My first Shabbat as a Jewess

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Pic: Saturday Morning – Friday night Shabbat aftermath

It’s so interesting now that I’ve converted and am considered Jewish. Even if Jews who were born Jewish don’t accept or recognize me as a Jew, I’m legally considered Jewish. I have paperwork signed by Rabbis that makes me eligible for Aliyah (immigration to Israel). Like I’m legally allowed to apply for an Israeli passport, not that it’s the best time to immigrate to Israel mid-war, but if I ever felt the need to run away (again), I have options now.

But it’s interesting, now that I’m Jewish, I have clarity of mind back. Before I started studying Judaism, my thoughts were all muddled. I was going through crisis after crisis – I lost my job, my former writing partner committed suicide, I thought I was an alcoholic (turns out I’m not. But I had a brief moment of over-drinking. Hey, I’m just a good girl with bad habits). But my life was not only falling apart, it was like this domino affect – career crisis, financial crisis, emotional crisis. Now it’s not like I converted to Judaism and all my problems disappeared, but I regained strength, hope, perspective. I haven’t felt this strong in my mind for years. If nothing else, I have God and I’m doing my best to do my best, regardless of how difficult the circumstances around me may be. In hindsight, now that I have clarity back, I wish I could edit and delete so many moments in my past when I was falling apart. But unfortunately, life doesn’t work that way, so…moving on.

A major part of Jewish practice is Shabbat – Friday sundown you stop working up until Saturday sundown. This is such a healthy practice – to disconnect, to rest. You light candles, have a family dinner, you can go to Synagogue on Friday or Saturday morning, then you’re literally commanded to do nothing.

My first Shabbat as a Jewess was so awesome. Firstly, my Jewish name is Chavah. When you convert you choose a Jewish name and Chavah was a no brainer because that’s the Hebrew translation of my name Eva. So Friday night, my boyfriend’s dad, sister and husband joined us for Shabbat dinner…and it was so pleasant. My boyfriend’s father gifted me a Kiddush cup (for the wine blessing) and my boyfriend’s sister gave me this pretty necklace with the Star of David.

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The pendant is attached by a string, so you make a wish and when the string breaks, it means your wish has come true. It’s possibly purely symbolic.

Saturday morning we went to Synagogue and then for Shabbat lunch we had a chocolate chip Challah, which was given to me by the Rabbi who I’m working for right now. Pic below.

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Then the rest of the day I spent watching Quentin Tarantino movies (you’re not necessarily meant to do things associated with technology on Shabbat, but that was my idea of escaping and doing nothing).

So, there you have it. First Shabbat as a Jew was a success! Shalom!

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