Tuesday, June 1, 2004


On Saturday at Synagogue (my first time, apart from the bat mitzvah about a month ago), the person calling people up for aliyahs asked me if I wanted one.

The aliyah is one of the few things that I can't do until I am actually Jewish. It is going up to say the prayers for the Torah (and reading from the Torah if you have good enough Hebrew).

I just shook my head and said, "I can't."

Afterwards, at the kiddush table, he came up to me and asked me who I was and I told him I'm converting. "Well, you know the service a lot better than some of our members, that's clear."

It is very nice to be able to "pass."

I was talking to Dereck Saturday night about aliyah's and he said that if I ago up to make one, he is going to want to do it too.

I said Sunday, "You know, I'd never ask you to convert, but if you decide to, I'm not going to pretend I'm not happy about that."

He said again to Christine, Rutter, and Marie last night that he would want to do that. So, I don't know whether that is an official declaration of his intention to convert or not... I said, "You teach Judaism. What course of reading could the rabbi possibly have you do?"

That is an interesting question. The rabbi teaches Judaism down at MU, so I bet they would have a lot to talk about.

Dereck suggested that with my summer schedule, maybe we could start going down to Columbia on Friday afternoons and going to Friday night services (which would eliminate the need to rise early on Saturdays and then drive for an hour and a half).

I thanked him for being willing to come down with me and he said, "You are not going to get much resistance from me about anything related to Judaism."

Amazing. He said, "As long as I'm not the more Jewish of us, I can handle it."

By it, I think he means conversion. Wow. That would just be so cool. Another unexpectedly great thing about Dereck. And it's so funny-- most people who don't know him very well think I'm converting for him, and that he is Jewish. I thought he was when I first met him. He looks Jewish-- more Jewish than I do. But, maybe I should make a T-shirt saying, "This is what a Jew looks like."


  1. In the true orthodox tradition of Judaism, women are not called to the Torah for an aliyah.

  2. Right, nor do they wear tallis. I am converting to Reform Judaism.

  3. Do you understand the implications of this and the fact that if you convert to "reform Judaism" you'll never be considered a Jew according to Halacha?