regarding turning to Judaism - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
Old 07-06-2010, 04:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
TzippityDoulah's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: DC area
Posts: 3,611
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I hope this email doesn't offend anyone... I'm not looking for anyone's approval but i need to get a few things off of my chest.

ok so some of you might remember me from a while ago. I have been a Christian (anabaptist) for some time. I've actually been on here talking to moms and even debated in some of the other forums. I've learned a lot from other mamas here...

anyhow for a while I was debating some Jewish mamas about things. and I don't know how to say this ... so I will just say it. I was blown away by how little i actually knew about the "old testament". For some reason I was compelled to by a Torah and try to learn more about my Christian heritage... (or so I thought!) I know A LOT of Chirstian History and I'm well versed in the "New testament" but as many Christians I didn't know a whole lot about the Torah besides the basic "adam and eve" and "ten commandments" etc. I can still feel quite knowledgeable about the NT but... how much is that worth if I don't know anything about the Torah? So I needed to know... and so I read... and read... and read...

and I learned that most things I had been taught were in error. ok, I thought, "I will just relearn it and know it right". So I began studying, a lot. and praying a lot. and reading, a lot. and well... I began to realize something is off. I was met with the realizations that what I have been clinging too my whole adult life isn't what I thought it was. and it wasn't a matter of spirituality but of fact.... I guess I mean to say, for one small example I totally misunderstood many of the torah stories. Like their meaning was completely different from what I was taught... and once I opened my eyes it became very clear to me.

so I kinda had a spiritual identity crisis. frankly i didn't wanna stop being christian b/c it was all I knew as a religious adult. My entire life was built around it and I was a better person because of it. etc. So I went through much depression, crying and praying. I didn't know what to do. I thought I could maintain being a christian with personal different views from the common. but one day I realized that just wasn't an option. I didn't believe Jesus was God.... and I don't believe in the trinity... and i don't believe in Hell. How can I be a Christian who doesn't believe that?

I tried coming here to find some help... but I think it confused my head even more. I asked about Messianic Jews/Christians. I asked about reform Judaism. and everything in between. I was trying to reach for something that might still be kinda familiar.... but it wasn't working. So I decided to stop asking and trying to figure out what label I was.... and just pray for guidance.

and then I found someone mentioning the term "Noachide". I didn't know what it meant so I looked it up. Hey! that's me! I'm a Noachide! so I was excited to realize I did have a place in this world in God's eyes. The only downside is that so many people think of Noachides as "wannabe jews". and perhaps some do what to to be Jews... but Noachides have their own place and own identity in and of it's self. A many people look down on them not truly understanding what it is... or even worse call it a "cult" because they don't truly understand it... etc frankly it just sounded like a lot of drama!

Fpr some reason or another I started listening to an Orthodox fellow online. My husband came across him and just really enjoyed his approach. and he mentioned God's love to the nations (not just Jews). I had never heard of this side of Judaism. I just really didn't understand Judaism aside from how I felt about it as a Christian. anyhow with much prayer I came to the conclusion that I was actually noachide even though I hadn't know there was a name for it. (it's a man-made name anyhow, unlike Israeal whom God named... but that's another topic)

so I've been settling into my new life as a good person who wants to honor god. NOT a Christian. whatever term you want to us.

but... my heart wants more. I wanted to make I wasn't just trying to jump from religion to religion before I further explored the option. I thought being Noachide would be enough.... but i feel pushed for more. I have a longing to do more. to observe more. to know God more. the more i try to ignore it the stronger it becomes. it's like my SOUL wants it. (not my head)

so now... i am contemplating converting to orthodox Judaism.

It's a lot to commit to. being Jewish isn't just a religion, but a culture that one must asked to be let into. one must be taught and nurtured... and well it's just no piece of cake. it isn't like Christianity where you can just say "I'm Christian" and then you are; it takes a lot time to become a jew.

I'm not sure yet if I'm going to go through with it. I'm looking into it. i have contact with my local Chabad house. if I do convert it will probably take me a whiel before full conversion as I have 3 kids and I need to give them time to get used to our new places. and my parents... oh boy. that's going to take some time for them to get used to! heh but that's another topic.

I guess my point is.... I'm not sure yet where I am going. Maybe I will just be a very pious type person. Maybe I will fully convert. time will tell. but for now I'm studying. a lot. and praying a lot. and I would love to be able to talk to any mamas here who have gone down this road before... but first I needed to "out" myself

and thank you to all the mamas that have helped me a long this path. even the ones who came down hard on me. You all have helped me in all sorts of ways and I'm glad to have "known" you.


transtichel.gifMom of three - (2.5 yrs, 7yrs, and 11yrs). Birthing Doula, editor, and wife to my soulmate. I've had a c/s, hospital VBAC, UC and not yet decided what I'll do about this next little one

TzippityDoulah is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 07-06-2010, 05:30 PM
 
sagewinna's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: CA
Posts: 2,002
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
It sounds like your journey is not one you are taking lightly and I wish you much joy in it!

DS: 18 DD: 15 DD: 8  angel1.gif 11/10  angel1.gif 4/11
  adoptionheart-1.gifDD: 3  angel1.gif 8/11

sagewinna is offline  
Old 07-07-2010, 04:52 AM
 
Gypsymama22girls's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 47
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I am in the process of converting to Orthodox Judaism (along with my 2 daughters), my husband is a born Jew. We should be done soon (G-d willing). So if you have any questions feel free to PM me or post here...although I can't guarantee I will be able to find my way back to this thread...lol. Also just so that you know...if you are married you will not be allowed to convert unless your husband does too. And it will likely be more difficult for him because it is very demanding as far as daily davening and all.

Melanie wife and mama
Gypsymama22girls is offline  
Old 07-07-2010, 11:32 AM - Thread Starter
 
TzippityDoulah's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: DC area
Posts: 3,611
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gypsymama22girls View Post
Also just so that you know...if you are married you will not be allowed to convert unless your husband does too. And it will likely be more difficult for him because it is very demanding as far as daily davening and all.
thank you Yes, I did know... he wants to convert. for whatever reason we have both equally wanted this which makes me more. I would never try to push someone into a religious decision they didn't want for themselves. He knows how much is required of him... he's been taking on daily prayers (though not the exact Jewish ones) to get his head and heart in the rhythm and right place. and he studies a lot. It hasn't shied him a way, only made him more determined. I wouldn't push for conversion unless he wanted it too asIi know I couldn't convert alone.

I might have some questions for you! is it ok if i PM you?

transtichel.gifMom of three - (2.5 yrs, 7yrs, and 11yrs). Birthing Doula, editor, and wife to my soulmate. I've had a c/s, hospital VBAC, UC and not yet decided what I'll do about this next little one

TzippityDoulah is offline  
Old 07-07-2010, 04:17 PM
 
Chavelamomela's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Westchester, NY
Posts: 766
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I want to wish you lots of luck on your journey (and your family's journey). It's a huge challenge to convert into Orthodox Jew, and it requires a tremendous level of education, commitment and sincerity. It can also be a discouraging process, as you will find different people (both Jews and non-Jews) will regard your journey with either enthusiasm or skepticism.

I find our traditions and rituals to be enriching, exciting and relevant even in these contemporary times, and at the same time, there are things about the Jewish community that frustrate me to no end. I am sure that as you attempt to get to know the Jewish world, you will experience this as well!
Chavelamomela is offline  
Old 07-07-2010, 05:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
TzippityDoulah's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: DC area
Posts: 3,611
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chavelamomela View Post
I want to wish you lots of luck on your journey (and your family's journey). It's a huge challenge to convert into Orthodox Jew, and it requires a tremendous level of education, commitment and sincerity. It can also be a discouraging process, as you will find different people (both Jews and non-Jews) will regard your journey with either enthusiasm or skepticism.

I find our traditions and rituals to be enriching, exciting and relevant even in these contemporary times, and at the same time, there are things about the Jewish community that frustrate me to know end. I am sure that as you attempt to get to know the Jewish world, you will experience this as well!

Chavela,

thank you for commenting

I was a part of a very minority group of Christianity that was often looked down on. so I have some experience in that realm. I wasn't a part of mainstream Christianity for a few years now. that said, I'm sure I will still have to go through a lot of turbulence. I have a couple of friends who have converted and they don't make it look easy at all... they have been really honest with me about the difficulties in conversion.

I'm aiming to take it slow. I know it's no quick path. and to be perfectly honest is scares me. I'm learning a lot through some online sources and orthodox rabbis... and through a local chabad house. I'm not sure where that will lead me yet. we'll see... we'll see...

transtichel.gifMom of three - (2.5 yrs, 7yrs, and 11yrs). Birthing Doula, editor, and wife to my soulmate. I've had a c/s, hospital VBAC, UC and not yet decided what I'll do about this next little one

TzippityDoulah is offline  
Old 07-08-2010, 03:48 AM
 
DashsMama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 817
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Hugs to you! I converted in a Reform Temple about 12 years ago. It took me about 15 years to go through the steps of losing my Christian identity and finding Judaism. Even though a Reform conversion takes less study and time, the path hasn't been easy for me, and there have been times in the last 10 years when I had thought I had lost my faith altogether.

I am currently working on becoming more observant and knowledgeable, and trying to get more connected to our local Jewish community. I'm hoping to find a synagogue where my family can all feel comfortable and where my kids can start to attend Hebrew and religious school. I've also just started to learn to read Hebrew. So even though I converted 12 years ago, I'm kind of in a similar place as you are right now.

Thanks for "coming out." I look forward to hearing about your journey, and hoping to share and learn right along with you.

Judy mom to Dash (9), Corbin (7) and Will (3) :
DashsMama is offline  
Old 07-08-2010, 10:14 AM
 
Faliciagayle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: New York State
Posts: 2,166
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Laura, I've read all your posts and threads and my heart has gone out to you in all of them. I don't have much to say (except I agree with Chavale) but I wanted to offer support and a virtual hug. And I hope you are able to find someone in real life whom can inspire and guide you while you search and study.

My babies were born at home! 09/07, 01/10, and 09/12 joy.gif

Faliciagayle is offline  
Old 07-08-2010, 12:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
TzippityDoulah's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: DC area
Posts: 3,611
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Thanks mamas for your support I really appreciate the warm sincere thoughts.

That said, I just realized I never mentioned why I went for Judaism. It might seem (and I could see why from my condensed story) I just jumped trains from Christianity to Judaism because i felt the need for a religion. and though it is true I do feel the need for a level of observance... I didn't just jump from one to the other. I've been silent here for a while, but spiritually I've been going through quite a journey. After I left Christianity I went through a time of not knowing what to do. I tried just living a good life, but without sounding stupid, it just didn't work for me. I felt too empty and alone. I wasn't sure where to turn. but Judaism seemed to just be around every corner I looked. I kept trying to turn away from it, wekll frankly b/c I just thought i needed time to consider for a bit first. But... I believe in God. the one God. and when I read Torah I just felt truth coming from it. and it's like my soul just wanted it. finally I just forget it, and i jumped in trying to learn more.

this is weird to me. I've been on MDC as a Christian for so long... it's such a part of my identity. I find it very difficult to let go because my whole world is wrapped up in it.


Recently we moved from our old home. we actually (because of work) moved 3 times the past 2 yrs. We really have no close friends anymore. I was pregnant and sick a good portion of that time. and tied down with a newborn the other parts... so I didn't have time for makign new friends. we're been alone for basically 2 yrs. It's given us lots of time for thinking, reflecting and studying. sometimes I think being alone like this can be good. gives you time to examine your life without direct influence from anyone else. It gave me the courage to really look at my beliefs in a deep way. honestly the first yr I was still clinging to them... but after a while of just praying to God and not going to chruch I began making some realizations.

anyhow... I could go on forever so I will just stop here. It's weird to "come out" here as it's been where I have been Christian for so long. But i guess this si a trial run for when I eventually have the talk with my parents... ugh.

transtichel.gifMom of three - (2.5 yrs, 7yrs, and 11yrs). Birthing Doula, editor, and wife to my soulmate. I've had a c/s, hospital VBAC, UC and not yet decided what I'll do about this next little one

TzippityDoulah is offline  
Old 07-08-2010, 01:32 PM
 
Chavelamomela's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Westchester, NY
Posts: 766
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
One thing to add:

Judaism is not a solitary religion/way of life. In order to fulfill the Torah, and the will of Hashem (G-d), its necessary (and important!) to be part of a community. Because one person (and one family) cannot do it alone.

So whatever you decide, I urge you to find a community to connect with. A virtual community is nice, but to fulfill the Torah, in-person contact is essential.

Its also emotionally important for your sake to find people to be friends with, a community of supportive people who help each other. This is an important ideal from Jewish tradition: 'Olam Chesed Yibane' - The world is built on acts of kindness (between mankind). In order to practice acts of loving kindness, one must be in a community, and not alone.
Chavelamomela is offline  
Old 07-08-2010, 02:18 PM
npl
 
npl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 405
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
HennyPenny - wishing you a fulfilling journey as you explore the calling of your soul.
If Othodox Judaism is where you end up, I am sure you will find it spiritually fulfilling and rewarding (we do!).
And I want to add my vote to Chavalemomela's point about community - it is really a beautiful thing to see how the community gives to those around not because they are your friend, but because they are glad for an opportunity to practice giving and loving-kindness.
npl is offline  
Old 07-08-2010, 03:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
TzippityDoulah's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: DC area
Posts: 3,611
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chavelamomela View Post
One thing to add:

Judaism is not a solitary religion/way of life. In order to fulfill the Torah, and the will of Hashem (G-d), its necessary (and important!) to be part of a community. Because one person (and one family) cannot do it alone.

So whatever you decide, I urge you to find a community to connect with. A virtual community is nice, but to fulfill the Torah, in-person contact is essential.

Its also emotionally important for your sake to find people to be friends with, a community of supportive people who help each other. This is an important ideal from Jewish tradition: 'Olam Chesed Yibane' - The world is built on acts of kindness (between mankind). In order to practice acts of loving kindness, one must be in a community, and not alone.


We are getting involved in our semi-local community. We can still make it there regularly, but if we truly did convert obviously we'd need to be closer. There used to be a small community here and I'm trying to figure out what happened to it. perhaps they moved to the nearby town where the chabad house is... or perhaps they are just quieter smaller community... we're meeting with the Rabbi there soon. I'm still so new to this state so I'm trying to find my way around

I would LOATHE moving AGAIN.... but you know for a good reason is worthwhile. I'm just trying to not get ahead of myself here as I'm still not sure this is what we're doing. For now we are exploring it. When my head jumps ahead of my heart I get kinda outta whack. so I'm taking this a step at a time. So yea...I know about the community thing. But I also know this isn't an overnight process. so I'm not too worried about it yet. I know it will work out if that happens. So we have a small online support, we're meeting with the Rabbi soon as he can, and well take it from there.

transtichel.gifMom of three - (2.5 yrs, 7yrs, and 11yrs). Birthing Doula, editor, and wife to my soulmate. I've had a c/s, hospital VBAC, UC and not yet decided what I'll do about this next little one

TzippityDoulah is offline  
Old 07-08-2010, 03:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
TzippityDoulah's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: DC area
Posts: 3,611
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by npl View Post
HennyPenny - wishing you a fulfilling journey as you explore the calling of your soul.
If Othodox Judaism is where you end up, I am sure you will find it spiritually fulfilling and rewarding (we do!).
And I want to add my vote to Chavalemomela's point about community - it is really a beautiful thing to see how the community gives to those around not because they are your friend, but because they are glad for an opportunity to practice giving and loving-kindness.
thank you. every word of encouragement is very appreciated I'm not sure where I will end up either, but I know I wont regret the journey.

transtichel.gifMom of three - (2.5 yrs, 7yrs, and 11yrs). Birthing Doula, editor, and wife to my soulmate. I've had a c/s, hospital VBAC, UC and not yet decided what I'll do about this next little one

TzippityDoulah is offline  
Old 07-11-2010, 06:32 PM
 
StarJune's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 579
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by HennyPenny View Post

so now... i am contemplating converting to orthodox Judaism.

I absolutely knew that you would end up here. Your questions, thoughts and reasonings were SO familiar.

I knew that in time you would make that change. If you have any questions you can PM me. I fully understand what you are going through. Just remember that it is a journey.
StarJune is offline  
Old 07-11-2010, 09:07 PM
 
Nickarolaberry's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Running away...
Posts: 4,468
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
HP,

I want to let you know how much I admire your courage, your intellectual honesty, your integrity, and your strength. This is a very long journey for you and I pray that it is spiritually fulfilling. Often the most rewarding things are also the most difficult; but the reward is that much more wonderful for the effort.

I am not a convert; however I came to Orthodox Judaism as an adult after being raised Reform (Jewish). I can empathize with many of your challenges. If you want to 'talk' please feel free to pm me or ask questions. I'm pretty open about this, and have had my own struggles integrating into the Orthodox Jewish community and life. Nonetheless I wouldn't have done any differently if given the chance to go back.

Chazak v'amatz.

 "Now bid me run, and I will strive with things impossible." (William Shakespeare -- Julius Caesar)

Nickarolaberry is offline  
Old 07-12-2010, 02:54 AM
 
Gypsymama22girls's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 47
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
If you have any questions you can contact me through PM anytime. Best of luck on your journey...if this is the path you continue on it WILL be trying but it will also be fulfilling.
Also if you need recommendations for anything please ask. I have been in this process 2+ years and will help you in any way I can.

Melanie wife and mama
Gypsymama22girls is offline  
Old 07-12-2010, 12:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
TzippityDoulah's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: DC area
Posts: 3,611
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
thank you mamas for support! it truly means a lot. it's been a trying time. good but trying. I don't think it's gonna get easier any time soon

if anyone wants to give me advice on how to handle your christian parents (father just became a pastor), do tell. I don't want to cut them out of my life... but they just aren't going to be able to comprehend this change whatsoever. they are of the "save the jews form hell" variety... so... yeah...

transtichel.gifMom of three - (2.5 yrs, 7yrs, and 11yrs). Birthing Doula, editor, and wife to my soulmate. I've had a c/s, hospital VBAC, UC and not yet decided what I'll do about this next little one

TzippityDoulah is offline  
Old 07-12-2010, 09:07 PM
 
lolar2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 6,403
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Congratulations on finding some direction for your journey!

As far as community, I'm not Jewish but my grandfather was and many of my cousins (the ones from his side of the family) are, so the community part is what I know best. Besides what you are already doing, I would suggest trying to spend time at whatever JCC is most local to you, and maybe getting a subscription to whatever "Jewish Community News"-type publication is reasonably close to you (such as http://www.jewishjournal.com/).

No idea about the parents thing, sorry.
lolar2 is offline  
Old 07-12-2010, 10:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
TzippityDoulah's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: DC area
Posts: 3,611
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by lolar2 View Post
Congratulations on finding some direction for your journey!

As far as community, I'm not Jewish but my grandfather was and many of my cousins (the ones from his side of the family) are, so the community part is what I know best. Besides what you are already doing, I would suggest trying to spend time at whatever JCC is most local to you, and maybe getting a subscription to whatever "Jewish Community News"-type publication is reasonably close to you (such as http://www.jewishjournal.com/).

No idea about the parents thing, sorry.
good thoughts, thanks

transtichel.gifMom of three - (2.5 yrs, 7yrs, and 11yrs). Birthing Doula, editor, and wife to my soulmate. I've had a c/s, hospital VBAC, UC and not yet decided what I'll do about this next little one

TzippityDoulah is offline  
Old 07-12-2010, 10:43 PM
 
Ruthla's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Long Island, NY
Posts: 43,652
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Good luck on your journey. I came to Torah Judaism as an adult, after being raised as a "secular Jew."

Ruth, single mommy to Leah, 19, Hannah, 18 (commuting to college), and Jack, 13(homeschooled)
Ruthla is online now  
Old 07-12-2010, 11:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
TzippityDoulah's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: DC area
Posts: 3,611
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
wow I am surprised at how many of you converted later in life. It seems I'm not alone in this journey (even though sometimes it kinda feels that way!)

transtichel.gifMom of three - (2.5 yrs, 7yrs, and 11yrs). Birthing Doula, editor, and wife to my soulmate. I've had a c/s, hospital VBAC, UC and not yet decided what I'll do about this next little one

TzippityDoulah is offline  
Old 07-12-2010, 11:01 PM
 
Ruthla's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Long Island, NY
Posts: 43,652
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
I found Chabbad House when I was in college.

Ruth, single mommy to Leah, 19, Hannah, 18 (commuting to college), and Jack, 13(homeschooled)
Ruthla is online now  
Old 07-13-2010, 04:39 AM - Thread Starter
 
TzippityDoulah's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: DC area
Posts: 3,611
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by StarJune View Post
I absolutely knew that you would end up here. Your questions, thoughts and reasonings were SO familiar.

I knew that in time you would make that change. If you have any questions you can PM me. I fully understand what you are going through. Just remember that it is a journey.


This comment really hit me... I would love to know more about your journey!

transtichel.gifMom of three - (2.5 yrs, 7yrs, and 11yrs). Birthing Doula, editor, and wife to my soulmate. I've had a c/s, hospital VBAC, UC and not yet decided what I'll do about this next little one

TzippityDoulah is offline  
Old 07-13-2010, 11:07 AM
 
StarJune's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 579
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I remember us having a debate on the Ten Commandments thread. I posted that following the Sabbath was one of the first things that I questioned and after tons of research, (one of my degrees is a BTh), I discovered that it should be kept by me. So I did. And I loved it! Now even when we have company staying for an extended period of time I will explain what we do/do not do and give them options like here is the cordless phone but the ringer won’t be on etc. Here is food because I won’t be cooking. Absolutely everyone has said no, we love how peaceful this day is and how relaxed we feel. They decided to observe at our level.

During that post I felt your defensiveness and I understood because I was the same way before. Part of being a proselytizing religion is feeling that you are doing things “right” and others are doing things “wrong” and need to come to your faith. Complete generalization but that is my quick way of summing it up. So it feels like a personal attack when someone doesn’t agree. I have freedom now from that because I don’t have to convince someone else to believe as I do. If they don’t think that they need to observe the Sabbath... okay... you don’t.

Later I noticed a questioning approach in your posts like I had. Truth-seeking, I call it. What am supposed to do? Not, what I have learned but really wanting to know how to please G!d and live in a way that He commanded. You were analyzing and asking questions and willing to even be “against the grain” as you stated then. In my past, I know in my personal experience I was not encouraged to ask questions but randomly believe. I LOVE that Judaism is a thinking faith. You can debate, disagree and discuss anything. It is encouraged.

Whenever I saw your posts I would say to myself that I bet HP will want to convert one day! LOL

Personally I was not looking for a new faith. I really thought that I might end up in an early-church type experience but I just grew and grew. I met a friend online who was a part of the Messianic Jewish movement and she encouraged me to visit one of their meetings. I said no but she understood because she had been involved for 10 years and longed for more. Years later after losing touch, I told her that I was converting, she told me that she was too!!! I was astounded. We had the same thoughts as you. I just don’t believe in G!d being man, I don’t believe in the statues and artifacts, the trinity, etc. We have the most beautiful friendship and encourage each other all the time.

Well after looking into keeping kosher back where my parents grew up for when I visited, I discovered that I have a Jewish heritage!!! I had no clue even though looking back there were several signs. My conversion is on hold and I am having a genealogical company do the research. Apparently there were/are many Jews where my parents lived and my grandmother is part of one of the most prominent families. When she talks about how her mother prayed, things they ate, how they lived ... it now makes sense. From what I have seen online, this happens frequently. Many find Jewish roots. I think that it is because it is a calling back to who you truly are... Your neshama. Someone, I think Merpk, said that all Jews were present at Mt. Sinai which explained my feeling of complete and utter peace with this journey. That makes sense to me.

I still want to do more studies. I love the learning. I would recommend that you get connected with a Chabad house and start taking classes. They have so many good tools. You must be a part of a community, it is so essential to Jewish life. In terms of family, the fact is that this way of life affects everything. That it is not a once or twice a week thing. It really encompasses your whole life. This affects where you live, what you eat, how you work, just everything. I guess I love that too. So be prepared for dramatic shifts in your relationships. And lots of people praying for your soul...

I try to remember that they have good intentions and want the best for me. But to be honest I do sometimes feel annoyed . I have a dear friend who is not at all mainstream and has a wonderful respect for Jewish life. But after the 3rd or fourth invitation to a Messianic event on a Saturday morning, I had to tell her that basically I would never go. Our relationship has survived our differences but only because I stood firm and she respected that and stopped trying to convert me or see my acts as being deceived by the "enemy". My family is another story...

I wish you well and please feel free to PM me. I would love to discuss this more with you. I remember feeling so lost because I didn’t fit in to my past but didn’t fit in my new life either. Everyone was wonderful and kind but I was still out of my element. But that changes. I feel very comfortable now. I have a great book list that I would recommend. There is lots to learn!
StarJune is offline  
Old 07-13-2010, 04:35 PM
 
Gypsymama22girls's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 47
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Just a few things to KNOW before you try to convert....You will be required to live in a Orthodox Community, within walking distance to a shul with several shomer shabbos families. You must believe in Rambam's 13 Principals of Faith, you should learn to read and pray in Hebrew (not all Batey Din require this but it will be helpful to you), you should read and understand all 613 Mitzvos and be willing to keep them all (with exception to the ones related to the beis hamikdash which can't be followed until the Temple is rebuilt), you will want to learn the 3 biggies for women which are Lighting Shabbos candles, separating the Challah and Taharas Hamispacha. You will also need to learn the brochos for things like food, bathroom use, hand washing...pretty much everything has a blessing that goes with it...lol. There is soooooo much to learn and there are tons of books that would be helpful...if you want I will compile a list of books that will be helpful to you. I would also suggest getting a TaNaCh and a siddur...make sure they are Orthodox and not Conservative or Reform. Also if you really want to convert...you should slowly start changing your wardrobe over to modest clothing...knee length or longer skirts, elbow length round necked shirts...also....I wouldn't cover your head all the time until you talked to the Beis Din, they may tell you to wait until your conversion is complete to cover.
Avoid buying new kitchen items until your conversion because you may have to throw some things out when you kasher your kitchen.
OK I will stop now...lol...I am not trying to scare you but it is really A LOT of work to do an orthodox conversion. If this is something you are serious about don't be discouraged but when you first approach a rabbi about conversion it is likely he will turn you away..probably a few times. Be persistent if this is REALLY what you want.

Melanie wife and mama
Gypsymama22girls is offline  
Old 07-13-2010, 07:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
TzippityDoulah's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: DC area
Posts: 3,611
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Melanie,

thanks for all your thoughts. I have a friend who has converted and to be honest even though I NEVER would have admitted this even a few months ago I've been reading about orthodox judaism... well... for a really long time. I just never had the guts ot go past reading about it in secret. but yeah.. I know how much stuff i have to learn. and I'm not sure yet if we will convert... we JUST found a Rabbi willing ot give us the time of day lol so ... we're meeting with him soon.

for far we have:
  • set a meeting with a Rabbi
  • asked about attending classes at the semi-local Chabad house
  • I have been dressing modestly and covering my hair for about 4 yrs now. so that's no change at all. I dress to the same standards I have for a long time. covered to my elbows, above collar bones, below calf (I don't like them shorter personally) and covering my hair... also not tight clothing etc... as far as head covering, I did this already as a modest thing way before I ever considered conversion. and it would be just plain silly to stop and then start again. I did it out of respect to our family's beliefs on modesty, not b/c jewish women do it.
  • We own and orthodox Tanach and the chamash
  • read weekly Parsha (and listen to the teaching)
  • do evening prayers (in english as I don't know hebrew...yet.)
  • working on doing morning prayers
  • have a non-orthodox shabbat (to pave the way for a real one) we don't do the jewish prayers, but we follow and orthodox written and approved Noachide prayer book.
  • of course do a lot of reading, study and meditation on my own. (as does my husband) but this is nothing different as we have done that since we became religious a few years ago....

I do know about moving closer. that isn't a problem for us. But i also know that isn't in the very very near future.

We just moved to this state and I know one family (our neighbors) and my husband works oline through his own business so really aside from being worried about alienating my parents, we don't have a lot to give up anymore. when we became religious (Christian) we lost most of our secualer friendships. when I started dressing modestly I lost most of my Christian friendships! lol so... it's nothing for us to pick up and move for a good reason.

I have one added benefit... sorta. I am completely dairy free.... so I'm almost sure i would only have to have one set of dishes and whatnot. I'm also highly allergic to everything so we don't eat out anyhow. (I have a digestive disorder) nor do we have the privilege of going to people's home often for dinner b/c of this... which makes going kosher way easy for us.... but it makes joining a community WAY hard. THAT is probably the thing i am worried about beyond anything.

being allergic to so many foods is very alienating. I can't remember the last time we had a friend whom we could go to their house to eat, people always come here if we eat together. so... yeah... that's going to be a real struggle. but we have already mentioned this to the Rabbi so hopefully he will have some good ideas. b/c even if we didn't convert we'd still likely visit with people yk?

I am totally interested in any books! I have read a few about conversions, but I can't seem to find any about orthodox conversions, only reform or conservative...

transtichel.gifMom of three - (2.5 yrs, 7yrs, and 11yrs). Birthing Doula, editor, and wife to my soulmate. I've had a c/s, hospital VBAC, UC and not yet decided what I'll do about this next little one

TzippityDoulah is offline  
Old 07-13-2010, 07:53 PM
 
StarJune's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 579
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
This is the book list I was given for my conversion. It is from the beit din in Toronto:

Introductory

Becoming a Jew, Maurice Lamm
To Be a Jew, Hayim Halevy Donin
Book of Our Heritage, Eliyahu Kitov
This is My G-d, Herman Wouk
Friday Night and Beyond, Lori Palatnik
Kashruth, Yaakov Lipshutz

Intermediate

Shabbat

The Sabbath, Dayan Grunfeld
Shabbos: Day of Eternity, Aryeh Kaplan
Shemirat Shabbat, Yehoshua Neuwirth
The Shabbos Kitchen, Simcha Bunim Cohen


Kashrut

The Dietary Laws, Dayan Grunfeld


Prayer

To Pray as a Jew, Hayim Halevy Donin


Family Purity

Waters of Eden, Aryeh Kaplan
A Hedge of Roses, Norman Lamm
The Secret of Jewish Femininity, Tehilla Abramov
Halichos Bas Yisroel, Fuchs


Family, Marriage

To Raise a Jewish Child, Hayim Helevy Donin
The Jew and His Home, Eliyahu Kitov
The Jewish Way in Love and Marriage, Maurice Lamm


Mitzvot

Abridged Code of Jewish Law, Gershon Appel
Horeb, Samson Raphael Hirsch
The Jewish Way in Death and Mourning, Maurice Lamm
NCSY Brachos Book


Jewish Beliefs,
Philosophy & Ethics



With Perfect Faith, J. David Bleich
Ethics From Sinai, Irving Bunim
Handbook of Jewish Belief, Aryeh Kaplan
Maimonides Principles: The Fundamentals of Jewish Faith, Aryeh Kaplan
Love Thy Neighbour, Zelig Pliskin


Essential Books


Artscroll Siddur
Artscroll Stone Edition Chumash
StarJune is offline  
Old 07-13-2010, 10:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
TzippityDoulah's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: DC area
Posts: 3,611
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Thank you! that is really helpful! I will look into those books as soon as I can. I appreciate the help. Like I said, it's been really nice hope encouraging you all have been. I feel so weird still... having been here as a Christian for so long... I was concerned I wouldn't get such a warm reception

one thing more... any ideas on books or perhaps even blogs (or your personal experiences?) about hwo to handle the conversion with children?

transtichel.gifMom of three - (2.5 yrs, 7yrs, and 11yrs). Birthing Doula, editor, and wife to my soulmate. I've had a c/s, hospital VBAC, UC and not yet decided what I'll do about this next little one

TzippityDoulah is offline  
Old 07-14-2010, 05:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
TzippityDoulah's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: DC area
Posts: 3,611
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I was wondering of you mamas.... did it take you a while to work through conversion? I mean I know it takes a while period.... but with children and so forth, did you take your time? did it take longer?

I guess I ask b/c sometimes I'm scared I will get ahead of myself. I want to finally "be there". but i feel like I need to take my time so I am on sure footing. I don't want to just dash into in and staring banging on the door of the synogogue saying "let me in!!!" heh. I want to know this is wher I belong... and I I want my children to feel as comfortable as they can with knowing they belong too. it's a big change for them. It's going yo be a really big change for my 10 yr old if we convert (never been circumcised so he'd need the whole shebang if he was to convert...) I haven't told him about that part yet... b/c I'm still getting him used to the idea of not being Christian.I'm trying to introduce him to new ideas a step at a time.

anyhow sometimes i find myself full of worry. what If it doesn't work? what fi they don't want me? what if they say "you're not welcome here" or something. I don't know. for some reason I find myself with this fear of the "what ifs". what if i put my children through all this work to convert and then.... we never find a place to belong. what if my kids never fit in? what if people poke fun at them? what if my SN 5 yr old starts singing a hymn or christian song when we're visiting someone's home? what if My kids wail and sob at the thought of no longer having christmas? what if my children don't make friends? what if I can't learn hebrew? what if they ask me why I want to be a Jew and I freeze up and don't know what to say? what if I say the wrong thing and they tell me that's not a good enough reason? etc etc etc

I am having a worrisome day for some reason. and my heart is heavy. My soul long for one thing, by my head can't seem to be calm about all the "what ifs". I wish my head would feel the cam that my soul has. My soul knows where it wants to be... my head doesn't. (does that even make sense?) It took me a logn time to come here and even write this b/c I'm afraid of people saying that it's proof i don't belong or somethign stupid.

My husband tells me not to think so far ahead... that we need to take it a small step at a time and that I'm borrowing trouble. and he's right.... but i still can't seem to calm the "what ifs" and when I lay down at night I get anxious aboutit. (granted I have an anxiety disorder, so that's nothing new... but, I try really hard to not let thigns spiral out of control. anxiety is a real battle for me)

I just thought maybe someone has had the same worries? maybe that would make me feel better. maybe it would give me a grip on my anxiety over it.

TIA

transtichel.gifMom of three - (2.5 yrs, 7yrs, and 11yrs). Birthing Doula, editor, and wife to my soulmate. I've had a c/s, hospital VBAC, UC and not yet decided what I'll do about this next little one

TzippityDoulah is offline  
Old 07-18-2010, 03:23 PM
 
Gypsymama22girls's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 47
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I have had times like that too...and your dh is right...stop thinking so far ahead...first make the decision on whether or not you are going to convert. You can deal with the other issues as they come. My 3 yr old who only celebrated xmas as an infant and as an 18 month old talk about Santa sometimes....I figured I will deal with it if it comes up but she rarely talks about it in front of others. And I think out of all of us I miss xmas the most. But we have learned to make joyous occasions out of the Jewish Holidays and we do gifts on Chanukah (although just so you know some Jews do not). We have all adapted fine. My 11 yr old has really taken to Judaism and she was the one I worried about most.
Are your children boys or girls? I am only asking because I also want to bring up the fact that boys will have to have a Bris Milah or Hatafat dam brit. If they are older this may be scary to them and you may want to talk to a rabbi right away about how to deal with this delicately with them. If they are already circ'd then it will be easier (I think) because they will only need the drop of blood instead of the whole circumcision. Same for your DH.
I am not trying to scare you with this either...just want to make sure you are aware of things like this...it sucks to find some things out halfway through your conversion...lol.
Also as far as your kids are concerned I would start working on them about what you believe and what you don't believe. I mean how connected to Xianity and J*sus are they? If this is something that they discuss daily it will be hard to remove that from their minds. They have always been taught to believe this. YK? Maybe start by saying...we (you and dh) have found out that what you used to believe isn't as true as you wanted..etc..find ways to explain it to them. I don't have much advice in that area because we weren't xian before becoming Jewish.

StarJune gave you a great book list...If I get a chance I will add a few for you.

Melanie wife and mama
Gypsymama22girls is offline  
 
User Tag List

Thread Tools


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off