Let me start by saying most of you will probably disagree or be completely horrified at this blog and I’ll apologize because my mama raised me better than that.
Today I want to talk about Orthodox conversions and why I chose to do one. The first are foremost reason why I’m sharing is because more than anything else I hate seeing my home girls struggle with this question of “Am I Jewish Enough.” I want to tell all my Jewish girls and my tribe gentleman around the world - you are you and that is good enough. This is something it took me a conversion and multiple therapy session and endless nights crying to my husband to figure out but I eventually did and I’m here for you.
Plus, I know some of you are nosy AF and want to know the details.
So, I’ll give it to you straight. I struggled with my Jewish identity for a long time. A rabbi even onced asked me why I come to Shul since I’m not really Jewish. So as time went on and I eventually met my husband - I decided to go through with it. Plus, his family wasn’t to keen on him marrying me since to them I wasn’t Jewish (I suppose they hadn’t tasted my cooking yet).
Anyways, I had an amazing relationship with the local Chabad in my community and when I approached them with my decision they were extremely helpful. Within a few weeks I swapped my leggings and crop tops for black skirts and sweaters and observed a total shutdown of technology from Friday to Saturday. I studied text after text and within the course of seven months drove overnight to Monsey to meet with the bigwigs.
Eventually, the big machars thought I did a good enough job proving my Judaism so they let me into the gates or I should say the tribe (of course after a payment of a few hundred dollars).
After the conversion, my husband and I got married and no one objected and it’s safe to say it’s recognized in Israel and to his family but going through all of this isn’t as happy go lucky as I made it seem.
I decided to do an Orthodox conversion for a few reasons.
First, I’m bull headed and no one is going to tell me what I am or am not. If I have to learn everything there is to learn about being religious and then some - bring it on.
Second, I’m a huge Zionist and at the end of the day I never want my children denied Israel or have to be faced with what I was faced with. I do hope though blogs like this and as we as a people become more modern the laws do change. I know I will work towards it.
Third, I was in love with my husband and sometimes you have to suck it up and make sacrifices.
Lastly, a huge dilemma that you will face when going through with an Orthodox conversion is the strain and effects it has on other people. My decision affected a lot of people and this is what hurt the most.
It very much offended my family, particularly my mother who might just be the most incredible person in the world. She had a conversion and in doing this I made it seem like her Judaism wasn’t good enough. It’s something we as women (and men of course) have to think of before making a decision like this. To my momma, I know you love me and I appreciate you supporting me in all choices in even when you see things differently. You da one!
I lost many friends due to the fact they didn’t agree with my decision. I’m pretty sure most of my girls thought I was crazy. I missed weddings and bachelorette parties due to Shabbat and other restrictions.
I felt like my husband and I tricked his family to put on a facade of the couple we were to be once the glass was smashed. Given cultural differences and opposite religious views we’re still learning how to be one big happy family but I know it will all work out (yes we will give you grandbabies soon).
And finally, besides it affecting me personally, Orthodox conversions and the like are affecting Jewish men and women everyday. I recently was at a Challah class and the host shied away from telling her “conversion” story and it offended me a bit. I can’t understand why we have to be so afraid to mention this. I want anyone going through a similar situation to know I’ve got your back and my hope is the wider Jewish community in time will also.
I truly believe if you believe you’re Jewish then you are. You cannot let anyone dictate how you live or feel. I think if there is really a G-d, G-d will love us regardless of anything (of course, as long we’re constantly sending good vibes).
Your one true wifey,
P.S. I’m making a video! Do you have questions about Judaism, conversions, marriage? Shoot me an email, DM me on the gram or comment on my Facebook page to get your questions answered. I promise to keep it real!