Monday, January 28, 2008

Tomorrow

The big day is tomorrow. I was a bundle of nerves during the weeks preceding the trial, but all I feel now is uncertainty. I wish it was over already.

I thought this period of preparing to become a kallah would be so joyful, so full of delightful excitement. And so I found myself today, trying out wedding dresses – and you know, this magical moment, when you look in the mirror and ask yourself, "hey, who's this beautiful young woman in the white dress? Oh, yes! It's me! It's really me!" – and all the while, doubts. Nagging doubts. Will the wedding take place on the intended date? Or will all of our plans and preparations be in vain? What will the chatan's parents think if we come to them and say, "Um, we're really sorry… but don't send out invitations to all the extended family yet. You see, maybe we'll need to postpone the wedding because, uh, the rabbinical court isn't quite certain Anna is Jewish…"

Fantastic. A wonderful start to becoming a part of his family.

Some of you might be asking, "But Anna, why didn't you go to the rabbinical court earlier? You had all the time in the world to prove you are Jewish, why did you put it off so long that it actually endangers your wedding plans?"

One, I didn't know the process would be so long and complicated, or that it would involve so much bureaucracy. Sure, technically, I knew I'd have to prove I'm Jewish, because my family is so assimilated. But... I mean, I grew up knowing I'm Jewish, listening to stories of my grandmother about Shabbat, holidays and Jewish rituals in her community prior to World War 2. I thought it would be obvious very quickly. A suggestion that I might not be what I am is absolutely laughable. I mean, imagine trying to gather documents and evidence to prove that you have an arm! Or a leg for that matter.

And two, I had no idea I would need this so soon… I thought to myself, "oh well, I'll deal with it after my professional training is done and I have more time". Now it turns out I don't have time. Conclusion: when you know you have something important to do, don't put it off!

Now that I've rambled long enough, I feel that some of the weight has been lifted off my heart. There's something comforting in putting one's frustrations and fears into written form, even though normally I try to avoid doing this here. I'll make an exception this time because I feel this is a really important message to pass along: if you are an Orthodox Jew but your parents didn't get married through an Orthodox Jewish ceremony and you think you might have to prove you're Jewish in order to get married, do it now. Trust me, you don't want to spend sleepless weeks later, wondering whether all your wedding plans might be suddenly called off.

I hope you ladies are having a wonderful day/evening. I'll keep you posted on how things progress. Not much more on my mind right now…

39 comments:

Anonymous said...

You've done what you can, Anna. It is now in G-d's hands, He who knows your true heart and neshama!

May G-d lead the Beit Din to the correct response.

~tamara in California

Beautifuly Created said...

I wish you the best Anna.

Anonymous said...

Hi, Anna. I have been a frequent reader of your blog, but this is my first time commenting. I just wanted to wish you the best of luck!

Holly

Terry said...

Oh, Anna, I can't even begin to imagine the anxiety you must feel right now. Praying for you!

Kristy said...

Praying for you, Anna...

Mrs. Brigham said...

Praying, praying, praying for you...

Anonymous said...

I'm going through something similard waiting to have my marriage Blessed through the Catholic church - the paperwork and prep and getting all our documents have been brutal - quite complicated because we have to get our papers from the military and not a civillian organization. I can see what you mean about trying to prove you have an arm! My heart is with you and I hope in the next 24 hours you feel nothing but peace and grace. Hang in there!

Melissa

PamelaK said...

Anna -
I am still praying for you and your grandmother.
I somehow missed that you had a date for the wedding, or perhaps you have chosen not to share the exact date with us yet, and I certainly understand. I do hope to hear very soon that your wedding plans can happily progress!

Kimber said...

I never imagined there would be such a thing as a group trying to prove who is and who is not Jewish. Over here in the US there is laughter about politicians stating "I am a quarter Jewish" or whatever the claimed fraction is. But for someone who is observant and the descendant of Jews to have to fight so hard to prove what she is.....I am just shocked!

Thankfully G-d does not require that we come before him proving who we are and who we came from before he accepts us because after all WE ALL are HIS. The way this court is carried out seems to border on "tradition" of men and an arrogant stand that some people are "better" than other people.

Praying right now that you have this approval so that your marriage happens on the date you set. But in just the way I am, I believe everything happens for a reason and I am wondering...what is the reason for "this?"

I do hope in time you will share pictures of you in your beautiful dress. Wishing you the best and letting you know that I just LOVE YOUR HEART!

Kimberline

Anna S said...

Kimber, you're right. The way things are handled and people are treated has nothing to do with halacha. In cases like this, I think the court's biggest fear should be turning away real Jews. I don't see enough of that fear.

KTHunter said...

Best of luck. I hope it goes smoothly.

Kelly said...

Oh Anna, while I don't really understand what you are going through, as I'm not a Jew. You are in my prayers that all will be well. In my experience it's the times when we worry most that God comes through and we realize on the other end that we didn't need to worry at all. I'll be praying that the court proceeding goes easy and quick and that when it's all over you too will say, why did I ever worry God was in control.
Kelly

Faithfulmusic said...

Anna,

Take comfort in the fact that you have so many women praying for you---when you defend your faith and background in the trial tomorrow, you'll have many people thinking of you and supporting you. Have courage! God will give you the words you need, and as always, will see you through your struggles. We have doubts because we are human, and God knows that, as we are all His children...He will give you strength.

Best Wishes and Many Prayers,
Faithful Music

Maggie said...

You will get through this Anna :) I will continue to pray ceaselessly for you.

Karen said...

I'll be praying for you! I'm sure it will be a lot easier than you fear...they do this sort of thing all the time no? I'm sure they will be interested in making it as brief and simple as possible.

singlemomforgod said...

Anna,

I am praying and fasting for you. All Shall Be Well, no one can ever take your heritage away from you. God will bless, he will establish you before men.

Asia said...

Hey Anna, I wish you the best of luck, congrats to on a marrying soon. I really am praying for you.

asia

PhDCow said...

You're in my thoughts, Anna!

Sammybunny said...

"Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee."
~Isaiah 26:3

"When thou liest down, thou shalt not be afraid: yea, thou shalt lie down, and thy sleep shall be sweet."
~Proverbs 3:24

"Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid."
~John 14:27

I know you are not a Christian, Anna, but the last verse (from the Gospel of John)very much applies to your situation. Give your fears to God and let His will be made perfect in your life.

What happens tomorrow will not stop you from being Jewish in your flesh, or your heart. It may cause hiccups along the way to marriage for you, I understand, but trust God. He has your best at heart and he will keep you in perfect peace.

I will be praying for you tonight and tomorrow, Anna. It will be alright.

~Leah

Mrs. Gillet said...

This may be a dumb question, but what is "kallah"?

Kristin said...

Hi Anna, I've been a lurker on your blog for a while and decided it was time to "delurk" myself and comment :) I have been enjoying your posts and will be praying for you tomorrow!

Shelley said...

Hi Anna, I'm praying for you too:) Trying on your wedding dress and that first look at yourself in the mirror and thinking "Wow, I'm a bride:)". Isn't that the best feeling?:) God is with you, have faith:)

Haus Frau said...

This is already history in God's eyes, sweet Anna. He is preparing the path for you and will bless you. After you learn the decision I'm certain you'll be able to offer such a blessed joy to all of us who have been praying for you.

Bless you dearly.

A Note From Theresa said...

I pray your day tomorrow goes well for you.

Anna S said...

PS: "Kallah" means "bride"! :-)

Lillian the Ponderer said...

Anna, may God go before you, guide you and give both you and your grandmother the right words. I am praying for you.

Linda Marie said...

Hi Anna!
Just as Kristin, I've been a lurker, but I think this time is as good as any to reveal myself... I just want to wish you good luck, and tell you I have prayed for you. Hope all goes well!

anna said...

I wish everything goes well for you. <3

Kacie said...

Good morning, Anna--

It has been so neat to learn more about your faith and what it means to be an Orthodox Jew. I am so glad that you're willing to share these details with us!

I have no doubt that you are Jewish, and I trust that the court will also see that.

Best wishes for your wedding plans!

Rebekah S. said...

Your conclusion was a great one! I must admit, I am a horrible procrastinator!! :(

Anna, remember Psalm 46:10, "Be still and know that I am God." Try your hardest to calm your nerves. My suggestion would be to read some Psalms before you enter the court. Those always calm my soul when I'm agitated, weary, worried or anxious. They will do you a world of good! :)

We're all praying for you. Praying that you would be comforted, well perpared, at ease and peace filled, and that you would remember at all times that God is in complete control of this whole situation-every singly detail of it! :) Please keep us updated. You're in our thoughts and prayers constantly, dear sister!

I can't wait until my time comes to try on wedding dresses(I'm only 15, so I guess it'll be a little while yet.:)). Although, Mama and I may make it. Of course, we have a few years to decide that for sure! When is the big day scheduled for?

Trust in the Lord with ALL your heart and lean NOT on your own understanding; in ALL your ways acknowledge Him and He SHALL direct your paths! :) ~Prov. 3:5-6

We love you, Anna!

Sue said...

Since you are a number of hours ahead of us, by now, you probably know the court's decision. I have been praying for you and hope that you have been recognized for what you are - an Orthodox Jew.

--Sue

Jeannine said...

I hope all went well today! Praying for you.
((Hugs))

Ahuva said...

Anna,

All my thoughts and prayers are with you. Everything will be fine.

My parents weren't married through an orthodox ceremony either (they are reform). I guess I never really thought about it before. But then, I'm a genealogy buff so I have plenty of documentation and my mother's brother is orthodox. And it's probably a bit easier to get an orthodox wedding in the US than in Israel. Certainly no one has ever suggested to me that I'll have to go to the local Bet Din.

Elizabeth said...

*Hug!*

Riikka said...

Hello Anna and greetings from Finland! I've been visiting your blog for quite a while now and thought I'd say hello and let you know that I'm keeping my thumbs up for you! :)

Shannon said...

Anna-

Good luck-although I think this process will be easier than you think. You are a very Godly woman-and I believe your Rabbinical authorities will recognize that. I ask-very sincerely-that you please share more of your wedding and life plans with us! It's wonderful to get to know you in a more personal sense. Also-I know many of us have little knowledge of the process of Orthodox weddings. Please post pictures of your dress and keep us in the loop!

Shannon

Nanny Y. said...

Best wishes to you, Anna! I sincerely hope all has gone well for you!

God bless,
Nanny Y.

Laura Leigh said...

Anna: I am so pleased that you are sharing your journey with all of us and I am delighted to learn more about being an Orthodox Jew. I will continue to pray for you and your plans.
-Laura Leigh

Anonymous said...

Anna, does that mean that no one could convert to Judaism because the don't have the linage?