Today I enter the world of blogging. Last Friday I entered the world of Judaism. If I’m being honest (and I am) I have to say that neither one is really “new” territory for me. I’ve followed various blogs for a year now and have really enjoyed eavesdropping on other people’s thoughts. As far as Judaism goes I’ve earned an undergraduate and graduate degree in Religion with Jewish Studies as my emphasis. So what’s the ” New Territory?”
Blogging is new for me as an author. There aren’t many things in my life that I will admit to being “good” at, but I know I’m an excellent writer. I like to write and miss doing so since I graduated from graduate school. After some encouragement from a friend, I decided to give blogging a shot.
Judaism is new territory for me because I’ve just completed the conversion process and am “officially” Jewish. I am a part of a wonderful congregation (who has given me the wonderful gift of a one year membership) and feel accepted and validated by the members and Rabbis there. Still, I believe that I’m embarking on a new journey – the journey of my life as a Jew.
While I was studying for conversion, I have to admit that there was a small part of my mind that said, “Well, if you don’t get to services it’s okay because you’re not really a Jew yet,” and “I’m not going to (insert synagogue function here) because I’m not really a member yet.” Last Friday night, all that changed. Now, I’m really a Jew and I’m really a member of a synagogue. I now must ask myself what it means to live a fully Jewish life.
A wise person once said that one gets from an experience/activity etc., what one puts into it. For me, this means that to get all I want from Judaism I must put my all into it. For the most part, this isn’t difficult for me – I thrive on Torah study and am fascinated and passionate about discovering the many facets of our Sages, the Talmud, the Writings and the Prophets. It’s my goal to one day read, speak, and translate Hebrew as well as both Rabbis at my shul and I’m anxious to attend functions at the synagogue as a full member. The challenge for me will be to continually listen and learn to recognize G-d as G-d continues to make G-d known to me. Many times, I go through my days, weeks, and months so quickly that I forget to slow down and think about ways in which I’ve experienced G-d during any given period of time. That needs to change for me. If I am to rely on G-d I must first begin to better recognize the ways in which G-d lets me know that G-d is there. By doing so, conversing with G-d will become something that I’m comfortable with instead of something that seems odd and/or different.
I chose Judaism. I chose my shul. Now I get to reap the benefits of those choices. I’m anxious to get started and am anxious to document my journey. Hopefully, I’ll learn things about myself as I enter this new territory but more importantly, I’ll learn things about G-d – the G-d of Sara bat Avraham v’ Sara.