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ilovetchotchkes

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Join date : 2012-03-05

PostSubject: Hiya! new here!    Tue Mar 06, 2012 12:54 pm

I'm Margaret.

Both my husband and I are Reform converts. Very Happy He converted in July of 2008, and I in March of 2009. We both converted after we married (we had a civil ceremony in a Unitarian church as my parents who were paying insisted on a "church" wedding). We're currently planning a Jewish wedding to be held mothers day of this year. I will be 7 1/2 months pregnant with our "Thing #2" (we've got a bit of a penchant for Dr Seuss in this house).

Our oldest son is Roland, he's an almost 2 year old that I love to bits. We also have 2 "furry" children - Macduff and Bess. Macduff is a Welsh Corgi and Bess is a... heintz 57 dog. We're pretty sure there's some pitty or lab in her somewhere. The 3 of them are like, they're an unstoppable force of chaos. Yesterday my son opened the fridge, got into the butter drawer and ate some of a stick of butter when I took 2 minutes to pee by myself!

I was raised Catholic and would get increasingly frustrated as a teen and in college when folks would tell me after I'd exhaust their logic "well, you just have to have faith that what I'm saying is right." Yeah, that didn't fly with me. :) My mother was not supportive of the conversion and I am SURE that the rest of the family is just waiting for me to rush back into the bosom of "holy mother church" which is about as likely to happen as a T-rex roaming the Chicagoland suburbs. My uncle recently lectured me that the reason why I am not Catholic is because I never knew "true" Catholicism. (What, with 2 parents who worked for the RCC, I didn't know "true Catholicism"????).

My dad on the other hand, when my mom wasn't around would say "dig into the family tree on Mom's side a bit." Yeah. About that, My great great grandmother's maiden name was Levi. affraid And of course i've hit a dead end with ancestry as the village they were from in Czechoslovakia is now GONE. But according to my mother (I finally got my mom to talk about it), my great great grandmother always refused to put up a Christmas tree according to family lore, and a few other things that are like "hmmm". Nothing as obvious as lighting candles on a Friday night for no particular reason though.


Anyways this is getting long and i've gotta run to an appointment!

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Mychal

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Join date : 2011-09-23
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PostSubject: Re: Hiya! new here!    Tue Mar 06, 2012 1:59 pm

You know, people are always worrying and fretting over intermarriage and assimilation, but when you look at the family history of converts, you'll find that many of them (maybe even most) have a Jewish ancestor. While assimilation does greatly reduce Jewish numbers, the fact that some family member inevitably ends up coming back is--to me--proof that God will always preserve a remnant of the Jewish people.

Interestingly, Hitler noticed this and commented on it:

"If only one country, for whatever reason, tolerates a Jewish family in it, that family will become the germ center for fresh sedition. If one little Jewish boy survives without any Jewish education, with no synagogue and no Hebrew school, [Judaism] is in his soul. Even if there had never been a synagogue or a Jewish school or an Old Testament, the Jewish spirit would still exist and exert its influence. It has been there from the beginning and there is no Jew, not a single one, who does not personify it."

I find this quote rather like the "curse" the priest Baalam tried to put on the Jewish people. Even when individual Jews leave Judaism, often their descendants come back.

ilovetchotchkes, you may like the book "Turbulent Souls;" its the story of two Jews who become Catholic, then their youngest son--who wrote the book--ends up "converting" back to Judaism (he's technically not a Jew, since his mother is a Jew--albeit an apostate one--although he's done the same sort of learning all of us as adult converts have had to do). You might see some parallels to your own family, and maybe there's something in there that will help you work through your issues with your family.

You may also enjoy Rabbi Tovia Singer's free anti-missionary lecture series (http://www.simpletoremember.com/articles/a/anti-missionary-mp3s/). I listened to it, thinking I needed some ammunition in case my mother wanted to argue theology with me. Although, by the time I was done with it, I was blown away.

Obviously I had problems with Christian theology because I decided to convert, but he lists EVERYTHING wrong with Christian theology--not just putting into words (and backing up with scripture) everything I felt was wrong, but he refuted Christian claims I had never even heard. I don't think a rational person can hear it and still be a Christian by the time he's done. Which is why I don't recommend it en masse to people. Some people don't need a bunker-buster dropped in the middle of their faith.
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Debbie B.

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PostSubject: Re: Hiya! new here!    Tue Mar 06, 2012 2:13 pm

Many years ago when a woman asked me how old my kids were and I said "4 and 1 years old", she gave me a sympathetic look and said "You must be very busy these days". Yes, indeed I was since I was also in graduate school. I remember the days when I too couldn't even pee when I wanted!

But the great thing for converts about having kids is that not only do you get to fulfill the promise of raising your children Jewish (I assume that Reform conversions require that promise too. Conservative and Orthodox ones certainly do.), but because you need to set a good example and teach your children, it will encourage you to learn more about all aspects of Judaism and deepen your observance. And when they go to a Jewish preschool or Hebrew school or Jewish day school or work on learning services or chanting for bnei mitzvah, you'll find that it will give you opportunities to learn yourself. My family started to say the appropriate food blessings at family meals when my children learned them at the JCC where my son was in day care and my daughter attended an after kindergarten program. And it was a JCC Havdalah program that inspired me to suggest that we do that ritual regularly at home. Best of all, I learned Torah trope when I sat with my son through his bar mitzvah tutoring sessions and worked with him to practice every night. (My son may never read Torah again---it's really hard for him. But I have since become a regular Torah reader for my two lay-led minyanim.)

It is also really wonderful to watch your children grow up with Judaism and naturally incorporate into their lives and world view so many of the positive aspects that drew us to the religion as converts.

My children are now teenagers. My daughter will be going off to college next year (waiting to hear back later this month!) and Jewish campus life was important in her choice of schools to apply to.
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searchinmyroots

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Join date : 2011-12-01
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PostSubject: Re: Hiya! new here!    Tue Mar 06, 2012 10:45 pm

Welcome ilovetchotchkes and thanks for sharing your journey!

If anyone is interested, I would like to recommend an excellent book about parenting the "Torah" way.

It is titled Raising a Child with Soul.

Here is a link to the authors website.

http://www.raisingachildwithsoul.com/index.aspx

You can even ask her questions on her website. I did and she responded with some good advice. She is a very caring person and wants to help in anyway she can.

I hope it is useful to some of you.

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Admin
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PostSubject: Re: Hiya! new here!    Tue Mar 06, 2012 10:51 pm

ilovetchotchkes wrote:
The 3 of them are like, they're an unstoppable force of chaos. Yesterday my son opened the fridge, got into the butter drawer and ate some of a stick of butter when I took 2 minutes to pee by myself!

I keep hearing boys are easier than girls but uh...I just don't know if I can believe it. Razz
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Debbie B.

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PostSubject: Re: Hiya! new here!    Wed Mar 07, 2012 12:02 am

Admin wrote:

I keep hearing boys are easier than girls but uh...I just don't know if I can believe it. Razz

I have one child of each gender and have dealt with quite a few other people's children as a Girl Scout leader for 9 years and a Cub Scout leader for 4 years. I found that neither girls nor boys are as a group "easier", although on average girls and boys tend to have different ways of acting that can make them "easier" or "harder" to deal with. A lot, but IMHO not all, of that is due to socialization.

And I've found that for every age of kid from birth to 18 years, there are good things about the age and difficult things. For example, babies wake you up every few hours all night and have constant needs, BUT they don't get into fights with their siblings or other children or their parents, or play video games when they are supposed to be doing their homework.... On the other hand, babies are fun to watch and are made happy by very simple things, and teens can sometimes be really helpful in the kitchen or with yard work and can be funny and thoughtful. And related to this forum, it is fascinating to watch kids learn how to become Jewish adults. Similarly to how kids learn to speak their native language and foreign languages they are exposed to differently than adults learn a new language, it is different for a kid to grow up Jewish than for an adult to become Jewish as a convert.
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ilovetchotchkes

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PostSubject: Re: Hiya! new here!    Wed Mar 07, 2012 1:49 am

I totally don't know how to multi quote.... LOL

Mychal - I have read Turbulent Souls. I LOVE that book. And i am TOTALLY downloading those MP3's for my walks that I plan on taking once the weather breaks!

Debbie B. - I've definitely found myself being more observant since kids! we're working on doing havdalah with regularity- as it is, my husband's 2nd job plays fast and loose with his schedule and he sometimes isn't home Saturday nights. (don't get me started). And yes we do have to promise to raise our kids Jewish. That was in fact one of the huge reasons why I didn't get married in the Catholic church- as part of the vows, i would have had to promise to raise my kids Catholic. I didn't want to start my marriage on a lie! I love watching him love being Jewish. he's only 2 but I swear... his Kidcraft menorah and Pesach set are his absolute favorite toys to play with. He'll play for HOURS and mix the holidays together (we're getting the shabbos set as soon as our tax return hits the bank) and celebrating what we call "Peschanukkah!" lol!

Searchinmyroots- I'm gonna check it out!! cool! Very Happy thanks!

Admin- HA! ha ha ha ha ha ha ! I honestly think it has to do with the fact that the child came from my loins rather than gender. He looks like a "mini me" of his daddy but he has my personality 100%! Stubborn to a fault but he's earned the nickname "mr personality" lol!



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James

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PostSubject: Re: Hiya! new here!    Wed Mar 07, 2012 7:16 am

Admin wrote:
I keep hearing boys are easier than girls but uh...I just don't know if I can believe it. Razz

I wouldn't believe it.
I have three boys and one girl; they all are a handful!
And most days, my boys are far worse than my girl.



And welcome to the board, ilovetchotchkes!
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SaraK

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PostSubject: Re: Hiya! new here!    Wed Mar 07, 2012 9:11 am

Hi!
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