I’ve been beating myself up lately about my Jewish knowledge. When I tell a friend that I use my (rabbinical student) husband as my own personal Jewish encyclopedia, she assures me that she does the same. But she’s the one who makes time out to learn with hers. Learning with my husband isn’t half as fun as it might sound. We have very different learning styles and very different things that we’re interested in. Plus, it makes me feel stupid. Like, okay, he knows that I don’t know this stuff but I mean, do we have to talk about it? Yes, he says, because you keep bringing it up. Real mature.
As if I could ever know enough about Judaism. But that’s not the problem. I think the problem is what lies ahead. Knowing that I’m going to be a “Rebbetzin” in two years! Even though at that point, I’ll only have been Jewish for…four years. And it’s not like my Jewish learning has increased since I became Jewish. Fibromyalgia has interfered with many things, including my favorite way to learn, attending classes, and my second favorite, reading books with my little “arthritic” hands. My friends have offered to learn with me one-on-one but though I forced my students to work in pairs, I was never a big fan of this “chavruta” style of learning.
So that leads me to Aish. Where I feel like I’m learning something new while reviewing something old. Where a barrage of Hebrew doesn’t make my eyes cross. Where my classmates know about as much as I do or less. And even where I stick out like a sore thumb in my head scarf, long-sleeved shirts and skirt, which seem to confuse people who think that I must be an all-knowing Orthodox girl. I confuse people even more when I announce my husband is a rabbinical student. “What are you doing here? Don’t you know everything?”
Where do I get a t-shirt that says that even though my husband’s a rabbinical student, would-be rabbi, I don’t actually know anymore than I actually would if he was a doctor, a zookeeper or a stockbroker? If I was the doctor’s wife, would anyone really expect me to advise them on their bowel movements? I think not. But boy, it would be sweet if I could plug a USB port into my husband’s brain and then download all the information he’s accumulating on Judaism. Sigh.