So I’m not going to write all of the extensive details about my trip because 1. I’m sure you’re not all that interested, and 2. I’m too tired and/or lazy to. So I’ll give a basic overview, and the parts that I feel like going into detail about, I will:

Day one: Got into New York

Day two: Went to visit and stay with cousins for the weekend. They have llamas, sheep, chickens, dogs, cats, etc. They took me to a conservative (borderline orthodox) shul for minyan, and although I was struggling to keep up, I loved it ( I actually got to see people put on a tefillin, it was pretty awesome).  We talked a lot about religion and views on Judaism.

Day three: Hung out and then went back to my uncle and aunt’s house around midnight.

Day four:  Went clothes shopping for my aunt and uncles 50th wedding anniversary that was going to happen  later in the week.

Day five: Went out to lunch with my cousin, aunt, and mom and then went shopping in this teeny little town.  I bought a Star of David necklace.

Day six: Went to this awesome food supermarket call Stew Leonards (sp?) It’s like a cross between Publix and Disney, mechanical singing animals and all. I should have taken pictures.

Day seven: Hung out alone, then went to hang out with some other cousins and their cute kids. Cooked a yummy dinner and ate it, of course!

Day eight: NYC! Where I saw plenty of pious Jews. Plenty of them. I had a wonderful day and I cam back home exhausted.

Day nine: Aunt and Uncle’s fiftieth wedding anniversary party. It was delicious.

Day ten:  Hung out, and then left to fly back to Florida in the early evening (but I had a  layover, so I didn’t get home until very late, and we almost didn’t make our connecting flight do to plenty of complications.) But the most important part of my last day was that I met a Hassid.

See, when I first came to New York, I had it in mind that I wanted to talk to someone that belonged to the Chabad movement, or was Ultra Orthodox. I prayed that I might meet someone and I tried very hard. And I finally did get to meet a someone,a man at an airport, and we started to talk about simple things-the weather of the destinations of where we were going, what my profession was (although I don’t have one yet, I am still in high school), places I’d like to see and places he had been, etc.
His line started moving to board his plane, and so we said goodbye and he started to move up. It was only then that I started to think to myself-“Jewbie (well, I used my real name, but you get that), you asked G-d to help you on your path, to guide you along the way. You came to New York hoping to get a chance to talk to someone that was pious, and here’s your last chance before you leave, and your throwing it all away just because you’re too scared to ask!”
Surprisingly enough, after I had gotten done fighting with myself like a madwoman, I looked over and realized that his flight’s boarding had been stopped. He started to talk to me once again, “looks like I’ll be here for a while”, which is what gave me the nerve to ask him. (The conversation below is more or less how the real one went, but I omitted a few things because I forgot what we talked about exactly):
“Excuse me, I don’t want to sound rude, but do you mind if I asked you a question?”
He looked at me a little reluctantly before answering, “Sure, go ahead.”
“Do you go to Chabad?”
“Yes, actually I do.”
“Well, I’ve always wanted to go there and I was wondering if it was nice.” I don’t even know what I was thinking as I said this.
“Yes, it is very nice.”
“Well, my mothers family is Jewish but she’s not observant, so recently I took it upon myself to start learning more, and I love it. When I became a little older and can understand it better and have researched me, I want to become more observant. So I went to Chabad where I live and started talking to the Rabbi to learn more.”
“Oh really? What rabbi? I might know him.”
“Rabbi Dubov.”
“Huh, Rabbi Dubov.” He looked like he might have known him, which made me continue.
“Well, someday I’d like to be more observant once I know a little more so I’ve been wanting to talk with someone who is, and I want to go to an Orthodox shul to see what living the lifestyle is like.”
“You should go to Israel someday. I went when I was younger.”
“I know, I would love to spend a year there!”
“You should, maybe go to school there or something. I was 17 when I went, and I wasn’t religious, either. But I turned out this way.”
It was about then that he ruffled through his bag and pulled out a business card for me. It was then that his flight started to board, so I thanked him, and he left.
G-d gave me the opportunity to talk to someone like him, I believe. I truly believe that G-d put this man in front of me so that I may continue along my path of studying and trying to be a better Jew once I feel ready to take on the task of becoming more observant.

The High Holidays are coming up, and you know how there are the Jews that only attend Shul on the High Holidays? I’m the opposite. I attend Shul every weekend, but I not the High Holidays. Well, this is my first year going to shul, and I don’t have the finances (being a teen and all, with a mother that isn’t observant and denies her on Jewish Identity) to attend the services, which I’m actually fine with only because I can just celebrate at home, which is (according to my research) how it used to be. The High Holidays were once a time that was mainly celebrated at home and not at the synagogue. So I’ll just do my own little service here, complete with the prayers and everything (but of course not the ones that need a minyan). I think it’ll be nice and more fulfilling. But that’s not saying that if I do get a chance to go to synagogue, that I wouldn’t go, because I definitely would.

Last but not least, I am stressing for the start of school next week.

Fin!

Je t’aime,

The Jewbie

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I’m baaaack!

August 23, 2010

Bonjour, mon amies!

I’m back in the Florida heat, and school has started up again. All of my friends are back in class, and I’m waiting until next week to start mine (long story, refer to other blogs to get the background). I did get to visit my high school for a little bit today, to pick something up (which it turns out they didn’t have yet), and I saw some of my friends, which was pretty awesome.

New York was amazing, by the way. I’m too tired to tell how everything went, but I will later.

Au revoir  à plus tard, et avec beacoup d’amor (rough translation, since I haven’t had french class in a couple of months and am therefor a little rusty),

The Jewbie

I am in no way straying from Judaism, I’m just not going to make a big decision and decide what sect of Judaism I’d like to be defined as, because I do not think that I am old enough to handle a decision like that. While I will still try to be observant on many levels (shomer shabbos, kosher, tznius, reciting the Sh’ma, etc.) I am not going to sit down right now and say that I am definitely Reform or Conservative or Orthodox, and I’m not going to be obsessed with that until I can clearly look into each path and I have grown older and wiser and more certain of the decisions I am making. Plus, right now, it’s really not that important to decide right now anyway. My observance is what matter, not my label.

Now, onto other matters.

My boyfriend has been feeling a little under the weather for the past couple of days, so send out good energy for him, please :)! Also, I am going to New York soon! Please wish me a safe flight, and a good time.

Also, I just learned about Jew in the City (jewinthecity.com) who is the really funny, really helpful and insightful Orthodox woman who answers questions and dispels myths about the Orthodox lifestyles. I’ve gone on a watching-all-her-vid’s and reading-all-her-answers rampage at the current moment.

Well, I’m doing that AND trying to force-shovel food down my throat. Not good.

Well anyway, I might write more later, until then, yours truly,

The Jewbie

I feel you in my heart, and I don’t even know you.” (once again) Nineteen, Tegan & Sara

That song has always been one of my favorites. Not one of my friends likes it, except for me. I found out about it through my cousin when I went on his profile page a few years back and listened to it. It’s such a good song.

Speaking of my cousin, I miss him so much. I feel like I’ve had so many opportunities that I could have tried harder to see him, and I didn’t, and I feel like he probably now expects that from me. I just texted him to talk to him about coming up to see him soon, and I’m hoping he replies. I feel so terrible. I haven’t seen him in almost six years, and I miss him a lot. He’s always been one of my favorite family members, and I guess I’m just really upset that we never got a chance to see each other more.

On another note, I went to see the Rabbi at the Orthodox Shul today. He asked me a ton of question, which I didn’t mind answering, but when I’m tired and put on the spot I often stumble over my answers and don’t think things through so I also often say the wrong thing. One of the things that came up was “proving that I’m Jewish” with some sort of documentation of my family members that states that they belong to an Orthodox temple, etc. I guess if I can’t get it (my mom’s immediate family no longer goes to temple, and I don’t know if her other family members, such as the ones I’m going to visit this summer, go to an Orthodox temple or some other one), I’ll have to be confirmed. But I will most likely be able to get it, it’ll just take a lot of work, which is half of the fun, right? :/ Anyway, so we also talked about why I wanted to go there, how to follow the mitzvahs better (take it step by step. He told me this awesome old Jewish Proverb about how to go about it), etc. The way he made it seem was that I didn’t really need a synagogue to help me to become a better, more observant Jew, I had the tools I needed within myself and around me, and that if I attended his synagogue, it would just aid me in my learning process, I didn’t necessarily need to go there for anything (like Shabbat). But I guess I do need those documents as proof that I’m a Jew. I mean, I know I am, my family goes back for generations upon generations of Jewishness, I just need the proof for anyones else (such as if I went to a different Orthodox Synagogue, or asked the Rabbi to help me learn, or if I wanted to go on the Taglit Birthright Israel tour, etc) which is understandable. Unusual, but understandable.

So the Mizvots I’m trying to incorporate into my life this month (I want to take it month by month, maybe a new mitzvah each one?) are Tzniut (which I practically already have down, and I’ve been working on it for a bit, so that’s why I’m adding more), reading the Torah daily, and once I get that down, doing the morning, afternoon, and nightly prayers (which will probably the be the hardest Mitzvah for me to take on, only because I’m so lazy). I also want to try to start attending this “Basic Judaism” class that the Orthodox Synagogue has on Thursday nights, so that maybe I can get a deeper understanding, and add on to the multitude of stuff I’ve already learned.

ONLY THREE AND A HALF  MORE DAYS UNTIL I GO TO NEW YORK! Yayyyyy!

With love and a cherry on top,

the Jewbie

I think if you just read that title of (most) of my blogs, you would know what it’s about without even having to read it. But once again, it’s not like I have any readers anyway.

So I found a new show to love- Rookie Blue. OMH, if you haven’t watched it yet, then you definitely need to, if no other reason then because it’s my absolute, all-time favorite show now (excluding Make It or Break It, Bones, Being Erica, 30 Rock, Lie To Me, Degrassi, etc, etc, etc).

Also, I am hungry, and I’m craving a Big Mac (without cheese, of course. But even without cheese,  it still isn’t kosher, is it? I am so confused by that) and some fries. And a medium Dr.Pibb, no ice, please.

Tomorrow, I’m going to go talk to the Rabbi at the Orthodox Shul that I’ve been trying to get a hold of for a bit now. He said he’d meet with me at 9:30 am, which is fine, it just means that I’ll need to wake up at 8, and so hopefully be asleep by 12 tonight (I don’t like driving when I’m too tired). I am extremely excited, except I think he’s Chassidic, an I don’t want to offend him by wearing the wrong clothes, and Chassidic’s seem to dress even more conservatively then the (apparently basic) Tznius laws that I abide by. So I’ll be wearing an ankle length black skirt, a cream colored long sleeve under shirt, and a white, collared button up shirt on top. I’ll be sweating, but it’s respectful.  I’m so excited to go, though. I’m so excited to finally be doing something that I feel is right, religiously, and hopefully maybe I can get some guidance from him and learn how to follow the Halakha (/mitzvots) more closely (is that even correct grammar?).

So, four more day’s (I’m leaving Friday morning) until my trip to New York! Then when I come back, I have to go to my high school, get my book voucher, go to my college, get my ID and Parking Decal, and then finally, run from campus to campus to get my textbooks for each class. Then, I’ll need to do some last-minute school shopping, and mentally prepare myself for the New World I’ll be walking into. Twenty-one more day’s until my first day of school, ahem, College. Wish me luck!

With more love than you’ll ever need,

The Jewbie

Third blog today

August 1, 2010

So I’m like going on a blog craze today (which isn’t so bad seeing as before today, I only had 11 blogs written of the span of the last two months. Just 11! But that’s more or less because I kept forgetting to write, and not because I didn’t want to.) Well, anyway, so I’m reading this one girls blog, (http://inlovebyfriday.blogspot.com/)  and she’s freakin’ hilarious, in the way that it’s some MAJOR nostalgia and I remember having the same exact thoughts and doing the same exact things. It’s like a big trip down memory lane. Anyway, I found out about her (and some of my new other fave bloggers) from gurl.com boards (major geek status, right?). I have to admit though, my all time FAVORITE blogger at the moment? frumpunk (the link should be on the side or something around this page somewhere. check him out, he’s an AWESOME jewish frum blogger!) as well as Jewlicious (but what kind of Jew would I be if I didn’t like Jewlicious? I have to admit, some of their stuff makes me depressed, but I love love LOVE them.)

So on another note, my mom is making some type of vegetable stew whatever thing that I just had to chop up a whole bunch of unneeded vegetables for. But it kind of looks good. Kind of.

And, in just four more short weeks, I’ll be entering my junior year in high school and my frehsman year in college! Wish me luck, I hope I do well and that I love it! I’m so exited about it. See, where I live we have dual enrollment which means I can take classes at the local community college while simultaneously earning high school and college credit for the classes I’m taking at community college. I’m doing full time there this year, instead of taking a couple college classes and mostly high school classes. I just felt like I wasn’t being challenged and I was just so uninterested in the work that I was doing. Boringgg. But now I can take classes that I like (and hopefully, I’ll do well in them!)

Also, I’m going to New York soon to visit my mom’s family and I really want to visit Borough Park (it’s the only Chassidic/Orthodox community I know of up there) and maybe I can find some cute frum stores to shop in or something. I can’t wait to go. The family I’m staying with lives like right next to the mountains, so you look out from the window and there they all are, and they have acres of land surrounding their house, and it’s really just like staying at a resort. It’s so beautiful and peaceful and tranquil and  relaxing, I just am so excited to go!

I also need to do more Torah studying. I don’t do that enough. I also haven’t been davening all that much the past couple of days. So much for trying to be a more observant Jew. But I have been keeping tznius! Go me, once again!

So my boyfriend just got back from a trip to see in his cousins. His cousin that he was visiting lives in the same town as mine, and I haven’t seen my cousin since fifth grade (six years!). I miss him so much, it’s insane. He’s one week younger than me, and I feel most connected to him out of anyone in my family because of that (even though we hardly ever talk). It’s not that I don’t want to see him, it’s more or less that I can’t because I stopped having visitation with my father  six years ago (the last time I saw any of that side of my family). I mean, I can’t say that I miss my dad-that’s just a long story in itself, but I do miss my family so much and I feel like I can’t see them until I make amends with my dad, which I’ve tried doing, but I just can’t.

Also, the weather is getting progressively hotter. To anyone that thinks Florida is beautiful all year around, let me guarantee you something: 80% of the year, it’s the hottest place to be. Hotter than any other state. And the other 20%? It’s the coldest state to be in, excluding Alaska, though I’ve never been there. I can imagine though. It’s not helping that my AC is old and it’s a constant 82+ degrees in here.

Well anyway, because I am a chocoholic, I’m going to go eat  Hershey’s bar while I look at cake idea’s for my mom’s boyfriend’s birthday cake (With as much junk that I eat, I’m wondering how I manage to stay thin. I’ll probably be rather large once I get older and my metabolism catches up to me, and then I’ll be waving good by to the day’s of Hershey’s and Dr. Pepper).

With so much love and so little time,

The Jewbie