All of the Mitzvot. Yes, all.

Sometimes I feel like a bipolar Jew(-to-be). I mean no disrespect to people with bipolar disorder, but I simply cannot think of any other method of describing this cycle of intense, manic months of “GIVE.ME.EVERYTHING.JUDAISM.NOW.” followed by weeks or months of “minimal” Judaism.
I’m just leaving a Judaism-lite cycle that took me from Chanukkah’s end to about two weeks ago. I’d read my Jewish Google alerts and light my Sabbath candles, which I now love as a weekly ritual and am so sad that I took so long to adopt. Then I realized I was missing some wine. And what is a Shabbat without some challah?
So I looked in the store. No luck—no frozen, no fresh loaves. So the most logical thing to do, instead of like, you know, finding a bakery with some…is to make some myself. In the winter. When I’ve never been able to make yeast rise. Smart choice, no?
Well, with the help of a bread machine, I did get it to rise. But I didn’t add enough flour so I couldn’t braid it. So I had round loaves last Shabbat. But I made it myself and I considered it a wild success. And I followed it up by contacting a nice lady at my synagogue and asking her to put me in touch with anyone she might know who would be willing to give me a lesson. She said she’d get me some names soon.
But most shocking to me is that this latest episode with Jewish food turned me to the issue of kashrut. When I started on this path long ago, I have to say my views on kashrut bordered on condescension of this old-world health standard impeding the lives of Modern American Jews. I love the process of maturing and what it can do to your points of views; wish it could only happen sooner!
I don’t think it would be easy to go kosher—food is so nostalgic and comforting and part of your childhood that the thought of no more carnitas or pork buns or Sunday morning breakfasts with my parents is really hard to even consider giving up. I don’t think that longing or desire will ever go away.. but I think that’s the point. Sanctify life’s most mundane tasks. Separate. Distinct. And a challenge. It’s easy to live the way of the world; it’s hard to choose daily, by every minute to seek G-d’s spark.
So I’ve had a serious heart-to-heart with myself and I think it’s something I really want to do, eventually. I can’t do it at my parents’ house, but I’m looking around at shuls’ websites and other converts’ websites and learning how they did. What the steps were for them. And now I really look forward to my own place again.

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2 thoughts on “All of the Mitzvot. Yes, all.

    • Where there is a will there is a way, certainly. It would require altering the menu a bit and supplying some/most of it myself, but the food is rarely the point of Sunday breakfasts to begin with. You have a point.

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