a gay black woman's discovery of her jewish self

What Are You Thankful For Today?

Posted on: September 21, 2011

Noah and I at my conversion ceremony

My good buddy Noah Aronson is celebrating a birthday today.  Along with my wonderful mother and about 3 other friends.  September 21st is apparently a popular birth date for friends and family.  It’s no secret that I have a bit of a man-crush on Noah.  The definition of a man-crush, in this lesbian’s opinion, is a crush on a man in a strictly platonic, non-sexual way.  My crush on Noah isn’t because I want to date him, but rather because he’s such a genius musician.  I’m not sure if I mentioned it in my conversion post, but Noah came to my conversion ceremony.  I came into the chapel and he was a the piano playing.  I noticed right away that he had his guitar with him and after the bima, the receiving of Torah, and making everyone cry I asked Noah to play.  It is, without a doubt, one of the most special moments because who doesn’t love a private concert?

At any rate, Noah introduced me to another genius musician named Elana Jagoda who I’ve been quite obsessed with for the past few months.  Her rendition of Modeh Ani (Thank you for the Soul in me) is the tune I whisper each morning when I wake up each morning.  The CD I have is geared to children, for sure, but speaks to me on a powerful spiritual level.  One song, in particular, has been stuck in my head all day.  What Are You Thankful For features children’s recording of what they are thankful for.  It’s heart-warming and I burned a copy for my nephews.  The reason this song has been stuck in my head all day is because I realize that I have so many things to be thankful for.

I’m thankful that I have a mother who is wonderfully supportive and giving of her time, energy, and love to me and my family.  I’m truly blessed to have a mother who is more than a mother, but my best friend.  While we do not see eye to eye all of the time, and while we fight the same way (a little dirty and never back down) I know that she is always behind me 100% of the way.  Perhaps not at first, but she always comes around.

I’m thankful for you, my readers who have donated so much money, effort, and kind words to support my Israel trip.  It was great to come online tonight to e-mails, FB messages, comments, and Twitter messages asking how things are going today.  I mean, it’s completely overwhelming with the amount of love that there is in the world.  It is still unbelievable that I may be going to Israel in November because of ya’ll…it blows my mind and I have to pinch myself.

I’m thankful that I got fired in June, because if I had not I wouldn’t be where I am now-working for a Jewish organization dedicated to making a change in the Jewish world.  While it’s a huge headache to figure out the flight situation, it feels like it might all work out for the best…or at least I hope that it will!  There are still two days to donate to Help Get Me to Israel!  If you haven’t donated yet, today (or tomorrow) is the day to do so. 

It’s hard living in the world that we live with so much pain, suffering, injustice, and inhumanity to believe in God or to have any sort of religion.  Belief in God feels foreign to so many people because horrible things continue to happen to good people.  Belief in God feels foreign to so many people because they believe that they are in charge of their destiny and control what happens in their own lives.  Belief in God is foreign to people because they think logically, scientifically, mathematically.  I still struggle with my own belief in God in terms of what role God plays in my day to day life vs what I’m doing in my day to day life.  I sometimes am envious of ultra-Orthodox and Chasidic Jews and their seemingly easy and mindless way of believing in God.  I say mindless to mean that they just do it, without thinking because their entire lives are lived for and because of God.  In my case, it took me a long while to get to the place that I acknowledged God and let him back into my life.  It’s still a little uncomfortable and when I pray at night, it seems foreign.  But there is so much good in my life, so much good in the world, so much to be thankful for that I cannot forget to thank God for his part in it.

2 Responses to "What Are You Thankful For Today?"

Hey, what kind of non-profit work are you doing now?

The true is that the current Jewish time is more for forgiveness , as we are hitting Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippor soon , but it seems that to be thankful works even better …

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