Sunday, January 27, 2008

Standing before the court

In two days, I'm going to face the rabbinical court and present evidence which will, hopefully, prove beyond doubt that I'm a part of the Jewish people. Because religion in general and Jews in particular were oppressed in the USSR, the Jewish community dwindled almost completely. The rates of intermarriage and assimilation skyrocketed. Thus, we have come to the situation when just about every "Russian Jew" needs to trace his or her ancestry back to the maternal grandmother, to be able to bring some evidence of being Jewish. I know and God knows I'm Jewish, of course, but I need the rabbinical court to recognize me as such, too. I need it to be able to get married by Jewish Law, to have my future children considered Jewish, and to be buried as a Jew.

I spent the last few weeks collecting various documents and family photographs, and talking to my grandmother, helping her revive in her memory childhood events of Jewish life in her community. Grandma's evidence might be of crucial significance in the rabbinical court. I think I did all I could. All that remains now is to pray.

I pray for God to give wisdom to the man who will examine our documents and question us, so he can see that the young woman standing in front of him isn't some sort of impostor; I pray that I can humbly show the sincerity of my soul, that desires nothing but to reconnect with its people and build a faithful home in Israel.

I pray that Grandma feels her best, and that her memory is clear, so she can tell enough to make it impossible for anyone to doubt what she has to say. I also pray that she will be questioned gently and patiently, because often it takes some time and effort for her to remember important details. 92 years isn't a trifle. I hope the expert of the rabbinical court will take this into consideration.

I'm not asking for a favor. I want to claim what's rightfully mine, my heritage. And thus, I pray to be judged justly. But I also ask God for mercy, because I know nothing and no one is perfect on this earth, and I need to remember I'll be in His hands the whole time I stand before the court.

And finally, I pray for a yielding, humble heart that will embrace whatever trials God might have in store for me. I pray to be freed from rebellion, bitterness, quick temper, foolishness and frustration, and to dwell in His house, always.

39 comments:

Karen said...

I'm having some difficulty wrapping my head around the concept. I guess that comes from living in different cultures. Unfortunately, here in the US, so many seem to hide their religion or downplay it so that people can't tell if they are believers or not. Anyway, I will be praying for you, your grandmother and the court.

Anna S said...

Karen, the concept is very simple.
By Jewish Law, a Jew can only marry another Jew. Thus, to get married, I need to prove I'm Jewish.

Maggie said...

Anna,
I'll be keeping you in my prayers today when I head off to Church. God will see you through this trying time.

Mrs. Brigham said...

I will be continuing to pray for you Anna!

Haus Frau said...

I'm honored to pray, Anna.

Now...

Andrea said...

I will be happy to lift you up tio Him today, Anna :) I trust that the men appointed to weigh the evidence will see your true heart in everything you say, as well as reflected in the effort you have put into presenting your case. Your grandmother is also on my heart; as you said, 92 is not a trifle, and I do pray that she will have the physical, emotional and mental fortitude to bear up gracefully.

May you feel Him ever-present with you!

Stephanie said...

You're in my prayers. May He give you strength and victory, and uphold you and your Grandmother.

Calamity Jean said...

You and your Grandma are in my prayers!

Julia said...

I wish you all the best.

compactmanifold said...

Oh- it's for marriage! The first thing that came to my mind (with an accompanying terror) was that somebody was trying to deport you and many feline ears were raised at my cry of indignation.

I wish you a marriage-worthy day. Please tell us what happens afterward!

Jeannine said...

I will pray for you, your grandmother and the court! Just to encourage you a little, remember: God is always faithful, and Psalm 37:4.

Buffy said...

I am sure we will all be thinking of you and hoping, with God's grace, for a swift resolution so that you can move on with your life.

Kate said...

Best of luck, Anna. I hope and pray that the members of the Bet Din recognize your Jewishness. (And if they don't, I know that your 'conversion' will be heartfelt and B'H" quick.)

PamelaK said...

I will be praying for you and your grandmother, Anna.

Michelle said...

I'll pray for you, Anna. I do hope it all works out.

Jennifer said...

Thank you for sharing this Anna...once again, I love your posts - no matter what they are about! Please be sure to let us know how things work out.

tales_from_the_crib said...

God be with you...and hugs!

PhDCow said...

I will be thinking about you and hoping that you have the best possible outcome.

AnneK said...

I will continue to pray for you.
Be'hatzlacha.

Anonymous said...

Dear Anna,
How is it that this was not sorted out when you made aliyah? I thought the government had to classify and label everyone on entering? Or is this for a different beit din?
My thoughts are with you and please let us know how you come out.
Kat

Jen said...

I will be praying for you! :)

Rebekah S. said...

Anna,

I'm praying heartily for you! Please know in these days leading up to that special day that you are in my thoughts and prayes very often! Our God is in complete control of all things, and it's all in His hands. What a rich blessing that your grandmother is still alive, to be able to help you in this struggle! That's truly a blessing.

Always remember that this is all a part of His plan, and that everything is under control! :)

Whenever you feel anxious or worried, read some Psalms! That's what I do-they always bring such solace, comfort and encouragement to me when my soul is weary. :)

The Lord bless you, Anna!

Rebekah

Rebekah S. said...

P.S. Please keep us updated! :)

Sue said...

Anna:

I'll pray that things go well in court and that you can lean on God until things are over.

--Sue

Kacie said...

Best wishes, Anna! I trust that things will go well for you. Please keep us updated.

Adlyn said...

Oh my! This is serious! Anna I hope you win the right to get married! I don't mean to be pessmestic but what happens if you lose! :( I'll be so sad G-D all that work you did to become a wonderful homemaker! Is that why you were so sad? OH anna of course I'll pray for you it would be an honor!

xoxoxoxo,
Adlyn

Serena said...

Oh my--I'm praying for you Anna!

Sammybunny said...

I too will keep you in my prayers, Anna! I know that whatever happens, God holds you in the palms of his hands...

maria said...

I hope all will go well! :)

Terry said...

I will pray for you, Anna. I'm confident that the Lord will show Himself faithful to defend the truth of your ancestry.

Anonymous said...

May God bless & keep you through all this, Anna....you know my prayers are with you!

((hugs))
Brenda

Ahuva said...

You are in my prayers as well. I don't think you have anything to worry about. Your grandmother (B"H) is well and able to testify, you have documentation and you are currently living as a frum Jew.

Susan said...

Just wanted to let you know that we will be praying for you, your grandmother, and the members of the court. You seem to going into this with the right spirit. May you have a just outcome.

Elizabeth said...

You already know this, but I'll se it again ... I'm praying for you, Anna! *Hug*

Anna S said...

Kat: it's true that we made aliyah, but that had to do with ministry of interior, not with the Rabbinical court; the Jewish Agency was, ahem, very lax on documentation, and some people entered with fake documents, so it needs to be checked. That's one.

Two, being in Israel doesn't mean I'm necessarily Jewish. Perhaps my father is Jewish!.. That needs to be checked, too.

In short, I understand why my ancestry needs to be checked. I just hope it all goes quickly and easily.

neuropoet3 said...

Anna,
I will be praying along with everyone else. Please let us know how things go!
Peace be with you,
Jenny

singlemomforgod said...

Anna,

I wanted to leave this passage of Scripture with you. The faith of the Shunnamite woman has always carried me through. I am confident that you are able to say the same.IT IS WELL!!!! stay encouraged and remember the kings heart is in the hand of the Lord-

II Kings 4:26
Run now, I pray thee, to meet her, and say unto her, Is it well with thee? is it well with thy husband? is it well with the child? And she answered, It is well:

Persuaded said...

Anna, my dear, I can join with you in prayer for these things...

I pray especially for your peace of mind and heart ((hugs))

Elizabeth Joy said...

Praise God! It is clear He is leading you as He led His Hebrew children of old. May God give your grandmother comfort and joy in her old age. And may God bless and guide your marriage. I know that the details will come together.