i go to class to learn not to hear your liberal bullshit

heels over head

the absolute turmoil -  drabble series
part four
ft. YOONGI (yoongi/ofc relationship) + others

words: 2,825
warnings for language, mentions of mental illness and related mature themes.

pls 4give any mistakes

go here to read previous parts and learn more about the series.

Originally posted by sugagifs

Day One

Eyes open from some blank dream, a car alarm blares. Mina rolls over, too hot and too cold at the same time, shutting her eyes in hopes of drifting off again.

Yoongi, she thinks, cheek against her pillow, hit with a pang of something implacable, because after all, it’s hard for her to label any feeling.

Except panic.

Her eyes snap open and she fumbles for her phone–which has died in the night, how convenient–and she hastily plugs it in before fighting with the comforter that has managed to wrap itself between her legs and around her, and shoots out of bed to at least brush her teeth and put on some semblance of acceptable clothing.

By the time the fuzz of her teeth is gone and her university’s College of Science and Math Science Rocks! shirt is on along with her jeans and flats, her phone is at a measly 2% but enough for her to see all hope is not lost–

She’s missed her chance to catch the bus, and she’ll have to pay for parking on campus (which is bullshit, why do faculty and staff have to pay for fucking parking), but if she slathers on her under-eye concealer in the car while inhaling an un-toasted, dry slice of bread, she’ll make it to work just in time.

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Conversion 101

I was asked recently if I could provide tips for people who were considering conversion to Judaism. There’s a lot that could be said about this, and it depends a lot on what denomination you’re converting to. But here’s my general tips, written at the request of @obscurestarwarsreference.

Attend several services to see if this is the religion for you. Nosh. Talk. Get to know the people you’re gonna share a lot of time and community commitments with. Joining Judaism is not just a religious conversion, it’s a whole community conversion. You’re joining a people just as much as a faith, and the only way you’re gonna know the community is to immerse yourself in it. Temples are very colorful places, and each one attracts different people with equally varying beliefs and opinions. My temple is very social justice oriented and lgbt+ positive because of the orientations of our rabbis.

So, yes, not just as one synagogue trip. Go to several over a few months. See if you like one and if it fits better with your beliefs. You might think you’d do well in a Reconstructionist or Reform temple and find yourself more aligned with Conservative Judaism and an affiliated temple. Some places don’t have this option but you can find like-minded people in unaffiliated temples, too. Hell, I never would have thought I’d be a Recon Jew attending a Reform temple locally, but I don’t like what the Recon temple offers locally when compared to the Reform ones. And the people are way more inclusive and supportive.

Hell, you may find you like several and switch it up. Nobody is gonna judge you for it.

Talk to rabbis in the area. This is very important because if you find a temple you like, but the rabbi does not do conversions, they may have recommendations on to whom you can go to in the area to get a conversion based on what you’re looking for. You can also have the write letters recommending you as a candidate for conversion. Many rabbis are hesitant to take on converts until they are sure they are sincere, and it helps your case if you’ve already got documented backing.

Some rabbis make a point of turning you away several times (three, usually) before agreeing to convert you. It’s to make sure you are sincere about pursuing the conversion. Once you’re Jewish, you’re always Jewish. Even if you switch denominations. Even if you’re off the derech. A convert swears to stand with the Jewish people and we take that oath very seriously as a universally ill-liked ethnoreligious group.

Don’t give up if you’re given the cold shoulder at first. The same goes if you’re turned down for a conversion based on your age. It is not uncommon for rabbis to tell teens and young adults to come back when they are a bit older, to make sure that that’s what the person wants. Prove to them that it is. Stay devoted. Show them that, yes, you do mean business.

Be prepared for a commitment. Conversion is not like it is in Islam or Christianity. You go to classes, usually weekly, and are expected to show an interest in the temple and your studies. If Hebrew is not offered in your conversion class, for whatever reason, take another class if it’s offered at your temple or another. You’ll need it. Hebrew literacy is important to rabbis and it’s good for you to know what you’re reading and believing in, in it’s original form.

Study assigned parshas. Do not regurgitate what the rabbis have said to you, come to your own conclusions to show that you’re serious and reading and questioning. Rabbis love their converts to be engaged with the texts. Jewish people, stereotype or not, generally love debating questions about faith when it comes from a place of sincere scholarship. Probably because we spend way too much time defending ourselves from bullshit accusations.

This said, be aware that conversions generally take one to two years from my observations. They can take longer if the rabbi gets irritated with you. I had a “friend” who complained the entire way through her conversion (she never managed to make it levels of conversion) because her rabbi wasn’t Orthodox enough for her standards of observance. While he praised her for adherence, he didn’t like her unappreciative attitude or her kvetching about Orthodox standards. He kept he indefinitely as a student for three years, almost four, before she moved home. And promptly gave up on Judaism because she was “jaded” by people’s lack of observance while living in Brooklyn. But not before spitefully unkashering her roommate’s kitchen because she disapproved of how “lenient” said flatmate’s standards were. It was likely a good thing she did not get before a beit din. It would have been awful.

Live as Jewishly as possible. Embody what you believe and make the world a better place. You’ll learn how to do this with help of the Jewish friends and your rabbi. What it means to you will be different than others, but any friend worth their weight knows this and won’t judge you for it. If they’re assholes, like my “friend” above, then cut them out. Judaism is about community and building each other up for the better, not cutting each other down.

If you live somewhere with a very low Jewish population, and you lack a rabbi that does conversions? Or worse, any rabbi at all? Check my list of book recommendations on Jewish practice. Network with fellow converts and see what they are studying that week and try to see if they’ll do a buddy system with you. Go to shabbat when there’s a way. Learn what you can, and live as Jewishly as you are able given your circumstances. Don’t give up. You’ll get there eventually, and a rabbi may even give you a “speed” conversion if you are truly committed.

This is where I differ from some of my Jewish companions, so please be aware of this. Many of us consider you a Noahide if you do this, yet I’ve never liked that comparison because it’s one that Messianics and other Christianized “Jews” adhere to. So I firmly believe that even if you cannot formally convert given circumstance and location, that doesn’t make you any less Jewish. It is said that the souls of converts are the same as any other soul who stood at Sinai, and that they hear their soul longing for its lost community. I firmly and truly believe that, and that you are as Jewish as me so long as you are committed to Judaism and the Jewish people. You don’t need a beit din to tell you that or give it to you in writing. That is a formality to me.

That doesn’t mean half-assed practice and all that willy nilly means you’re Jewish, though. It’s commitment, like I said before.

There will always be jerks who don’t think you’re Jewish. If you’re converting in the more liberal branches of Judaism, there are Jews who are Orthodox who won’t believe you’re Jewish. Even if you’re patrilineally descended from Jewish peoples, it doesn’t matter to them. Only Orthodox converts from select temples, or matrilineal descended people are Jewish. I am not Jewish to many people. It bothered me at first, but now I just laugh at it. Why?

These Jews are, frankly, assholes. Don’t take it personally. Most Jewish people will recognize your conversion as valid no matter where it happened, or what you believe. We are small in number and a close community; divisions are not helpful or looked upon kindly by most of us. People who deny valid conversions are not looked upon kindly in most instances by any of us.

Read up on Israeli issues, because people will suddenly hit you with questions about it. It’s annoying, but the diaspora is apparently responsible for what’s going on in Israel and Palestine.

Don’t speak over ethnic Jews and their experiences. You will always be a convert sans the ancestry. A lot of antisemitism attacks all Jewish people and you won’t be any different. However, while the same as us religiously, you won’t be likely to experience antisemitism about your appearance or ethnic ties. Don’t step on the toes of Jewish people sharing those experiences, especially in regards to race. Black Jews, in particular, are very often overlooked or tokenized and it’s gross. Stand with all our people and give them a voice when they need to be heard.

I’m gonna end this right here for now and open up a forum for other Jewish people and converts to offer advice. Any other tips, jumblr?

If I can only teach one thing, I’d definitely teach self-love. I know we hear it a lot but it’s something they don’t teach in school or in church. It’s not something that people consider a big deal or necessary unless they know someone who is depressed or suicidal. I can’t emphasize enough how this concept, how this thing called self-love can save humanity.

Everything starts within ourselves. Everything we do, the things we say, how we treat others is a reflection of how wee see and treat ourselves. I understand how loving yourself can be hard for some people. We see things in others that we cannot find in ourselves no matter how much we dig deeper.

In poetry, it’s easy to say love your scars, let them shine! Or you’re beautiful, you’re important  but how many of us actually believe this? How many boys and girls actually see this an an encouragement to keep them going? I don’t know. Yet how I wish words are not that limited. I wish words are enough to make people realize that there’s so much to see in them. That they just have to open their eyes so it’s not their skin they’ll see in the mirror but their soul.

Self-love is not about vanity or narcissism. It’s more of embracing your flaws, seeing yourself as your best buddy, treating your needs as a priority. It’s starts by bringing your darkness into the light.

Personally, I suck at math. I fear numbers but whenever my professor chooses to embarrass me in class by asking me to solve a problem I cannot even understand, I stand up with a smile knowing even if numbers don’t love me, words are always there to comfort me. I’m good with words and I own it! See? It’s the first step. If you’re bad at something, there’s always this one thing you will be excellent at. I don’t believe it when someone says I have no talent. That is bullshit. It’s either this person is being too humble (or just being a secret dick) or he has not discovered that talent yet.

Each of us has a gift and it’s not always in the form of art or science or entertainment. You might be good in listening. Maybe you’re empathetic. Or you have a good memory. You don’t forget easily which can be a tragedy or an advantage. But my point is, we can find something in ourselves that others only wish they have.

Self-love is also about celebrating your physical attributes instead of complaining why you’re not a Victoria Secret model material. Remember it’s not too late to change the things you hate about yourself. Maybe you’re financially limited right now or your family is conservative. Or perhaps you’re afraid of people’s judgement but who cares? If it will make you happy and more confident, do it. Self-love also means freedom. Freedom to make choices, to decide, to leave and to stay, to care and to not give a fuck.

Self-love is liberating. You can go out of the house without a tiny drop of concealer on your face. You can totally dance on that dress despite your fat belly and thigh gap. You can color your hair, your nails, your life. You can do whatever you want as long as it’s legal and morally upright. What I mean is that, when you start loving yourself you will be invincible. You will be loved and hurt by the right people for the right reasons. You will never be lonely even if you’re alone. You will never die of a broken heart. You will always have something to look forward to. You will know how it feels like to trust and be trusted, to have honest and raw conversations with people, to go on adventures and to live life like it’s yours and yours alone.

Self-love is not easy and for others, self-destruction is a better option. But please reconsider. One day, you’ll meet someone who’ll tell you how beautiful you are and you’re not going to get tired of hearing it. You’ll say, thank you. It’s nice to know you think so, too.

—  irishjulienne, self-love and why you should start learning it by heart