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.
Well yall it’s done, I met with the Beit Din dunked in the mikvah (a pool), and now I’ve been introduced to my community where I did my conversion. Everything went very very very quickly after I had the little chat with my rabbi. So quickly that my first Shabbat as a new Jew I didn’t have time to plan a party. I like to party and by party I mean have a good time and drink some wine and nosh and kvell, look at that I’m already using Yiddish. LoL. My conversion date and second birthday is 17 Iyar 5775, May 13, 2015 it falls within 30 days of my real birthday so now I can actually say I get an entire month to celebrate my birthday. Why not right!! So here in Atlanta the community (read everyone but orthodox) mikvah has been torn down to be replaced by a new, improved, fancy and inviting mikvah, and as such the orthodox community here and pretty much every where else will not allow anyone but the orthodox to use their mikvah lest there be some rebbe somewhere that should not agree and so I had to use a regular pool, however this pool has been open all year round and had been in contact with the appropriate amount of Living Natural waters to be considered kosher in the Reform viewpoint. We’ve had a lot of rain in the past few weeks. Also I did dunked naked and with out jewelry on it was less than 2 hours after I had showered and shaved. My rabbi also watched all 3 dunks to make sure they were kosher, and made sure I pronounced every word in the 3 prayers I said. I may use the new one when its opened after the High Holidays, and have my rabbi there to really make it kosher. Tonight was the night that I was introduced officially as a Jew to the synagogue I belong and there was a ceremony, and I had to speak a little bit to the congregation about my journey. Nerve wracking, it was. Anyway so my rabbi had myself and the other guy that also converted hold a Torah scroll and say the Sh’ma at the ark in front of everyone. I don’t know if it was the rabbi’s pre planning or just Hashem showing me that I’ve done the right thing but today is May 30, June 1 starts Gay Pride Month, rainbows and such will be abounding for the next month well the Torah scroll that I held, on its dressings had rainbows on it. Just a little something that made me smile even more. As soon as the video archive of tonight service is up I’ll post it and you can check it out. Ps. don’t watch my little speech, I didnt have anything prepared and was flying by the seat of my pants, you can tell my sweating. I’ll try to scan the papers my rabbi gave me, it has the ceremony in writing. After service everyone was coming up to me and the other and wishing us Mazel Tov and congratulating us. Next up on my calendar is my birthday trip next weekend then my birthday on Thursday and then moving the following weekend, then back to work and reality. Now that my conversion is complete and I’m officially Jewish, I’m single so if any of my followers that know of any nice Jewish guys I’m looking and I travel for free and so can my partner (on standby).
Again I’ve fallen behind on blogging, it’s been crazy around here, my business has been picking up see me on mkt.com/JetSet-Organics and Facebook at Facebook.com/Jetsetorganics. And now that I’m based in Denver it takes 2 days out of every week that I’m flying back and forth to Atlanta. I’m getting down to theend of my classes for my conversion, I’ve submitted my “auto-biography” to my rabbi which he’s already read and responded that it was a great piece. I will share it in a few days I need to sort some stuff out with my family to keep them informed about my choices. I’ve chosen my Hebrew names, yep plural, cause I’m non committal and like 2 names. Which I will also reveal in a few days as well.
I went to 2 different Purim parties this year, one sponsored by an orthodox young professional group and the other by the LGBT group here in Atlanta. The orthodox sponsored one was interesting, we all know you’re supposed to here Megillah Esther twice once at night once the next morning. Well the rabbi in charge said the Megillah, which is quite lengthy, in 21 minutes, that included booing Haman’s name, it was also held in a brand new brewery that is making some interesting brews, but isn’t kosher, it’s cool though. But it was surprisingly packed probably around 60 people. The second party was held the Saturday after Purim so no Megillah reading but it was also a fundraiser for the group and had almost 400 people attend. Open bar and everyone is gay or lesbian with acrobats and clowns, holy Moses. The clown was kinda freaky and I’m not gonna lie I dint really get “her” show. Yes she was a drag queen I think. Any way I met someone during the party and we hung out after the partying we went to a club to dance and when I suggested going somewhere quieter he grabbed my hand and we left and went to his house. We talked for a while and then I went home, we both liked each other at least that’s what I thought until he said, the next day, I’m dating someone but he’s in Israel and I’m leaving next Monday to go figure things out with him and I’ll be back in a month. Really!!!!!! All I could say was ok well take care of that and when you get back call me and we’ll see where things go. I mean really we kissed and messed around a little and it didn’t cross his mind to tell me then. Honestly this is why I’ve stayed single for so long, men don’t know how to be honest or forthcoming with information, but I can’t stop thinking about him either.
Since I’ve been wearing a kippah all the time, since September or October, I get some great questions from passengers, coworkers, airport employees, but by far the best questions I get are from my more Torah observant passengers. For example; so you get shabbos off right? NO, I don’t it’s up to me to change my schedule. Or “How do you eat when your working because it’s hard enough for me and I only fly twice a week?” I get the most questions about food and eating. Ya know Jews love to eat and so my answer is usually simple and concise ” I can bring food through security as a crew member” but I had one guy just last week on a flight between 2 cities in California that didn’t like my answer, while he was getting off and I was tidying the cabin he stopped me in the aisle and handed me his business card and told me if I ever needed anything while I was in the LA area or northern Cali area to give him a call and he’ll have someone bring me whatever I need including shabbat meals or while I’m on a sit in the airport. I’ve never had a passenger be so direct to offer anything. Usually when I get spotted by a Torah Observant person I get a stare maybe a smile.