I left town and spent the last days of Pesach with friends away from my community. I had a blast. I love Pesach. But as with all holidays, this one came with a twinge of sadness along with the sweet because my conversion still isn’t finished yet.
Holidays in general are pretty rough. It’s hard being alone and not yet Jewish. No spouse or boyfriend, no extended Jewish family, “adopted” or otherwise.
While it was great to just be “Sarah visiting from out of town” and not “Sarah who is converting”, there were still reminders everyday of my status as non Jew.
I helped cook on Sunday for a meal my friends were hosting during yom tov. To prep, a couple of us went to the grocer to pick up produce and restock on a few necessities like those chocolate covered marshmallows. While we were there we decided we needed a veggie peeler for some of the food stuffs we had chosen. We found one and I bought it. Once back in the car, I said let’s go to the creek. We needed to tovel the peeler before we went home. “Well technically we don’t need to since you bought it”. Ouch. I knew he was just joking and really had no intention of skipping out on the trip to the water, but still. He instantly realized what an ass he sounded like and apologized profusely.
There were several of us from out of town staying at this house. One of the guests arrived with a bottle of wine. Like all wine I come across with unfamiliar labels, I causally scoped out the back. There it was. Those dreaded words: non mevushal. I wanted to leave the room and cry. Yes, I felt a little overdramatic. But it really does break my heart that I’m not Jewish and this was just one more in your face reminder that I’m still not.
My hostess invited me to light candles with her for shabbos & yom tov. After lighting candles for the yom tov we went to Shul and then off to dinner. When we arrived at dinner I realized we hadn’t lit a candle that would burn till tomorrow to light the second night. I quietly told her I would light a match for us the second night. My favorite thing about a yom tov is that unlike shabbos, I’m allowed to keep it in its entirety. But it was more important to me that she not miss lighting than it was for me to not break any Halacha for the yom tov.
What it comes down to is that right now, no, I’m not Jewish. But I want to be in a way that’s impossible to describe. So in the meantime, while I continue through this process, I will be as close to Jewish as I am halachically allowed.
I will continue to light my candles on Friday night. I will continue to keep kosher. I will continue davening every morning. I will continue to wait.
I find it very informative, heart breaking and interesting to read this kind of stuff. It really helps me understand the pain and commitment that converts have to go through to finally make it and I feel that sharing these type of posts will help all us non-converts realize that every little thing we say or do may be really hurting someone’s feelings.
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