nirvelli_lynn: (Default)
Tonight was my first Shabat... 
It was a very small and (I'm told) informal Shabat... but it was really nice. I met several people in the jewish community here in Moscow/Pullman and found it really welcoming. I'm open (but not proclaiming) that I'm new to judaism but I didn't mention that I was *that* new. Yes I've been to a synagogue but not that was on a Saturday. The ceremony was not long and there was a lot of group reading... I think the thing that I found most intriguing was that I was speaking (or attempting to speak) words that I had no clue as to the meaning... and I found... how can I say it... "soft power" (?) in those words.... The english translation was read after the hebrew and the words were very beautiful... but the depth was actual when they were read in their native tongue... 

I'm not one for blind faith... I've been there and done that... and attempted to convert a lot of people along the way... but there is something that fits for me... not like a blinding flash of light... but small moment... certain words or phrases... or even intonations... that are calming... calling... and I get lost in those words.... for just a brief moment. I'm not thinking about my day.. or what I have to do... but just listening. This is one of those things that I think may be better left unexplained... but I think the idea of "soft power" is the best way I can describe it... At least for now... I know I'm in the right place... and I will keep going. 

After Shabat I went out with 2 other girls and another guy. It was actually a lot of fun. One girl is definitely hard to handle... She actually pushes me to my level of tolerance and was one of the primary reasons I left "early". The other girl, Mckayla, is really nice. She's a freshman this year, but I like her. She actually came up to me and offered to teach me Hebrew!!!! :) I'm really excited. It's not gonna be anything intense... but we're both here for awhile... so I'm pretty sure that I'll learn a lot. She also invited me back to Seattle for Rosh Hoshana and Yom Kippur. I may actually go.  I think I'd like to... I'm not sure how I'll manage it. But I'm gonna play with the idea. 

So... tonight was both... nice and fun... and while that feels like an odd combination... given the events, I'm gonna go with it.  i like being here...

nirvelli_lynn: (Default)
While I'm not Lutheran anymore, I was still very happy to see that that ELCA now allows gay clergy and has stopped the requirement for them to be celibate. :) I grew up Lutheran though I was also exposed to many other christian religions as I went to catholic school and presbyterian summer camps.

After I had malaria in 1994 most of my beliefs went into a state of upheaval (I went to Brazil as a missionary... or as Nicole says, I got Malaria for Jesus.) :) I slowly started to ease into the realms of paganism, specifically (though loosely) Wicca. About 7 (?) years ago, I went to a gay conference for college students and one of the seminars was taught by 2 female rabbis. The stuff them mentioned simply made sense to me... and ... I think was probably the moment I started to seriously consider Judaism. I've always been obsessed with the Holocaust and Jewish life... and I think just took awhile before I was able to get to where I was ready to consider converting to some doctrine again... The past three years I'd say I've been preparing myself mentally and spiritually to take the initiative towards a formal conversion. Few people knew anything about this, but mom and dadra have always been aware. I simply stopped being open about my religious pursuits after I left the christian doctrine. I did got to Temple in Lansing a few times but never went consistently. It was the baby steps.

Last April, one of the first things I did after I found out that I got into WSU, was contact Hillel. The group here meets one time a month for Sedar and has a few social engagements throughout the year. Sadly the closest temple is in Spokane so I won't be able to get there for awhile. Though I am thinking of contacting the Temple to find out if anyone from Pullman commutes. In the past 2 months, I've stopped eating pork... evan (sadly) bacon, though I'm thinking I'll allow for some exceptions. Oddly enough though, I've not had ANY bacon during this time. I think simply stating that I can have it someday has made it easier to allow myself deny the moment. I also tired not doing the milk and meat (or milk and blood as it's referred to) but that's a bit harder and exactly consistent.

I know I'll never been the uber staunch jew... I'll prolly never do the full kosher kitchen (though maybe partially?) but I'm open to try it.

Recent readings have included the Idiots Guide to Understanding Judaism, Queer Jews, and some other basic or introductory books. I've had most of these books for over 5 years and am finally getting to reading them. *smile* It's been a slow journey, but I've taken this track at a pace I can handle... It will be a life journey between Judaism and I... but... I've been on this path for awhile... and so far it's been a nice trip.

I think... the past years have been preparing myself spiritually for the conversion... making sure I'm following the path I feel is calling to me... the next step to educate me and pursue my intellectual understanding of the texts and beliefs. I have no idea how long this will take me... as I said, prolly a lifetime... but it feels right.

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nirvelli_lynn

September 2012

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