End of Lag Ba’Omer

Well, I had planned to celebrate the end of the holiday with grilling out tonight, but Marnie hid some of my necessary oil and spices. I did end up making a kosher meal, so at least I did something… Kind of… And we had another Popsicle party outside, so that was fun too. The next holiday is in a couple weeks, so hopefully I can better prepare for it.


Time to Celebrate

Tomorrow I will be celebrating my first Jewish holiday, Lag Ba’Omer. Feels kind of weird to be celebrating a holiday I’m not exactly sure how to pronounce, but I’ll work on that later 😉

This holiday is celebrated with traditions and customs as apposed to a formal ritual which makes it the perfect starter holiday in my opinion. Traditionally you celebrate with parties, bonfires, and picnics. The kids and I will just be having a brunch picnic in the backyard, which may not seem like much but it feels good celebrate, even if its just in a small way.

Learn about Lag Ba’Omer here!

“Do not let you…

“Do not let your fears choose your destiny”
– Unknown

Though I am sure of my path, there are still fears I have to overcome. Some of my fears:

  • That I will be bad at Hebrew and a slow learner
  • That some of my family won’t take this change in my faith positivly
  • That it may put a strain on my marriage at times
  • That I will feel isolated
  • I won’t make any Jewish friends
  • Other Jews won’t be accepting
  • That I won’t be “good” at being Jewish
  • I fear the difficulty around holidays in keeping a difference between celebrating Christmas and Easter with my Christian family members, but them and us knowing that we are helping them celebrate their holiday, not our holiday
  • Not making a good impression
  • Being socially awkward, shy, or offensive

and I’m sure there are many more I can’t think to list right now 🙂



My To Jew List

My goals for the next couple weeks:

  1. Buy Shabbat Supplies
    (I will start small just candles and a candle holder)
  2. Learn the three Shabbat blessings
    (candle, wine, and challah)
  3. Bake my first Challah bread
  4. Celebrate my first Shabbat
  5. Contact a Rabbi to formerly discuss my conversion
  6. Attend a service at a Synagogue
  7. Look into getting a mezuzah
  8. Look up a few Jewish prayers

I’m really excited to celebrate my first Shabbat! There are other supplies traditionally used, like a Kiddush cup, challah cover, and a challah board/tray, but for budgetary reasons, I will be holding off for now. Plus, its good to ease my way into it too, I suppose.

I’m nervous for 4 and 5, understandably so I believe. Not that I think clergy are scary, but this is hopefully going to be the Rabbi to teach me and help me convert. What if he doesn’t like me or doesn’t think I’m serious? I have never stepped foot into a synagogue and I don’t know Hebrew and I don’t know any Jews to tag along with. I’m a very shy person and can be socially awkward at times. I really don’t want to stand out like a sore thumb. Eeeek!

I really cannot wait to get a Mezuzah. I’m not sure if that’s in the budget right now or how to get the parchment that goes inside. So this step may have to wait.

The “Choosing Judaism” book I read yesterday recommended knowing the Shehecheyanu Prayer to have on hand during special moments or when you accomplish something. Since I feel I will have a lot of personal and spiritual victories coming up for myself, I think I’ll start with this prayer.

Choosing Judaism by Lydia Kukoff

Just finished the book “Choosing Judaism” by Lydia Kukoff. It was recommended by a woman I emailed who works at a local synagogue. It was good book and a quick read. I would recommend it to be one of the first, if not the first book, a convert to Judaism should read. Not very in depth, but enough to wet your whistle. If you are looking for something with more information I would recommend “Converting to Judaism: A Guidebook” by Lawrence J. Epstein. I plan on re-reading that book and taking notes this time around, but first I plan to read the other book that I received in the mail today, “The Jewish Home: A Guide for Jewish Living”.

What I think I found most helpful about “Choosing Judaism” was the stories and advice on how to deal with Christian holiday celebrations with family, the book recommendations, and I really enjoyed some of the quotes.

She basically said you don’t have to give up that important family time during Christain holidays, but to remember, you are helping them celebrate THEIR holiday, not YOUR holiday. Also, when you are comfortable, it is good to invite them to celebrate your holidays too. Dealing with holidays was a main concern of mine, and this helped to put me at ease.

I’d also like to share some of my favorite quotes from the book.

“Whether we are born Jewish or have converted to Judaism, we are all Jews-by-Choice”

“I had always felt certain things, but never knew what to call myself. Now I have a name. I am a Jew.”

“Your children will be your teachers. There is nothing that can help you understand and clarify your beliefs more than trying to explain them to your children” – this one is special to me because my children are the
catalyst that sparked my conversion