A "G-Rated Journal" That Even My Mother Can Read (because she does!)

Effervescence is a state of mind. It's about choosing to bring sunshine to the day.
Every person I meet matters.

If it's written down, I know it (If it's not written down, I don't know it)
If it's color-coded, I understand it (If it's not color-coded, I don't understand it)

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Daddy-do and me, 2010

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Kosher Spaghetti

(The title of this post was borrowed from Lynn, thanks my dear!)

Mon Mar 27, continued - I had a lovely time with Caterina, planning our camping meals this weekend. Certainly half the fun comes from having a partner-in-crime to work with, who has the same excitement about planning meals and providing for our household. [Hee hee, it's "our" household!] We also whipped up an impromtu dinner for ourselves, which has become the basis for one of the dinners we're serving this weekend.

I also put on my blue dress and Cat pinned it up for my alterations this week. I need to do some work on it Tuesday, if I plan to hit my goals for my costuming for events coming up this month. I have some super-secret plans for the blue dress, which I cannot unveil yet [because of my loyal reading audience *grin*].

I also got an email from Teffan, who put together that rapier DVD in Northshield. She's sending me my very own copy, and I think I've found a kindred spirit. She and I are going to get along famously.

Tue Mar 28 - Somehow I fell back to sleep the first time I woke up, so I didn't get out the door nearly as quickly as I had planned this morning. But I did make it in to the gym again, and put in another 30 minute workout before going to the office.
* * * * *

Okay, the "Kosher Spaghetti" section of the post. I wasn't sure I was really going to talk about this topic yet, but it came up in an email with my friend Lynn, and it clarified my brain a little bit. I've still agonized over it a little, and even over whether I was going to leave the Comments section on this page open. If you feel you must respond, please be respectful, or write me offlist. Thanks.

Lynn had posted a silly participation game in her journal where you grab the book nearest you, look at page 161, and quote the fifth sentence on the page.

I posted mine: "Rehearse what will happen in the mikvah in the bathtub or at a swimming pool." (page 161, 5th sentence) from Choosing A Jewish Life: A Handbook for People Converting to Judaism and for their Family and Friends, by Anita Diamant.

She wrote me back with "So I wikipedia "mikvah" and get *this* classic line: 'Immersion in a mikvah is also required during a traditional conversion to Judaism and in some cases for pots and pans.' That made me giggle." And she titled her email to me "Kosher Spaghetti."

Then she wrote, "Okay, I just have to ask. You're not the one converting, are you? ::dying of curiosity and not afraid to ask rude questions::"

Here's some of what I penned in response, along with some extra thoughts I've had this evening:

*laughs* Not that I know of, yet, in all honesty. I bought the book on a whim, to try and understand all my Jewish friends in White Star (and Crimson Spade) and to try and put my mind in that space... the "what if I were Jewish?" brain. It's been facinating. I've noticed that (1) I know *way* more about Judaism than I thought I knew, and that (2) there's more that I do NOT know than I thought I did not know. [Did that come out right? Hm.]

I've always had a really deep gut-wrenching love for Judaism that I never really understood. So I was browsing the book-store one day and bought two books on impulse. This one, about converting to Judaism, and another one about "raising your Jewish/Christian child" ... not that I think I'm going to marry a Jewish boy, but I must admit I had some interest in a Jewish boy last year. And so my interest in that issue (on a purely =theoretical= basis) was piqued. I haven't started that book yet.

Also, one of the gals in my household is Jewish, and one of her parents converted [I'm not sure if it was her Mom or her Dad]. She was raised celebrating Christmas with one of the grandparents' households, even though she was also raised Jewish. My understanding is that they never broke from the dual-holiday because of the grandparents, aunties, uncles, cousins, etc.

I spend a lot of time at her house. And now she and I are the ones cooking for White Star at camping events together, and so I'm constantly trying to know my new best friends better, and to understand them and where they've come from. I don't see myself walking away from my faith, but then again I can't see the future at all. In fact, sometimes it's a source of comfort that I share between other members of the household who happen to be Christian. (This would be Marcos, of course.)

On a purely theoretical basis, I know I could embrace Judaism thoroughly. But I also don't fully understand the gulf between Jews and Christians, from the Jewish point of view, over the whole issue of Jesus. So I'm looking into it, trying to see the world from their POV and trying to set aside my pre-conceptions. It's incredibly enlightening.

I know that I'm always humbled and honored when they invite me into their celebrations and rituals, and I want to honor the invitations by approaching it in a respectful manner. So it cannot hurt to learn more about Jewish ceremony, family life, language, ritual, etc.

It's not the same way that I feel honored when my pagan friends invite me to circle. I have always admitted I'm a tiny bit uncomfortable or nervous when I'm there in the midst of their rituals. Or when someone had offered to do a ritual on my behalf, I've respectfully declined. But I've been at a few more events lately, where something in the way of ritual was being performed, and so I'm trying to understand how to be respectful to these friends and still true to myself and my faith.

I'm not nervous at Jewish ceremonies, but I *know* I'm still seeing the world differently. So I'm trying to understand how to be respectful and NOT be approaching things in any sort of condescending way, which I've seen happen with other people sometimes. (It offends me when I see Christians behave condescendingly toward Jews. It always has, and it's starting to offend me even more, the more I study.)

And lately we've had stories in the world news about people facing issues when they have converted from one religion to another. Having grown up in a Christian church and being involved in a fellowship at university, and especially having toured with the Continentals, I'm intimately familar with what Christians think conversion is about.

I struggle a little with what people think about Jews who've converted to Christianity, partially because I know some who've embraced this, and how they each approach it differently. One friend chose a generic Protestant worship for himself, but remained proud of having been born Jewish. Another friend has pursued a "Messianic" congregational approach, and worships with other like-minded Jewish Christians. I know that he is considered an "apostate" in some circles, and I'm not sure what I think about that.

I know one adult male friend who converted to Judaism, including adult circumcision, but I've never really talked with him much about it. I've never known anyone else convert to Judaism, and only in the past year have some of my best friends been Jewish, with varying levels of devotion. And definitely this past year has been the only year in my life where I've gotten to attend so many Jewish celebrations with families and friends, which lends an entirely different feeling to the entire experience.

I have one close friend who's a devout Mormon, and I occasionally ponder what motivates someone to convert to Mormonism. I've heard people talk about the powerful emphasis on families, and I can understand this in light of how much I appreciate my SCA family. It's like no other society structure I've encountered, and so I can see the draw. In some ways, this has been a parallel with the Jewish families I've gotten to spend time with lately, and I can see where wanting to be part of that powerful family structure can be inviting.

I know I feel at home with them, and I wasn't even raised Jewish.

Just thoughts I've been pondering.
* * * * *
Final note: I added a picture of my uncle Luke to yesterday's entry, down at the bottom of the page.
* * * * *
Today's Blessing That I'm Thankful For: Patient and loving friends: Lot & Cat, Saul, Ben & Erika, Bill & Lynn, Dayle & Ken, Mina, Noah & Karen, among others.
* * * * *
Weight Loss This Week:
Tue 3/28 - 16.6 (no change from Monday), but I did work out 2 days out of 2. Yay.

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