Conversion Narratives

BBC did a documentary called Make Me a Muslim, about female converts to Islam in the UK.  I’ve watched it twice now, and I’m linking it here because I think that even though it’s not about Judaism (where is the documentary about female converts to Judaism?), it shows a lot of issues related to conversion, and particularly conversion to a more traditional or restrictive religion.  It’s interesting to see the universalities as well as the differences, among people who have embraced faith, or a different faith than the one they grew up in.  (I grew up secular, personally.)

Funny:  As a prospective Orthodox Jewish convert, the sequence where the one convert speaks of “halalifying” her wardrobe really speaks to me, particularly as I “efsharified” (“tzniutified”?) my wardrobe too!

It’s also significant to me that it’s about female converts — primarily, from the presenter’s perspectve, as “Why would these women take on all these restrictions?”

I also liked the parts where the presenter talks to the converts’ families, and the converts talk about their families, since this is a huge issue for me as well.  I’m still not “out” to most people, including my family, although the rabbi and I are planning on talking about this next week.  This documentary also talks about the difficulties converts can have being accepted into their new communities, and about struggling with practice, all areas where would-be Jews also may have problems.  I think this is a must-watch for anybody who’s interested in the religious conversion experience, even though it’s specifically about Muslim converts.


Charlie Hebdo Attack

This again. I can honestly say I’m not surprised this happened (the publication’s head offices were firebombed in 2011, so, yeah, history), and it seems to be a law as immutable as physics these days that if violent lunatics looking for a place to happen get wound up by something you did, there’s going to be crazy violence.

With that out of the way, my condolences to the entire remaining staff of Charlie Hebdo, the families and friends of the victims, my deepest sympathies to the receptionist who let the terrorists in with a gun pointed at her (she’s never going to forget that, ever), and I hope they find these guys and put them on trial speedily.

My Very First Hate Mail!

Warning:  Antisemitism, illiteracy, and Christian supremacism ahead!  Don’t say you weren’t warned.

I really have to wonder about someone who would come on a site explicitly about someone who is trying to convert to Judaism and…uh, have doubts about that person’s religious affiliations.  Then again, this person and their writing is not particularly sane.  These are two different comments, sent to /dev/null because my blog’s having a public comment section does not, analogically speaking, give you the right to come in my house and shit on my Kashan rug, and if you do, not only will you not be invited back for tea and scones, you’ll be turfed out and thrown off my front porch by your shirt collar and one ear.  I’ll thank OP and everyone else to keep a civil tongue in their keyboard.  I am perfectly okay with debate and even criticism, but this is neither. 

I did consider putting this under the fold, but nah, I’m just going to let it all hang out. People need to see that antisemitism still happens, and sunlight is the best disinfectant, and all that. I’d name and shame, but the OP didn’t actually post under an actual name (but calls me cowardly, when I am actually posting under what will be my actual Hebrew name, which is a variation on my actual, legal name), and people who post stuff like this aren’t exactly known for their sense of shame anyway.

These comments were left on my post about the shooting in Ottawa, and makes me think of that widely-quoted line by German playwright Hanns Johst, which I am going to paraphrase as “When I hear the term ‘false flag,’ I take the safety off my Browning.” See? Even would-be converts to Judaism sometimes have Nazis in their heads. But it is such a great line.

It’s throught these fake jew false flags that they will steal our civil liberties and rights as a man! ISIS is Israel and the US and mossad did not create Israeal liars, nice twist, likeyour kind love to do, but it was the rockefeller’s and rat-childs’ who created israel and mossad is simply their extension of their gestapo in germany! THEY LIE! THEY twist words and create confusion, just like this site, that is how you know what they are and where they hide! REPENT! REPENT, to your one and only saviour Jesus Christ!

WOW this site is most definitely a cowardly shill site, spewing propagnada already ! Look at the BS propaganda this site is spewing…”I do hope he left a manifesto somewhere, because otherwise, the speculation is going to send a lot of people haring off after one thing and another, and I see some very real threats to our civil liberties looming, not to mention the possibility of retaliatory violence against one group or another.”, nothing like working with the terrorist’s SHILL who hides like a coward behind this site, but then again ANY site under word press is a shill site for the fake jews who also created this false flag in Canada like they have been doing for years and years in the US and before all wars they created and profited from! Oh and we do committ to right action under GOD, get it, not your masters, shill behind this shill site!

I don’t know exactly how I feel about this. Part of me is kind of angry, part of me is saying “WTF, dude?”, part of me is saying, “Oh, G-d, not this shit again; didn’t I put up with enough harassment from bullying Christians in high school?”, and part of me is thinking, “Wow, I feel so Jewish! So included! I must be doing something right, if the haters are after me already!”

I shared these comments with friend DA, and she said, “What a nut!”

I’m only marginally insane. We don’t cater to the hardcore crazy crowd with TimeCube ratings up in the >0.79 area around here.

Oh, and OP, thanks for proving my point about antisemitic conspiracy theories vis-a-vis the Ottawa shooting (which had nothing to do with IS or anything). I love being right, even if it does require wading through some muck sometimes. I have riding boots. It’s quite all right.

Ottawa Shooting and Reactions

I’m absolutely stunned by the news of the shooting today at Parliament Hill in Ottawa. I live nowhere near there, but it’s still horrifying. I feel like things like this haven’t happened here since 1970, and I’m hoping, although not optimistic, that Harper doesn’t decide to invoke the War Measures Act like Trudeau did (and for which I’ll never forgive him).

I belong to a closed Canadian political discussion group on Facebook, and the Usual Suspects there (or maybe I should say, lehavdil Wm. M. Gaines, the Usual Gang of Idiots — only sincerely) are going on the conspiracy theories already. This leads me to a very surly (and probably unworthy) thought, paraphrasing an actual Nazi (Hanns Johst) — “When I hear the phrase ‘false flag,’ I take the safety off my Browning.”

I am very interested to see how this will all shake out, although I’m (as usual) upset that the shooter has been himself shot, since I think it’s always useful to try to get these guys alive so one can determine their motives. I do hope he left a manifesto somewhere, because otherwise, the speculation is going to send a lot of people haring off after one thing and another, and I see some very real threats to our civil liberties looming, not to mention the possibility of retaliatory violence against one group or another.

For many of the conspiracy theorists out there, of course, everything comes back to Jews and Israel. The Islamic State is actually a Mossad creation. Harper’s support for Israel has radicalised Islamic terrorists, so they’re engaging in blowback. This shooting (and the incident yesterday where a man attempted to run over two police officers in Quebec) are false flag operations designed to further curtail our civil liberties and bolster Harper’s chances in the next election. The tail is wagging the dog. And so on and so forth.

The thing is, there are so many issues festering under the skin of the Canadian polity right now that I think it would be downright stupid to speculate, and I hope everyone can exercise their good judgement, commitment to right action, avoidance of lashon hara, and national comity in the face of tragedy and uncertainty.

A Very Messy Shabbat

I think I blew practically everything this week due to a migraine and residual depression (or maybe PMS, not sure), as my house is a disaster area and instead of working from home today so I can take breaks and get things done, I’m here in the office (I have stuff to do today that requires me to be physically present).  At least I have some really delicious smoked turkey pea soup in the freezer for eating on Shabbat.

I feel like I’m backsliding again and I don’t know what to do about it.  Aside from maybe hiring another cleaning lady.  I used to have a friend of a friend help me with cleaning, but she had to quit, and I haven’t had anybody in since.  Meh.  (Interestingly, the Blu Greenberg book I keep mentioning has an entire section devoted to managing one’s hired help, which is a rather astonishing statement of class privilege.  I don’t think I’m as wealthy as her family was in the early 1980s when the book was written; I strongly doubt it.  On the other hand, can I afford to pay someone a hundred bucks a month or so to come to my house a couple times a month and keep a lid on my natural slobbiness?  Why, yes, yes I can.  Damn it feels good to be a gangsta solid middle-class citizen.*)

 This investigational praxis of Judaism has quite a lot of things to recommend it, really.  With any luck, or B”H, I’ll have all the bugs removed before I have to do it “for real.”



* I haven’t been in this position very long.