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Sarit

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Posts : 128
Join date : 2012-03-14
Age : 34
Location : Belgrade, Serbia

PostSubject: Hello, everyone!   Wed Mar 14, 2012 2:20 pm

I'm so glad to be here, and I'm so glad that I've found a forum like this! It will really mean a lot to me to learn from all of you and to talk about all things that interest me in Judaism.

First of all, I will have to ask you to excuse my English if it gets weak at some points, because English is not my first language. Thanks in advance - I'll do my best to write and express myself, and all of you be free to correct me, please. Embarassed

Basically, this is my story until now: I came into closer contact with Judaism about two years ago due to some private and professional circumstances, but it felt so right to me almost immediately, if I can put it like that. I mean, it felt so easy (complexed as it is, which is one of the most inspiring things about Judaism for me!), it somehow felt so logical to me - everything suddenly made sense! Every effort that I put in every day, my every action, all the responsibilities I had, did and felt even before I delved deeper into Judaism - everything was already there. Sometimes it is kind of difficult or odd to explain, but it felt like Judaism was inside me all my way through. I must admit that when I was younger, it always somehow attracted me, intrigued me, and when the time came that I eventually got in greater touch with it, I started to read, read, learn, learn, think about Judaism, feel it more every day, so - here I am.

What I like most about Judaism until now is its complexity, the great body and layers of knowledge, of history, the perplexity of feeling connected to G-d and to the community in the same time and moment through histories and geographies (although, of course, I know that the Jewish community and culture is very, very complex and includes many different traditions, denominations and variations in it), then I like the way Judaism inspire me to learn, to improve myself every single day, every single moment, to grow on with and within Judaism. It brings me so much joy and comfort.

I'm in the process of learning, so. Very Happy

I cannot hide that I want the conversion really, really much (I'm thinking of it constantly, to be honest!! Embarassed ), but I will not rush in. I would like to learn as much as I can and to do my best before I contact a rabbi. I mean, I would be embarrassed if I came to a rabbi knowing that I didn't work my best on my knowledge in Judaism (as much as I can, of course). Embarassed I live in a country where Jewish community is really small, but I have the luck to live in the Capital city, so that is a great advantage, for sure. I grown up in a pretty liberal family from the point of religion, so I have always been given a space to explore my own path. I thank my parents for that, although I sometimes mourn and complain about my position which was practically outside any religious system or community while I was growing up - I mean, I worry that I'm always going to be "an outsider", "a convert", but I hope that it is quite usual fear or worry at some stage, and that it is here to remind me how strong is, on the other side, my wish to go further on my way to Judaism.

I'm sorry if I were too long in this introduction post. What can I say more of myself? I'm 29, I'm currently on my final year of PhD studies (theory of art&media and gender studies department), I like to listen and learn, and I'm sure I will learn a lot from all of you!

Thanks for reading. I'm so excited to be here!


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Dena

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PostSubject: Re: Hello, everyone!   Wed Mar 14, 2012 2:28 pm

Welcome to the forum! Very Happy
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Sarit

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Posts : 128
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Location : Belgrade, Serbia

PostSubject: Re: Hello, everyone!   Wed Mar 14, 2012 2:34 pm

Thank you, Dena! Very Happy
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SaraK

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Age : 27

PostSubject: Re: Hello, everyone!   Wed Mar 14, 2012 3:29 pm

Hi! Welcome, welcome :)
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Sarit

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Location : Belgrade, Serbia

PostSubject: Re: Hello, everyone!   Wed Mar 14, 2012 3:36 pm

I feel so welcomed! Thank you! :)

There are so many informations and posts here! Although I've been lurking on this forum for a while now, it has one more dimension for me now when my account is accepted. sunny

I will gladly join some conversations; there is so much to talk about!
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searchinmyroots

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Join date : 2011-12-01
Location : New York

PostSubject: Re: Hello, everyone!   Wed Mar 14, 2012 4:51 pm

Welcome Sarit and thank you for sharing your journey with us!

Ones' journey is never too long because it is always an ongoing process.

I'm sure you have many questions. Just beware there are many answers!

I don't know if you've heard the saying - Ask 3 Jews a question and you'll get 4 answers!

But each answer is thought out and we believe they could all be right in there own sense.

If it's not too personal, do you mind me asking what country you live in?

Thanks Sarit.
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tamar

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PostSubject: Re: Hello, everyone!   Wed Mar 14, 2012 6:22 pm

Welcome Sarit!

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Sarit

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PostSubject: Re: Hello, everyone!   Wed Mar 14, 2012 6:46 pm

searchinmyroots wrote:
Welcome Sarit and thank you for sharing your journey with us!

Ones' journey is never too long because it is always an ongoing process.

I'm sure you have many questions. Just beware there are many answers!

.............

But each answer is thought out and we believe they could all be right in there own sense.

Well, that is actually beautiful - that multiplicity of possibilities in knowledge and thought! Of course there is not one exact answer, I understand it and appreciate it very much. Many possible answers give the opportunity to think them all through and encourage to try to think and answer the questions ourselves. So it's never-ending learning journey. Very Happy

searchinmyroots wrote:
I don't know if you've heard the saying - Ask 3 Jews a question and you'll get 4 answers!

I like it a lot. Very Happy

searchinmyroots wrote:
If it's not too personal, do you mind me asking what country you live in?

Thanks Sarit.

No, it's not too personal. :)

I live in Serbia, in Belgrade city.


Last edited by Sarit on Wed Mar 14, 2012 6:49 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Sarit

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PostSubject: Re: Hello, everyone!   Wed Mar 14, 2012 6:46 pm

Thank you, tamar!
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James

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PostSubject: Re: Hello, everyone!   Wed Mar 14, 2012 8:40 pm

Welcome Sarit. It's nice to have you join us.
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Bee

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PostSubject: Re: Hello, everyone!   Thu Mar 15, 2012 2:29 am

Welcome Sarit Cool
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Sarit

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PostSubject: Re: Hello, everyone!   Thu Mar 15, 2012 9:41 am

Thank you very much, James and Bee! sunny
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Bee

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PostSubject: Re: Hello, everyone!   Thu Mar 15, 2012 1:50 pm

I am excited to read about your journey. You will find so many unique stories here and sincere people. English is my second language too. sunny I was born here in the US but my parents are immigrants from Durango Mex. and Ecuador.
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Sarit

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PostSubject: Re: Hello, everyone!   Sun Mar 17, 2013 8:08 pm

Ok, I'm a coward officially. Razz

Can you believe that I approached our rabbi here and told him specifically about my journey, my thoughts and my conversion plans just a few days ago??

Of course, it seems that everyone knew it before the rabbi (at least my friends from Jewish community knew it well - and they were wonderful - they didn't tell anything to anyone before actually I decided to speak for myself); actually, I initially came into contact with Jewish community here by applying to the Jewish choir audition. Surely I came because of my closeness with Judaism and because of my wish to go through conversion, but the rabbi - well, I was scared of his attitude, of his opinion, of that he would turn me back not 3, but 33 times... Well, I really don't know if this would happen if I approached him then because in the past year my thoughts and my dialogue with Judaism, and my knowledge also became much more mature and defined. And I've came to know exactly what I want of myself. :)

So I went to the choir; then I went to the different happenings - movies, lectures, classes, and then I've become regular on Shabbat services, holidays... Then I kissed the Torah on Shacharit Shabbat for the first time (that was one of the most moving experiences I had)... And then after some time I contacted the rabbi. I wrote him an e-mail, he had a conversation with me this Shabbat morning and... Guess what? He was very warm and welcoming - in a manner of an Orthodox rabbi, of course (he was very rational and serious, which I've expected!). I am so happy!

The thing is that he cannot perform conversion here, but he will gladly confirm any conversion from the outside - Orthodox, Conservative, even Reform if it includes both Beit Din and mikveh. He's actually very liberal on this, as an Orthodox rabbi.

I was so nervous while I was writing the letter, and even more when I was calling him to confirm the meeting time. But he made our conversation very comfortable, actually! He seemed very interested in my journey, and also in my specific interest in gender studies in Judaism, and he actually said that he has some books on this topic and that he will bring them so I can read. Wow, I am so happy (I know I've already said it a couple of times!)!!

Since a couple of my friends had wonderful experiences with conversions in the USA, it seems I'll work with a rabbi there. Long distance, but I'll make it somehow! Mixing it with a chaos in my head that arrived with my PhD thesis approaching its final phase, this will be an interesting, uplifting and challenging chapter in my life! Actually, I can't wait. sunny

So that's the news! Wave
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Salvia



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Join date : 2012-12-29
Age : 29
Location : Wales, UK

PostSubject: Re: Hello, everyone!   Sun Mar 17, 2013 8:31 pm

YAY!!!! I'm happy for you, Sarit whoohoo

Congartulations!
I don't think you're a coward, I think you're rather wise to wait with approaching the rabbi until you were ready for it!

Best of luck Very Happy
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Sarit

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Posts : 128
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Location : Belgrade, Serbia

PostSubject: Re: Hello, everyone!   Sun Mar 17, 2013 8:41 pm

Thank you, Salvia!! sunny

But you should hear me when I phoned the rabbi (as he, after reading my e-mail, told me to call him) - I sounded like a squeaky mouse! Laughing And not because I was not sure of what I want, of course - it was just so many excitement accumulated in that moment! Very Happy

Now I feel so proud of myself. A year ago (a couple of years ago, actually, when I first began to consider a possibility of conversion), when I was imagining this moment, it was just a distant and wonderful dream, a possibility that I wanted so much that I finally made it come true. sunny
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Salvia



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PostSubject: Re: Hello, everyone!   Tue Mar 19, 2013 3:27 pm

Like a boss Cool

I hope to once get where you are now Very Happy
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Sarit

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Location : Belgrade, Serbia

PostSubject: Re: Hello, everyone!   Tue Mar 19, 2013 3:59 pm

Of course you will if you want it! Wave

You'll know just what to do (or where to ask what to do! ;) ) if and when the time comes. And you will be strong enough. Thumps Up
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geekima



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Join date : 2013-03-09

PostSubject: Re: Hello, everyone!   Wed Mar 20, 2013 7:11 pm

Welcome, Sarit! cheers

I don't think you're a coward. Orthodox Rabbis scare me to death...and I've been working on an Orthodox conversion for 3+ years. ;) It sounds like you have a very nice, supportive Rabbi.
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Sarit

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Location : Belgrade, Serbia

PostSubject: Re: Hello, everyone!   Thu Mar 21, 2013 1:49 pm

Thank you, geekima!! Very Happy

The support and understanding that I have here on the forum mean a lot to me!!

Yes, my rabbi is quite nice actually, and very spontaneous in communication. There is no pressure at all - as a matter of fact, I'm the one who is in position to ask, to search for a help and assistance in learning - so I'm the one who is expected to guide the rhythm of learning and I like that approach a lot. Basically, it's my personal path, and rabbi is there to help me as much as he can. So that puts my effort and responsibility in the focus, but I really, really like it! :)

Happy, happy, happy!
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Sarit

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PostSubject: Re: Hello, everyone!   Sun Jun 30, 2013 4:39 am

Ok, here's the news!

I'm in for the conversion program which will officially start... Well, in next ten days! Wow, wow, wow! whoohoo 

Honestly, I didn't expect it, or not that soon. I am still in a bit of shock! Very Happy

I think I wrote about the situation here - we have only one rabbi and basically, what he said to me initially was that we can't do conversions here and that he rarely really takes prospective converts for classes and guidance, and that it is the best thing that we seek for the whole process somewhere outside the country (Hungary being the nearest choice), but that I am free to come and participate in the life of Jewish community and to walk my path.

So I thought "ok" and proceeded to come to the synagogue, and as well, bit by bit, to get included in the activities of Jewish community - choir (that one came before approaching the rabbi actually), volunteering, educational workshops, seminars... In the beginning it was hard - I didn't really know anyone, I came to the synagogue alone, on Yom Tov dinners I also felt a bit alienated (I mean, I knew I belonged there, but I didn't know whether the others knew that, and I was ready to tell my story but of course not to bother anyone with details as soon as we start conversation... So - a lot of calculating and a lot of spontaneity after all... Very Happy )... And at one moment, around half a year after my first coming I actually felt a lot better, more confident and more comfortable. I've made friends and friendly connections with younger as well as older people (and it is interesting that in our synagogue congregation there are either older people (over 60) or younger people (a couple of us between 25 and 30)) so we made quite a team. :)

In those 6 months I was approaching the rabbi a couple of times (I think 3 times officially - once by an e-mail and twice in person), but I'm often kidding that he turned me down not 3, but 333 times (making it hard for me sometimes, feeling like I was excluded, making some "by the way" points in conversation about how complex and hard Jewish life is, how life can change really much and most of the people joining Jewish people actually won't be able to face it out, and generally, being "switch on" and "switch off" with his supportiveness). But I was still there.

A week ago something happened. Quite accidentally (or not so!) I've connected with three young persons of my age from the congregation. First I've met a girl who couldn't came to the synagogue for the last 6 months due to the health complications, and I've found that she seeks giyur too. And this Shabbat the two of us came earlier to the Kabbalat Shabbat and sat in the synagogue garden, where the two guys joined us for the conversation. I've seen them before in the synagogue, but never spoke to them. They seemed very individual and quiet, and since I would not approach boys/men alone and just "pop in" anyway, it happened that I've never met them before for real. So we sat and talked and found out that we are all (to be) Jewish by choice! Wow!

On the breakfast/coffee/tea after Shacharit Shabbat rabbi saw our lively and joyful conversation and after all that he asked us to approach him and told us that he is willing to do official giyur program with us which lasts about 2 years (less or more depending on the candidate) and of course, adding that it's "quite hard and serious" (but we actually came for that exactly! Thumps Up ) he said that he is going to work with us and arrange us a beit din afterwards if we make it.

Wow! I'm still in shock!

Apparently, all four of us had our own path (going for a couple of years for some of the people) and in a moment they've met, and it seemed that it was a turning point somehow! Very Happy

By the way the rabbi spoke I understood that it will be some of a conservadox learning (rabbi is modern orthodox but he said that the congregation is basically mixed so he will be fine with our diversities but he will expect a lot of knowledge and as much observance as possible) and we still don't know about the official denomination of the future beit din... But hey, it's a long path to walk and we are so happy with these news so we haven't asked about the beit din yet! We will have a lot of time for questions, that is for sure! ;)

So that's it. I'm happy!

It took me around 6 months to get to this point (not counting my 2 years of intensive learning alone) and I consider it pretty quick. I'm really happy!!

I just wanted to tell you all!

Yippee! sunny 
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Salvia



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PostSubject: Re: Hello, everyone!   Sun Jun 30, 2013 4:49 am

yes, YES, YEEEEESSSSS Wave 

So happy for you Sarit *grabs Sarit's hands and dances round the forum with her*

Two blessings at the same time: you are officially converting and you found some real life friends who go the path with you!

You go girl cheers cheers cheers 
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Sarit

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Location : Belgrade, Serbia

PostSubject: Re: Hello, everyone!   Sun Jun 30, 2013 4:57 am

Thank you, dear Salvia!!! :Hug-Smiley-that-we-still-don't-have Razz :

Such happy days! Wave 

I'm still learning how to live with the wonderful news and not to scream of joy and excitement publicly! Embarassed  whoohoo 
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Salvia



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PostSubject: Re: Hello, everyone!   Sun Jun 30, 2013 6:45 am

What's wrong with screaming of joy anyway?

*hug*

cheers cheers cheers 
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searchinmyroots

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PostSubject: Re: Hello, everyone!   Sun Jun 30, 2013 10:37 am

Congratulations Sarit!

Your devotion to Judaism was well recognized by the Rabbi and your persistence has brought you to a true turning point in your life!

Fasten your seatbelt and enjoy the ride as it will have many ups and downs. But such is life and what better way to handle it then with the teachings of Judaism.

May Hashem bless your every step as well as your newly found friends.
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