#BlogElul 18: Love

The difficult thing about writing about love, particularly love within a relationship, is that nothing feels quite right.  Either the words I want to say seem too private, too intimate, to be shared with a public audience, or they feel too trite.  I’ve begun this entry six times already, each time erasing and re-writing, then repeating the process, but hopefully I’ll strike the right balance.

In my entry on blessings, I alluded to the multitude of wonderful people in my life, people who love and support me, who give me strength and support when I most need it.  But this entry isn’t about them.  This entry is about one person in particular, whose love, support, encouragement, and presence in my life is my anchor.

I knew there was something different about you from the first time we exchanged messages. As our third date progressed, I had an even stronger instinct that this was going somewhere good, and after about three months, it started to become clear to me that I could not envision my life without you in it.

Words can never adequately express how grateful I am for your love and support as I have gone on this journey, even though it was a journey that filled you with apprehension when I began.  It is a rare person who is able to tell someone “if this means so much to you, then you owe it to yourself to pursue conversion.  Don’t hold back on my account.”  You will never know how much hearing those words meant to me, and how they stuck with me for months until I finally worked up the nerve to call my rabbi.

You’ve come along with me to the Introduction to Judaism class even though there were many Tuesdays where I’m sure you would have gladly gone straight home after a long day of work, or gone to yoga, or done anything, really, rather than sit in a room learning about Jewish teachings for 2.5 hours a week.  You celebrate Shabbat with me each Friday night, and some of my favorite moments are when I feel you standing behind me, your presence reassuring and comforting me, as I light the candles and recite the prayers with my eyes closed.  There’s magic in that moment, something deeply spiritual and Divine.  And you have gamely opened yourself up to having some intensely powerful, emotional, sometimes raw discussions with me about how we plan to create a future home together, how we will find a way to strike a balance between the two different, rich traditions that we both bring to the table, and what that means for any children we may one day be blessed with.

This is my journey, but you’ve come along with me on it as a measure of your support for me, and as a sign of your love for me, and your faith in our relationship.  You’ve given me support and encouragement to figure out who I am as a Jewish woman and how to navigate what these changes in myself mean for us.

Your love is the greatest gift I have ever been given, and I thank God daily for sending you into my life.  From the bottom of my heart, thank you for loving me.

I love you.

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