March 19, 2015 · 9:00 am
Apparently he doesn’t hear very well. Yesterday, once again, he was back to his old ways of relating everything in the class to his religious views.
Husband and I are considering what to do. We’ll probably be writing a letter to the rabbi.
Our Seder and Matzah plates arrived! So did our four boxes of Manischewitz gluten-free matzah – but every single one was broken. I’ve been told that there’s a GF grocery that sells them (hopefully NOT broken).
We’re going to be holding a small Seder for a few friends from the Bay Area who can’t get back home for their own Seder this spring due to work schedules. It’ll be the first one I’ve ever tried to run. My best friend is going to help with prep and setup, but I need to get a Haggadah that works for me. I haven’t found a good one yet.
Other news as I have time; this is going into the busy season for me with my work.
March 10, 2015 · 11:16 pm
It’s been a busy few weeks, so I haven’t had time or energy to post here. But here’s an update on what’s going on with Mr. Christian in our Intro class.
Two weeks ago tomorrow, we got out of class (a great class on Purim). As my husband and I were leaving, Mr. Christian … not quite confronted us. He was asking about the “next class,” meaning the one being held for the people who are converting after the Intro class is over. It’s going to be a fairly intense seminar and only (I hope) for the people who are actually going through conversion, which wouldn’t include him since he’s not converting. He seemed very disappointed when my husband and I both said that it was probably only for people who were planning to convert.
Then he said, as we got to our car, “Am I monopolizing the class?”
So I was honest with him. Uncomfortably so, and not aggressively so, but I did say the following.
“The thing is, it’s a class on Judaism. Many of the people here came from Christianity and we’re not interested in hearing about that. We’re interested in learning about the religion we’ve chosen. It’s hard when you keep mentioning Jesus. I know that you are very passionate about your faith, and I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with that, but several people in there, including me, came from a Christian background and found it lacking or abusive or both. I admit it does make me uncomfortable when you bring up your religion, because I’m not here to learn about your religion. I’m here to learn about my religion.”
He chewed that over for a moment and then said “So I should dial it back about ten notches.”
When I said “That would help,” he said, “Maybe twenty notches.”
So we’ll see. I spoke my truth to him, at least, and maybe now he’ll realize how much he’s made people uncomfortable. We’ll see. There was no class on Purim (last Wednesday) so we’ll see how it goes tomorrow…
January 6, 2015 · 2:09 pm
I’ve been feeling a pull towards good Jewish art lately. I have a touch of the art bug myself, but one of the main venues I used to use to indulge it is no longer available to me (by my decision) so I’ve been a little bit… at loose ends about it. I might come back and indulge that once I’ve looked at more Jewish art. I don’t want whatever I do to be cliché (menorahs, dreidels, hamsas, and Mogen Davids come to mind). What says “Jewish Art” to you? I’m curious.
We’ve adopted two cats this past weekend, and I am happier, although the one we thought would be “my” cat keeps hiding whenever we’re in the room. The other is demanding, social, and apparently believes his job is to make sure I hold him. Like, a lot. This might be why I’m not doing a whole lot of writing lately.
Our Introduction to Judaism classes start on Wednesday – tomorrow. I’ve been waiting for it and now it’s finally here; I can’t quite believe it. My husband is in negotiations with his job to switch his shift next Wednesday as the schedule he has will interfere with our second class. This reminds me that I need to do the filing and locate our receipt for the class. The temple has a deal, financed by one of its wealthier members, that subsidizes part of the cost of the class for people who have been attending and intend to convert.
I thanked my husband for being willing to fight to get that day off, and he said “Honey, I’m doing this for me, not just for you.” Which really means a lot to me. We went to a morning Torah study on Shabbat morning this past weekend as well, and he had some fantastic insights. He didn’t realize it until afterwards, but I pointed it out to him. I’m so glad and so proud that he’s doing this with me and for himself.
Shabbat this weekend is going to be pretty quiet for us. We’re going to go to morning services on Saturday morning, but other than that (and lighting candles on Friday night of course) we don’t have a lot planned. And maybe that’s better. I’m buried in work; prepping classes for this coming semester that starts a week from Monday, so it’ll be nice to have a Shabbat that really is for rest.
That said, I should get back to work.
November 9, 2014 · 10:45 am
So, a few things have happened since my last post.
1. I got legally married. My husband and I planned very carefully to make sure we could get married on a Friday without violating the Sabbath. We got married about ten minutes before sundown on October 31st, surrounded by friends. It was lovely.
2. There’s a very good chance that we will reprise the wedding next year as a religious wedding, with a huppah and everything. The other night my husband told me that there’s a 99% chance he’s going to convert with me. We’ve started attending the Taste of Judaism classes at our temple, and we’re definitely taking the Introduction to Judaism course that starts in January. There’s a very good chance we’ll take our mikveh dip at the same time.
3. I have purchased our own copy of the siddur used at our temple – the Mishkan T’Filah Reform Siddur. Last night we did Havdalah together and included a few readings from the siddur as part of it. (I wish I could find a recording of Elana Jagoda’s Havdalah song that was available as an MP3 instead of only on YouTube, though.)
4. There is no fourth thing.
5. I have been overwhelmed with work and other issues, which is why I haven’t been posting. I’m sure that “getting married” counts as something overwhelming, doesn’t it?
I’m also working on my antipathy towards the fundamentalists in my own faith. I have to get past this; it’s making it hard for me to practice tikkun olam. Reading part of Spiritual Activism by Rabbi Avraham Weiss (an Orthodox rabbi who calls for unity among all Jews and does not judge non-Orthodox Jews – for the most part) helped. I may talk about that in a few days.