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Widget



Posts : 8
Join date : 2012-11-12
Age : 29

PostSubject: *Waves*   Mon Nov 12, 2012 1:48 pm

Hi everyone.

I'm Widget, or that's what people call me, anyway. I'm 25, female, and currently pursuing conversion via a Conservative synagogue, about 25 minutes from me. I live in the middle of nowhere in Pennsylvania Amish country, and graduated from a Mennonite-based school. (They'd all be horrified at me converting.)

I had taken a break from going to shul for about a year due to lack of transportation (I can't drive, so my father takes me) and being ill, but I'm finally back, and throwing myself in fully.

O guess I just wanted a community of people who have been there before me. So, hi!
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Mychal

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

PostSubject: Re: *Waves*   Mon Nov 12, 2012 5:46 pm

Welcome to the club. Very Happy (In more ways than one; I went to an Episcopal school and my mother is a devout evangelical Christian, so I understand converting with that sort of history!)
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searchinmyroots

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Posts : 152
Join date : 2011-12-01
Location : New York

PostSubject: Re: *Waves*   Mon Nov 12, 2012 8:46 pm

Welcome Widget!

I don't think I've heard of any Mennonite converts to Judaism before. It's a pleasure to "know" you! :)

So, if you don't mind me asking, what was it that brought you to Judaism?

Thanks!
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Widget



Posts : 8
Join date : 2012-11-12
Age : 29

PostSubject: Re: *Waves*   Mon Nov 12, 2012 9:38 pm

I was never "officially" Mennonite, which makes me less rare, haha. My family was actually ELCA Lutherans, but they sent me to a Mennonite school after the bullying over my disability (chronic muscle weakness and general bad) got violent. Still, I got pretty close. I memorised Psalms once.

As for why Judaism, I was one of those kids who you did not want to sit in front of a Bible and swear everything was true and accurate. I kept kicking up questions -- why is a new covenant necessary if it says the old one is eternal and perpetual? If G-d says no pork, why does Paul say we can eat anything? My teachers HATED me. And they couldn't give me answers, so I dismissed ALL of it.

Then later, I met my first Jewish person and was invited to Shabbat dinner, and allowed to ask a million questions and, oddly, it felt...right. It made sense, not intellectually at first, but down deep. It was like a bone deep understanding of what was going on at Shabbat dinner. The mom was amazed that I asked if she covered the bread so it wouldn't "feel bad" for not being blessed the same time as the wine.

Later I decided to try it and found my way to my nearest shul...and everything clicked.

And that was way more than you likely needed or wanted to know.
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Sarit

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

PostSubject: Re: *Waves*   Tue Nov 13, 2012 2:08 am

Welcome, Widget!

I was, and I still am someone who keeps asking questions too! Now, in Judaism it just makes sense and basically, every other thing in Judaism feels just "right".

Thank you for sharing a part of your story!

Please, feel welcome and enjoy the forum!
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James

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Join date : 2011-09-06
Location : NC

PostSubject: Re: *Waves*   Tue Nov 13, 2012 7:37 am

Welcome to our group, Widget!

Quote :
As for why Judaism, I was one of those kids who you did not want to sit in front of a Bible and swear everything was true and accurate. I kept kicking up questions -- why is a new covenant necessary if it says the old one is eternal and perpetual? If G-d says no pork, why does Paul say we can eat anything? My teachers HATED me. And they couldn't give me answers, so I dismissed ALL of it.

A lady at my synagogue told a story that reminded me of this: Her first job after her residency was at a Catholic hospital. She was upfront with her new employer about being Jewish, and during the her orientation she was told: "We know Jews like to ask questions, but you have to promise not to do it here. We don't encourage our people asking questions".

I think it's that drive to figure it out that kind of unites us.
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Mychal

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Join date : 2011-09-23
Location : Tennessee

PostSubject: Re: *Waves*   Tue Nov 13, 2012 1:47 pm

When I was a kid (12 or 13 y.o.), I had a deep philosophical moment and asked my mother if God made everything, who made God? Where did He come from?

My mother told me not to ask that (in a stern tone).

I asked her why not.

"You don't question God."

I honestly spent the next several minutes worrying that God was going to strike me dead for asking a question that I didn't know it was wrong to answer.

How refreshing it was when I found that Judaism encourages questions and that my question was perfectly legitimate and worthy of discussion.

I really like the image of Jacob wrestling with the angel as a metaphor for every person's struggle with God. Even "Israel" means "one who struggles with God." Struggling, doubts, questions... they're all okay!
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Widget



Posts : 8
Join date : 2012-11-12
Age : 29

PostSubject: Re: *Waves*   Tue Nov 13, 2012 6:37 pm

I really enjoy that too. In school I was always made to see myself as a "troublemaker" because I asked questions. It really annoyed me. Like how I wasn't allowed in Honours English, because they were doing the Portrait of Dorian Gray (which I had read in fifth grade) and my teachers felt I wasn't "spiritually prepared" for it, because I kept asking questions and not taking things on faith.

In Judaism it's so different. You're allowed to question and argue and say that something doesn't make sense to you. The first person who told me that. (My first Jewish friend) I just up and hugged her.
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searchinmyroots

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

PostSubject: Re: *Waves*   Wed Nov 14, 2012 12:46 am

Widget,

Thank you for your reply! That is a wonderful story.

It was "just the right amount of information I need/want to know"!

Yes, most other religions look at us as strange because we are encouraged to question everything. That doesn't mean we don't have faith, just that we need to understand some things while knowing that there may be some things that we still cannot understand.

You also see Abraham, Moses and other great leaders arguing or questioning G-d in the Hebrew bible.

Once again, it is the famous Shabbat dinner that has transformed a life. G-d knew what He was doing when He told us to observe the Sabbath.

Hope to hear more of your journey.
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Dena

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Join date : 2011-09-05
Age : 34

PostSubject: Re: *Waves*   Tue Nov 20, 2012 12:10 am

Hello, Widget. Welcome to the forum!
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aharon

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Posts : 15
Join date : 2012-10-22

PostSubject: Re: *Waves*   Sun Dec 09, 2012 12:16 am

When I signed up I thought I might be the newbie for a while.I don't feel so special anymore haha!

While I haven't really paid my dues here I think I can still to welcome you as everyone else has.
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