Sunday, October 18, 2009

Respond at Will, Please.

I am thinking of joining a gym. I have a free gym membership on campus, but the joint is a mess and it's full of ski bunnies and that's not how I roll. It would be worth the price, I think. It's motivation.

I shipped off an application to the Rabbinical Council of America's beth din wing. Yes, I have spoken out against the process in the past because I heard horror stories of women across the internet -- waiting months, sometimes years for rabbis and interviews and hoops. After considering my options, and having various batei din organized, and after careful, hard, difficult, and frustrating consideration, I have decided that the RCA way, while not perfect, is the best route for me at this current juncture. B'ezrat haShem, maybe I'll be converted by the time I go to Israel in late November. Please daven for me! And if you want to read my 11-page-long "Journey to Orthodox Judaism" ... let me know. It's a real crowd-pleaser and tearjerker (maybe?).

I'm feeling incredibly disenchanted about school right now. My head just isn't in it. I've realized that having a "real life" and trying to have a "school life" is a mess. It's even messier when you have three Shabbos meals to prepare, 250-page novels to read over a period of a few days, and paper topics to come up with on the fly. If I hadn't been at my Ulpan this summer, I don't know what I'd do because I'd also be having to worry about Hebrew. I find my mind wandering to lists of "what to buy" and "what to do" rather than "what to read for class." I'm in Suzy Homemaker mode these days, and I can't figure out why. I think my mind is on the conversion, my life in the community, my future and possibly impending life with Tuvia, and everything therein. I know it's possible to double, triple, and quadruple duty everything, but I'm not use to the multi-tasking and responsibility outside of my own personal bubble.

I've been pondering a lot of questions, but I'll just pose one here. It relates to prayer. I know I read in my b'racha book that a b'racha said in the head and not out loud means it is as if the b'racha wasn't even said. I know that this is equally try with the Sh'ma from the Midrash. Does this apply to all prayer? Or just blessings (b'rachot)? In my mind, this is where all of the mumbling in shul comes from, but I know there is a precedent for the lips actively moving (without sound in the case of all davening with the exception of those things that *must* be said aloud, like the sh'ma). Am I crazy here?

I'll leave everything at that for now. I have some interesting things to write about from my Midrash class, but I just don't have the energy to grab the book and my Tanakh and type it all out right now. Stay tuned!