I just came from a beautiful, moving wedding that reminded me once again of everything I love about this observant Jewish life we are living. It is a privilege to have the warmth and spiritual richness that it provides and I understand that more every day. Sometimes though, even after nearly four years, the process is a pain. I wrote this a couple of days ago and haven't posted it because it's so cranky; now as I recall the beauty of Jewish ritual, I can balance that grouchiness with a gratitude for all I have gained. So read it with that in mind.
I had a long conversation a couple of days ago with a close friend. He wanted us to come to dinner, and when I explained that, because we eat only kosher food and use utensils that have only dealt with kosher food, it would be better if he came to us, it came as something of a shock. All he wanted was to extend hospitality to us, and I had to refuse it. A very troubling experience.
I have had, and continue to have, a real sense of peace and meaning and connection since we've been living this life, and wouldn't trade it for anything, but as you know, I've written plenty about my battle with keeping kosher. Initially romantic about the whole thing, I started to get angry when facing (as opposed to all the great cooking that goes on in this community) the inedible stuff that passes for kosher food on airplanes, and sometimes at conferences.
Because I've only been living a really observant life for the past four years, it's still anything but automatic. Because I've only been living a really observant life for the past four years, I know what Pho tastes like, and ham sandwiches, and lobster. And the great feeling of discovery when you wander into a little hole-in-the-wall restaurant and it's just fabulous. All gone now. And most of the time, I'm fine with that. But here are some things that sometimes continue to be difficult: