Friday, May 25, 2007

It's fixed!

I think.

I just realized recently -- thanks to Laynie -- that no one who subscribes to my Google Group has been getting updates. It took some tweaking on my part, but I finally figured it out.

So hopefully you guys are getting it now? Yes?

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Still waiting for the welcome

Last e-mail sent Saturday night. Still no response.

I'm starting to think of other options. I figure I'll give this rabbi a few more weeks to get his act together before I look elsewhere. And by elsewhere, I mean the only other rabbi in the area who actually lives in Tulsa and commutes in to perform services, etc., in Bentonville. Yikes.

Ryan, of course, recognizes how hard this is all on me. And reminds me he'll marry me any shape, size and religion. My mom has reminded me I can convert any time. And, I agree, I don't need to set a deadline. But then I worry that I'll regret not having a traditional Jewish wedding if I don't convert.

But maybe the rabbi will pull through when it matters most? I'm trying not to get my hopes up.

Right now, as a young girl in a new city searching...for something, I remininsce about the pastor who came to our Topeka apartment, armed with a basket of chocolate chip cookies and a smile. We had been attending the Methodist church in Topeka for a few weeks, and the pastor came to our home, a welcoming gesture. I don't know if my mother remembers that. But it's stuck with me, how your faith family can be so important.

It's impossible for me not to compare that with the cold feeling I get here. When we moved here, Ryan e-mailed the synagogue president. He got a quick welcome e-mail in reply. Shortly thereafter we got a membership form in the mail, asking us to pay our dues and join.

As a young girl in a new city searching...it struck me. And not in a good way. Where were the cookies? The welcome wagon? Anything? True, it's a small Jewish commmunity. And with smallness, generally comes less organization. I guess I feel forgotten, abandoned.

This is a precarious part of my life and I want to feel welcomed.

So I've decided it's now on my shoulders to make myself feel welcomed. Swallow my pride and find ways to get involved even if my schedule makes that difficult.

I'll try to stop whining and start doing. Even if that, admittedly, isn't in my nature.

Monday, May 21, 2007

This is a test...

I've been a bad blogger.

Granted, I could write a lot about mundune things: what I thought of Desperate Housewives last night, lamentations on my awful gardening skills, my grandpa's 84th birthday... But I'm trying to keep this all on topic. And frankly, there hasn't been much on topic to write about.

Ryan and I just finished reading about practices in Basic Judaism. My favorite point was that traditionalist Jews fear adding practices and traditions just as much, maybe more so, than subtracting them. Once you begin to add or adjust traditions, it becomes easy to subtract the important ones and forget what they all mean to begin with.

Last week Ryan and I went to an acquaintence's house for a barbecue. They served pork and turkey. It was so sweet that they thought to make the turkey especially for Ryan and me. Ryan and I don't keep kosher but I've been thinking about trying it for a certain short period of time, just for the experience.

I'm hoping to get some movement on my classes soon. I e-mailed the rabbi on Saturday and haven't heard from him. I know he's been busy planning the Blintz dinner and Tikkun marathon classes tomorrow. We'll see... As soon as classes start, I'm sure I'll have lots more to write about.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

It's been awhile.

Sorry.

I've been busy with the most mundane things: cleaning, caretaking, working, exercising, cooking, cleaning, cleaning, cleaning.

The problem? I still haven't met with the rabbi. I feel like my religious journey is stunted. Yes, Ryan and I have continued our weekly Shabbat readings. We (I) even read aloud our way to Kansas City last weekend.

And I've read about wonderful things: prayer, Jews views of Jesus and other religions and good deeds. But I haven't been able to muster a sentence about it because I haven't had much give and take.

The rabbi says we'll be starting a group class as soon as school is over. And because graduation was today, I'm hoping I hear from him soon.

One thing I've been thinking about lately is prayer. And how I don't do it. The only time I have no thoughts in my head is when I'm in the bathroom, and I somehow don't think that's the right time to strike up a conversation with G_d. Not that I haven't before. (Sorry for the image.)

I'm curious what other people do to clear their heads before prayer? Do you set a timer? Meditate? Listen to music? Or are you all so calm that you can do it easily?

I'm also curious about those people who aren't so religious. I wonder -- is prayer one of those things you just hold onto? A habit when you've foresaken all other modes of spirituality? Or is it the first thing to go?

I think my lack of prayer has something to do with my openness with people. Granted, I don't tell one person every single thing. But if there's something I can't tell Ryan, I can usually tell it to a friend and vice versa. Or my mom. Or my sister. Or a coworker (poor things).

Plus, I'm pretty in tune with reality. I don't ask G_d for things, and I don't think to thank G_d when things go my way. In fact, I don't even think about being thankful for the good things, which I guess tells a sad story about me. For example, when my grandpa is sick, I don't think to prayer for his wellness. I just hope he gets better and hope I can handle it if he doesn't. Maybe that's a form of prayer? When Ryan and I won a journalism award, it didn't occur to me that I needed to thank anyone but my boss for entering me us in the contest.

So is it that I just don't need prayer? Have I conditioned myself against it? How can I change that? Is it OK not to?