Monday, May 4, 2009

My process story.... Year one and four months...

I promised some readers of Frum Satire... many moons ago my story of my process. The story up until I started the process is on here. However, the actual process story is not.

When I started actually studying Judaism was on the 26 of Elul of 5765 (2006). I had been thinking about converting and I had prayed about it. This was the date when I started working for this Jewish guy. As I was using his kitchen, I learned how to function in a kosher kitchen. I learned some other things like meat and dairy are not eaten together and ham/pig is never eaten. I couldn't get enough. I asked this boss to tell me more but, all he said was that I could google it. So, I did.

I found and I started reading about Judaism on the internet. About a month later, I contacted NJOP and told them I wanted to start learning Hebrew. The rabbi that responded gave me three books to read. He said that when I finished reading them, if I still wanted to convert, to contact him again and he would give me contact information for a sponsor and let me in enroll in Hebrew classes.

I read these three books ("To Be A Jew," "Becoming A Jew," and "This Is My G-d") and started to look into moving to a Jewish neighborhood. This rabbi was available to answer some questions during this "preconversion" phase. For example, he referred me to the beginner's service at Lincoln Square Synagogue. I attended there until I moved to a Jewish neighborhood.

So, I was very excited when I found my apartment in a Jewish neighborhood. I called around to find my first rabbi before I even moved in. Finally, I had a rabbi so I was actually in the process. He gave me some assignments and I finished them dutifully. I wrote a paper on this and a paper on that. He assigned more. I wrote more. Eventually, I started writing papers he didn't ask for and Emailing them to him. He was doing that thing where he never scheduled meetings with me or he made me wait for an hour and then he left, "oops, sorry, I have to go."

As the year with this rabbi progressed, he actually blew me off more and more. I thought, shouldn't he be seeing that I follow through and shouldn't it mean something?" Eventually, I had rabbis coming to me asking, "what is going on with your process?" I had to tell them, "I really don't know." They wanted to know, "what do you still have to study?" "Ummm.. I'm not sure." "What feedback does your rabbi give you?" "Umm... he really just kinda says hello, how are you and I have to go."

So, various rabbis were telling me to change rabbis. I wasn't sure about this because I thought it would hurt me in the end.

When I had major issues with almost every woman in the shul trying to set me up with horrible men and while I was still in the process, no less, I decided it was time to change rabbis AND SHULS. There was a shul I had been eyeing, anyway. It was closer to where I live. I would see it on the way to and from shul.

While I was looking to change rabbis between this first and second rabbi, I found a shul by my work that was accepting of women coming in the morning. I started going to Shacharis before work.

We'll pause here... and continue another day.

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