It was the winter of 2004 and he’d dreamed of becoming a Jew for years. Following many months of formal study he was ready to go before the beit din, the group of rabbis who would hear his journey and proclaim him ready for the final conversion ritual. He did meet with these rabbis; they were touched by his sincerity and dedication to the Jewish people.
Larry’s problem was that he was paralyzed from the waist down.
You know how, from the outside at least, there’s always that friend who seems to be perfect, who seems to succeed at everything you can’t pull off yourself?
That’s how I feel about the Jewish community of Boston. Every time I go there, I’m struck by how well things appear to be run, how Boston actually does all these progressive things that other Jewish communities only talk about doing.
Mea culpa, al chet and all that. Among my other shortcomings, I’ve been one lame blogger lately, posting nary a word for a whole week. And my sole flimsy excuse is the fact that I am, like other Jews, just now emerging from a month-long orgy of holidays.
Admittedly, the more observant Jews – the ones who spend the evening and morning of each yom tov in synagogue while refraining from electricity, driving and hundreds of other offshoots of the 39 melachot – have a better case for using the Jewish holiday excuse. Especially since most (unlike me) work for companies and organizations that remain open on said holidays and who, when not doing the aforementioned malachot-refraining and synagogue-attending, have had to scramble to build a sukkah, do laundry, cook and so forth.
I'm a guest blogger today at Mayyim Hayyim, the innovative community mikveh in Boston founded (in part) by Anita Diamant, the author of "The Red Tent," "How to Raise a Jewish Child" and many other works of fiction and nonfiction. Here's my post: