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cookiemama



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Join date : 2012-06-13

PostSubject: hi, im new   Thu Jun 14, 2012 5:36 am

Hi, I'm Toni, I have a husband and two children and I'm interested in learning more about Judaism and what it means to be a Jew.
I was raised in a secular Christian home - nobody believes but Christmas is a huge mass of tinsel, Santa and far more gifts than I am comfortable with. My husband isn't religious at all. I have always felt a need to understand my belief in God but found that Christianity just makes me deeply uncomfortable with its condemnation of non-christians and I just can't reconcile many of its teachings with my beliefs on who and what God is.
My knowledge and understanding of the Jewish beliefs is minimal, and I would appreciate recommendations on books to read etc.

Thank you
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Bee

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PostSubject: Re: hi, im new   Thu Jun 14, 2012 6:33 am

Wave welcome, glad you are here.
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searchinmyroots

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

PostSubject: Re: hi, im new   Thu Jun 14, 2012 9:55 am

Welcome Cookiemama!

You are not alone on your journey. There are many out there (here?) that share your feelings.

What type of books are you interested in reading?

There are many websites as well.

This may be a good place to start - http://www.beingjewish.com

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Mychal

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Join date : 2011-09-23
Location : Tennessee

PostSubject: Re: hi, im new   Thu Jun 14, 2012 11:05 am

I have a list of all the material I've studied on my blog: http://becomingjew.blog.com/about/

There are links to a lot of free mp3's, which is where I began my studies.
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http://becomingjew.blog.com/
Dena

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Join date : 2011-09-05
Age : 35

PostSubject: Re: hi, im new   Fri Jun 15, 2012 4:18 pm

Hello cookiemama, welcome to the forum!
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cookiemama



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Join date : 2012-06-13

PostSubject: Re: hi, im new   Sun Jun 17, 2012 4:01 am

Thank you everyone. Thank you for the links :)
I suppose I am looking for recommendations on books about the basics of Judaism, something accessible for someone with little knowledge of Judaism.
Has anyone read "choosing a Jewish life" or "living a Jewish life" by Anita Diamant? I have read somewhere that "Judaism for dummies" is good despite its title, would anyone here recommend it?
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mrenziboi



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Join date : 2012-05-01

PostSubject: Re: hi, im new   Sun Jun 17, 2012 4:28 am

i have read choosing a Jewish life.that book is more of a guide or hand book on conversion process if you are looking for an intro book i work check out to be a jew by rabbi hayim welcome btw :-)
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Sarit

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

PostSubject: Re: hi, im new   Sun Jun 17, 2012 7:15 am

Welcome, cookiemama!

When I was at the very beginning, I've found this topic very useful: http://www.jewishbychoice.org/t23-jewish-resources

There are mostly online sites where you can find many Jewish-related topics, facts, questions and answers, lectures and texts, so you can search through it bit by bit.

And of course, for a very simple and factual approach, there is also http://www.jewfaq.org/index.htm

One of my first books was Living Judaism: The Complete Guide to Jewish Belief, Tradition and Practice by Rabbi Wayne Dosick.
http://www.amazon.com/Living-Judaism-Complete-Tradition-Practice/dp/0060621796
I liked it a lot.

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

Thank you, Mychal, for sharing your detailed list of the material you've studied; it's very valuable having all that gathered in one place! I should start making my list, too. That's a good idea. Thumps Up
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cookiemama



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Join date : 2012-06-13

PostSubject: Re: hi, im new   Mon Jun 18, 2012 7:19 am

Thanks everyone, i am reading bits and pieces from the links you have given me and I will check the library for some of the books you have mentioned :) I only wish I had as much time to read as I used to have before I had children! My two tiny tots require a lot of my time and energy, but it is worth it to ensure they are growing up with the right values.
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cookiemama



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Join date : 2012-06-13

PostSubject: Re: hi, im new   Wed Nov 21, 2012 1:16 pm

hi everyone

After I joined here I emailed the rabbi at my local synagogue, who said she normally doesnt encourage conversions that will result in an interfaith family (as mine would, hubby has no belef in G-d, and i dont think he would allow me to have the kids converted, especially as my son would have to be circumcised) but that if I was intersed in persuing the idea I should come to services as I would need to attend and live jewishly for a year before beginning the conversion process.
For one reason and another I havent yet attended. I am a little nervous I suppose. and I have now found that she is leaving and the synagogue will not have a rabbi.
However, I am now feeling more comfortable with the idea that attending and living jewishly neednt be a path with a definate and determined end. If I dont convert immediately, so what? This is my journey with G-d and if I am supposed to take a more winding route than other then that is ok!
I do plan on attending synangoue services soon, and I will be back to let you all know how that goes, hopefully everyone will be friendly and i wont feel too out of place!

Tx
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Mychal

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Location : Tennessee

PostSubject: Re: hi, im new   Wed Nov 21, 2012 3:00 pm

Yeah, you should just start living the life (la vida meshugenah). Get your kids to help you with the holidays. Your husband may not care anything about lighting candles or decorating, but he may enjoy eating dinner and listening to you explain things to your kids. You can always take the more philosophical bent, such as Passover is a time when we all examine our lives and see how we're enslaved. Do we care too much about what people think? What other people have? Are we chained to our computers, phones, jobs? Not saying you shouldn't talk God and plagues when you're telling the original story, but when it comes down to "what does this mean to me?" I think everyone can derive some benefit from it, and God doesn't necessarily have to be involved.

Also, by exposing your kids, you can see if they want to do it or not. Any child that's converted has the option of rejecting their conversion at the age of 12/13 (or, in some places, possibly as late as age 20), so you might as well be sure that your kids really, really want to be Jews before converting them. And maybe then Dad won't have a problem with it, since it's what they want, not what you want.

There are probably books out there about what to do when one spouse is religious and one is not. It happens all the time in Jewish relationships: a couple will be secular, maybe agnostic or atheist, then one will "get religion" and suddenly there will be problems with observance, raising kids, etc. So maybe you can find information online or in books about being in that kind of mixed relationship. Because, to me, that's a real intermarriage and that's what's problematic. I'm converting and my husband isn't, but our beliefs about God are compatible, so my conversion is not a strain on our relationship. I'd rather be married to my husband than be married to a Jew who is an atheist.
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http://becomingjew.blog.com/
Debbie B.

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Location : Chicagoland

PostSubject: Re: hi, im new   Wed Nov 21, 2012 3:44 pm

A good resource for interfaith families is this website:
Interfaith Family
It is specifically aimed at encouraging Jewish choices in families in which some members are Jewish and some are not. It is a good resource for converts because we create our own "interfaith families" by choosing a religion that is different from that of our parents, siblings, and other relatives. There are articles and discussion forums. Lots of good articles to explain the hows and whys of Judaism to those who are new to it, which are perfect for prospective converts. See this section:
IFF Conversion

There even some articles by "Jews by Choice" who converted even though their non-Jewish spouse did not. I found this one particularly moving:
An Overnight Interfaith Home
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Dena

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PostSubject: Re: hi, im new   Wed Nov 21, 2012 10:41 pm

I too converted without a Jewish spouse and while I won't say don't do it, I don't recommend it either. I do find it difficult. It doesn't bother me at all that my husband is an atheist, it bothers me that he isn't Jewish. It bothers me then if we have children, all of us with be Jewish but he will not. But every individual is different and so too, is every marriage.
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