Monday, December 05, 2005

Pulling an Elizabeth Taylor

Did you know that Elizabeth Taylor converted to Judaism for her fourth husband, Eddie Fisher?

When I was thinking about my move to Israel, I wanted to learn Hebrew and there was a class that was offered at the synagogue down the street form my house. (I was living in Chapel Hill, NC at the time. There are very few towns in NC where you can say that a synagogue was down the street.) Unfortunately, the class was offered during the middle of the work day. I am sure that you can imagine the retired folks chatting in English about their grandchildren while the frustrated teacher tapped her fingers on the desk. So, I came to Israel knowing "shalom" and that was it. Yaacov once tried to teach me to say "I love you" in Hebrew but got tickled at how I tripped over the singular, masculine, pronoun-thingy. Those of you who have learned Hebrew know what I am talking about. I don't think "I love you" is going to help me at the shuk anyway but maybe it's worth a try.

I even thought about converting. Yes, I considered pulling an Elizabeth Taylor. I knew that not being Jewish was going to be a problem with living/staying in Israel. The rights for non-married partners of Israelis are not defined by legislation but rather through the bureaucratic process and judicial review. So, becoming Jewish would solve some problems about living in Israel. Plus converting in the US would be easier than converting in Israel because of the variety of conversions abroad that are recognized here. To convert in Israel, it's my understanding that you have to make an Orthodox conversion - and to me that's right up there with walking on water.

But now that I am here, the only thing I am converting are my old recipes into metric measurements. I've decided that learning Hebrew is being Jewish enough for me.


At 12/05/2005 7:20 PM, Anonymous אביב said...

I thing israel is roomy enough for you no matter what your beliefes are. If you want to marry, you can always take a short flight to Cyprus and do it there.

At 12/06/2005 6:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with you- you've got enough on your tzalachat at the moment just learning Hebrew.

I commend you for even considering conversion, though- that is a pretty heavy deal. Just one word, though: circumcision. Do Reform and Conservative conversions require that as well?

You ought to try "I love you" at the shuk- you might get more mangoes for your shekel that way, you never know!

I really like your blog, it's a great read.

At 12/06/2005 6:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

One more thing, didn't Marilyn Monroe convert to marry Arthur Miller?

That reminds me of a joke, please forgive me.

Marilyn and Arthur spent Passover somewhere and were repeatedly served matza ball soup. Finally Marilyn asked "Don't you people ever eat soup made from any other part of the matza?"


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