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R had a great day at the JCC. It amazes me to go pick up my daughter from her classroom, and I hear another class waiting to go into the lunch room, reciting hamotzi. She has a para with her at camp that helps her to stay focused and eliminate/minimize meltdowns. The para told me that R did pretty well today, but got grumpy at first about going swimming. Eventually she calmed down and went in…even with me she doesn’t act well with swimming, even though we go now pretty frequently. She was just going down for a nap when I picked her up, and was in a good mood. I think it was really a good choice to put her there.

I went to the doctor today to get a letter saying my fibro is too debilitating for me to work, and to get put back on my medications. I had to go off because my insurance lapsed and I was having to fight with them for 6 months to reinstate my insurance. Finally my insurance is back, and so are my meds. Hopefully this will help with some of the issues I have been having, which have basically been keeping me from living.

My conversion was complete on May 13, 2010. It has been almost a month and it has only made my conviction and religiousness stronger ever since. No I am not completely observant. I have to be honest about what I feel in my heart. When I learn, I look at how I can incorperate what I have understood into my life. Yes, my TV stays on during Shabbos. We watch movies under the glow of the Shabbos candles with bellies full of challah. To me and mine, that is what is enjoyable, so for shalom beit, that is what we do.

Our family has recently joined the local JCC and we go there together two or three days a week to go swimming. Knowing that we can be as big or small a part of the local Jewish community and that they welcome us with open arms brings comfort to me. I have come back home.

Today I dropped R for for her last day of day care.  Starting Monday, she’ll be attending day camp at the JCC and then starting Kindergarten in the fall.  For something special, I made her cupcakes to take to day care.  Normally there are about 18-19 kids in her class, so I made two dozen.  When I got to her class, the teacher asked if I would like the extra cupcakes to go back home with R at the end of the day because…there were only 9 kids today!  Wish R could have said goodbye to more of her class mates today.

For R's last day at daycare

I’m back!

So I decided to start blogging again.  Quite a few things have happened since last I blogged.

R got diagnosed with PDD-NOS a few weeks ago.  I have been struggling with how to deal with this new diagnosis.  We have been dealing with it for so long, and it’s like, okay, so what am I supposed to do about it other than go crazy? LOL.

I moved out of my parents house into a house with K. It has been the most amazing experience to be able to really live as a Jew.  When you’re living with gentiles, in a home that isn’t yours, you feel so limited in what you can do and how you can live your life, not only just as it pertains to Judaism.  Our first Shabbat in the new apartment was a completely different experience than all the other Shabbatot I had experienced in the past.

Finally, my conversion is complete and I am truly a Jew.  I get to wear my tallis in shul, and go to the bima, daven and know that I am in community and that community is mine.  In fact, I got honored with an aliyah last Shabbat along with a couple of others from the conversion class to welcome us to the community.  My tallis touched the Torah.  It is such a blessing.

There doesn’t seem to be enough time in the day!  Between work, conversion class, learning Hebrew, Judaic studies, my new internship, getting everything together for Rayne to enter kindergarten next year, planning the wedding, planning our Aliyah, praying that the Knesset won’t take away our right to actually make Aliyah, trying to keep my parents happy since I’m living with them until the Aliyah, and starting this new blog to get my feelings out, well I’m just going crazy.

How do I give everybody their due time?  I feel like every time I dedicate time for one thing, I am neglecting the other things, so I spend all my time feeling guilty for not doing everything all at once.  How do I put the other things aside so that I can concentrate on just one thing at a time?  Even as I type this, I’m thinking about the other things I need to get done.

I have -finally- started actually remembering to say the Modeh Ani when I first wake up instead of an hour or two later haha.  Two days in a row and counting!  Perhaps this change will help me to get a good start to my day and be more productive.  One can only hope.  It’s funny how taking time out of your day to set your priorities right can actually make you get more done in your day.  I just can’t get the nagging feeling out of my head that I should be doing something else, so I can’t concentrate properly on my prayers.  ARGH.

Okay so this has me completely up in arms.  I can’t believe that crap like this is going on in the Knesset.  All day I’ve been thinking about this bill and I can’t get it out of my head (links to articles below).  Since I am not a born Jew, apparently the Shas thinks that I’m not good enough to become an Israeli citizen.

The Torah and the Talmud teach that you should not publicly embarrass a convert to Judaism in regards to their conversion.  I think that this bill embarrasses every Zionist convert.  Why should we be considered different than any other Jew because there are corrupt rabbis in Israel who agree to convert migrant workers in Israel who have no desire to actually be Jews.  I agree that people who aren’t righteous and who only take on conversion for the purpose of keeping their jobs in Israel shouldn’t be allowed to convert, but those of us who have honestly taken on the rights, burdens, and responsibilities of being righteous, religious Jews should not be penalized for the fact that our mothers were not Jewish.

The problem should be directed at the rabbis who accept candidates for conversion who aren’t in it for the right reasons.  It’s not fair to me or my family to deny us our rights under law of return.  We haven’t done anything wrong.

We weep for those in Israel who face terrorism, because we aren’t there to comfort them.  We weep for our child, who isn’t growing up talking the language of the Torah.  We weep for ourselves, living in exile, in Galut, for we are not where HaShem wanted His people to be.  We weep for the brokenness of the Jewish people, who are not fighting for the same cause, even within our own Holy Land.

We acknowledge the need for the Jewish people to return to Zion, to fulfil the mitzvot, and to show that there is a way to bring peace.  United we will stand, as Jews, as Israelis, as fellow human beings.  Together we can make this place a better one to live in.  We must stop the infighting.  We must stop the hate.

Haaretz Article 1
Haaretz Article 2

She did it!

R made it into the Hebrew Academy!  I got an email from the admissions director this morning telling me that I should expect my formal acceptance letter in the mail this week.

It is really important to me that my daughter gets a well-rounded Jewish education, especially since we plan on moving to Israel next year.  The Academy does a half day of Hebrew immersion and Judaic studies in their Kindergarten program.  I can’t believe the blessing G-d has given me to allow my child to be surrounded by other Jewish children so I can really raise her to be the best Jew she can possibly be.

We were really scared that my strong-willed child would be too much for the Academy to handle, but they decided she would work well in their setting, because of the small ratio (34 kids, but 5 teachers).  She’s going to quickly grow beyond my knowledge of Judaism;  I don’t know if I should be proud or scared!