Tuesday, June 26, 2007

So, I have had some questions bothering me for a while. I e-mailed them to Rabbi Dan the other day, and he wrote to say he was working on it, but didn't have answers yet. My questions are:
1. I have read the three books at the top of the list and now I am not sure how I should go about starting or doing the rest of the list. I am going through the 39 melochos with Adara on Saturdays; will completing the set with her be sufficient, or do I need to do it with a rabbi/rebbitzen?
2. I cannot read Hebrew really well yet (even just phonetically), so I often use transliterations. When I read these prayers, I realize that many of them are not meant for non-jews, and so I don't know if I am praying in vain when I say them. Should I always substitute Hashem when I pray, like when I pray from the Siddur, say brachos, or bench?
3. I have been told that I cannot keep Shabbos fully, so I always make a point of doing something every week to break Shabbos. If I am breaking Shabbos, should I still say the prayers to start/end Shabbos?
4. I am moving into the aruv on July 1. At my old apartment, I bought only Kosher food and tried to keep Kosher as best I could. When I move, I plan on trying to make my kitchen completely Kosher. However, I know that because I cannot be shomer Shabbos, and probably for some other reasons, my kitchen won't be considered actually Kosher for anyone Jewish. I also watched Rabbi Gene kasher Caleb & Edgar's kitchen. Would there be any reason to ask a Rabbi to help me kasher my kitchen initially?
5. I feel really lost as far as what I should be doing. Is there anything you can suggest?

As soon as I get answers, I will post them.
In other news, I seem to have been accepted into the community with warm arms. There aren't many people my age who are single, but I've made friends with pretty much everyone who is my age and single. I've never had so many female friends.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007


So...for that much overdue update:
I have been working at two law related jobs in an attempt to make up for grades that are decent, but nothing to brag about. I am also taking two summer classes and doing an internship. So, I have been very busy. Understanding Judaism by Rabbi Mordechai Katz recently arrived and is next on my list of books to read. I am studying the 39 Melochos with my friend on Shabbos because it's the only real time I have to learn. I am soon moving into the aruv, and I am excited. I am looking forward to being able to stay at my own place during Shabbos and, here, you have to live in the aruv for at least a year before you can complete the conversion process. I have decided to go without having a roommate for a while. I think having a Jewish roommate would be difficult for a few reasons. The first is that a religious Jewish roommate would probably hold to a higher standard than I know how, or want, to do right now. The second is that my family would probably not be so happy if I did that. I know that converting will be hard on my family, but I want to make it as easy as possible. Also, I feel that I am still so malleable that perhaps I will realize that Hashem doesn't care for me to convert, in which case, I don't want to feel pressure from having a Jewish roommate. Perhaps all of my worrying is baseless, but I feel much relieved by the idea that I can fumble around and risk only myself for a little while.
I have made new friends, and am excited by the diversity of people I have found. There is a wide range of religiosity and beliefs in the community, and it's amazing how friendly everyone manages to be despite the differences. Visitors come to the community and I have been told repeatedly that Atlanta is a very unique and wonderful place. I am grateful to be here during such a difficult time.

Monday, June 11, 2007


I have not forgotten about this blog, I have just been overwhelmingly busy. Classes are finished, and I am now taking 2 summer classes, working 2 jobs, and doing a summer internship. I have been learning the 39 melochos on Shabbos with Adara and I have done a pretty good job of wearing only skirts. The long sleeves are really difficult for me because it's hard to find summery clothes that aren't way too hot. I have had some roommate issues with moving into the aruv because I think it's best for me to live alone. I'll write more soon.