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  • Writer's pictureLeah Jones

Some days I feel Jewish, today I just feel foolish.

Today I hopped on my bike and rode out to Rosenblum’s. It is the World of Judaica–a huge bookstore on Devon that I visited before Passover. Last time I was there, I wound up crying. Looking at all the books I wondered, “How will I ever learn ALL of this in one year?”

Well, now it is a few weeks away from Rosh Hoshanah and Yom Kippur, my final holidays before my conversion. I feel no closer today than I did a year ago. Today was movie-mistake hilarious.

I rode my bike–since it is the end of summer and I want as much sun as I can get, I wore a tank top. A bright orange tank top with skinny straps, my black bra straps peeking out, and my tatoo nice framed. As soon as I walked into the store (behind two boys under three feet tall both wearing yarmulkes) I realized the mistakes.

  1. Orange–the color of anti-disengagement.

  2. Blue (my pants)–the color of pro-disengagement.

  3. Tatoo–so taboo.

  4. Tank-top–far from frum.

I just felt so out of place–like a clumsy monster. I had on my star-of-david and paid with a credit card that said Leah. But I still felt like the women wanted to shield their children from the sight of my bar shoulders, from the tatoo on my back. Not true–nobody looked at me wierd and nobody said anything behind (or in front) of my back. I just felt like a elephant trying to masquerade as a jew and failing miserably.

So I quickly grabbed two books I’d never heard of, forgot to look for the book I wanted, wasn’t willing to ask for help, and then grabbed a CD for bensching. Jon mentioned bensching on Saturday night and I pretended that I knew what he was talking about. How would I, in the middle of a conversion without a traditional jewish family of in-laws, know what bensching is? But now I have a CD.

Thinking about it, I did the tank top thing when I went before pesach too. I am apparently all about showing those orthodox my shoulders. Bad Leah, bad, bad Leah.

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