Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Yes, but is it Kosher?

Up till this point i have ignored the issue of Kosher food. Well i guess thats not completely true - i have been following principles of ethical eating. We use the minimum air miles for food we buy, so buy seasonally and locally. We only eat organic meat as this means that some level of animal welfare is assured. Looking at kosher laws we have primarily felt that in forbidding eating animals likes pigs and shellfish it seems the intention was to outlaw food that is dangerous to eat in places which don't have refrigeration. However, we agreed that when we moved into our own place we would go kosher for at least a month, try and embrace it and see where we are at with it.

The list of foods that are tray (forbidden) that we don't care about : camel, rodents, repltails, animals that died of natural causes, eagles, hawks, vultures. Can live with not eating those.

On the other hand, pork, rabbit, clam, lobster, swordfish, crab, prawns. Thats more of a struggle. Worse still the sciatic nerve in the hindquarters is forbidden this is very hard to remove and as such filet mignon, sirloin steaks, etc unless from a kosher certified butcher are off the menu. I am not a happy bunny - which is fine as i am not allowed to eat them :(

Monday, 9 May 2011

Come live with me

After some careful consideration of the time commitments required for attachment-parenting, and having made an assessment of the state of my living room i have come to a conclusion.

I need an au-pair this indervidual should be wonderful with my daughter, and the child that is currently on the way. It is important however that as magnificant as they are with the children that the children never prefer them to me or my mother. The indervidual should enjoy cooking, cleaning, ironing, tidying up and washing. I would appreciate the applicant also working for me as a research assistant, and so being organised and good at spelling corrections is a must.

It goes without saying that the ideal applicant will be stunningly attractive.

I should make it clear that this an unpaid position.

Sixty Three today.

Today Israel marks 63 years of the states existence. I have very mixed feelings on this. I should say up front that I have never visited Israel – however I did spend a year studying Israel as part of my Masters Degree. My examination of the laws operating in Israel made me deeply aware of injustices that seem more prevalent than in any other democracy.

I long for a time of peace – and a time of justice for all who live in the region.

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

To much

At pressent i seem to be drowning in emotions. A couple of my friends - well three in fact are being ordained shortly - i trained with them and if i hadnt dropped out would be being ordained with them. We are in the process of trying to move out of my parents - into a 1 bedroom flat, this will have to accomadate my wife, me and two children.

My long suffering wife has said - well it wont be for long, beliving i will soon have better job security - or earn more. I feel like a failure for my lack of provision for my family.

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

UPDATE!!

So much to update on but let me give a really quick run down of the highlights and i will come back to all the details later:

The long suffering wife is expecting child number 2. This was unexpected - and a little panic inducing. Currently we are living with my mother with one bedroom - and a living room to call our own. The thought of sharing this with another child is a worry to say the least. We have wanted to have more children but hadnt thought it would be so soon. This is not to say its not good news - just that its going to take a little time to get our heads around.

Passover improved significantly - and our home seder was a wonderful evening and as always the highlight of our year. Their was much confusion through out the passover period on what is and isnt permited food wise - and i will do a post specifically on passover soon honest!

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

It Passed me by

Tonight was a passover seder at out synagogue, and we where excited - possibly overexcited. We have celebrated passover for 4 maybe 5 years now, but have never attended one led by someone else, and have never had a chance to do so with a Jewish community. It felt very special to be able to go - the tickets at £25 a head where painful. Really painful - but we didnt have to pay for our daughter, and we decided it was important to go - and wanted to.

The late start was a struggle - i spent a lot of time trying to stop the whirlwind that is my daughter from eating food of the seder plate - their was a lack of wine on our table and not enough time to get more - a small thing i know but their is an obligation to get at least a little drunk on passover - or so has been my belife. Their was no grape juice for the non-drinkers - only apple juice which doesnt fit with the blessing for fruit of vine. The seder was cluncky - the food was terrrable - and the whirlwind was irretable. I tried to take her to a diffrent room to play with her for a bit and keep her calm, and some one came and hassled us even their and told us that our daughter should be sitting down quietly, they told me that they know my daughter is difficult but she did need to sit down.

At this point we left and went home, and had an omlette. It gone midnight and the family has gone to bed and i am sitting alone in the living room and i just want to cry. Some times i am happy to fight - but tonight i wanted to be a night about liberation - about freedom and it didnt feel like it was any of those things.

Monday, 18 April 2011

The night before passover

For the last few years we have marked passover. We have made sure that our home is leaven free, and we have had a big meal with a hagadar. We have not however made use of a wooden spoon and a feather..so when a friend (who is also a rabbi) pointed out that we should make sure that we have a feather and spoon ready for tonight we where a little on the lost side.

After some strategic use of google we have discovered that the final search for leven should be done by candle light, and crumbs should be gathered up using a spoon and feather like a dustpan and brush. the crumbs are then put into a paper bag and the whole lot is burnt.

Apparently the reason for using a wood spoon is that the code of Jewish law Orach Chaim 445:3 says that if you dont find any leaven you must burn the utensiles you used during the search - a metal spoon might make this a little difficulty.

I remain a little confused by the whole thing - but we will give it a go!

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Which Jew?

If your mother is Jewish then you are Jewish. It doesnt matter whether your mother followed Judaism or not - you are still Jewish, and your children will be Jewish. This means that even if you are for example a reform Jew an Orthodox Jew will recognise you as part of the same family. They may disagree on how your practice your Judaism, but that wont stop them considering you Jewish. The same is true of other branches of Judaism, whether Conservative, or Hasidic.

In theory someone converting to Judaism - is not really a convert, instead they are someone who has a Jewish soul which has found its way home. The problem is that Orthodox rabbis do not accept reform convertions. This means that while the convert and the reform movement may accept them and all future generaitons as converts, the rest of judaism will reject them and their decendents on the basis that the convertion was not valid.

This is a very heavy burden to place on future generations - that they will only be accepted fully within the jewish community if they recive an orthodox convertion and that until someone does so all generations will be in this strange middle world where they are conisdered Jewish by some - but not by others.

Thursday, 7 April 2011

FOR YELLOW SAKE!

People swear. And Blaspheme. I get that. There is no point in me denying, I do myself – really I try not to but sometimes, particularly after a drink or two my launguge becomes progressively bluer. It may offend others to hear my bad language – I know that it often jars my ears to hear it from others.

For me there is something far worse than hearing someone swear. It’s having others make me swear. That makes it sound as if I am very weak willed, and that I am suggesting that you can force me to swear against my will – and in a way I am.

As I don’t want to make you swear I am going to designate for this blog only the word yellow as the most offensive word that exists. I want you to imagine if you will the most hideous unpleasant derogatory term you can – that for this blog is YELLOW.

Okay. Now if I say Yellow you might be offended. You might not, but if I type yellow then you will read it – you will actively consume the word possibly to an even greater degree than if you had just heard it. You can try and skip over it in a sentence but it will sink into your brain none the less. When I write FOR YELLOW SAKE! You can’t avoid the words being imprinted in your head. The same thing happens if I abbreviate it. FYS. You work out that it means ‘for yellow sake’ and you translate it in your head. This is now swearing that you are an active partner in – you are translating the swear word, forming it in your mind. This remains the case in every day speech. If someone says FYS out loud, you will mentally translate it and hear in your head ‘For yellow sake’, equally if someone finds a word to replace yellow, a less offencive word so that they don’t offend but making sure that everyone still knows its yellow they are referring to – for example ‘For Yartis Sake’. When you hear someone say that – you will translate it into For Yellow Sake.

Throughout all this as much as I have tried to avoid it – you have probably carried out a third level of translation changing yellow to a ‘real’ swear word.

My point within all this is that while I am not a fan of swearing I object even more strongly to people using ‘suggestive’ swearing which leaves my head to make connections I don’t want it to. If you swear the only issue from my point of view is that I have to hear it – when you say ‘FYS’ then I swear /blasphem– even if only in my head.

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Vengeance is mine

A couple of weeks back someone passing the synagogue made a derogotry remark aimed at Jews. The responce to this was a member of the congragtion deciding to apprehend the person concerned and hand him over to the police.

While Church have 'welcomers' who's job it is to hand out hymn books and great people with a smile, the synagogue has a security team. Wearing ear pieces and carrying radios they watch monitor showing the various external CCTV cameras. They have devices for checking under cars for bombs, and they search new people coming to the synagogue.

The whole fear - to my mind uncalled for fear of assult which seems to be all dominating in Jewish communities is something i find fairly disturbing - as the saying goes their is nothing to fear but fear itself. The only problem is thats really not the case - their is a lot to be afraid of. As i have thought about this i have wondered why such a diffrence approach between Jeiwish and Christian communities. The answer may well be the Holocaust. That the scar that has been left so deeply on the Jewish community has left a mix of fear and defiance that has resulted in a kind of 'come and have a go if you think you are hard enough'. This is an approach which is the opposite of that found within Christian communities. While members of congregations are not easily identifiable as christians, vicars can be spoted at least when in 'uniform'. The responce to violene hasnt been to employ bouncers, but rather has continued to be a welcome to all.

Is the threat that is faced by the Jewish community more than that faced by the Christian community however? I suspected - having seen a few such incidents - that many of the logged anti-semetic incidents are not specifically anti-semetic. to clarify this - on occasions when walking down the street wearing a big hat some yobs have shouted out at me 'offensive comments including in the list of insults 'COWBOY', at other times people have shouted out a stirng of insults including the word JEW as an insult.

My hat isnt a Jewish hat - but the ignorent might see it and assume its Jewish - some assume its Armish. The point is that in both cases i have been insulted, was one of the people someone who hated jews and was insulting me because he belived i am jewish - or was he insulting me because i was wearing a big hat and he is a bit of an ideot? In the second case the comment can be logged and become part of official statistic on anti-semitism. So i thought that in the aid of this blog and my general thinking on the subject i would check it out - i looked for official statistics.

http://www.thecst.org.uk/docs/Incidents%20Report%202010.pdf contains a report on the reportd attacks on the jewish community in britian in the last year. 639 incidents. The report is detailed - and concerning. Reading it i thought - fair enough - caution is required.

I tried to then do a search on attacks on clergy or christians - and its hard to find figures. The national organisation churchwatch provides advice for churches on security - the advice is that its better to have churches open than closed. It encourages easy access and looks at how to minimise damage from vandels. I could only find figures for 2002, but the figures where:

6829 incidents, 2866 of criminal damage to churches, 3595 of their, and 186 of violance.

I am not sure how this relates as a % of attacks when compared to the number of jewish places of worship in the country - however - almost all vicars questioned report that they have been assulted verbally or physically.

I dont know how this has all left me feeling really. Is the Jewish community overly cautious, have we got the baracades up to high, and are we too ready for a fight, or is the responce proportial to the threat? Is the threat against Jews and Jewish places of worship great or less than against churches? In all honesty i just dont know - but maybe this should be on the agenda at interfaith meetings.

Monday, 4 April 2011

Breastfeeding - it's a man thing

I did warn that this is a blog about my life as a whole, not just the 'being a convert' bit, so let me flag this post up if the title doesnt make it clear enough - i am going to be talking about breast feeding - okay as long as you know what your getting.

I realise that their are few things more likely to cause an onslaught of flaming that suggesting that breast feeding has anything to do with men - but - having read a couple of blogs in the last few days talking about breastfeeding i thought it might be worth putting something down from a male perspective.

There seems to be me too be a direct relationship between how long a mum feeds for - or whether she does at all, and what her partner thinks about this (if she has one). Even writing that sentance i could feel myself being really careful about gender terms, and partner as opposed to husband - but i am talknig about male partners here for a minute, because that the perspective i can talk about.

Prior to the birth of our daughter i struggled with women breastfeeding in public - or in private with me present. I mean seriously - breast from a male perspective are sexual. Seeing naked breasts gets us aroused - thats the whole point of breasts for most men. This means we are faced by a seriously confused situation when in the presence of someone who has a boob out - even if obscured by a child's heads - and we are meant to be engaged in normal conversation with them over a cup of tea. The 14 year old boy in us is shouting 'BOOBS!!!!' while the slightly more mature part of us is trying to keep eye contact with the lass concerned's eye, and show that we really are okay with all this. Its not to easy. Particualy as most of us are not confrunted with this a lot. I mean if you work full time, go to pubs and clubs for your social life, etc then actually you don't encounter many women with small children who are breast-feeding. This means when you do encounter it - its always a bit surprising.

While the idea of random women getting their boobs out in non-sexual settings the idea of our partners doing so is deeply disturbing. Add to this that many new mums when first feeding have a really tough time and want to give up - or want to carry on but are in pain, and add to all this that the idea of feeding a baby a bottle at least gives you something you feel you can do as a dad - and well in honesty its not looking good for breastfeeding.

So thats the negative - and their is a lot of it - their is however a way through - their are some major major 'bloke' things assoicated with your other half breast feeding!

1) FACTS : for many men the idea of being more knowladagable than someone else is very appealing. Breastfeeding is a topic that few people know a lot about - even mums. Do some reading, be an expert. For example:

-breastfeeding should begin within an hour of birth, and pacifiers should be avoided.
-breast milk is the ideal food for newborns and infants, it helps prevent diarrhoea and pneumoina which are the main causes of baby deaths!
-adults who wre breastfed as babies have lower blood pressure, lower cholestiral, lower rates of obesity, and type 2-diabete. - Here is the big one - THEY DO BETTER ON IQ TESTS!! seriously if you want a smart kid then encouraging your other half to breast feed will help your kid be bright!!

2) PROTECTIVE : If your other half is breatfeeding in a cafe and someone tells you she should be - you get to be bolchy, you get to defend her, to point out the law on it, to 'man up'.

3) SUPPORTIVE : One of the things most of us like - is to be held in high regard by our wives / partners friends. Being supportive on breastfeeding is a real winner here.

4) LESS SCREAMING : nothing shuts up a screaming child quicker than breastfeeding.


5) POINTING OUT TO PEOPLE THAT THEY ARE IDEOTS : Okay whether you do this outloud, or just walk around feeling superior - if people are feeding their kids cows milk you can think - how odd - how freaky - when you actually pause to think about it, a kid drinking milk from a cow instead of a human just makes no sense at all. And forumla is barking. It costs a fortune, and means that you spend half your life steralising containers and trying to get milk to just the right tempeture etc. Plus its not as good as breast milk! Any human breast milk is going to be better for a child than formula - BUT - breast milk from your babys mother, is going to be specially made - your partner by spending time with your kid, and kissing them on the forehead etc picks up on the germs they come into contact with, they then make antibodies to deal with them, and within two hours the breastmilk changes to help deal with it! Seriously its good stuff!!

Saturday, 2 April 2011

Sometimes best not say anything..

Shimon his son said: All my days have I grown up among the wise and I have not found anything better for a man than silence. Studying Torah is not the most important thing rather fulfilling it. Whoever multiplies words causes sin.

Mishnah Pirkei Avot 1.17

time to sleep

It really is time to sleep but i havent posted for a few days and want to get into the discipline of it. I have watched loads of movies the last couple of days. umm trying to think what else i have been up to.

Job wise it looks like the company i am working for is not going to make it through - so the plans of getting a place of our own are out the window right now.

Today was good - we had a wonder around town, went to a local community fair thing which was really nice. I find it so difficult at times with the whirlwind (daughter). Sometimes i take real pleasure in stopping every few steps when she wants to look in a shop or examine a paving slab and other times it all seems impossibly frustrating and i just want us to be able to walk in a straight line for five minutes. It almost makes me wish we could strap her into a push chair and be done with it (she has never been in a push chair).

Its gone 3 am and i really should be in bed. Night Night tinternet.

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

The Problem with other peoples festivals.

On Sunday in England it is mothering sunday. This is a Christian festival in its origan - people used to return to their home - mother church at least once a year, so each year in the middle of lent the return would be made. For those living away from home this would probably involve visiting home and as such seeing parents. For many mothering sunday is now just a time to remember and celebrate the role of mothers.


So should 'we' as an increasingly Jewish household mark mothers day? Along with Passover , easter approaches, and spring in general. A secular organisation is doing a walk in search of soft toy chicks - a day for young children - they are calling it an Easter event - should this cause us to shun the event?

I find it very hard working out what is and isn't normal and okay as a convert. I think the issue is probably far less pressing for those who grow up in Jewish homes - but for those coming to it a knew - we simply - I simply dont know what most Jews do about this stuff.

Balls

I have a lump. I discovered it a few weeks back, and full of fear went to the Doc. After a rummage around my nether regions he informed me that as the lump is not attached to my balls, but is free moving its unlikely to be cancer. I do however need to return to the Doctor in two weeks time, and get it checked again to see if its shrunk or grown prior to going for a scan on it.

My days seem to be rather obsessed with concern about it at present. In theory its all fine - but i am not a great fan of having a lump somewhere it shouldn't be.

Friday and the Weekend


As I it seems that I am trying to describe my week – let me carry on from where I left of. I don’t work on a Friday. Instead I get up a little bit later than normal, and head into town for coffee. I plug in the laptop, and work on my Masters discertation. I keep working till about 3.30pm, drinking far far more coffee than is good for my insides.

I then head back home, pick up my daughter, and head back out for a cup of tea with her. We sit and I attempt to chat with her about how her week has been. We then head home again and have a bath and change in preparation for Shabbat.

In Judaism a new day begins with nightfall as opposed to sunrise, Shabbat begins when 3 stars are visable in the sky on Friday night and ends an hour after 3 stars are visible in the sky on Saturday night. This makes Shabbat 25 hours instead of 24, an 1 hr is stolen from the week. We start Shabbat in the summer earlier still – lighting our Shabbat candles prior to going out to synagogue.

The candles are lit, the prayers are said, we give thanks for the wine and the bread – and then head to synagogue.

After synagogue we have a meal with my mum and step dad.  The long suffering wife does the food prep before candle lighting, and any cooking or turning of ovens needed for the rest of the prep is done by my mother after candle lighting. This Friday my mum and step dad wherent free so we had chicken and salad so that we wouldn’t have to cook.

After dinner and coffee (by now 9.30pm) the wife puts our daughter to bed.

We then sit down on the sofa and watch a film together.

At this point those who have an idea of Jewish law may be hearing alarm bells ringing. There are 39 forms of creative activity which are forbidden on Shabbat – included in this list is kindling a flame (which many view as being breached by turning on or off any appliance). The second issue is that its forbidden to be involved in mundane ‘weekday’ activity – Uvdin D’Chol as this goes counter to the intended spirit of Shabbat.

For us we tend to believe that the prohibitions around Shabbat are intended to make sure that this is a special day and a peaceful one.  It is a reminder that we are not living in slavery, a commemoration of God’s creation of the universe, and a taste of Olam Haba – the Messianic Age.

The only time during the week we find time to sit down and watch a film together is on Shabbat and so we take pleasure in this bit of alone time and don’t view it as Uvdin D’Chol but rather as a special bit of time we have carved out together. Currently we are working our way back through the John Hughes films which are a real joy to revisit as someone who watched them first time around in the 80s.

I say we watch this film as a bit of special carved out time, but we need to stop the film at least three times as the daughter stir in the evening.

Saturday day time is spent with a lay in followed by something done as a family – and some study. We went out for a walk and to feed the ducks this Saturday, then all sat in a cafĂ© where we had some discussion on this weeks topic in our conversions studies.

As the day draws to a close we mark the end of Shabbat with Havdalah.

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Note to myself

I really must blog something on anger and forgivness - and the struggle i have with the diffrence between the jewish take and the christian take - and well things like that. If i forget then please do give me a prod with a sharp stick

It gets better

I have only just come across the 'itgetsbetter' project. I must have been fast asleep. Just spent an hour watching youtube videos posted by Rabbis, Bishops, Presidents, well..everyone really giving a message to gay/bi/transgender teens saying life does get better - dont give up. Found it all very moving and emotional - a fantastic response to the suicides of people who believe that 'this is as good as it gets'.

As part of the project people are signing a pledge, one i reprint here and put my name to with pride.


THE PLEDGE: Everyone deserves to be respected for who they are. I pledge to spread this message to my friends, family and neighbors. I'll speak up against hate and intolerance whenever I see it, at school and at work. I'll provide hope for lesbian, gay, bi, trans and other bullied teens by letting them know that "It Gets Better."

Ethics of the Fathers

Pirkei Avot - Ethics of the Fathers is a collection of  short ethical statements - similar in someways to the book of proverbs. Anyway - its a gold mine of deep thought. We are currently studying bits of it ay my synagogue, and i thought i would share little bits of it here.


Avtalyon would say: Scholars, be careful with your words. For you may be exiled to a place inhabited by evil elements [who will distort your words to suit their negative purposes]. The disciples who come after you will then drink of these evil waters and be destroyed, and the Name of Heaven will be desecrated. (Pirkei Avot 1:11)


The art of all scholarly work is to try and diminish ambiguity - we study so that we can chip away at the edges of the unknown - with the wrong use of words however our attempts at doing so can result in far greater misunderstanding.







Things I wish i could afford today..

There are a huge number of things that i wish i could afford - and not having enough money seems to be a theme in my life - a very dull one in honesty.

Today the item which i am 'lusting' after is http://www.rosettastone.co.uk/learn-hebrew/level-1 i find learning hebrew hell. There is a computer program that teaches you modern hebrew and is really rather brillent - but costs hideous amounts of money.

My synagogue are just about to start up a reading hebrew course at a far more affordable £25 a term - but i am very worried that with my general problems with languge i will slip behind really quickly and just be rubbish.  Learning in the previousy of my own home would be so much nicer!!  I also want to learn not just to read hebrew but to understand it. I want to embody it - i want to think in hebrew. More than anything else my stumbing around the prayer book makes me feel a stranger in shaul. 

Male Circumcision

I am not a fan. Let me make this crystal clear right from the start. I find it very hard to view it as anything other than a mutilation. Female circumcision has long been condemned, and i am very confused as to how male circumcision hasn't attached the same laws and protests. Well in fairness their is an increasing uncomftablenss about circumcision in the world at large.

All this said - it is a requirement of conversion - and a cost which i will bear as part of the price for being excepted as Jewish. Having done some research and read up various descriptions of adult circumcision i have just wanted to chuck up! The best option seems to be to go for a full on general anaesthetic. I have found somewhere which will do it for a mere £1400. At least if i am unconscious during the procedure i wont be shaking and blubbering, and generally screaming. The only slight hitch to all this is of course that i dont have £1400 and that this is just one of the costs involved in the conversion process. For those not familar with conversion to Judaism - its expensive.

Alongside the fees to the synagogue for classes, both in judaism and in hebrew, their are also costs with the rabbinic court, and then costs involved in making your home a Jewish home - which can go as far as completely new sets of plates etc for keeping meat and dairy separate - a topic which i will return to.

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

My Morning

The alarm clock goes of, my wife tries to get out of bed - but before she does she gives our daughter a few moments of feeding. I ask my daughter to get my glasses, she gets up, walks around the bed and hands them to me. She then climbs back into bed bringing with her a book called 'Guess how much i love you'. She snuggles up under my arm and we read it with her stretching out her arms and following the actions of little nutbrown hare. as we reach the last few pages i pick up my daughter as big nutbrown hare picks up little nutbrown hare in the book. She pretends to sleep as i lay her down, kiss her, tell her that i love her to the moon - and back. we then get up, and go to the loo. After that its back to the bedroom to dress. We then wash our hands with a blessing.

We then trail downstairs, when my wife has made breakfest. We eat together, then the wife goes to get dressed while i keep hold of our daughter. I spend a few minutes on the computer and its of to work.

I rather enjoy my mornings :)

Monday, 21 March 2011

Lonely

I am incredibly lonely right now.  I am sitting in my living room (I say my living room but i am living in my parents home with a living room that is mine ...but theres if that makes sense...its my room in their house) and it has kind of occurred to me that i have almost no social life at all anymore.

My life involves going to work, coming home, some time with the wife and daughter, playing on the computer, studying, back to work. I dont work fridays - on fridays i study in the morning, in the afternoon i take my daughter for a cup of tea, then give her a bath before candle light. we then go to synagogue. On a saturday we try to spend the day doing something as a family. On sunday we go to my wifes parents for lunch in the evening my wifes sister comes for tea. Repeat.

There was a time not so long ago when i had an active social life from reinactment, to friends from church, through to shows i went to, clubs i failed to dance at, bars i drank in - i seemed to be awash in the social lfie department but as time has ticked on - as we have moved once, twice, again - in fact five times in two years, as i have moved form church to synagogue, and from childless to with child the friends have fallen away. Life has changed and i havent found new people i feel comftable with. I dont know a single person i can just turn up on the doorstep of and invite myself in for a cup of tea and i dont see any easy way of changing the situation.

Here we go again

I have written a journal since i was 15, and the internet is littered with my ramblings. Every once in a while i get bored of it all and give up. By the time i restart my life has changed significantly and i feel i want to open a new volume. This volume is such a case.

I am going through the process of converting to Judaism. Being in the process of converting is a very odd place to be indeed. The census came through the door the other day and their is a little box you can tick to say what your religion is - and the problem is i am not yet a Jew - a son of abraham - 'bet avram'.  I am not yet a ha'ger (convert); instead i am in an odd middle ground of being neither one thing nor another. I ticked the box marked Nohide for now.

Most people who find this blog will not have met me before, but a few will have come by way of older blogs - for those who have been visitors before let me say that this is intended as a new start and as such I would appreciate people avoiding references to previous blog posts - you will only set people of looking for them and will defeat the whole point of a fresh start.

If you know much about judaism your first thought on hearing i am going through the process of converting might be that i must be marrying a nice Jewish girl whose mother really doesnt want her marrying out.  This is not the case. I am married, to a non-Jewish girl. Me, my wife, and my daughter are all on this path together. I am sure that raises far more questions than it answers but i will leave those in the air right now.

So ummm introduction and i will leave it here for tonight... I am old enough to know better, my daughter is 2 years old and his 'high energy', I am into attachment parenting. What else do you want to know?