Sunday, January 13, 2008

Stalling Out

So, it has been a while, but here's a full update:
I had to stop learning the 39 Melachos with Adara over Yom Kippur/Rosh Hashanna/Sukkot because Shabbos day was so short and because the demands of the holidays were too much. Plus, unknown to me at the time, Adara was pregnant and not feeling well most of the time. Adara now feels much better, but I am still not learning with her. Why? Well, I am not sure. Over the holidays, I was not asked to join anyone, really. I know I am not allowed to be explicitly invited over, but before, I had been told the door was open. That did not occur at all this year. It hurt because I felt even more excluded.
I know that the community does not have an obligation to make all converts feel welcome, but I think sometimes people just forget how lonely it can be. My family is sad and distant from me regarding my religious life, and so is the Jewish community. My mother cries and says that she doesn't think I am going to hell, but that the Man Upstairs said I am going to Hell. That's my at home life. The holidays of my childhood, that bring back the warm family memories, are no longer holidays in which I can rejoice. Christmas seems incredibly pagan and lacks the sense of spirituality of the Jewish holidays. As a result, not only am I separated from the Jewish Community on Jewish holidays, I am also separated from my family on their holidays.
So, that is hard. Additionally, and this may be part of the "mind games," I have had an exceedingly difficult time finding people who will learn with me. The "syllabus" I was given specifies that I am to have someone sign off that I have learned the 39 Melachos, The Laws of Brachos, and The Laws of Kashrus. Although I have read all of the Brachos and Kashrus books, I have read them alone and I fear that does not count. I have e-mailed the Rabbi about this twice and called him three times, and I have yet to receive a response. I learned in shul on Shabbos that his wife just had a baby (girl), so that may explain his lack of response. I have been trying to contact him for more than three weeks, though.
My frum friend is currently in Israel, and she's having a wonderful time. I miss her lots because my connection to the frum world seems to be missing. I have asked her sister in law to learn with me, and she seems really willing, which is exciting.
I have added some blogs of interest, which may not interest you, but they do interest me. Someone's blog had a post entitled "A cast of characters," and I liked the idea and plan to copy it with my next post.
I really want to learn in Israel next year, but I think in order to be able to find a program and find the support I'd like to have, I need to finish my conversion first.
I want to be finished converting. It's so much easier to run a marathon when the finish line is known and in sight. Right now, I feel like I'm in a marathon, only, I'm not running. I'm doing some sort of really awkward movement that I do not understand and the course keeps changing to lead me into walls. Only, I'm blindfolded. I'm determined, though. This marathon is one I was meant to finish and I will.

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