Today’s prompt brings back a lot of memories for me. I was in a relationship with my ex for 15 years, and since he was Jewish, we celebrated Hanukkah.
In fact, his family was very vocal about how much they wanted me to convert to Judaism. I was no longer a relgiious person at that point, though I still considered myself agnostic instead of an atheist. So I agreed to convert.
I went through weeks of conversion classes. I met one on one with the Rabbi for several counseling sessions. I took and passed a Jewish history test. Choosing a Jewish Life by Anita Diamant became my trusted guide. I was a few days away from my mikveh, the ritual purification bath, and the last step in my conversion, when G said to me: I don’t want you to do this. And just like that, the entire thing fell apart. I wasn’t necessarily sad to not finish the conversion, but I was pissed as hell that he allowed me to go through all of that work before finally revealing his misgivings. At the time, it didn’t feel worth fighting with him over it, but I do kind of wish now that I had gone against his wishes and finished the conversion. Because not everything needed to be about him all the damn time, you know? Any feelings I had about it were simply brushed aside. This was a theme in our marriage. I’m embarrassed I allowed that nonsense for as long as I did, but that’s a story for another time.
So I didn’t convert after all, but we did continue to celebrate Hanukkah. Once Jackson was born, it became a lot more fun. Here are a few pics from his second Hanukkah, but the first where he was old enough to actually participate.
Happy Hanukkah to those of you who celebrate!