Sunday, February 8, 2009

An Orthodox Jew: Part I or, Meeting the Rabbi

From Twitter several days ago:

Yes, it's official. It's true. On Thursday, February 12, 2009, I will be meeting with an Orthodox rabbi to discuss my pursuit of an Orthodox conversion. I know what you're thinking, "Chavi, you're Jewish! You converted almost three years ago!" And the answer to both is "yes." I'm not out to please anyone or to prove to anyone that I'm this Jewish or that Jewish, and it most certainly isn't about securing the comfortable Jewish lives of my future children. Call me nuts or selfish, but it's about me. A lot of people along my path have suggested that Orthodoxy isn't so much what I am, but rather that I'm drawn -- as a zealous convert -- to the traditions, the heritage, the lifestyle, the people. In a way? Yes, that's all very true, but it's so much more than that.

Hashkafically, this is where I'm heading and where I have been heading for the past year and a half or more. I'm not BECOMING a Jew. I already am a Jew. What this is is acknowledging who I am as a Jew. 

So Thursday, I will be talking a rabbi. Will I have to go through two years of study -- again? Will I have to start wearing skirts every day? Will I be able to carry on as I am on Shabbos? How can I manage an Orthodox conversion living dozens of miles away from the shul? Will someone start putting me up for Shabbos? Will my current non-shomer negiah relationship be questioned? And most importantly, will I ask all the right questions?

The rabbi I'm meeting with is outstanding and I was sent his way by some friends back in Chicago at the Orthodox shul I went to there. The rabbi sounds eager, and I hope my nerves and apprehensions and my concerns about my logistics don't get the best of me.

Anyone have any tips on things to ask? Any encouragement? Advice?