Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Sincerity


This picture was sent to me in the last week, it brought back so many memories of that week in Phuket, two months after the Tsunami. Was it Khao Lak we went to? Khao something, an area near Phuket where we went to assist a village of Sea Gypies to rebuild their homes with an organization that was started by the Fencing Bronze medalist from Germany.

See how happy we are? That's because we spent the last few nights sleeping in tents that never caught a breeze. We washed from a shower that collected rain water and was sterilized by tiny chlorine blocks a swiss man packed in his backpack. When they brought in the farm animals, we were woken up by their grunting and squeaking near our tents. I learned how to lay bricks that week, and dig 6-hour ditches that would serve as sewage containers for the toilets in the homes we were building. We watched the Thai's and Ferangs carrying pipes together, and teaching one another how to mix the concrete to hold together the flimsy bricks we were laying. The brick factory was mixing in dirt and causing them to break easily. Thai children would play hide and seek with us and bring us cold water as we kept falling off ladders, into ditches, and off planks.

At the end of every evening, we would walk to the crystal clear beach, holding our breath when crossing the standing water that 75 bodies were found in, collect the perfect sand dollars the Tsunami left and swim as the sun dipped itself into the ocean ahead.

After our volunteering, we cleaned ourselves up in this 5 star hotel, which offered us $12 nights to generate business and reward us for our efforts. This reminds me of one of my more happier times, it was about three weeks before my life turned into it's very own emotional Tsunami.

Yesterday, I had a long chat with my Rabbi. I had to ask him the million dollar question- when can I anticipate my next beginning?

Sincerity is the key element to complete conversion. Some Jewish communities judge sincerity within 6 months, some within a year, and.. as it's well known- 3-5 years in places like the UK. I was relieved to know that my Rabbi does not doubt my sincerity. "One cannot argue with your intentions, from your experience and what brought you here" He stated.

I had to agree with him. My decision to convert, and to actually convert is the single most important decision i've made in my life, it's something I haven't taken lightly. But, the thought of it actually happening forms a knot in my abdomen. I've kinda settled into the Shabbat Keeping Shiksa with some ink on her right arm status. It will be almost 3 years since i've made the decision to become Jewish and what a rollercoaster it's been. I've gotten used to the whole "My mother would really like you as a person, but she'd never accept you since you're not born Jewish." statements, or the " hey sooz, what does a cheeseburger taste like?" questions, and the "No, catholics don't really go to confession as much as the movies portray" answers- and the neverending explanatory conversation that follows this template:


Stranger: Is your family here in Israel?
Me: Naw, still back home
Stranger: Why don't they make Aaliyah?
Me: cuz my momma is Catholic
Stranger: Then how are you able to live here? Are you married?
Me: Boogah woogah, no i'm not, i got a visa
Stranger: How is that possible??
Me: I'm converting
Stranger: why?? people can gett a conversion visa??
Me: No, not really. It's a long story and top secret. Over and out.

My evaluation is in the next 2-3 months, then i'll know for sure what's up. ..I think my knot is growing.

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