Although I am finding my attempts at Judaism to be mentally and spiritually uplifting, and I am enjoying the idea and practice of the mindful Jewish life (because truthfully, the central idea behind Jewish praxis is really mindfulness), I am admittedly still struggling with lots of things.  It’s hard to undo the habits of a lifetime even in eight months or a year.  I struggle with my speech — I still swear like a gentile!  (Less so than I used to, though.)  In places where my personal ethics and Torah-centred ethics coincide, I still turn to the secular explanation first, even when talking to Jews, or about Jewish issues.  I’m struggling with the side issues (such as fatigue and lack of stamina) caused by my chronic conditions, which means I need to plan ahead much more than some people, and I don’t always accomplish tasks on time.  I’m struggling with organisation, which has been an ongoing issue for me all my life, but which is really going to have to come together even more if I have a hope of ever doing this.  I don’t always do as much Shabbat cleaning as I should.  (Who am I kidding?  I don’t always do as much cleaning as I should, full stop.)

I’m struggling with Hebrew verbs.  This is even less good than it sounds, because verbs are really central to learning Hebrew, in ways I’m not willing to go into in this post.

On a more personal note, I’m struggling with a probably inappropriate crush on a Jewish friend in Israel — not news, as I’ve always more or less had a thing for nice, nerdy Jewish guys (no, I am not that girl on JDate, never have been), and a startling thing I discovered while in Israel — a hugely embarrassing and inappropriate attraction to redheaded ultra-Orthodox guys.  (The ultra-Orthodox look accidentally hits a bunch of my buttons — I like beards, I like long hair, and their peyot give the impression of long hair; they’re always well-dressed, and something about the Ashkenazi look with red hair is like real niiiice.  But highly, highly, highly inappropriate.  Good for an “I really shouldn’t have done that!” moment at any time of the day or night!  Fun for the whole highly-emotionally-charged family!)

Because I take this stuff seriously, I’m trying to be a better person in ways consonant with Torah teaching, which means at the least trying to address my logistical issues before I complicate them by having to buy kosher meat, and at least try to keep my emotional issues internal, if not under wraps.

Also, I need to start going to shul more.  I’m probably destined to be a bad Jew, but if I can get to “Jew” at all, I can work on it from there, no?


One thought on “Struggling

  1. I think it’s probably a mistake to say “bad Jew” and “good Jew.” Have you read the Coffee Shop Rabbi’s page? You might want to. It’s more about “Am I striving to improve, or not?” It’s not about trying to be perfect, failing, and beating yourself up.


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