It’s official! I’m JEWISH NOW!!!
Pic: On Sunday I went skydiving, on Tuesday I converted to Judaism. The skydiving pic is like a metaphor for taking the plunge. Both acts required an element of bravery, so they’re related in that sense.
The new Eva Kowalski 2.0 Jewish version is finally here! Stronger, faster, smarter, more efficient. My upgrade is complete.
I did it! I converted! It was the most magical moment of my life. I will never forget my time alone in the mikvah after the immersion was complete and I was left on my own to absorb my new identity as a Jew. For the first time ever, my life made sense and it felt right. For the longest time I had been asking the question, “Where do I belong?” And finally, I had the answer. It was like God was in there with me. I cried. I talked to God. I asked for forgiveness, I prayed for purpose and meaning. I thanked God for leading me to that very moment. I thanked God for giving me life, for saving my life during times I toyed with danger and I asked for guidance to lead a life that is inspiring and peaceful. I’ve never felt so close to God before. Prior to my immersion I read a poem which I feel sums up my journey and relationship with Judaism. I’m not sure who the author is, otherwise I would credit them.
I didn’t fall in love with you.
I walked into love with you,
with my eyes wide open,
choosing to take
every step along the way.
I do believe in fate and destiny,
but I also believe
we are only fated
to do the things
that we’d choose anyway.
And I’d choose you,
in a hundred lifetimes,
in a hundred worlds,
in any version of reality,
I’d find you
and I’d choose you.
Leading up to my conversion, it’s like everything was coming into the light. Every hidden issue, problem — brought to my complete attention. I felt like I was being jolted and challenged. My conversion was conservative, but in an Orthodox conversion you study for two years and you’re even separated from your Jewish partner to prove that your relationship to Judaism is not based on a relationship with another Jew. My Jewish study period spanned 9 months, but nearing closer to my conversion, I challenged everything – my relationship with my boyfriend and even relationships I didn’t challenge were questioned — particularly with my family and family members who turned out to be against me. Even the day before my conversion, family drama broke out – not regarding Judaism, but just general crappy emotional crappy crap. Ultimately, after everything I had recently been through I was ready more than ever to leap into that mikvah and leave my past behind.
The journey towards Judaism has been riddled with questions, confusion, discomfort at times. I was forced to confront almost everything – the good, bad and the ugly. I guess transformation is never really that simple or easy. But I’m here now. Whoever I was in the past is gone. I’m renewed and aware. I’m Jewish now! And I feel different. I feel lighter. I feel hopeful. I feel happy. I feel Jewish.