Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Study study study

Last month, when I met with another Rabbi in regards to my progression in my conversion, I was quite torn. On one hand, I really wanted some guidance in knowing what to expect for the duration of my conversion, on the other hand, my soul was doing flip after flip trying to make sense of my transition, and my health was worrying to a critical point. All my symptoms were pointing to a reality not even I could ignore- but I had to, I needed to focus on what the Rabbi would say.
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When it breaks, it all breaks. From broken hearts, to broken TVs, to a Broken phone, and then a broken being? It was all piled up. Just breath.
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And suddenly, from all the reoccurring dreams of stairs and all the confusion in between, for the first time in years- I finally dreamt of a blue sky. That's all I remember from last night, a sky so periwinkle and bright, that it felt like velvet.
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The reoccurring question of my day to day life has been "why would you convert". For a question that is posed daily- I never can seem to give an universal answer. I suppose I tailor the answer for the individual that asks. Anywhere from: "duh!I did it to marry rich", to a long explanation of fate and the beauty of pain, to "Jews need more people like me! mwah!", back to the whole explanation of destiny, then back to: "it's a strong feeling I cannot explain".
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All of my hearts cries have found peace with the month of Adar, of course- next month is another ride to take, but I am re inspired by those around me and their dedication, on any level. Channah and Nooman sat with me last night as we reviewed daily prayers, a meeting we will hold twice a week until I am confident enough to recite them correctly on my own. Nooman went line by line, explaining the root word and incorporating Biblical Hebrew into the modern day Hebrew so I could better understand it. Channah patiently went over each sound of each syllable, pointing out the tones and how to pronounce Biblical Hebrew, something I've learned to follow along to, but couldn't pronounce on my own. We went over Ashri until a thin headache formed across my head. We went over the morning Brechots until I couldn't remember if I even knew Hebrew at all.
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I think so far, I realized so much more about this conversion than I would ever have anticipated. There are some key ingredients that make and break a convert- for me it's been: the social nuances, detailed knowledge of the purpose of a string on shabbat, Shiurs, prayers- Israel, conflict, Aramaic, Biblical Hebrew- Modern Day Hebrew and hoping you know the difference, and when you don't, having humility to admit- you don't know. and the constant question of: Is it worth it?? Why am i doing this!?
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I always believed one of the most important virtues someone could have is humility. When I was 19, I made a conscious decision to want to become a more humble person. To admit why I am hurt, or offended, or to know I should not be so selfish with my own happiness. No one is perfect- and I've realized it's a baby step process. The last two years have truly tested the essence of who I am. I've went from true elation to true devastation and have tried to find my balance in between. It's not about being broken and not being able to be fixed. It's about being able to run with your replacement parts- and even those have no warranty.
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There are some things in the recent past that have deeply saddened me. But it's no longer on a rational day to day level- it's more of a spiritual blemish sort of sad- a "I wanna hug you but I'm scared of you, and by the way- we need more avocados and it all doesn't make sense" sort of sentimentality (no one is really supposed to get that last line of nonsense). But I am proud to say with the sun shining, and in between my dreams- there is something really to appreciate here- thus being, life in general. I am slowly learning to take it one episode at a time.
xx

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