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Salvia



Posts : 166
Join date : 2012-12-29
Age : 30
Location : Wales, UK

PostSubject: hello   Sat Dec 29, 2012 7:32 pm

First topic message reminder :

Hi, I'm Salvia :)
I am new in this place, and I hope you will not object to my presence here, because actually I am not jewish...just interested, and since a long time. Although I was raised as a protestant I've always had jewish influences around me, and they have inspired me more, in many ways, that protestantism, which I've always found difficult to swallow. Apart from that, I'm a huge fan of sephardic jewish music, which is not religious, most of the time, but which I associate strongly and positively with judaism.
Today something weird happened that made me seek things on google, and in the end I found this site. I found it interesting, and I look forward to interesting discussions with all of you; even if I don't really know where I stand religionwise (well, I know what I believe in, but I have no idea in what religion it would exactly fit), and from what I've read most members of this site have a quite rational approach to religion, whereas my personal approach is more...mystical? Meditative is maybe a better word. I do however always enjoy a good discussion, and my mind is always hungry for food for thought, and I believe there is food in this place. Mind if I join your table?

Ps: oh, I forgot to say I'm learning hebrew!! Well...I started this week, which means I can read the first six letters of the alfabet with their funny vowel-dots, and prounounce this. So there's work to be done. But this is fun! I know most people start learning hebrew because they have decided to become jewish, I haven't but I love learning new languages and reading texts in their original, so...
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geekima



Posts : 33
Join date : 2013-03-09

PostSubject: Re: hello   Sun Mar 24, 2013 4:15 am

I'm sneaking a break from Pesach prep. :)

Converting to Judaism is a lot like falling in love. The beginning is like that romantic stage of love where you become so swept up and everything about the object of you affection can seem perfect. It is intense, passionate, almost magical.

But as any married couple can tell you, that kind of love ebbs and flows, often fading. If there isn't a more substantial foundation for that relationship, it won't survive. Becoming Jewish is a major commitment and it's good to enjoy that rush and all those wonderful emotions, but also take your time getting to know it, exploring, and building that foundational relationship.

That's why orthodox conversions often take so long, They want you to live through and move past the starry-eyed stage and see if you'll still want to convert after you can see the drawbacks as well as the amazing spiritual highs, like a married couple long past their honeymoon who know each other aren't perfect and can still love each other even when they drive each other nuts.

Enjoy and relish this feeling, just as you would the special moments at the beginning of any relationship, but also take your time and be open to how it might grow and how your feelings may continue to change. It may just be a passing fancy or a lifelong relationship...and either is ok.

My Judaism and me are often like an old married couple, who argue now and then, but can't imagine life without eachother and occasionally do something sweet and dopey to show it. ;)
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Salvia



Posts : 166
Join date : 2012-12-29
Age : 30
Location : Wales, UK

PostSubject: Re: hello   Sun Mar 24, 2013 6:12 am

Very Happy

Geekima, that's perfectly said.
I am conscious of this falling in love thing and that's exactly why I'm very cautious about this....but on the other hand, sometimes the starry eyes take over! I am totally back into reason now, have to cause I have a lot of work to do today, as you have too ;)

Good luck with the preparations!!

xx
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Sarit

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

PostSubject: Re: hello   Sun Mar 24, 2013 7:40 am

Salvia, that was a beautiful post!

And geekima's post is wonderful and really true. That is why I didn't (and don't) want to rush my dialogue with Judaism and why I want my path to be steady, even if it means slow (I mean, I'm often like "I want everything and now", but I just pause a bit, take time and enjoy every phase that I'm going through in my love with/for Judaism).

And I often feel a lot like you, Salvia! It's like practically everything is a miracle and that the time is standing still, yet gently, but magnificently flowing. But there are also the times of deep thinking, of encountering with actual people (which can be challenging, depending on the people and situations), of ups and downs, but in all that Judaism just continues to be that constant part of my life that gives me comfort, wisdom, excitement, guidance and reason to continue growing - growing within it. :)
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Salvia



Posts : 166
Join date : 2012-12-29
Age : 30
Location : Wales, UK

PostSubject: Re: hello   Sun Mar 24, 2013 8:40 am

Life IS a miracle and we're here to experience it Very Happy
Isn't that great?
I should remind myself of this while trying to teach to 24 hyperactive kids, or while spilling coffee over my corrections ;)

You guys are very right, I think, about this taking your time thing. Just like when you're in love, indeed: only time can tell wether you're dealing with an infatuation or with marriage material. I don't feel like rushing anything. Cause when things are meant to be, they will be, at the right place and time. Otherwise they won't, and that's fine, too. But the 'falling in love' metaphor is also true in that I feel the need to spend a lot of time thinking about the object of my affection, and talking etc ;)
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Sarit

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Age : 34
Location : Belgrade, Serbia

PostSubject: Re: hello   Sun Mar 24, 2013 9:01 am

Salvia wrote:
Life IS a miracle and we're here to experience it Very Happy
Isn't that great?
It really is! sunny

Salvia wrote:
I should remind myself of this while trying to teach to 24 hyperactive kids, or while spilling coffee over my corrections ;)
I understand you completely! Wink and Smile

Don't worry; everything is going to be ok, and you'll figure out what to do at the right time. ;) One of the best parts of my journey through and with Judaism is that I get chance to know myself better, to develop constantly and to think constantly of the purpose of all that; and it's the journey of miracles that never stops. :)
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Salvia



Posts : 166
Join date : 2012-12-29
Age : 30
Location : Wales, UK

PostSubject: Re: hello   Wed Sep 25, 2013 6:55 pm

Hi everybody...

So I am very confused and don't know where to start.
Let's put it that chances that I may convert have decreased dramatically....cause there's a chance I am jewish already.
I was last weekend in Paris and talked with some friends, one of them, somebody I met not long ago, is a yiddishist...and he seems to be just convinced I'm jewish, so is the other friend. Because of the stories I told about my funny family...and the yiddishist guy then threw a book in yiddish at me, and said, try to make something of this. So I tried, struggling with the Hebrew script and the new language...but the words almost all made sense to me so I could pronounce and understand. Turns out I have a distinct polish accent when pronouncing yiddish. I said ' oh now we're no 'polakken' anyway, my mum wouldn't survive that', more or less as a joke - sadly my mum is a bit racist against Poles. And the friend: well that more or less proves my case, I know no other people to be racist against Poles than Polish jews.
So now I'm not only dubbed jewish, but polish as well. i'm not really surprised at the polish thing though, as I know my mum's family came somewhere a century ago from somewhere in eastern europe (actually she herself has said more than once I've the central european look from her folks) - and I've heard more than once I look polish, even had 'polski' as a racist slur being thrown at me once while waiting for the subway! but jewish???

I have a hard time believing this, it makes my heart pound and I really feel anguished now -I should be really happy as I'm so interested in judaism anyway, but....I'm shocked, in a way. And I enjoyed myself so much with our happy treesome - the friend, me and the book. The poor book has heard some angry curses form me as I really had trouble to read, but the friend is a patient teacher and just waited until I finished ranting to invite me with a simple 'nu?' to read on. I loved the 'yiddish lesson' as I am a language geek and discovering and deciphering a new language while actually understanding it is great fun...but I had a bit trouble with accepting that this was about me

The next day my other friend proposed me to go to see the jewish museum - to find out more about 'my people'. Hm. At first I enjoyed it very much - especially when I saw their little 'yad' hands, my aunt has thaught me reading with one of those when I was a child and seeing something I knew was nice. And there were all these jewish sacred object - the prospect convert admired ;)
But then I went to the next room, which was about wooden synagogues in eastern europe and they had old photographs of those synagogues and the people around it, small jewish villages...and I had some kind of attack, I got really warm and my heart pounded and I just wanted to burst out in tears. Which I didn't do - instead I fled the museum. An hour later my heart was still pounding and my teeth still chattering, and I don't know what the f*ck happened but apparently this stuff had somewhere a huge impact on me. Even now writing about it I have a thumping heart.

And I really don't know what to do with this. I can't just ask my mom whether this is true - my mum is very closed about some stuff and if she doesn't want me to know, she will lie straightaway. Her sister is very much of a zionist and loves Israel, and she reads the Jewish newspaper every week, so she wouldn't be offended if I asked. But i don't dare too - I already feel like doing something forbidden when lighting shabbes candles, I am so not going to talk about the possibility of us being jewish. My mum would die on the spot or at least threaten to do so. And....

I don't know. I was really scared about all these strange emotions in the museum - on one hand I feel now about just stopping reading things on judaism and going the farest away from it possible. On the other hand I just bought a new shiny book with weekly commentaries on the parashot and I really want to study it. And I don't think I'll be capable of eating pork again - just doesn't feel right.

I am now between two - desperately not wanting to be jewish and desperately wanting to become jewish.
It is possibly also linked with my irrational fear of people thinking badly of me because of being connected with jewish things - sorry, that may sound very antisemite, but when people I know start to discuss jewish themes on my facebook page I vaguely panic. I just panic with judaism. And still I love it. And now people just keep telling me it is 'totally obvious' I'm in the tribe :/

And I feel really anguished and scared and bewildered and..weird.

What to do Sad
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searchinmyroots

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

PostSubject: Re: hello   Wed Sep 25, 2013 7:37 pm

Salvia,

From what you wrote,there seems to be some "hidden" things in your family's past, although I may be wrong. I would say the only way to know if you are already Jewish would be to find out more about your relatives. Your grandparents, especially on your mother's side. If your mother for whatever reason does not want to share information with you or will lie rather than tell the truth, then you'll have to investigate yourself. I know she is your mother and you want to honor her as best you can. But in my opinion, you have a right to know the truth.

As far as what your friends say or the feeling in the museum, I'm not quite sure. I do know that neither is a definitive way to know if you are Jewish.

I think what you are going through, may be common with others as well. It seems you have a very strong "pull" towards Judaism and all that it stands for. With that will come much emotion. Because, in my opinion, it may be harder for some one who converts because of the "passion" that comes with it. I admire those who convert just simply because. Because they have that passion, that drive to do what most would think is crazy! Who wants to accept all that comes with Judaism, the good of course but also the bad? Maybe bad isn't the right word but certainly the world has their thoughts on the Jewish people. Either you love them (truly, not just love so they will help with an agenda) or you are hated. Hated for thousands of years.

But the most important thing to remember, in my opinion, is who you are as a Jew. You are not a person, you are a people. A people who defy the odds and go to extremes to obey their Creator. Who feel guilt and shame when they know they could have done something in a better way. Who study and learn and try to have patience and tolerance with what goes on in this world. A people who have a connection with G-d like no other as spoken of in the Hebrew bible. Not that we are better than anyone else, just that we have a different mission to fulfill.

You will have your doubts, questions, rejections and reflections, no doubt. But you see that commonality throughout the Hebrew bible. Abraham questioned G-d. Moses questioned G-d. King David felt alone and abandoned at times. It comes with the "territory" as they say. But in the end, their love for G-d was like no other. Everything they owe is to Him and as it is written, a righteous man falls seven times (not sure if that is exact or not).

So go through your emotions and find out the real you. Although it may seem torturous, it may just be the healthiest thing you can do.

Hang in there Salvia!
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Salvia



Posts : 166
Join date : 2012-12-29
Age : 30
Location : Wales, UK

PostSubject: Re: hello   Wed Sep 25, 2013 8:17 pm

"But the most important thing to remember, in my opinion, is who you are as a Jew. You are not a person, you are a people. A people who defy the odds and go to extremes to obey their Creator. Who feel guilt and shame when they know they could have done something in a better way. Who study and learn and try to have patience and tolerance with what goes on in this world. A people who have a connection with G-d like no other as spoken of in the Hebrew bible. Not that we are better than anyone else, just that we have a different mission to fulfill."

That is beautifully said!! Study, try to learn, try to be a better person..that is something I feel very strongly in Judaism and something I connect strongly with.
As to the relation with G-d....even in case I wouldn't pursue this path the connection with G-d would still be there...as it has always been there. I'm getting a bit personal, but....what I feel for G-d is like a stormy love affair. I really love G-d and I try to see His divine light in all creation, the good, which comes from Him, in every person, I try to be grateful every day for what He gives me, I strive to be happy because I strongly believe G-d wants us to be happy and enjoy the life he gaves us. I try to see Him 'in every star and every flower'....My mum taught me trust in 'The hand of G-d' - a basic belief that everything happens for a reason (and sometimes, nothing happens for a reason ;) ) and that G-d guides us, shows us our way...is our life Ally. But like in every love affair there are disputes too and sometimes I find myself just being angry at Him and asking why he is doing this or that to me - life sometimes seems so unfair. But then reason gets the better of me and I get reconciled - it is a bit unilateral, but in a way it is not. It is a love affair with Someone I can't possibly know but whom I know to be there for me, always. Yes, falling down seven times - and getting up an eighth and never surrender. Because G-d is essentially good and won't allow us to fall for good - trust, faith is the keyword. The 'hand of g-d' and the light which shines through all creation - my concepts of G-d may be vague but without them I couldn't live, wouldn't be myself. In the Bible you have all these stories of people living with G-d and going often through the same emotions - it is such a comfort to read them.

No, 'leaving G-d' (this isn't even possible Very Happy ) isn't in order. But I question whether Judaism, if it has this effect on me, is very good for my sanity. And I'm in a bit of an identity crisis, too.

There our certainmy hidden things in my family past but I really don't feel capable to uncover them..and the people who might know aren't the ones I'd ask because...well it would be in the first place my aunt and she's chronically depressed and I don't want to shock her. And my mum who obviously, if there is anything, doesn't want me to know, and also has her hysterical side which I try to avoid. No disrespect for my mum intended. But this is one topic I feel might turn out very ugly when discussed.
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searchinmyroots

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Location : New York

PostSubject: Re: hello   Wed Sep 25, 2013 9:39 pm

Your "love affair" description is great as well! Sort of what King Solomon used in Song of Songs.

I didn't mean to infer that the Jewish people have a better relationship with G-d. I'm not sure I know how it really works. I just think it is "different". So even if one is not Jewish, they can most certainly have a wonderful relationship with our Creator. And I'm sure there are some who may even have a better relationship. As you said, it is like a love affair. The more you put into it, the more you will receive.

You are still young Salvia, so let things fall into place as they may. You will eventually find that place where you are comfortable. I know the "wait" may be hard. And as you grow older, that "place" may change or it may stay the same.
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