Since sundown came, it’s officially the 12th of Elul by the Hebrew calendar.

Today is the day. When morning comes, I’ll be at the beit din at 8:30 a.m. Before the sun goes down again, I will be a Jew in truth and not just in hope and preparation.

Things will not happen in the order they did for Michael at Chicago Carless. For him it was beit din, hatafat dam brit, and mikveh. I have had my hatafat dam brit, and it will be beit din then mikveh, but there will be some differences.

  1. It isn’t going to happen all in the same building. Michael’s day was all in the same place, but the closest mikveh to my Temple is about 40 miles away, and I can’t ask the beit din to drive that far.
  2. It’s separated by about seven hours. Beit din at 8:30 am until whenever, but mikveh’s not until four pm. So there will be a largish break.
  3. We will not be going back to the Temple after the mikveh (at least, I haven’t been told otherwise), so the recognition of me as a Jew (including holding the Torah for the first time, and putting on my tallit for the first time) will very likely happen before I go to the mikveh. But in my heart I know that I will not feel like it’s done until, well, it’s all done.
  4. I am shaky and nervous, but I did get to talk with my rabbi today after our last class was over with, and when I went to Hebrew class afterwards, it became as much a class about being a Jew as it did about reading Hebrew. Everyone was very kind to me.
  5. My best friend and my husband will be with me throughout, which will help.
  6. In the break, I will have a good meal and get a very, very thorough shower and scrub-down.
  7. I will be bringing my own towel and a pair of flip-flops to the mikveh to try to avoid any untoward accidents like slipping on the tile or their towels or robes not being big enough to cover me. (Both of which I am honestly really scared about.)

Rabbi told me what would happen at the mikveh. After I do the ritual bath-and-scrub thing, which will be quick since I will have done a quite thorough bathing before coming to the mikveh, I will go out into the room where the pool is and put my towel down and take my flip-flops off before I go down into the water. After I’m under the water to my shoulders, I will let Rabbi (who is my witness) know that I’m ready. Then I will immerse, lifting my feet off the bottom of the pool so that I’m floating free, and the Rabbi will announce whether it was kosher or not by saying so. After the first kosher immersion, I will say the prayer for immersion. After the second, I will say the Shema. And finally, after the third, I will say the Shehecheyanu. There will apparently be a kippah at poolside for me to put on, to recite each prayer.

Michael was very clear about how this works to get the whole body floating free for that split second that’s necessary. You point your hands in front of you, jump up a bit to give yourself some momentum, and pull your feet up when you go under so that you float free. I am going to try to avoid pulling my back any worse than it’s already been pulled (I have a knot in my lower back that won’t quit no matter how much I stretch).

I’m bringing my tallit clips to the beit din, and my new kippah with me to the mikveh, for wearing afterwards. It has a Mogen David on it that covers the entire diameter of the kippah, a white kippah with a blue star. I have been saving it for this occasion since I got it last year.

I will pack a very small bag with toothbrush, toothpaste, and comb, and my friend will bring the tallit with her. So I’m mostly ready. I’m just scared to death that I’ll do something foolish or say something wrong, or that my klutziness will kick in at the worst possible moment.

Worrying? Me?

Yeah, a bit.

Because, you know, that’s not Jewish or anything…



Filed under Conversion Process, Judaism

11 responses to “Since sundown came, it’s officially the 12th of Elul by the Hebrew calendar.

  1. I think it will go better than you expected, and you’ll know that before you read this comment.
    I have faith.


  2. Anna L

    sending strength

    Liked by 1 person

  3. katybug18

    מזל טוב Mazel Tov, Adam!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. katybug18

    I know you are not going to share personal experience. yet I can’t wait to read how it was to wake up in the morning the day after!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Why would you think I wouldn’t share the experience?

      And waking up this morning was… well, that feeling of relief, of something that was wrong being set to rights, is still here. I’m also very tired – I’m an introvert and a homebody, so all that traveling and interacting was exhausting! But I’m recovering from that part of it.

      Thank you for your concern, hon. Hope you stick around.

      Liked by 1 person

      • katybug18

        Hi sorry for a late response . I meant when you weren’t sure how much you would share. I loved your journey that you and husband have taken so far. I can’t wait to see how this next year goes for you guys. You two I don’t know from “Adam” no pun intended but I feel that My David and the two of you would make great Shabbat Dinner conversation. I am still “living” as a Jew. I won’t be able to start formal studies until we make our move this summer to the Portland area. But I have been celibrating Shabbot and the holidays. David grew up Orthodox and is just now able to express himself once again with me as a Jew. His last relationship was with a non dominational(sp) “Christian” (she is soon far from being a “Christian”)
        But how you have been expressing yourself via the post gives me great hope for myself and my journey. Hope you had a great Rosh Hashanah. I am getting ready for Sukkot already. making Watercolors of the 7 guest.
        bye for now.

        Liked by 1 person

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