So, I have been gone from the blogosphere for a while. I haven’t posted to TOI since May. A lot has happened in the last 11 months. I moved. I transitioned my conversion studies from my old Rabbi down in Madison to my Rabbi here in Minneapolis. My wife gave birth to a baby girl. Oh, and I finally made it to the mikveh and became a part of the tribe this past Thursday, the 16th!
When I arrived at the mikveh in the Orthodox neighborhood of St Paul, Minnesota, I was greeted by the members of the beit din:
-Rabbi Latz, my sponsoring rabbi from Shir Tikvah in Minneapolis and someone who was named by the Jewish Daily Forward as one of the 50 most inspiring Rabbis of 2014 by The Forward.
-Wendy Goldberg, who is also the Director of Spiritual Engagement at Shir Tikvah.
-Meir Bargeron, who also served as my witness in the mikveh, is a fellow convert from Catholicism, and is about to begin Rabbinical school this summer in Jerusalem!
I definitely was nervous, so during the beit din I felt like I was rambling answers, but in the end they liked what I was saying and saw that I am sincere. My wife and infant were in the room as well, so that probably added to my nervousness, ha! Rabbi Latz really added an important perspective to the day, pointing out that having me go to the mikveh and complete my conversion on Yom Hashoah was a testament to the resilience of the Jewish people.
When I immersed it was an amazing feeling. With each dunk under the water I got more and more excited for what was happening and by the third and final one I took a deep breath to think about how when I came up from under the water I would be officially a member of the Jewish people. It was wonderful to know it was actually happening.
After it was done and I was acknowledged as one of the Jewish people, I remained in the water and was handed my infant daughter. I immersed her up to her neck and Rabbi Latz recited the blessings and poured handfuls of water over her head. Yep, I was not the only member of my family to become Jewish on April 16th.. My beautiful baby girl, Autumn, became a member as well!