Monday, July 4, 2022

Mia Sherwood Landau - Converting To Judaism Again


What a surprise to discover my deep desire to convert to Judaism again. Yes, for the second time in this life.

Why? My first conversion in 2011 was Reform, and my second will be Orthodox. 

Turns out, quite a few people who are not Jewish by birth choose to convert to Judaism more than once. I learned this by posting questions in Facebook groups and receiving dozens of thoughtful comments from converts.

And some people who were born into a Jewish family choose to increase their level of observance by becoming Orthodox later in life. This, too, is not uncommon.

Having more than a decade of Jewish practice and Torah learning so far gives me a firm foundation for building my Orthodox lifestyle now.

One important thing I've learned to appreciate and cultivate is the reality of being a Jewish woman. My life experience and Torah study have changed the way I see myself as a Jew and especially as a woman who is Jewish,

It takes time for truth to grow and show up in our lives in a way we can see and understand. It doesn't happen overnight or even in nine months. The decision to become increasingly observant will change my outer lifestyle to reflect my inner reality as a Jewish woman now.

Mia Sherwood Landau - Converting As A Jewish Woman

I have been a Jewish woman for over a decade, but my inner being and my outer being no longer match up. How I feel on the inside, what I think about and who I am no longer reflect clearly on the outside of me.

Converting to Orthodox Judaism will bring the inside of me and the outside of me into alignment now. 

It wouldn't be fair to say, "I have been going through the motions..." because the depth of my genuine connection to Judaism every Friday night at candle lighting time is real. My prayers in English are real. The joy of preparing for and observing Passover is real.

The best way I can describe my transition is this - I am joining the Jewish women throughout history in a tangible way. Being an Orthodox Jewish woman makes me a reflection in a new way. Well, it's new in my life. Being an Orthodox Jewish woman is a timeless, historical reality!

This personal journey on the inside and the outside of me is very specifically my own. It's not the same for every Jewish woman. When and where we are born, how we are raised, and what phase of life we are living in all form the vessel we inhabit. Yes, it's like a container that holds who we are as we move through our places and our years. 

Jewish women are not all the same, but we are connected. Jewish women know each other in an unspoken way. I am converting to Orthodox Judaism as a Jewish woman in my place and time, for all time.

Mia Sherwood Landau - Converting Into Jewish History


Converting into Orthodox Judaism as a Jewish woman connects me into the past and into the future at the same time. I am alive and Jewish now, a living link in a chain of Am Israel, the Jewish people.

Joining the Jewish people is different than joining clubs, societies, or teams in the world. The truth is, joining the Jewish people is not really of this world. We are living in this world in our own time and place, but we are not only living in this world. We are alive and connected to all Jews who ever lived and will ever live.

This might sound unrealistic. It might sound like an imaginary world in a fantasy novel that comes to an end on the last page of a book. But the biggest reality of all is that there is no last page of the book in the story of the Jewish people. Torah never ends.

Within all our different ways of thinking and living, the Jewish people are deeply connected. Underneath all our disagreements lies the pulse of Am Israel Chai - the Jewish people live. 

I am formally converting into Orthodox Judaisam because inside me I am already there. I am living Am Israel Chai.