by Noe A Granados
Five months ago, I came to Temple Beth Sholom to embark on an incredible journey so that I may be given the honor and privilege of reciting Ruth 1:16, giving the declaration of my commitment to becoming a member of the Jewish people. I have been asked many questions about my want to convert and there are two of which I would like to address in this reflection. 1) Why would you willingly join a people who have been the victims of the longest ever hate campaign? And 2) Why are you wanting to convert?
- In my studies, I have been heavily involved in reading and one of the books I picked up was, “First the Jews” by Rabbi Evan Moffic. Rabbi Moffic describes a situation in which a Jewish day school in Broward County, Florida received a bomb threat. This threat came along when older students were in the middle of morning prayer service. When the students evacuated to the parking lot, one of the students took the Torah scroll with them. Another student took off his tallis and placed it on the hood of a car. They then placed the Torah scroll on the tallis and continued to read its words as they had been doing when the bomb threat was called in. Similarly like these students, I will not allow fear to become the tyrant of my life. I understand what I am entering, and it is always healthy to hold some form of caution, however, I will continue to stand on the principles of which I have stood upon or I will simply not stand at all.
- The most important aspect of Judaism to me is that of study and wrestling with Torah. Seeing the amount of commentary and debate surrounding the various topics enshrined in the Torah is inspiring to me. I love the fact that I am encouraged to question everything I read and be skeptical of what I am learning because I believe that is the purest form of learning. Challenging and being challenged. I love attending Torah study for exactly this reason. I learn something new each time.
This is a brief reflection of my journey through Judaism. There is so much more of which I look forward to sharing. I hope everyone has a beautiful and reflective Elul.
On Rosh Hashanah
by Stojana Radovic-Milovic
May G-d grant us:
A clear slate for new beginnings,
An endless blue sky to wonder and dream,
Full open hearts to give and receive all things and feelings that rush toward us like a stream,
Open minds filled with words that are sincere,
Life challenges – easy to overcome,
And the most beautiful notes –
From the horn of a ram.