tights? Then I remember what she looks like. She’s a hip dresser, she’s opinionated and outspoken and last I checked didn’t wear a wig or cover her hair. Quite unlike any of my “normal” images of an Orthodox woman. Then I think of Aliza Hausman and Yavilah McCoy, they don’t “look” Orthodox either and they’re people of color. Surely I will go, I’m excited to go, I actually can’t wait to go. Unfortunately, I have to wait until after the Holidays so from now until then I will be researching what’s kosher and not kosher. I also want to attend a conservative temple as well as a few others in the city.
My new Shofar…
I’m not sure that it looks like that and surely I will not look like that blowing it because I haven’t purchased the dress yet. My friend is in Israel now and I got a message on FB that she’d just picked up my shofar. I don’t know how one blows a Shofar nor have I heard one live but rest assured that I will be blowing it on Rosh Hashanah at least 100 times.
Lastly, my 7 new books. Besides the mezuzah on my door and the Hamsa around my neck and the dozens of books I don’t have a collection, yet, of Jewish objects in my home. I will aquire them, in time, so I’m grateful to have this beautiful shofar in my house all the way from Israel, no less!
Like that stack of books? That’s my required reading for my conversion class. I’m not going to lie, being back in an academic environment, albeit one that I’m obsessed with and one that will change my life for ever, is thrilling to me. I love reading books, taking notes, high lighting passages that I find inspiring or inspire questioning. I’ve been rattling off facts and tidbits to Mirs so much that she’s suggested that I consider going to rabbinical school when I’m done converting. I’ve started with Jewish Literacy, the largest volume and the cook books (no required reading) are always distracting with the beautiful pictures.
Today I have a conversion mixer/intro/community thing at Beit Simchat Torah, NYC’s LGBT Temple which I’m thrilled about and a one-on-one meeting with a Rabbi at another temple on Friday.
Despite being out of work on an injury and slightly depressed about that, these things have been a source of inspiration and motivation that I’m truly thankful for.