JapaJew: One Year Later

Reflecting on my Jewish life.

While we don’t consider ourselves to be religious Jews, my husband and I try to make it to shul (synagogue), every once in a while, because we believe it’s an important part in maintaining our Judaism (so to speak). There’s the community aspect, the ritual aspect, and most importantly for me, the learning aspect. After not having been at shul for quite a while (we’re busy people, ok?!), there we were last Saturday morning when I suddenly realized my mikvah was exactly one year ago today! One year a Jew. Quite a significant moment for me.

One year ago, I was a tentative Jew. It was all a bit abstract – what was it all going to mean for me? But I have realized that life, is just life. You live your life and things happen. There’s not too much thinking that goes into the day-to-day stuff. That has been a nice realization for me – that being Jewish just happens in the same way I make dinner every night or go to work every morning.

The year has flown by, as I expect future years to do too. There will come a time when I will have lived more years being Jewish than not. In the meantime, there is still so much more I want to do to honour the path I have chosen: re-learn how to read biblical Hebrew (to be able to follow along in shul), volunteer in the Jewish community and, yes, attend shul just a little more often.

The great thing about establishing myself as JapaJew from the very beginning (while also considering my Czech heritage) is that I made it clear to myself this was not an adoption of a new life, it was the combination of multiple parts of my life. For everything I’ve learned about being Jewish, my husband has learned something about what it means to be Japanese or Czech, and we’re richer in experience for this.

Wow. Jewish for one year already. Can’t wait for what the upcoming years will bring!