Friday, December 23, 2005

What a Day!

LOL...first of all I have realized that the majority of my post titles end in exclamation points! LOL!!

Well that's just how my life has been going and yesterday was no different.

Yesterday, I turned 'the big 3-0' as my sister calls it. I am the oldest of six. Up to this point we were all in our twenties so they're pretty weirded out that one of us is 30 now...:) because that means they're not far behind....;-)

Over the last few days I have really been doing alot of reflecting about my life. Part of me was shocked that I'd made it this far and part of me was very excited...partially because of how far I've come and partially to see what the future will hold.

Thirty seems to be pretty cool though. I am very grateful because I feel that I've learned so much about life and have much more direction than ever before, but I still have so many years ahead of me to put it all to use, to learn even more and to follow the path that I've chosen.

Yesterday morning my best friend called me first thing. She's always the first one to wish me a Happy Birthday. At work I got a card and a cake. One of the guys at work is Jewish and knows I'm he wrote 'Mazel Tov'.

Then I was supposed to go to my family's house (my best friend and her family) at 7:30 for a special birthday dinner. Didn't really think too much of it because every year she cooks a special dinner for me. But when I walked thru the door she yelled 'surprise!' and a bunch of other people popped out of nowhere!

Then I found out that more people were coming and that there were still more that had been invited but couldn't come because they were sick at the last minute. Apparently she had been planning this for a very long time. She even called my friend at work to invite her. I had no idea.
All the presents I received were Judaica even from the people who didn't know I was converting! They just thought I would like Jewish things and were very happy to hear that I had decided to convert. I was given a book on Jewish prayer, a book on the 13 principles of faith and a pesach plate!

Then we all ate cake and ice cream and danced to Matisyahu!

I felt so loved and so unbelievably blessed. I know I sound like a broken record sometimes, but truly everyone should have in their life the caliber of people that I do and everyone should have such a life!


Monday, December 19, 2005

It's Official!

I can hardly believe it... only two short months after I contacted my first rabbi (just to 'get the ball rolling') I have officially begun the conversion process. I try not to think about everything that I have to learn as it would be very overwhelming, but I think instead of how excited I am about this incredible opportunity and the amazing way that it has all unfolded.

Of course, I am naturally the kind of person who tends to fast forward things in their head and I've already planned a trip to Israel! An entire year of learning in Israel sounds just like heaven.

But L-rd knows I've got plenty to do before that happens.

With a grateful heart,


Friday, December 16, 2005

Life as a Musical

Did you ever wish life was a musical?

No... I didn't think so. I am the only person I know who would ever wish something like that. I often think how great it would be if life were to imitate art in this way. Just think how it would be if you were feeling really sad or really happy and you (and everyone around you who just happen to know the same song LOL) with your head thrown back, hands in the air, could sing exactly what you feel at the top of your lungs.

I think that must be why musicals are so alluring to me. Everyone just says (sings) what they're thinking right out loud and on key too...:) It seems like it would be very cathartic to be able to just burst out singing like that.

I mean there are so many times during the day when I just want to break out singing or dancing or something (but people already think I'm crazy) and how much cooler would it be with a full orchestra backing me up.

Oh well... in my world it is very musical ...and I have a grand time there. ;)

Wednesday, November 30, 2005


Recently, the 'nothingness' that I spoke of in a previous post has been trying to pull me back in again. All of the ideals and ideas and even resentments I'd had before seem to be trying to creep back in. It brings with it the elusive appeal that maybe... somehow, someway I could still be a truly fulfilled person without G-d as a permanent part of my life. I suppose this is a normal part of growing and it's probably normal for someone who is trying to lift theirself out of nothingness.

I do not fight with myself over it. I learned not to do that when I left Christianity. I try very hard not to judge myself for having it in my thoughts. Instead I look within objectively (as much possible) and simply observe what goes on inside me. Because I know that if I can stay still long enough the truth will emerge once again, crystal clear to me.

I find it very interesting that the 'nothingness' should try to return at this particular point in my life. I have recently been through a rather hard time because of the holidays and because of a forced separation from my biological family.

And I gently remind myself to remember that 'nothingness' can be deceptively appealing when we are in pain and would rather be numb to all that is real and true. Truth means life, but also often means the intense light of self examination and soul searching.

And so I watch and pray over my soul. Asking G-d to continue to guide, asking from myself only to listen very carefully for the still, small voice that has never led me astray.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Closed Doors, Open Window (revised)

My life has been a prime example of the saying, "When G-d closes a door, somewhere He opens a window." It's not that there have been flashing neon arrows pointing me in the direction I should go (and not that I would have always listened, even if there had been), but for as long as I can remember, G-d has been part of my life; making the supposedly impossible, possible and putting the supposedly good and right, suddenly out of reach. And as long as I was willing to hear and follow this still, small voice, as long as I was willing to take that leap of faith, He has always been faithful to lead me.

I was born and raised in fundamental Christianity. No questions asked, it was simply what we believed. When I was 25, there were several, shall we say, "discrepancies" that were brought to my attention regarding JC, etc. I went to my pastor, rather disturbed, but sure that he would put it right. I was simply told, that I had very good, logical questions. But surprisingly there was little, to no attempt to answer them. I could not, and would not base my eternal salvation on a religion that couldn't stand up to honest questioning. To do so, just didn't make sense to me.

The next five years were rather tumultuous. I was devastated that everything and everyone that I had believed in was proving to be untrustworthy. Where did that leave G-d in all of this, I wondered. Did He really exist? Could I trust Him? For a short period of time, I did not believe, could not believe, would not believe. I was too hurt, too angry, too stubborn. But G-d has a way of gently nudging His way back into your life. He's pretty irresistible. And one day He showed me a tiny moth (I'll never forget it) that had landed on the front door. It honestly looked as if its markings had been perfectly hand drawn with a red colored pencil. It was so delicate and perfect in everyway. I knew that day without a doubt that there was a G-d and that what happened to me mattered.

I was still lost. I studied Buddhism, Shamanism, Pagamism, Druidism...just about every religion that there is. In the mean time, my best friend discovered that she was Jewish and was becoming more observant all the time, so I was also learning about Judaism. I helped clean for Pesach, danced at Simchat Torah, celebrated at a Bar Mitvah, a Purim party and Sukkot. And for the last several years had the honor of keeping Shabbat with my friend and her family. Most of the people in my neighborhood think I'm Jewish anyway...:). But little by little I was dying inside. None of the other religions that I had studied were doing anything for me spiritually and I kept thinking to myself, I'm not Jewish so that would never work. I tried studying how to be a good Noachide, but for some reason that just made me furious and more frustrated.

Recently I stopped learning altogether, stopped listening, stopped trying. I guess I just gave up and decided I didn't care what was true. I would just be nothing. But this time I didn't get a still, small voice. This time it felt more like a bucket of cold water right in the face or a knock upside the head. G-d used a rather devastating event to wake me up to the very serious reality that all the while I was choosing to ignore G-d, I was losing myself, the person that I really and truly am, the person that I really and truly want to be. Even though I didn't believe in Christianity anymore, I had never stopped believing in the morals and ethics I had been taught. But when you live in this world without G-d in your life and yet try to live above it, you are asking the impossible. And it dawned on me that the truth of Judaism offered all of the ethics and morality that were important to me and then some, but without the fear, the guilt or the apologetics. Living according to the Torah meant making G-d part of every event, every moment of your life.

I was shocked, scared, surprised, ecstatic. I wanted to convert?! Yes, I did. For the first time in as long as I could remember, I felt hope, direction and new purpose. Over the last few weeks I did a lot of reading and research regarding the conversion process. When I finally called the local Rabbi, I was happily surprised to be given an appointment just one week later.

That was yesterday! And after hearing my story, the Rabbi has agreed to accept me for the conversion process without turning me away the traditional three times! He was careful to explain that the Jewish people do not proselytize so this was not the usual proceedings. But I had already been learning about Judaism for so many years, had explored all my other religious options, had been part of the local community for the last three years and I'm not dating anyone. He said it was very interesting that I came to see him during the parsha of Lech Lecha and that he would make some phone calls on my behalf and call me back next week!

Talk about an open window! I have never been more in awe at seeing G-d work in my life. I am humbled by the mercy He has shown me and certainly don't feel worthy, but it makes me more determined than ever to not let Him down. And looking back over my life I can truly say that I am just as thankful for the miracles of the closed doors as I am for the open windows because all of them have led me straight back to G-d.


Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Simchat Torah!

Simchat Torah!! My favorite Jewish holiday of all. I attend the local Lubavitch center for this celebration and their custom is to take the Torahs right out into the middle of the street and dance and sing! I love watching the traffic go slowly around the next block, the strangers stopping and staring. On this day everyone has to stop and see the Torah...:)

Monday, October 24, 2005

Welcome to my world!

To all who happen across this blog...hello and welcome.

I must say I was a bit hesitant about starting a blog of my own, although a friend of mine has recently started her own and is quite good at it. However, my life has taken a rather unexpected turn of late and after some encouragement from my friend, I thought it might be fun to write and share my adventures with others.

My dear friend has cleverly observed that the title of my blog holds a double meaning for me. The more obvious one may be that I am simply mad about Judy Garland...:)...and have been for as long as I can remember. I think she is one of the greatest people that ever lived. She has been a huge inspiration to me and only fellow fans can truly appreciate the connection one can feel with a person you've never met and who passed on long before you were even born.

The second meaning is probably not as obvious, but it is the most important of the two. I am a Noachide, but have recently decided to convert to Judaism. Therefore, I am leaving the covenant of the 'rainbow' in order to become part of the covenant of Abraham and part of the Jewish people. Since I've made this decision, I have never been more scared, excited or hopeful in my whole life!

So I am dedicating this blog to sharing my story in hopes that it will be an encouragement to anyone who happens to find me here. For whether you are a Noachide (non-Jew) or a Jew we all share the same purpose serve G-d with all of our heart, with all of our soul and with all of our might.

My sincere wish is that all who seek truth will find it and that all will seek the truth.

Happy landings,