Friday, May 16, 2008

Last Post.

Last night I met with a few women friends in my class. All of us are older. We were in a lot of ways the long shots in the class, the “old ladies” with extra pounds or disabilities. All have survived serious losses of one kind or another. All of us were told, by someone, at some point, that we didn’t belong in rabbinical school, that the admissions committee had made a politically correct mistake in saying “yes” to us.

We got together in the backyard of a private home, around a hot tub that wasn’t originally intended as a mikveh. Like us, it didn’t look quite kosher but the truth is that it holds the ritually required amount of water, to which we added some frozen rainwater, to make it “living water” as required by Jewish law. A legal work-around, sure, but one that more official mikvaot use in very hot, dry places like Los Angeles. Like us, this funny-looking mikveh was the real deal (from a liberal Jewish point of view.)

We sat in the dark under the moon and talked for a long while about our years in school and the journeys that brought us there. We talked about supportive and unsupportive families, the friends and loving partners who got us through each day, the grit it had taken, and the losses incurred. We talked about what lay ahead.

Most of all, we listened to one another.

Then one at a time, we immersed in the awkward pool, saying the blessing, dunking until every part of the body was under, and at the end, helping each other out. We didn’t want any casualties, so close to the end.

We joked about the fact that none of us could afford a slip or a fall, not now, not with Sunday so close.

Two of us were exhausted from travel (job-hunting!) and went home to bed. The rest of us went for dinner at midnight.

It’s a holy time. It’s a joyful time. It is the end and the beginning.


I'm going to be ordained with my class on May 18, this coming Sunday. I began blogging in Oakland, just before I left for Jerusalem. I continued in Jerusalem, and here in Los Angeles. With this entry, I'm ending my blog.

Over time, I have found the format at to be more useful for motivating myself and for marking my progress. If anyone is still reading this, and still curious, by all means, check out my entries there at

May the Eternal bless and keep us all.

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