Thursday, September 3, 2009

Jewish Eyes

As some of you know, here in Tampa, we don't have access to a mikvah, so we use natural bodies of water. That brings up a host of logistical issues, including how to ensure privacy. A conversion candidate of mine, and her husband, helped me out by making a floating enclosure - picture a short shower stall on floats. You bring it out in the water, go inside, close the curtain and – voila! – privacy.

So, we bring this contraption down to the Gulf of Mexico for her conversion last week, and it happens to be a nasty, rainy day (actually, it was pretty nice here at CBA when we left, but it started pouring as we got closer to the beach. Such is life in Tampa, I guess). We decide that, since we're all going into the water anyway, we'll go ahead and ignore the rain. By the time we get out into the water, the rain is lightening up, but still coming. We go through the ritual (and, by the way, as awkward as all of this may be, going through the final blessings of conversion, surrounded by warm, wavy water, with schools of tiny fish darting all around you, is, in the best sense of the word, an awesome experience). While the candidate is in the booth, reciting the blessings, the rain stops completely, and, I kid you not, the sun breaks through – there is now a clear path, between the clouds, going directly over our heads and on to the horizon. The candidate comes out of the booth, looks at the sky, and the sun, and the lit up clouds and exclaims, “Wow. That's so beautiful.”

To which her husband says, “See? That's how things always look to us Jews.”


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