I was genuinely excited to find out there was a Modern Orthodox synagogue in Prospect Heights -not too far from where I live in Brooklyn. It sounded like the perfect kick-off to Orthodox conversion shul shopping.
As I traveled by Flatbush dollar van I had conversations with the rabbi in my head on my way there. “I converted through a Reform shul and although I do consider myself a Jew I am considering an Orthodox conversion for many reasons. This place feels like a spiritual home.” I dreamily thought about the kick-ass tribe community. I could technically walk home from here on the chance I go “shomeret shabbat.”
I was already 15 minutes late when I ran with tremendous sweaty face into the building. A man told me they were setting up down the hall. Hmmm setting up? I thought I was late…this is great. I walked into the room full of Shabbat sunshine and good vibes…and the 2 people inside this room were a complete buzz kills. “I guess I am not late” I lightheartedly announced. They said the service started at 7:15. I looked at the large clock on the wall it was 7:37pm. Hmmm maybe I had misheard them. My hearing is often terrible…ask my mother (bada BING). I went to the restroom- the most amazing place for the disenfranchised. I came back out. Still no people. I walked outside and sent my BFF who was in Israel a series of SnapChats conveying my awkwardness. I saw 1 person enter the building. Ok that made 3 people there. I waited til’ 8pm. still nothing. They had set out a sign in front of the door. This was definitely the place. I casually walked back inside and still nothing. I felt confused and defeated. I’m sure it’s a great shul…but where the F is it?
I had spent $2 on the Flatbush van to get here. This sucks. I walked a half a block to the Ample Hills Creamery and overdosed on 2 delicious scoops before heading to the wine store to buy a bottle of Pinot Noir for shabbat at the homestead. It was almost candle lighting time. Sh-t. I returned home 20 minutes later. Turned off the episode of Orange is the New Black that I had been watching earlier in the day. I lit candles in my pomegranate tea light holder that I had bought in Tel Aviv, read some parsha, went over some biblical Hebrew, angrily texted the BFF for not being more supportive and drank some cheverny. Perhaps this was G-d making a little “turn you away 3 times” joke. Humor is subjective.
Next week Manhattan.