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SaraK

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Posts : 38
Join date : 2012-01-22
Age : 28

PostSubject: I'm still alive!   Thu Sep 13, 2012 9:38 am

Hi everyone,

I'm sorry for my long absence, I had to go and think without the distraction of the internet for a while.

I'm still converting. I'll be meeting with the rabbi (who doesn't live permanently here in CPH) and some of the senior members of the progressive shul. I've made a friend who is also converting and she's very helpful with what I need to know. I'm attending shul on Erev Rosh Hashanah, on Rosh Hashanah, and hopefully on the evening of Yom Kippur but my clinical training (I can't remember how much I told you about what I do, but I'm studying nursing now, which I wasn't before) begins on the same day as Yom Kippur and I'm at a place where I need to take that very seriously. Hopefully, next year I will fast on Yom Kippur, but not this. If everything goes well I'll be attending shul regularly from here on out, so that's very exciting!

Anyway, I'm very excited about that and then hopefully all I need to do to officially be in the program is submit an essay and have it accepted, become a member of the shul and then the conversion course begins in December as far as I can tell.

I hope you are all doing well, and I'd love to hear what you have going on in your lives and with your conversions at the moment!

Love,
Sara
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Mychal

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Posts : 277
Join date : 2011-09-23
Location : Tennessee

PostSubject: Re: I'm still alive!   Thu Sep 13, 2012 4:44 pm

Yom Kippur observance is given priority over all jobs or activities except where human life is in the balance. So people who are nurses or doctors will fall under the exemption. (Police, the military, and women in labor or close to it are the other usual exemptions.)

After Sammy Davis Jr. converted, he was filming a movie and informed the director that he wouldn't be on set on Yom Kippur. The director pitched a fit, saying a day's delay in filming would cost $30,000. Sammy shrugged it off and reiterated that he would not be on set. The director complained to the head of the studio, Mr. Goldwyn (of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer fame); he wanted Sammy fired or fined the cost. Mr. Goldwyn called Sammy personally and demanded to know why he wasn't going to be at work the next day. Sammy replied, "Tomorrow is Yom Kippur and I'm a Jew and Jews don't work on Yom Kippur."

There was a moment of silence, then Mr. Goldwyn said, "God bless you," and hung up. Filming stopped for a day while Sammy went to synagogue and the studio ate the expense.

You can fast from food while working (although I don't think it would be a good idea to be without liquids if you are going to be physically active). I worked on Tisha b'Av last year, but fasted from food. It's actually easier to fast while you're at work because you're busy. I was at home all day on Tisha b'Av this year and I about drove myself crazy thinking about food!

(Many rabbis want to see you handle a year of holidays, so if you don't do Yom Kippur this year, you will definitely need to schedule it off in advance next year. Observing it is a big, big deal.)
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SaraK

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Posts : 38
Join date : 2012-01-22
Age : 28

PostSubject: Re: I'm still alive!   Fri Sep 14, 2012 6:04 am

I know. I'm going to discuss it with the rabbi and my clinical advisor, and see about what I'll do. I know I can't skip the clinical training, but I could possibly fast during the day and then go to shul later in the day.

Basically, it's a case of two very important things happening at once and not knowing exactly how to prioritise. I know from a Jewish perspective what to prioritise but I also know what I need to prioritise from a nursing perspective, and sadly the outcome is two different things. I need a timeturner like Hermione had to do both perfectly,

The problem is, as you said, that the observance is a big, big deal and I don't want to start of on the wrong foot with the rabbi and the community.

So yeah, I don't have an answer yet.
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Mychal

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Posts : 277
Join date : 2011-09-23
Location : Tennessee

PostSubject: Re: I'm still alive!   Fri Sep 14, 2012 2:56 pm

I think your rabbi will appreciate that you're taking it seriously--regardless of what decision you come to.
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searchinmyroots

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

PostSubject: Re: I'm still alive!   Fri Sep 14, 2012 6:43 pm

Sorry if I'm not up to speed here, but since SaraK is not officially Jewish at this time, isn't she sort of exempt from fasting?


And to SaraK - Keep up the great work! It seems like you are progressing nicely and on your way to being Jewish!

Good luck in all your studies and L'shana Tova to everyone!
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Mychal

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Join date : 2011-09-23
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PostSubject: Re: I'm still alive!   Tue Sep 18, 2012 12:14 pm

She is not required to fast, no, but most rabbis expect a convert to go through the full cycle of holidays before conversion, and that means doing them 100% or close to it.

Yom Kippur is not only the most important holiday, but most people consider it the toughest to observe (personally, I have a harder time observing Passover for a week!). If you can handle the fasting and the all-day service and the beating your breast and the whole list of ways you could die (but hope you won't) and the heavy load of guilt and feeling bad, then I think you can handle pretty much anything else Judaism can throw at you!

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searchinmyroots

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PostSubject: Re: I'm still alive!   Tue Sep 18, 2012 7:25 pm

Thanks for the response Mychal. I told you I wasn't up to speed!

It makes 100% absolute sense what you have stated and I can see why it is "recommended" if that is even the right word.

Yes, Yom Kippur does test your sincerity. It is full of meaning and hopefully not only sets the pace for the day, but for the rest of your life.

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