So conversion classes are still going well. Really well, actually. We still have newcomers straggling in but otherwise, everyone who started out on the first night is still coming. We’re also finally getting to the point where we know a little bit more about one another and can have actual conversations.
About a month ago, Marcus’ family gave me my first kippah, which was really sweet of them. They said that they wanted it to be a “start of classes” gift but then didn’t realize that they had started so soon. It has pansies around the border which was actually quite thoughtful. The irony is that little children start marauding around with kippot when they’re just pups and I’m only getting my first one now. I’m not really ready to start wearing it, but its nice to have around.
Hebrew classes started three (?) weeks ago. That’s a whole different ball game. I have not had to sound out words since elementary school. We’re really fortunate to have such an enthusiastic instructor – Rachel Levitt is a grandmotherly figure who is constantly encouraging us. Every exercise we have to read aloud is a constant stream of “Good, good, Yes! Yes! Ooooh, okay, okay…great!” Which is nice because we spend pretty much the entire class sounding out words, looking around at one another awkwardly and then giggling about our most recent pronunciation mishap. I practice my Hebrew with Marcus because it gives us something to share that he can help me with on this “journey” of sorts. It usually requires a couple of glasses of wine because frankly, I’m not immune to embarrassment. But he’s really helpful and its nice to practice with someone who knows whats going on outside of class time.
In Hebrew class, she asked us to use our Hebrew names – which for the class is kind of like having a french class name. Except, in the context of the Jewish faith, having a Hebrew name is like having a confirmation name, but its one that you get when you’re born. If you convert, you get to pick your name. So, I picked Ko’chava (pronounced something along the lines of ko-ka-va), it means star, which is actually what my sweetheart title was for Sammys. Its just right.