I’m back and I’ve got exciting news….

Yeah Yeah, I know I said I would post more frequently but, my life is really pretty boring NORMALLY, but this past month has been INCREDIBLE and Hashem is the one who made it all happen and Instagram. If any of you follow me on Instagram or my business page on Facebook, y’all already know what I’m gonna talk about, if not hold onto your seats cause its gonna get wild on here.

First great thing that happened, I follow a lot of kosher chefs on Instagram and  one happens to have a radio show, I commented on one of her posts because now in all 3 major NYC there is Fresh, Good,  Kosher food available for purchase.  AMAZING right?  Well being that I love to cook, eat (kosher only) I know I’ve kept y’all out of the loop. Anyway I commented that I was a flight attendant that keeps kosher and literally within an hour I had an email from her and an appointment to chat with her.  We finally chatted a few days later and we set up a time the next day for me to be on her show.  Let me just say I was nervous as anything but she is such an amazing host and so easy to talk to too, my time on the show went by so quickly and I enjoyed doing it so much.  You can listen to me here.

So that was amazing thing one, amazing thing two is a little more crazy.  As y’all know in May it’ll be a year since I took the plunge and finished my journey to become a Jew, I know I’ve said it before and I really have become more observant in that year and with that I’ve been thinking about doing another conversion.  I don’t need to hear the bad things, “Oh you don’t think your Reform conversion is good enough,” or “But they won’t accept you because you’re gay.” or “It’s so strict.”  Let me just start by saying yes, it is strict but I am already doing most daily things already, I do think and know that my Reform conversion is enough and luckily, hopefully, I’ve found a supportive rabbi that is going to sponsor me.  Also the community and shul that I’ve been going to, everyone is so friendly and welcoming.  I was invited for Shabbat dinner at someone’s house who I had just met the shabbat before, When I was upfront about my conversion their response was “Absolutely no problem, not only was my conversion interesting to everyone there, my job dominated the conversation as well.  Being a kippah clad and  Observant Flight Attendant is really a conversation piece.  Not only was it shabbat dinner but someone in the community had a new baby boy and in the Orthodox world the friends or family of the new father throw what’s called a Shalom Zachar, basically just another reason to party.  Keep in mind I and the other 2 male guests didn’t know the new father nor his family that was throwing the party only our host knew them.  We all walked in and it was like we were all part of the family.  Get a drink, sit, sing, eat, here’s a shot, eat, There was cake and candy and alcohol (everything under the sun) Single Malt Scotch, this was my drink of choice, and High end Tequila, which I did not partake in, I don’t do well with tequila.  The next day, Shabbat morning, I ran into my dinner host and his family and one of the female guests, who also happens to be new to the community and as it turns out is from New Jersey as well and had to do a sort of Beit Din, because her mother converted and when she passed her conversion certificate couldn’t be found.  She also happens to be outgoing and started introducing me to more and more people.  One thing led to another I was being invited to lunch at the Rabbi’s house, and a Purim Seuda at another family’s house. Needless to say I’ve been very warmly welcomed into the community and look forward to moving into the area and really become a member of it.

Shloshim

So this should have posted in September, better late then never.

 

 

Again, its been a while since I have written a post and quite a lot has happened. As the title suggests I am was in the shloshim, or 30 days, of mourning. My stepfather passed away suddenly on August 21. It’s definitely been an emotional roller coaster, from “doing shiva” differently than prescribed and being somewhat estranged from my immediate family. I didn’t sit shiva per se, I did cut a piece of clothing after hearing of his death, and it actually happened on a Friday afternoon, so technically I was not able to mourn for a full 25 hours and it was somewhat weird sitting in shul participating but not fully present. I have said the Mourners Kaddish every morning but not in a synagogue or with a minyan. Yeah I know I’m not doing it as prescribed and I don’t have the whole community and other mourners to lean on but when I travel every week and normally stay near an airport where there isn’t a shul close by, you gotta do what you gotta do and saying it alone is better than not saying it all. Right? His death got me thinking about what it means to be religious and observant in a secular fast paced world. I have decided to start laying t’fillin.  I ordered a set and they are on the way from Israel hopefully they will be here soon.  I actually am really looking forward to doing this mitzvah.

I’m Back

I know it’s been a while since I’ve written a post and thats because, I just haven’t been in the mood to write and also since I’ve started my new business Ive been researching and testing out new products. So let me catch y’all up on whats been going on. The High Holidays are over, this being my first year observing them, let me just say WOW, what a whirlwind of emotions. I became a member of the shul that I am doing my conversion at in early September and have been volunteering at all the things they’ve been hosting. I have said before that I am very blessed with my job and Im able to change my schedule and so I was able to move a trip around and have all of the Days Between off. The Days Between refer to the 10 days between Rosh Hashanah to Yom Kippur. It went from celebratory on Rosh Hashanah to somber on Yom Kippur and its definitely a moving experience. I did fast on Yom Kippur however I didn’t make it the whole 25 hours. Unfortunately I calculated the time wrong and started later than I should have, i was invited to a friend from shul family’s house for a break the fast and it started earlier than I thought and so I wasn’t going to wait an hour more from when I got there. Myself along with her sister, and father were still fasting and their time ended at 5pm, I waited until 5:30. And there was so much food, smoked salmon, bagels, kugel, blintzes, merlot cheese and crackers, egg salad, tuna salad, some smoked white fish that I didn’t eat and I made 2 Challot, One apple stuffed and one regular, I saw my friends family yesterday at Simach Torah and they told me they’re still eating my challah with their breakfast, it’s that good.
Yesterday was Simchat Torah, a time to celebrate the ending of one years cycle of reading the Torah and starting the new year’s cycle. My shul is apparently the liveliest in the area and so it was pretty full with visitors and they also hold the ceremony for all the little kids that are starting religious school. They took out all the Torah scrolls and had a band playing and everyone who wanted to, was able to hold and dance around and take pictures with a scroll. It was a quick Shabbat service then it was all about having fun. It’s also the end of the holiday season, until Chanukah.

Holding a Torah Scroll

Holding a Torah Scroll

With the start of the new Jewish year, I decided to seek and got approved to wear a kippah at work. So now I wear one literally everyday. This past week was the first trip wearing it to work and it went great. Yeah, sure I got a few head turns when people first realized I had on a yarmulke and was going to be working their flight but also I got quite a few compliments from passengers, and people were friendlier even when there were delays, but maybe thats just because my crew and I were upbeat and happy. I even had a few people wish me a happy new year when they were getting off the plane. I wear a suede kippah which may not have been the best choice, since I’m hot natured and sweat a lot, but I wanted to wear one and it was the only one I found that is the right color that matches my uniform. Once I go over to the new company and start wearing different color uniforms hopefully I can get other color kippah’s approved.
I mentioned a while ago that my current airline was bought and that I would be going to training for the new company at some point, well I was planning on waiting until the absolute end when they had to pull me kicking and screaming. I changed my mind in august and I will be leaving in about 2 weeks to go to training, it’s kind of stressful and nerve-wracking, there is so much to get done in a short amount of time.

My new skin care venture has started off pretty well and I’ve gotten a few orders that have also kept me busy. I’m in the process now of working with a friend of mine designing a logo. I have decided on what it’s going to be, and it’s going to have a Jewish and aviation flare, it’s really cool. I’ll reveal it in a few weeks once everything is finalized.

Also here in the south it was just Gay Pride, they do everything at a different pace than the rest of the country, It was also my first time ever walking in a parade anywhere. I did it with the Jewish continent comprised of 35 different Jewish Organizations. I was the sole representative from my shul. Next year I will be heading up the group from my shul and hopefully it’ll be bigger.

Showing off my Pride

Showing off my Pride

Well that’s enough for now, I’ll write some more this week.

Half way through

I am now half way into the class for converting, our last class for the semester was yesterday and because some of the people in my class are at the end of their year we talked about where we were in our journey’s and it got me thinking. I have been doing “Jewish” since November of 2013, I like to think I started out little by little but as I look back I just dove in head first. I started off by not eating pork and shellfish and doing shabbat, going to synagogue every week, not eating meat and dairy together, praying before I eat and saying the Shm’a only before going to bed, I also make challah for the most part each week and light the candles.
Now I say the bedtime Shm’a from the ArtScroll orthodox Siddur, I try to say the Modeh Ani when I wake up and the other morning prayers, I wear a kippah on most days and some days I don’t even remember I have it on. I still don’t keep kosher and I have not laid T’fillin although I have been looking at buying them, I have also tried the ritual hand washing in the morning, I do feel a connection there and I may start doing it more.
This time of reflection has given me an opportunity to really think about everything. It’s also forced me to think about how I will continue to do “Jewish” in my daily life once the class is over. I’m still glad I started this journey, I am ecstatic about being and becoming Jewish and cannot wait for the day that my conversion is complete and I dunk in the mikvah. I can’t picture myself being anything other than Jewish.