5.07.2006

Everything is ending...

I graduate from university in six days. Seriously?

Time has flown, and I'm so busy right nowI can barely believe what's going on.

I hope to have more time to blog about what's been happening with me, but right now...

In six days, I will have a B.A.

Holy crap.

I gave a d'var torah at Hillel on Friday night. And I cried during it, but hopefully managed to get some small words of wisdom out of it.

I got a pair of travel candlesticks as a gift for my tenure as president of Hillel (last year) and then each senior gets a mezuzah as well, so I now have a very pretty Jerusalem stone one to go with the one I got in Tzfat two years ago.

Today I taught my last day of Sunday School. It felt surreal. We got teacher's gifts last week...a cute silk painted challah cover from Israel. To go with the one I embroidered a few years ago for myself.

I love Judaica, so the more the merrier :) In fact, I'm considering making another Challah cover. Or perhaps, a matzah cover or two...

Okay, back to studying. Plans for Jerusalem are still in the works...more on that when there's more time.

Everything is ending, but I take it all with me in my heart...and I have gained some things that will change the rest of my life.

4.23.2006

My Life Right Now

Things with my parents have improved, though I don’t know how much that really means, when I think on Tuesday I will be giving them the news they don’t want to hear. My dad’s birthday is tomorrow, so Significant Other and I went home and visited, but we weren’t really told a time, so we sort of weren’t there at the right moment. It was annoying, because we could’ve worked around it, if only we had been given the right information. But, at this point, it was civil, which is the most that I can ask for. Things are progressing for Israel. I’ve begun to work on various immigration issues, and will begin applying for my program and for the scholarships and fun things like that shortly.

My thoughts have been less focused on Israel than one would imagine. So much of what my parents said has been related to Significant Other and I that he and I have been talking about it carefully, and trying to figure out how we want to proceed, and what obstacles we need to work out. We’re serious, so they’ve been serious, although often pleasant conversations. Often, they begin with trepidation that lessens as time goes on because we realize that although we talk about a specific issue differently, we do actually mean very similar things. Not that there won’t be issues, but our attitude is that our relationship has to take into account all of these other things, especially when there are lots of religious issues that might stand between us.

We’ve begun to address specific issues in a preliminary manner, although we purchased a book called “Two Jews Can Still Be a Mixed Marriage.” It’s aimed at people who are married, but it deals with a lot of the issues that any couple who is serious about staying together but are from different movements or have significantly different religious practices, even though we’re both Jewish. The funniest thing is that even though this is a subject that SO many people deal with, it seems as though there is only really this book available, unless I just totally missed the rest of them when I was looking at Amazon. I just feel as though this is a serious issue for so many people, and yet, one slim volume is the only thing out there. Do we really think that if one Jew marries another Jew, that’s the end of the problem? This, and my idea for a children’s book about a society of flying Jewish people who have to deal with the rules of Shabbat, etc…just imagine the funny questions, like how far can you fly on Shabbat? Are there rules for how high you can fly? I think it’d be fun.

btw: Yay for helping ReGeneration find a rabbi to email...maybe he'll be more helpful!

4.17.2006

AHHHHHHHHHHHH

Why, when I have a paper due tomorrow morning that isn't finished, does my mother insist on trying to talk to me about Israel? Why does she continue to act like I'm trying to avoid it when I'm all trying to do is graduate? Why was it so unbelievable that I really do have work to do, and that I really do need to do it and I can't have a conversation like that at 11:30 at night because I will be upset for a long time afterwards?

ARGH.

So frustrated. No decision has been made, so therefore I haven't made a declaration. You want I should shout it from the rooftops???

ARGH.

And don't tell me I'm acting "out of character" or imply that I don't know what I'm doing. It doesn't make me want to listen to you anymore.

I don't like being angry...but she just pushes and pushes all of my buttons.

4.10.2006

Too Much to Do (and it's not even because of Pesach!)

So, things have been interesting around here.

Tuesday night, we went to visit my parents. It was not terrible; no one ended up throwing things at each other. That being said, no one came to any kind of resolution either. And Significant Other feels very much as though he's being put on trial as well, in a way that makes him feel harshly judged. I don't think it's fair, but I also can't stop it, since these are my parents and they do, in some ways, have the right to ask about these things. Just not in a way that makes them appear self-righteous and judgemental. Sigh.

Anyway, I'm still rooting for Pardes. I can't help it. I like the idea of the program too much, and one of the professors I'm corresponding with mentioned to me that in her Talmud class of 17 students, 3 were attending Hebrew Union College (Reform rabbinical school), 2 were from the Reconstructionist Rabbinical School, and one was from Hebrew College (a non-denominational school). Which means that 6 out of the 17 students were from a liberal school. Sigh. Now, if I can get my mom to talk to them about all of this, things might look better.

In the meantime, I just went to Phoenix, AZ to talk to a bunch of high school students about being Jewish in college. So I'm exhausted, and our appartment is nowhere near clean for Passover, and I have about 150 assignments due between now and the end of Pesach. And I'm supposed to be making decisions about my future.

Stop the world, I need more time to figure out my life.

At least all the blogging world has been nice to me :) Say hi, and I wish you all a Chag Pesach Sameach!

4.03.2006

An Update

Thursday, Friday and Saturday were awful. I spent a total of about 6 hours on the phone with my mother, and it was just awful. I have never felt so angry, frustrated, hurt and betrayed as I did during those calls. I won't go into details, as they remain the same as earlier, although there was an element especially on Saturday night that included an indictment of my relationship with Significant Other in its entireity and of his religious practice as well.

However, after many more than six hours of deliberation and quiet conversation with Significant Other, there is the resemblence of a plan forming. Last night, I spoke in a civil and collected manner to my father about the issues involved, the first time I'd spoken to him since Wednesday. He gave little clue of what he thought (although I did know some things from my mother, when we weren't yelling) but I really felt that those 45 minutes were entirely more valuable than a lot of the 6 hours had been.

This is partially because my father and I speak a language more closely related. We all speak English, but our ways of expressing ourselves work together much more smoothly. His life experience has also been very different from my mothers, which I think makes a difference. I think the best part of the conversation with him was that it allowed me to actually think about the discussion rather than just react to an accusation (or many accusations). I think things will be at least more civil now, even if we don't reach an agreement.

I just got off the phone with my mother. It was cordial, and only about ten minutes long. She decided to call the Hillel Director, and the Federation Director (who happens to be my Significant Other's mother) to ask about the program (good first steps) and had called to ask several things. First, the number of the lady I spoke to at Pardes, since she had some very specific questions that she needed to ask, and secondly to get my permission to talk to some other (Reform) Rabbis that she knows. She's making an effort to make sure that she knows exactly what's going on, which really helps me feel as though she's at least taking my request seriously.

The plan for right now looks something like this: Significant Other and I go to my home tomorrow to talk in person with my parents (about an hour each way), to try to clear up some of the issues. Then, we continue to try to mend fences, while also trying to convince them that this is a good, sound opportunity for me.

At the very least, I don't think it'll be the total catastrophe that I predicted before. I think there may be room here to work things out so that I can go if not with their blessing, at least with their understanding. Nothing is certain here, and there are some surprises that could be looming, but we'll see...

3.31.2006

Horrific.

My parents are furious over the idea and think that I'm being brainwashed.

Or that I'm chasing after Significant Other, who will also be in Israel (although I'd probably only see him around once a month).

Or that I'm jeapordizing my future by not doing this right away. Of course, she was always the one that said I had enough time for everything since I'm graduating young.

The worst was that I was endangering myself after having been brought out of danger by my parents, and haven't I learned anything from them!??!?

This is horrific.

I have no idea what to do, but the conversation just makes me more determined to go. This is horrific.

3.30.2006

More on my "moment"

I was sitting in the Rabbi's Introduction to Talmud Class...which I've been in for two years now. Once a week, although I've been bad about going lately because of school. The Rabbi and I are the only ones there, and he and I talk for a few minutes, hoping that there'll be another student. He asks if I'm interested in Pardes, because if I am, there's a scholarship for those who are involved in Hillel to go.

My response should've been the canned "no" of always. Instead, I said yes, I'm interested. In the past 24 hours, I've figured out how much it might cost, what exactly it is, figured out a range of immigration issues, emailed Pardes, and gotten a call back from one of the ladies there. And told several people, including Signifcant Other, what's going on.

I think I'm interested. Now, to just break the news to my parents....