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.

Moving working and being 

As I shared before I’m now on my own for the first time in 34 years.  It’s been about a month and so far it’s been freeing.  Also about a month ago I started speaking with someone and made plans to meet up since we live in different cities.  He is Jewish as well and also converted he is much younger than me, but he seemed to be more put together than most 34 year olds, and was very mature and knew what he wanted. Things started getting hot and heavy over Video chat, and I started getting feelings for him. I opened up and told him about things I usually don’t so early on, I felt a connection with him even just over text, we had a lot in common and I could see things going further with him, but alas he didn’t feel the same towards me.  It also all went down while I was flying and on a very long day with little rest the night before and I took it harder than I thought or even expected.  I haven’t dated anyone for a very long time and I very rarely open up to people but again I was enamored with all our things in common and went for it.  I will recover and hopefully find somebody who really is my beshert. He did get me thinking about many things that I hadn’t given a second thought about, some are huge life changing things and some aren’t per se just topics that I didn’t think needed to be changed just because I’m Jewish now and that maybe I do need to change or think about not doing them anymore. And now that I have finished my conversion I ready to get back into the dating scene.  Hopefully within the next few months it’ll happen, only Hashem knows. I’ve been working on the weekends this month and so Shabbat has been observed either traveling or on another day.  Now before I get lambasted for not properly observing the sabbath on Friday to Saturday, this month my work schedule has not allowed me much flexibility, unkess I pay a hearty sum to another flight attendant to change trips, and well I just can’t afford it.  It has been different and not in a good way, although I love my job and wouldn’t or couldn’t do anything else working on Shabbat has not been fun.  I understand clearly why Jews have shabbos.

Some of the things that “the guy” got me thinking about is keeping kosher.  While my kitchen is a shoe box, literally, I’ve been slowly separating everything.  I have 2 sets of silverware, cooking utensils, and sponges. I don’t have any dishes yet but soon I will and there will be 2 different sets. It hasn’t been easy let me tell you.  I’ve mixed sponges by accident and used a fork that is for dairy with a meat dish but hey I still new at it and we all make mistakes.  For any of you that have a Trader Joe’s nearby they have an amazing selection of kosher products. Like amazing selection, they’ve become my new favorite store.

I’ve also taken a break from my side business JetSet Organics while I moved and got settled into my new place. But I’m gearing back up and taking again. If you haven’t checked it out yet please do, visit Facebook.com/JetSetorganics. I use every product I make and I’ve seen huge changes in my skin.  Also you may have noticed that I added a tab at the top for my business.  While there aren’t any posts yet on that tab there will be as soon as I start taking photos of products as they’re being made.

Officially Official…… 

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). 

Counting the Omer and more

Pesach is behind us, mourning is with us now and Lag B’Omer is on the horizon, and so are Bar b que’s and hair cuts.  This year I cleaned my house for Passover and refrained from eating chametz for all of Passover.  Seven whole days of no bread, no crackers, pretzels, flour, pasta or rice.  I don’t know how I did it especially flying for 4 days the chol ha’moed, but I did and I survived.  Now we’re 24 days past Passover and in just a week it’ll be Lag B’Omer and we’ll be celebrating and bbq’ing up a storm and cutting ones hair and SHAVING. Oh I can’t wait to shave, 24 days of not shaving and I have a new respect for those hairy men, you know the ones who have a 5 o’clock shadow at noon. I’m so glad that I don’t grown facial hair in hours.  The first seven days were bearable but week 2 stunk, my face itched like crazy and was all red because I had been itching it, week 3 has been ok some itching here and there but it doesn’t look scraggly anymore and only a week left and I can’t wait to get rid of it. Now I know most “reform” Jews don’t follow the custom of not cutting one’s hair or not shaving but I wanted too this year to see if I found meaning it.  I have found meaning in and will probably do it again next year.  But I just hope next year it won’t itch so much.

I have also decided to leave my current living situation and be on my own. It’s a big move, not with belongings, but emotionally.  I’ve lived with my current roommate for a total of 8 years. We’ve both grown, we’ve been through hell and back.  Fights, hugs, crying, laughing, epidurals, severe back pain, boob jobs, quitting smoking, boyfriends, fiancées, a merger at work and almost a bankruptcy.  Some were from me and some were from her.  8 years is a long time, a lot of memories and stories.  It’s going to be hard and who knows what the future brings, all I know is in a month I’ll be living on my own for the first time in my life. 33 years is really long.  In 33 years I’ve never been on my own, I’ve always had someone living with me. From my parents and sister to 9 other roommates when I first started flying to now just one and soon none.  It’s scary and exciting at the same time.

Also since summer is almost here, that means I’ve been on my conversion journey well over a year.  Now I know it’s technically not that long but I’m talking about the class one takes while studying to convert.  Today I sent my autobiography to my family, the one I talked about in my last post.  I’ve received only good things back from them and I’m so thankful to Hashem that I have such an accepting and understanding family. As much as I don’t speak to my immediate family (mom, sister, stepdad)  when I send them something important they are supportive.  My aunts and cousins are and have always been amazing especially since my relationship with my immediate family is no longer. And of course my friends are my chosen family and are there for me always. I also set up an appointment to have the conversation with my rabbi to make sure he and I are on the same page and to make sure he thinks I’m ready.  For some reason that was harder than letting my family read my auto biography, which it shouldn’t have been.  With my work schedule, and the ending of the semester for class study, tonight was essentially my last class. But a new issue arose when I spoke with my rabbi tonight,  next week the community mikvah closes while it gets rebuilt and renamed and so far there isn’t a replacement available from the orthodox community for the non-orthdox community to use.  So I need to either have to hope an orthodox mikvah is made  available or I have to wait until September for the new one to be finished.  It’s a tough decision and one I hope Hashem will help with.

I know I kept my Hebrew names from you in my last post, so without further ado, they are Eitan Menachem.

It’s almost time

A few days ago I met with my rabbi and had the chat to get the ball rolling on finishing my conversion.  Well the ball feels like a fast ball pitch, the meeting was on Friday, today it’s Tuesday and my Hatafat dam Brit was done today and my Beit Din and Mikvah are tomorrow.  I can’t believe how quickly it’s gone and how emotional I’ve been today.  The “circumscision” didn’t hurt that badly, and there was hardly any blood. The mohel had to circle the drop on the gauze so my rabbi could see it.  He also gave the gauze to my rabbi and he was a little freaked out he then gave it to me when we left the dr.’s office.  After that it was off to the nail salon for a pedicure and wine because your nails are supposed to be cleaned and trimmed for mikvah. It was also a time to just relax and be pampered that massage chair did wonders. When I got home it’s really when my emotions kicked into overdrive when I was watching the final 2 episodes of Revenge, it’s been the only show recently, that I’ve watched every Sunday for the past 4 years.  The tears started in first scene of the series finale, I got that ugly cry too the one where you just can’t stop it, no matter what and you just look like a blubbering mess.  Thank G-d I was alone at home so no one got it on video. Hopefully tomorrow I can keep it together for the Beit Din, but if not oh well. 

I don’t know what to expect tomorrow at the Beit Din, but if it’s been like everything else in this process it will be easy, because this is what Hashem wants.  

Purim and its Aftermath 

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.

It’s been too long

I know I know, it’s been way to long since I posted last, like 4 months long. A lot has been going on and since I’m laid up again with my sciatica issues I figured I may as well write a post. Since the last post I’ve got my Organic skin care line off the ground and have been marketing it like crazy. I’ve transitioned over to the new company in November and I’m now based in Denver, CO. While not bad the commute is somewhat long and tedious. Going to work is fine because I can go in the same day that my trip starts coming home is well tough. I recently had to take the red eye back to Atlanta and we were delayed and so by time we got here it was like 6:30 in the morning, I literally slept the whole day and night. I am enjoying work for the most part and haven’t had any run ins with bad or obnoxious colleagues. Knock on wood. I think everything is finally calming down on that front. About a week ago was the final flight for my original airline, the night before the final flight I cried like a baby, a whole mix of emotions and adding on top the pain in my leg and back made it worse. The day of the final flight everyone was posting their memories and good stories. None of the war stories that would have shined a bad light on the company. The send off was amazing and from all the airports we still flew too.

I celebrated my first Chanukah and fried up latkes and had a few drinks with some friends on the first night. I brought my menorah on my trip, each overnight I was on I lit the candles and said the bracha’s and posted photos to my Facebook page. Some hotels had windows that seemed specially made for my menorah, like the Hyatt House in Denver that my friend made me stay at cause her house wasn’t ready yet, had a small window that was higher than normal and had a big sill that fit the menorah perfectly. I even had the lady who runs the crash pad I stay at in Denver asking a ton of questions and wanted to light the candles with me and was sad when Chanukah ended. Almost all my passengers would wish me Happy Chanukah either during the flight or while they were getting off.

Although I originally thought that my conversion would be done by now it seems that I still have a little more to go. It could have to do with the fact that the class only met what seemed like 5 times during the fall semester which while we did go over all the material there was no mention of what we needed to do to finalize our conversions. It is fine though sometimes I think “what will I do when I don’t have to attend these classes every week” and I’m finally a full fledged Jew. Soon though it’ll be done and I’ll be one of the tribe. It gives me just a bit more time to finalize everything, like my Hebrew name and to write my paper on why I want to convert and where to get my Brit milah done.

While I don’t do resolutions with the secular New Year ever because I think and know that they don’t last, I have decided to take my health more seriously. I’ve been making bone broths quite frequently and I’m trying to eat more organic and clean whole foods. I’ve realized that while processed foods are convenient they do so much damage to our bodies. Ive been reading a lot about a whole food diet and I’ve been taking some things and making them in “Kosher” way. There don’t seem to be too many kosher real food followers so it’s definitely going slow. I have also been working on more products for JetSet Organics, like soaps and scrubs and new packaging, I also have a new logo designed and ready to go. This is going to be the year that I devote more time to it and make it a money maker for me.
So if you haven’t already take a look at my pages facebook.com/jetset-organics and squareup.com/market/jetset-organics

That’s it for now, my medicines are kicking in and I need to take a nap. Hopefully I can blog more often as well.

This is at the Hyatt House DIA.  The window as pretty high up and perfect for my menorah.

This is at the Hyatt House DIA. The window as pretty high up and perfect for my menorah.

Kiddush Hashem at 35,000 feet

Just a quick post about something amazing that happened today at work, as I posted earlier I am now wearing a kippah at work, today started the 2nd trip that I’ve been wearing it. Well on my flight this morning I had a guy that’s probably around my age 30 ish, a Chabadnik and super nice. He comes up to me after my inflight duties and starts thanking me for wearing a yarmulke and how he’s never seems. Jewish flight attendant, and then he asks me if I’ve laid t’fillin yet today and when I answered no he asks if I want to and my answer was sure and I went on to tell him I’m not fully “technically” jewish yet and I’m doing a reform conversion and I don’t know how to lay t’fillin and I don’t read Hebrew and he says ” your Jewish,” chuckled and said yes. Well we go to the back of the plane and he then starts putting on the arm t’fillin and I’m saying the bracha. I went through it kind of quickly, but it was definitely spiritual and amazing. Continue reading

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.