We are Jews by Choice and come from a Christian family. We had family in from out of town. They are what I would call the most religious of the group 🙂 Dinner was at our house and 3 wanted to sing Hamotzi. Lol. The looks on everyone’s faces was comical but I couldn’t laugh. With it being the preschool version, some was in Hebrew and some in English. You could see it on their faces that they were being polite but at the same time were utterly confused! Bless them for being polite in front of the kids.
It was one of those moments were I completely realized that I was straying from the pack. And at the same time I was beaming with pride that my kids were strong in their faith and didn’t even hesitate for a second to sing Hamotzi.
So I am finally learning Hebrew! I have tried many times, but now temple is offering a class. Needless to say I was extremely excited! The first class was last Wednesday. It was fun to see the variety of people who are taking the class. And because it is a beginner class, we are taking it very slow. The teacher is phenomenal and makes it a comfortable setting. I ask a million questions and some of them are basic. She answered all of them and made me feel part of the group. What a wonderful feeling. The first class we learned 4 consonants and 2 vowels. It will go until the next high holidays, so we are in no rush. Such a comfortable speed. Can you tell I enjoyed it? lol. Needless to say, I’m looking forward to the next class!
I had a meeting with the Rabbi pretty early on and we were discussing all the various paths to conversion. When I told him there was no way we would be Kosher, he told me that I wouldn’t know until I tried. Well, I have not tried Kosher but I am trying covering my head. Yeah, I know I am Reform leaning Conservative, and head coverings on a daily basis is a real Orthodox thing. But there is something about it that is an outward expression of my religion to the world around me. I was inspired by a Muslim friend, interestingly enough. We were discussing her covering one day and I was mentioning how she always looked so put together. (She is always eye catchingly beautiful). After the conversation, I didn’t think much of it except that she was a nice person to get to know more.
It was a couple of months later when I was getting more involved in religion and getting the conversion back on track (my path to this point will be a topic another day). With that, I was thinking about my own religious practices and how I waned to demonstrate them to my kids. What will be my outward expression? Most people simply wear a necklace, but I am really not a jewelry person. (My husband loves this!). And it is always a choice not not have anything outward.
And then I came across the practice of head covering.
The concept of covering with a wig did not appeal to me at all. Luckily this is a choice so I can pick and choose. I love the beautiful scarves that Muslim women wear, so I looked at the Jewish version – Tichels. The more I researched, the more I loved them. So many ways to wear them, and so many color combinations. After educating myself, I went into my closet and got some scarves out. The first wrap was a full hair covering. I was only at home, but when my husband got home,he wasn’t too sure about it. I quickly figured that it was too much change too fast! So now I wrap only the front to the top of my head, allowing my hair to show behind. Still beautiful! I even went to a store this weekend and purchased some new scarves. I have been wearing them for about two weeks now.
I am amazed at how powerful and self confident I feel when I wear them! It’s also an outward expression showing that I am observant in my practice. I do have to admit that my religious thoughts do occasionally go into the Orthodox realm. That’s probably why I am open to trying some of their practices that are not done by Reform Jews.
An interesting side effect from head covering on a daily basis is my children. They are watching me more than expected. And both of them have started wearing head bands and bows in their hair! Today I asked 7 year old why she was wearing the hair bow today. She looked at me and casually stated that it was because mommy has been wearing pretty scarves in her hair. It made my heart smile. She was watching and I didn’t think so. Hopefully my self confidence will come across as well.
Eventually I will wear a full head wrap, but until then, baby steps! Either way, it’s a constant reminder about being Jewish and showing respect. I am a modern woman – if religious men can wear a kippah all day long, then why can’t I wear a tichel? It’s a personal choice, and I am loving every day!
Today the Rabbi spoke about spirituality and how we teach our kids. It was an interesting introspection into how I personally view spirituality. I believe there is a force outside of myself. But how can I teach something so abstract to my kids? Come on, they are only 7 and 3! Rabbi spoke about the Torah portion in terms of time. G-d had a different activity each day. Then at the end of the day he took a moment to look back on his work. When he did this, he proclaimed it was good. Then, at the end of six days, he took a moment to look at the entire week and proclaimed it was very good. It is showing us that we need to take the time on a regular basis and center ourselves to witness all we have accomplished! It how can we do this with our kids? Each day, take time at either dinner or bedtime to review the day with our kids individually. Look how good the day was and all we accomplished! And at the end of the week, take Shabbat as an entire day to relax and reflect on how very good the entire week as a whole was!
It’s the little things to impress on my kids. But also take the time for myself and center myself to remember that we all were made in the image of G-d. To connect to ourselves is to also connect to G-d. Thinking of it that way makes it feel so much more important to me. Wow!
What does mumaret mean? It means “I am changed” in Hebrew (מוּמֶרֶת).
This blog is about my journey into Judaism conversion. I am a Jew by Choice and learning every step of the way. My family (two kids and a husband) are along for the ride! Both kids have been raised Jewish and my husband is undeclared at the moment. He supports my choice and even is helping raise the kids Jewish, but has not personally decided. And I agree. It’s a personal decision that needs to be made from the heart.
So if you previously converted or are going through the process yourself, follow me on the journey!