Alright, Wilson, we’re getting to the end of this little saga. This post is going to return to some details about my personal life that I need to tell you about so you’ll be up to speed on an issue currently at hand. Yeah, the issue is related to the last post about the legal result of the whole deportation fiasco. Before I dig into that, though, I want you to know some things about how 2022 has gone for me in general.
So to recap, after the whole Electrochemical Girl saga, I realized that there was no real Electrochemical Girl, but that the whole episode was an incredibly bizarre collection of events that constituted a kind of message from God about a divine calling. I tried to respond to that call by going back to Israel, a place where I never had a good time, but got deported at the airport, and returned to the USA to lick my wounds.
I’ve already told you about how my time with my parents, who I’ve pretty much always gotten along with and loved deeply, ended up being a kind of psychological torment for me. Then with my last post I told you about the insane and discouraging ruling from an Israeli appeals court about my deportation.
So while all that was happening I decided to go ahead wityh the decision to convert to Judaism in the USA. Shortly after landing back in my home country, I showed up at a local Reformed synagogue and took a Judaism class with them. Ilearn some cool stuff, met some cool people. I talked with them about converting to Judaism, and I mentioned an interest in Israel.
Now there is an addage among the Jews to discourage people interested in converting. I can’t say I really know how much that practice affected what went on, but in the end they told me that since I was interested in Israel, they suggested an Orthodox conversion. So I found an orthodox conversion court in Los Angeles and started with them.
Now in general, conversions work with local sponsors who then work with the conversion court, which is quite often at a distance. So I needed some kind of sponsors in Scottsdale where I was to work with me to complete the process.
Now intially I was all excited about not being distracted by a career or other obligations, and all I needed to concentrate on was converting. I bought hundreds of dollars worth of books, intending to immerse myself fully in the process. I was really going to get all into this. But when it came to finding a sponsor in Phoenix, things took some weird turns. The Chabad guys in my area were pretty great to hang around, but I put my energy into a larger Orthodox synagogue in Scottsdale.
Now you know, Wilson, I am an up-front and frank guy, and a lot of my writing about my personal life involves diming out perpetrators of injustice that I see, whether it’s corrupt military officers who contributed to my exit from the service with PTSD, or whether it’s Christians who don’t act like Christians when it comes to their daughters, or whether it’s these lawless Israeli bureacrats, or really any other thing. But right now I am still kind of stung by the fact that in order to give you a true sense of the supernatural level of opposition by infernal forces I have been encountering during this spiritual trek I am on, I’ve had to basically dime out my own mom as a kind of Lilith in service to the devil. I love my mom, Wilson. I really do.
So with all that under my belt, and with all this raging against the bureacrats in Israel going on, with more to come, I’m going to give these Jews in Scottsdale a by and not complain about them. I’ll just say that my time studying with the Orthodox Jews of Scottsdale ended with my being asked not to come back to the synagogue, and they asked me this because I just spoke matter of factly about what was going on.
And that’s all I’ll say about that, Wilson. Coincidentally, though, the collapse of my relations with those Jews came just as I was pulled away from Scotttsdale by a family reunion on my dad’s side of the family in Florida, to be followed by an obligation to my mother and stepfather to spend the summer with them down at their Guadalajara penthouse in Mexico. So down to Mexico I went. Once again.
I took the opportunity to see what kind of Jewish communities would be found in Mexico to sponsor me. After all, the USA had turned into the United States of Inflation, so living down in Mexico would at least be cheap, if nothing else.
What I found down there was strange. So the Mexican Jews are the descendants of the marranos, Wilson. The crypto-Jews. The Jews who were forced to hide their Judaism and pretend to be Catholic in order to avoid being slain. The ones that were expelled from Spain. Those guys. They don’t like outsiders, Wilson. They actually don’t even like each other. They are split into a variety of tiny synagogues that don’t list their phone numbers, don’t answer e-mails, don’t even show up on Google Maps, nothing. And if you’re lucky enough to find them and show up, they’ll tell you to your face to get lost. Even if you’re a Jew in a lot of cases.
I did find a great little group around the Lake Chapala area, but they were Reformed, and I was with an Orthodox conversion court. I would have to make some choices if I were going to stay down there. Finally, the summer vacation with my folks was coming to an end. They were going to head back to the USA, and I was going to have to decide where to hang my hat all by myself.
But look at my year, Wilson. It really was like being a pair of used boxer shorts in a washing machine on spin cycle. I’d spend a little time with one group of Jews only to have something, a spat, a fight, a family reunion, a personal obligation, something of this, or something of that, to cause me to spend a little time with this group of people or that group of people in this location or that location only to be called away or directed somewhere else before really being able to to settle with anyone and become a part of any community.
Can you say: “the universe working against you,” Wilson? I’d reached a point where I didn’t even have solid ground under my feet. It had been over a year since I even had my own mailing address. And in all this, I was getting the sense that converting to Judaism was a kind of step toward something else, and that step to something else was being used as a kind of obstacle toward where I was trying to go.
That is, I was seeing this situation of staying in Scottsdale to convert to Judaism in order to be able to be something else to go somewhere else in order to do something else. Or convert to Judaism in Mexico in order to be something else to go somewhere else to do something else. And at this point I was talking to my rabbi friend in Israel who was reminding me all the time that conversion to Judaism should be its own end, and not some kind of stepping stone to something else. And the rabbi from the conversion point was telling me words to the effect of, “hey man, this all starts when you are settled, in a community, doing your thing. You have your place, you have your life, and with that going on, you convert. You don’t get conversion out of the way so that yuo can start your life.” I mean, those weren’t his exact words, Wilson, but that’s basically what came out of his input into my crazy situation.
I was the dog being wagged by his tail, Wilson. The cat chasing butterflies. Thw coyote howling at the moon. Part of this had to do with my own failings, of being too frank to get along in a lot of circumstances. A lot of it was my personal crumstances, with my obligations to family in all sorts of different locations, and a lot of it was bizarre behaviors of those around me, such as my folks and, say, the Orthodox Jews in Scottsdale and in Mexico, for example.
And of course during all this there was the interminal accent of a divine calling to go somewhere else and do something great. And then finally, well, I’ve always been a linguist. And I was converting to Judaism, and I am interested in Israel, but I don’t speak Hebrew. And I’m almost fifty. I was looking at the prospect of spending years sitting somewhere that wouldn’t be my home converting to Judaism, so then I could go to Israel and learn the language of my new people at what, Wilson, sixty years old or something?
So to these facts we add that I have never had a good time in Israel, the homeland of my adoptive new people. I have no good memories of the place at all. Some traumatizing ones, in fact. It even seemed like the forces of evil were conditioning me to hate the place, with its bureacrats who do whatever they want with no regard for the law.
And I’d come back to America yet again and found it not to be a home. I went down to Mexico again and found it to be some kind of distraction at the end of the world with its mojitos and caramel ladies in bikinis on beautiful beaches. It was in in this state that Imade a decision to just get up out of the situation I was in and go study Hebrew in Jerusalem.
I thought this would give me another opportunity to maybe just once have a positive experience in the Holy Land. And whether or not that happened, at least I would go and learn the language of my new people. And finally, at least it would give me something to do in a stable place for a year or so. I’d go back to being a language student again, and a fortunate side effect of that would be that I would get an actual mailing address while I was there. Some stability that would comport with my own perceived sense of purpose. My rabbis agreed that this would be a good idea.
So I applied to the Hebrew University of Jerusalem to go study the Hebrew language once again. I was quickly accepted. I paid for the course. The only thing left to do was to get a student visa and head back over there. Yeah. Once again I would have to cross paths with the illustrious Israeli travel, entry, and immigration authorities. And remember, Wilson, those guys are owned by Satan.
What happened next will shock you, Wilson, but it’s almost time for me to hop on a bus. I self-published my novel recently, Wilson, and a long time ago I made a promise to make contact with the Magnificent Seven once I did that. So I am heading to Los Angeles in a couple of hours. I’ll have to tell you about the Israeli visa situation next week. Have a good weekend, Wilson. Shabbat shalom.