My family is planning to move very soon into a Jewish community.  A few years ago such an idea would have terrified me.  Silly to be terrified of godliness, I know- bit i think it was mostly because I feared not being able to fit in or be "good enough."  My husband and I, although we have not yet converted, have kept the mitzvot to the best of our ability, from what my husband has learned in his extensive study and research.  As a result, we keep kosher, and the Shabbos, adhere to modesty standards, and are raising our children to love and fear G-d through the keeping of the commandments.  I am reading Rebbetzin Jungreis' book "The Committed Life" and for the first time I am experiencing what I call"Judiasm with skin on"  meaning I am seeing the richness of Judaism  lived out through the pages, and I am so very excited to have the privilege to be connecting myself to such a people as this.  Because I have never lived in a Jewish community before, my family has always been an island of is almost too wonderful to imagine that soon I will be able to turn to women such as yourselves with my questions, and not to the overwhelming bookshelf we have acquired over the years.  I think for myself, the hardest part has been the isolation that has resulted from our Torah observance.  My husband's parents and my own parents have never been comfortable with our faith (since we were both raised in christian households) I guess I'm really hoping for some good friends....especially older women to serve as much needed "mother figures."  I Know in my heart I am doing the right thing, and I am so excited to begin this next exciting part of my journey....but Oh, it would be nice to hear some kindness and encouragement along the way...I need a pillar of cloud to shade me from the scathing remarks, and a pillar of fire to light my way- to remind me that  if Hashem is for me, who can be against me?  This post is a bit scatterbrained, and probably riddled with grammatical errors...but somehow, here, I don't think you'll care.  I think I may have found a place to gather friends for the journey ahead.  I truly hope so.

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Mar. 3, 2009 at 9:49 PM

I am Christian and know very little about Judaism.  I found your journal fascinating to read.  Shalom!

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Mar. 3, 2009 at 10:50 PM

I don't have any sort of religious background at all, but I find Judaism (sp?) to be the most interesting. I had the opportunity to work in a young judea camp kitchen last summer, and let me tell you, i met some amazing people. Of course the women in the kitchen were fabulous, and could cook a sock to perfection. I practiced keeping kosher there, and have at home ever since. It just seems like the right thing to do after learning what kosher means, and how to kosher things. I met several people from isreal as well, as they were camp counselors, and they really made me look at things from a different perspective, as ive lived all my life in a town with a 99% white american population. I wish you the best, and hope you have many great experiences!

What is it called again... on shabbot? The line or wire that goes up, preventing you from working? We didn't have one at the camp, but I remember talking about it with the ladies!

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Mar. 6, 2009 at 12:12 PM

I can relate to your post as I have had my own Exodus and journey to find my place in the Jewish community. I studied for almost 17 years by myself in NC. and observed as best I could with my limited understanding. 1 year ago I moved to PA. due to my dh and I separating. I wanted to be near family and be able to live my faith. I encourage you on this new  journey and I know you will find yourself just so joyful to be part of a community. My community is small about 100 families but they have welcomed me with open arms. I am learning and growing daily. I love who I am and how my life is now. I wish you much joy in your new place. If you ever want to talk just send me a message. I applaud your courage to move and embrace your faith completely.....Miriam

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