a gay black woman's discovery of her jewish self

Will the Mikvah Lady Think I’m Fat?

Posted on: June 29, 2011

Guess what!  There’s a Date!  Okay, not an actual date with numbers but a time frame.  Just as I’d hoped-I will officially join the Jewish People before Rosh Hashanah.  This year, Rosh Hashanah starts at sundown on September 28th.  That gives me exactly 3 months to lose weight so that when I’m naked in front of the Mikvah Lady she doesn’t think I’m fat.

What?  You know you’ve thought this.  Especially if you’re a woman and if you’re a woman who hasn’t thought this you are a better woman than I.  I’m spinning my wheels so let me back up.  Yesterday I met with my conversion rabbi and we agreed that before Rosh Hashanah I would go to the beit din, to the mikvah, and become Jewish.  There are a few tasks at hand to take care of before that not having to do with my desire to be slender for the mikvah.  First and most important is finding a shul.

I’ve been shul shopping for a year and frankly, I haven’t found the one that’s just right.  It’s a bit like Goldie Locks and the bears.  I’ve found some too hot, I’ve found some too cold, I’ve found tepid shuls, luke warm shuls but I’ve yet to find one that is just right.  Luckily, this lack of job situation leaves me with Shabbat open and therefore lots of Fridays and Saturdays to shul shop.

Like regular shopping I have a list.

Shul Shopping List

-Close to/relatively close to home or close to a subway line that’s close to home

-A feeling of welcome and openness

-Diversity and Inclusiveness

-Real Outreach and involvement in the community

-Active and Vibrant community

-Spiritually challenging and inspiring

-A sense of awe and wonder about Judaism

-Engaged members

Finding the shul that is just right is my number one summer priority.  Hitting the park and running to drop much needed lbs is just icing on the cake.  Ohhh, cupcakes ;)

15 Responses to "Will the Mikvah Lady Think I’m Fat?"

#2-4 and #8 on your shul shopping list…. yes, yes, and YES! And congrats! I am so happy for you!

have you been to kolot?

That’s next week :) People have been telling me to check it out as well

i go there all the time and am a member there; i’m happy to talk with you more about it and make a plan for going together if you’d like.
i chose it because it’s more racially diverse than is common (which may not be as much as i want it to be, but is better than is readily available), has queer folks, active young adults, some experience with trans people, and because there is space for complexity and struggle around israel/palestine. i’ve been really happy with my choice!

you should go as you are into the mikvah.

i too, converted with your rabbi and if she’s suggesting the mikvah on the UWS…the lady who runs the show is nothing less than delightful. when i emerged, she was the first person i encountered. i still remember her face, her smile, her words and the tiny kiss she placed on my head. she was as much a part of the day, as anyone else.

Thanks Elita! That really made my day.

I wanted to be down about 7lbs more for the process but oh well. I have lost 23lbs so far (we’ll not even discuss how long it’s taken).

Around here it’s assumed you’ll stay at the shul where your converting Rabbi works. Not being NYC there is much less to choose. I want to visit more places though, whether I intend to join or not. I know of a couple that do not interest me, some are too far, etc but I want to visit anyway.

Funny this is something that did not enter my mind when I went to the mikvah almost 7 years ago.

My weight never exists my mind! It’s ridiculous, probably.

I know it’s not what I’m supposed to think…the fact of the matter is that I’ve wanted and needed to drop at least 20lbs for health reasons. I always forget that extra weight on a 30 year old with family history of everything that can and will go wrong vs extra weight on a 10 year old is not the same. Both not great, but this sort of kick started it. And that “public” nudity thing.

Ah, nakedness in front of people you just don’t know. I would never be able to do it myself. Plus I should be losing more that a measley 20 lbs lol.

Me too but you gotta start somewhere. I’ve still got about 17-27lbs to go.

True, true. Over the past 3 weeks I’ve cut down 6 pounds so it’s something ;)

[...] Doing most of my research online and in the small Judaica section at Barnes and Noble, I found the Reform Movement seemed to fit what I was looking for – an open stance on LGBTQ individuals, an open-tent mentality to interfaith families, and a focus on inclusion of Jews by choice and Jews of color. I continued my search for the perfect Reform synagogue based on my shul shopping list. [...]

[...] Doing most of my research online and in the small Judaica section at Barnes and Noble, I found the Reform Movement seemed to fit what I was looking for – an open stance on LGBTQ individuals, an open-tent mentality to interfaith families, and a focus on inclusion of Jews by choice and Jews of color. I continued my search for the perfect Reform synagogue based on my shul shopping list. [...]

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