My Conversion to Judaism

  • What is a Jew?
    Depends on who you ask. It is not just a religion, but without the religion of Judaism it would not exist. One thing that Jews aren’t, is a race. You can’t convert to a race. Mind you, no one can give me a consistent answer as to what is the definition of a ‘race’, whichContinue reading “What is a Jew?”
  • Hanukkah 5782
    It seems everyone this year is getting into Hanukkah in a big way, all the local synagogues are throwing huge parties. I would suspect that they are super keen to get everyone back to shul after all the lockdowns. I don’t blame them, there are likely to be many people who have drifted away asContinue reading “Hanukkah 5782”
  • Holidays in the Southern Hemisphere
    Although not quite as ridiculous as pine trees covered in snow in 40°C weather, Jewish Holidays are not in sync with their intended seasons. Pesach, that joyful celebration of the arrival of spring and the freedom of the Hebrews from Egypt, is in autumn. Late the same season is Shavuot, which of course is partlyContinue reading “Holidays in the Southern Hemisphere”
  • Fighting ignorance
    Often I’ll see people say ‘oh don’t bother engaging with the bigots, they’re too __ to understand’. Sure, there are many out there who just say bigoted crap to get a rise out of people. But there are many who come from a place of ignorance and genuinely don’t actually understand all the nuances. StayingContinue reading “Fighting ignorance”
  • How Jews look to non-Jews – Part 1
    I’m going to try and be objective here, so obviously a lot of this is not how I personally view things. However, I think it’s important to understand some of the negative ways that we are viewed in order to help foster more understanding and hence less hate. I had very little understanding of whatContinue reading “How Jews look to non-Jews – Part 1”
  • Going back to shul
    So many converts will have spent the majority of the last 1.5 years cut off from their chosen community. Reading through material without any other converts around to ask seemingly silly questions. Contemplating how on earth they could ever possibly understand all the intricacies of kashrut let alone follow the majority of them. It mustContinue reading “Going back to shul”
  • Nature and God
    There are blessings for natural phenomena, for rainbows, the ocean, things of beauty large and small. The blessing for lightning is particularly interesting, as it translates as: Blessed are you, Lord our God, King of the Universe, Who performs the work of creation. בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה’ אֱלֹקֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, עוֹשֶׂה מַעֲשֵׂה בְרֵאשִׁית Electricity as theContinue reading “Nature and God”
  • Israel – Post 2
    It was built as a haven for Jews at a time when no country wanted them. A desperate attempt to save the remnant of an ancient people and religion. It was built on one central premise: survival. Nothing about that has really changed. Although the fundamental need to ensure the Jewish people’s survival seems toContinue reading “Israel – Post 2”
  • Visiting Israel
    Can’t wait! All this interminable lockdown with small children means I’m longing for the holiday of a lifetime. I’m lucky I can get out to work! Definitely need a few weeks there. Probably basing ourselves in Tel Aviv תל אביב and doing day trips. Small people need a bit of stability and in my experienceContinue reading “Visiting Israel”
  • Proselytism
    Why not advertise?
  • Recent Gaza violence
    The amount of hated towards Jews in the last few weeks is astounding!
  • Making Challah the Easy Way
    I’m sure some would say it’s cheating, that’s is going against tradition, but I just love my new bread maker.
  • End of Judaism
    Internal division. Highly likely that this will expedite the downfall of Judaism.
  • Tu B’Shvat
    It is Holocaust Remembrance Day and now also Tu B’Shvat, the birthday of the trees for tithing purposes. Such an interesting juxtaposition. Fear and hate led to nearly successful genocide of European Jewry, not to mention the incitement of pogroms across the world. But yet, an ancient Jewish tradition persists at the same time, oneContinue reading “Tu B’Shvat”
  • Rejection of the Ugandan Jews
    The Israeli Interior Ministry has determined that the small Ugandan community of Jews called Abayudaya are not Jewish enough to be eligible to immigrate to Israel. They converted to Judaism in early the 1900s, doing so with no contact with established communities in the Diaspora, which I think is pretty amazing. I suppose thisContinue reading “Rejection of the Ugandan Jews”
  • Mikveh Day – Post 2
    I am now Jewish. What a feeling of elation, the amazing feeling of immersing and saying the blessings with my Rabbi next to me, guiding me. There were 3 blessings, 1 after each immersion, in the Ashkenazic tradition. Baruch Atah Adonai Eloheinu Melech Ha’olam asher k’dshanu b’mitzvotav v’tzivanu al ha’t’vilah Baruch Atah Adonai Eloheinu MelechContinue reading “Mikveh Day – Post 2”
  • Mikveh Day – Post 1
    So here it is. The day of my conversion. Up at ridiculous-o’clock because I can’t sleep. Haven’t seen a dawn for a while. In particular, haven’t been this excited to see dawn in a while. Today I will go to the mikveh, which in our community involves a trip to the local rockpool. Luckily forContinue reading “Mikveh Day – Post 1”
  • Israel – Post 1
    I think part of the problem with some people’s perception of Israel is that they can’t quite believe that Jews have actually maintained an unbroken line of tradition and religious practice for nearly 2000 years. How could they possibly have been able to sustain this continuity for so long whilst in exile? How could theyContinue reading “Israel – Post 1”
  • Annexation
    Israel was set up as a sanctuary for those who had no where else to go. Israel has controlled the West Bank for decades, but now they want to make it official. They’re not exactly going to listen to the rest of the world telling them not to do it. Israel doesn’t have any reasonContinue reading “Annexation”
  • The Messiah in Judaism
    Not here yet…
  • The still small voice
    Peace in a sea of anxiety
  • My first Pesach at home
    An odd one, but unique
  • Change in isolation
    Feeling lucky today
  • I Made Challah!
    The only up side to this virus has so far been that it has motivated me to finally try making challah.
  • My first bar mitzvah
    Not mine obviously
  • My first Purim
    Think Jewish halloween…
  • Joined the choir!
    I like a challenge
  • Why do people hate Jews?
    Most people I know would, I suspect, know very little about Jews
  • Shabbat
    I think that observing Shabbat is less about exactly what you do or don’t do, and more about that way you do it.
  • Keeping Kosher?
    The dietary restrictions in Judaism seem to take up an enormous amount of mental energy

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“The end result of wisdom is…good deeds.”

Babylonian Talmud
My great-grandmother’s Magen David
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