In 2018, I completed my conversion to Judaism. Much of my 2017 and 2018 was spent researching and attending Jewish events, attempting to fill my mind with all things involving Judaism. I participated in Elements of Judaism and the Choosing Judaism course. Temple Beth El and Shalom Park became my second home during this period. My knowledge base increased, and I created lasting relationships. I am forever grateful for these two things, but something was missing.
2018 was a very busy year for my fiancé and me. We moved into a new home and planned a wedding – we were constantly moving between our full-time jobs and our personal home in Gaston County. This past year, on Rosh Hashanah 5779, I vowed to adjust my spiritual home in Judaism. Starting slow, I vowed to keep up with the Torah portions to the best of my ability. Following the portions on a weekly basis kept me feeling alive and established regularity in my crazy life. I also started baking and found myself making babkas and challah. My thoughts always went to those who came before as I visualized them kneading their dough.
This summer I attended a Birthright Trip with my husband. The trip was seven days and we explored as much of Israel that we could. I felt immersed in the sights, tastes, and sounds. I felt healthier than ever, weightless. I began to connect Jewishly to areas that I had not before. After returning from Israel, I continued to follow news concerning Israel and Judaism. I continued to be mindful about food and encouraged myself to eat food that provided nourishment.
Developing my Jewish home and visiting Israel helped complete the missing link. Establishing a connection with my Jewish ancestors and building a relationship with Eretz Israel, I feel spiritually whole.