Wednesday, November 15, 2006

MAZAL TOV! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

Sure, you're saying, "I could be wrong but wasn't she just squawking about her birthday in July?". Well yes, that's true. But if you had paid attention (and I may just do a trivia quiz to check), I talked about my other birthday HERE. Okay, I see you're warming up - yes, my Jewish birthday. That's right - the day that I converted to Judaism, eleven years ago on the 25th of Cheshvan on the Jewish calendar. And that my friends, is today.

You know, when you look at life in retrospect, it sometimes is as if you are watching an old super eight film of yourself. I see it all passing through my mind. The coldish gray day - colder then it's supposed to be today when Scissors and I went to Brooklyn to go before the Bet Din (Jewish Court, comprised of three rabbis). A lot of living goes on in eleven years and a lot of water's passed under that bridge. Yet it was only yesterday.

Conversion to Judaism really requires of one a feeling inside that this is who I am. And I think of the story of RUTH in The Torah, in which she said to her mother in law, "your people shall be my people and your G-d shall be my G-d." I have never felt any question in my mind - "What have I done, is this right?". Oh that is not to say I don't wrestle with faith, I most certainly do. But what I know is that my family is Jewish, we live in the largest Jewish community outside of Jerusalem. When I am outside of New York, I am not home. My roots for my family are firmly planted here. We love to visit and see family and friends but we love to come back to our home.

I know there are various labels ascribed to Jewish factions - "Oh he's Conservative. Him? Modern Orthodox. They're mishigosh (Yiddish: crazy) - Reform". Our family blends all of the traditions so beautifully into the thread of our lives and we consider ourselves just that - living a traditional Jewish life. As in the story of Ruth, I do cherish my mother in law in many ways. She has been and always will be my Jewish parent. She's also a tough character.

That's okay, she's met her match in me.

So join in my simcha(Hebrew: joy) and we'll sing a round of simon tov/mazel tov (Hebrew: good sign/good luck) and make a l'chaim (Hebrew, in this usage - a toast).

To life my friends, to life.

26 comments:

goldennib said...

Mazal tov, back at cha'

Great post. Family rules.

ann said...

Mazal tov... welcome to the club, as they say. G, What name did you take for your Hebrew name and why?

L'chaim, simun tov umazal tov

b'ahavah ann (hannah) xxxxx

neva said...

Mazal tov! why do i now feel especially glad for the post we did in the Snark? oy. there are none so blind as those who can't see when the lamp is turned on and shining in their eyes. (you might have mentioned this yesterday, ya know. just sayin'...)

i love you. and i love this part of your life. and believe me when i say i admire you in more ways than i care list here.

l'chaim, dear friend! xoxo

Doug said...

L'chaim!

Does this make you a Scorpieleh?

Miz BoheMia said...

Mazal Tov! 11 YEARS! WOOH TO DA HOOH!!!

Very admirable you know... Loverboy and I do not follow any religion, though we do have similar spiritual beliefs that have finetuned themselves to be in unison with each other throughout the years... but I understand that it helps to belong in the same world for a relationship to truly work and to build a family together... ours is that of alternative health/diet and the like... narrows who you can live with if you are not compatible... I don't mean to trivialize the beautiful thing you did... not at all... only to say it was a wise choice and the beauty lies in the fact that it came from the heart...

As for the story below... FABOO!!! Glad I read Tali's first or else I would be weirded out... until my eyes were to stumble on the fiction label! PHEW! ;-)

cj said...

Mazal Tov G! I will certainly make a l'chaim today for you and to life!

I come from a family of mixed faith (Lutheran and Jewish) and it is wonderful to hear that you have found "home". Not everyone has yet.

Again G - Mazal Tov!!


(Thea is going through a stage now where she likes to say "Cheers" and clink glasses every chance she gets. This will give us a reason to do it up!)

Al said...

Mazel Tov, G! And, a Very Happy Birthday.

Kyahgirl said...

Oh this is grand! Mazal Tov G.

G said...

Goldennib: Thank you - care for a little Schnapps for the l'chaim?

Ann: Thank you Hannahla. Funny I would have taken a different name a few years in, but it's mine. I chose the literal translation for my English name which is Raina and Leah (one of the matriarchs of course) - so Reina Leah. Thank you for your kind welcome. Too bad I'm not techie enough (plus I'm at work minor detail) to have the music playing - for a real simcha!

Todah R'bah Hannah ~ xox Reina Leah

Neva: Thank you dear friend. Really the timing is uncanny as I just never in my compartmentalized brain just never connected. I didn't even think of it until last night when I thought to write a post and the screen was blinking at me...and then it blinked in my head say, this date is close to...so it goes. Thank you so much for everything, but most of all your friendship - love ya, G xox

Doug: Leave it to you - thanks! I hadn't even considered...hmmmm.

MizB: A lot of sprituality can be gleened just from what we eat! (No wisecracks peanut gallery.) Really, I am all for whatever works for a family and having some sprituality just helps deal with what life dishes. Your family shines with beauty so I see it's working for you.

Thank you for your sweet words and neshikot to you sweet bohemian ;) xox

cj: Thank you my dear. I knew I could count you in on my simcha! Ooh I did not know that little bit of history - do tell.

Julian went through that phase last year and spent the entire year making l'chaim with his speesh therapist. Too funny. xox


Al - Thank you so much! And l'chaim to Al's new blog everybody!

Kyah: Thank you - the party's not complete until you arrive!

G said...

cj: speaking of "speesh"...maybe I've had too much schnapps!

Sar said...

Well Happy Jewish Birthday, G!!!

Your Jewishisms, that's what I'll affectionately refer to them as, are awesome. I enjoyed reading them almost as much as hearing them in person not that long ago.

Hey! How perfect is my veri word:

jwgnf - Jewish G New Friend

Diesel said...

Mazal tov and shalom.

Pavel said...

Mazel tov, Lampy!!! I hope you're able to get together with family and friends and celebrate!

cindra said...

Mazal tov, G! What a wonderful post...you are beautiful in your faith...mwah.

goldennib said...

Yum to the schnapps.

actonbell said...

Mazal tov! Reina Leah is a lovely name.

tamingtiger said...

Ah G, I am so excited for you today! As I am sure you know, all Jews are descendants of converts to Judiasm.

At the baby naming ceremony of our daughter, our Rabbi told the beautiful story of when Abraham and Sarah were converted to Judiasm. My husband was raised Catholic and much of his family was there with us. The Rabbi began by telling those present that he once had a congregant who told him he didn't feel that the converted members of our temple were really Jews (we're talkin like 40% of the congregation). Rabbi asked him, do you believe that the children of converts are Jews? To which this man replied, "No". Rabbi said, "Then you yourself are not a Jew. Abraham and Sarah were converted to Judiasm by God when he changed their names from Abram and Sari to Abraham and Sarah and created the covenant with them." The man was silenced and reflective.

I hope you think today about the precious similarity you share with Abraham and Sarah. L'chaim!

neva said...

you know, i lovelovelove calling you "Princess Lampsha" (tho' "Lampshala" is growing on me, too), but your Jewish name is so beautiful... and quite royal sounding. Queen Reina Leah has a very lovely ring to it. perhaps Talimuffin should do another poll??

hope you had a beautiful celebration last night, dearest friend! xoxo

weirsdo said...

Hey! My comment disappeared.
Mazel Tov! And I said, 2 birthdays/year are great--as long as one doesn't have to grow twice as old.

Miz BoheMia said...

OOOOOhhh!!!! *clapping her hands, bouncing up and down and giggling, GIGGLING, like a fool, A FOOL*... Reina means queen, QUEEN in Spanish... why not just call yourself Reina Leah? All hail Queen Leah!

And DAMMIT! I was planning to close my original comment with neshikot but I am so friggin' scatterbrained I forgot! I SUCK! BIG TIME! AARGGHHHH!

That havng been said, neshikot FO SHO! Cause I looooove me pretty Reinas called Leah! Ooooweeee!

Teri said...

Mazal Tov G! Enjoy!

G said...

Sar: Thank you! I'm sure I'll have more for our next visit :) And a perfect verifier for a perfect post friend.

diesel: Shalom and thank you.

Pavel: Thanks Pavelito! We celebrated just as we did eleven years ago - quietly (well as quiet as my family is) over pizza and falafel.

Cindra: Thanks dear friend and a MWAH to you too!

Goldennib: Just don't let it get on your wings - no good can come of that!

Actonbell: Thank you and thank you. It does gown on one doesn't it?

tamingtiger: Thank you for sharing that story - it's wonderful and makes me feel that much closer to my adopted roots. Thanks for dropping in and celebrating with me.

L'Chaim!

Neva: So many names - I'll just use them all! Lampshala - that's good. Oy another poll. Queen Reina Leah? I could get used to it.

We did, most of all in my heart and with all of these beautiful wishes right here NBFF. xox

Weirsdo: Thank you. Definitely not on the growing old - just a reminder on all that there is to celebrate!

MizB: You know putting it that way makes it quite tempting! And don't be so hard your OCD self - I felt it just the same.

Neshikot to you too. Ooh I looove how you say that! FO SHO! Besos

Teri: Thank you Teri, I really did.

Joel said...

so does this mean you get presents twice as many times as I do? if so...not fair.

Sar said...

Congrats on making the caption contest finalst this week, Lampy!!!

:)

G said...

Joel: Nah, but it's a good excuse to have a celebratory dinner which you do all the time (what with all that fun Mexican).

Sar: Well aren't you a bright spot in my otherwise flooded basement day! I'll go vote and then throw myself in front of a car. Ah don't worry, it's parked in the driveway, not moving.

marcel said...

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Write to a great personnalitie
i post your letter
shalom
marcel
jewisheritage