Orthodox aliyah

I did add some additional things to the list and this one was added because I saw someone else who wasn’t an Orthodox Jew get an Orthodox aliyah, not once but twice. That was several months ago. I half jokingly put it on bucket list as a long term goal since technically I am not eligible for one really. My conversion was Reform even though I have Jewish ancestry on my maternal grandmother’s side, but they stopped practicing and converted out requiring me to convert back in. Of course I didn’t know that until I already converted, but there are many reasons to not give me one in the first place. I’m a no one and I’m in a muddied halachic issue with the whole TumTum thing.

Well today I was given an Orthodox aliyah.

I was going to a lifecycle event not far from my synagogue. My synagogue (apparently!) has an Orthodox group, ie tefillin and all, that borrows space on Monday and Thursday.

Admittedly I’m totally lost in Artscroll, but decided since I was going to be in the area, I was going to make arrangements to go to this. So I contacted them and they made arrangements to have a transliterated Artscroll for me. And some helpful guy helped me with tefillin and it turns out my tefillin is backwards so needs to be reknotted. Some guy realized I was new and helped me figure out where we were. B”H

So we get to the torah service, they ask if I’m a kohen. I’m like no. Apparently they always get hopeful when a new person comes. Of course I don’t really want to do it because I am just not comfortable in that type of prayer service.

I figure I am off the hook. No… a few minutes later, I am told it is my turn. I’m like, um no thanks, I don’t read Hebrew. They were shooting down every excuse I made and finally I was asked if I even *knew* my Hebrew name which I did.

I had a lot of problems because of the transliteration was Ashkenazi not Sephardi so they had to help me a little through it and I was very quiet. I was asked how long it has been since I’ve had an aliyah. I said my bar mitzvah which was true and they had a lot of sympathy for me but helped me through it.

Yea that was a bit of a surprise, but it is over. Just in time for my secular birthday, my conversion anniversary, my wedding anniversary, and a few other things! So it was good timing.

Anyone else had a surprise issue like that or someone who just would not take no for an answer for an honour?

Completed : 2014

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