Thank you, Dawn, for this amazing message. Honestly - since starting the intro to Judaism class I have never felt SO connected and so RIGHT about anything in my life.
After last week's horrific events, I only felt stronger in my decision to move forward. Though it is scary, I really do feel like continuing down this path towards conversion is the right decision for me.
Yes, it's been a really difficult few days :( It was great to take the 3rd Intro to Judaism class yesterday because the sense of community was amazing. Unfortunately, though, I felt the heightened security at the gate and it was pretty jarring.
Non-white Jew by choice in Oakland
To answer your question, I’m a mess!! I chose this community because we are just that, A COMMUNITY. When I was struggling to find my way, spiritually, the Jews took me in and made me feel valued, a part of something larger. I felt it at temple on Sunday, a sense of community, family, and belonging as we sang songs and prayed.
Am I afraid? You bet! Am I angry, absolutely! Do I feel I made a good spiritual decision? Everyday.
I am motivated more then ever to Tikkun olam, healing the world. I was in London recently and on monument quote said it all.
“Patriotism is not enough I must have no hatred or bitterness for anyone”
It starts with me.
Seeker outside CA
Thank you for reaching out. I was viscerally affected by the Pittsburgh massacre. I couldn’t cry in front of kids because I didn’t want to explain that innocent people were killed because the light Shabbat candles like us. I was nervous at first but showed up to my Judaism class on Sunday. I was glad to see the police on site. Yesterday, I attended a Vigil and was moved to tears hearing El Male Rachamim being sung. I already feel Jewish and come from Jewish people so this has not dissuaded me.
Jew by choice couple outside CA
Thank you for this email. We are all shocked and deeply wounded by the murders of our people at Temple Or L'Simchat. Our community here is small but, very tightly knit.
We will attend a Vigil on Saturday evening, here to honor and mourn our brothers and sisters in Pittsburg. We will continue to be very involved with our temple and do our best to be among B'nei Or. So, in answer to your question, we are doing well, studying and growing.
Jew by Choice in CA
I am doing just OK. It's been an intense week and I really appreciate you reaching out as I feel like I need to vent. When you wrote "VERY HONEST" in capital letters, I felt compelled to reply. :)
I am struggling as many others are. I worked for an airline on 9/11 and the same feelings of tremendous anxiety, sadness and fear are resurfacing again. It's a double-whammy because I feel deep sadness for the entire city of Pittsburgh, especially the Tree of Life community, and it's also the reality that "this could have easily been me." I'm not just a Jew now, I am the spouse of a rabbi and I spend several hours a week in a synagogue. And it's so horrible that what's become my happy place, the temple, has now lost its sense of safety and security.
I'm sure you are getting a lot of e-mails from people sharing the same fears and sadness. I'm certainly not the only one. Over 400 people showed up for a vigil at my shul this week. I am totally distracted this week and I feel like it's even taking a toll on my physical state. I have felt "off" all week (feeling like I am coming down with something) and I had a massive headache this morning. I think it's all connected to the events on Saturday.