12 Kislev 5760
November 22, 1999
A year ago, when I told friends that I was going to convert to Judaism, some said, “But you’re really already Jewish – it’s just a formality.”
This reaffirmed what I already knew — that I had found a warm-hearted, welcoming community of Jews. They were kind; they saw the changes I had made in my life, the ways in which I was living Jewishly, and they were kind.
But they were dead wrong. I was NOT already a Jew, and conversion is NOT just a formality. I began this process not knowing where it would lead. It has been a year of opening my heart. A year of falling in love. In love with the Jewish people, traditions, Torah. Before, I had celebrated Jewish events enthusiastically. Not a bad start. But now, there is a different — very different — level of doing and understanding. Now, this is my people, and this, my covenant. Now, I feel immersed, embraced, in love; I feel it in my blood and in my bones. I give my heart to it.
I am a Jew.
I am a Jew!
ברוך אתה יי אלהינו מלך העולם שעשני ישראל
Baruch atah Adonai eloheinu melech ha’olam she’asani Yisrael
Praise to You, Adonai our God, Sovereign of the universe, who has made me a Jew.Pam McArthur lives in Framingham with her wife, Beth, and their son, Aaron. They are long-time members of Congregation Beth El of the Sudbury River Valley. Pam holds Mayyim Hayyim’s record for the greatest number of immersions by any one person. She first experienced the transformation that can happen in the mikveh thirteen years ago, when she became a Jew. “I still sometimes can’t believe how lucky I am! Mah yafa yerushateinu – how beautiful is our heritage. I am blessed by Judaism’s traditions and creative, renewing energy.”