(This has to do with writing about an unlucky character and turning that bad lwc into good.)
You would think with a last name like Cohen a really traditional first name like Rebecca or Sarah, or a some hype Israeli/Hebrew title like Shalom or Arielle would be the way to go. But no, my hippie dippy mother gave me the name of Skye.
What a title.
To make matters worse, she foolishly falls away from the usual Boulder crowd and decides that, in order to 'find her roots,' she turns to the Chabad shul. Suddenly my tie-dye Birkenstock-wearing mother is now a hair-hiding-black-stocking-wearing Orthodox-type.
And she's a single mom.
With a daughter named Skye.
Call me crazy but this doesn't sound like the most clever move in the world. In the space of a month our quiet life of just mom and daughter and calico cat has become a bedlam of other head covering female types invading our house on otherwise quiet Pine Street and turning the place upside down in order to make my poor mom as Jewish as they can.
I mean, I don't mind that my mom wants to be more traditional and spiritual, it's just the way they go about it. Like, we were raised Reform but these women act like that's akin to being some snake-handling-speaking-in-tongue-type deep in the heart of West Virginia. All my mom wanted in the beginning was to be able to study mystical Judaism and the holy books but they convinced her she should concentrate on keeping her home kosher and other wifely duties.
Speaking of the holy books, it's because of them that the end of my world began to turn around. It all sort of happened this last thursday, just after school.
It came about because I knew those annoying women would be about this time of the day, and also because I liked walking close to Naropa University and catching a glimpse of some of the Tibetian monks that teach there. I like seeing happy spiritual-types and not smug-oh-so-superior ones.
It was after turning right onto Pearl Street and deciding to spend my unused lunch money on a brownie at Blue's Bakery (mmmm....chocolate brownie with carmel melted on it and sea salt sprinkled in...I ask you, who could resist?) that the beginning of my salvation began. As I passed the Co-op just beside Blue a small group of people wandered out of the study hall in the Co-op, the one next to the vegan cafe. I had my eyes cast down, and so at first I didn't notice that they were all holding text books in Hebrew, one of the texts of the Talmud.
The Talmud, no less.
And in the hands of women.
Now, if they're allowed to study, why not me to? I stopped at the flyer in the window, pretending to read it, just to get a sneaky look at these people. They sure didn't look like my mom and her posse. Seeing my rather timid glances, one lady smiled and said hello.
Like the perfect fool, I stumbled over a simple reply like 'hello' and instead pointed at the black book in her arms.
'Ah, are you interested in learning the Talmud?'
Hardly believing my luck, I nodded yes.
She smiled. 'Rabbi Goldburg gives classes every other thursday. You're welcome to join in, if you like.'
'Yes, but I don't own any texts.'
'Ah, we have photocopies for people in your situation.'
What, people with weird mothers? Great!
Hardly believing my luck, I felt myself nod and agree to faithfully come to the next class. Now, of course it's during the last hour of high school but I wasn't going to let that deter me. I'm doing this, damn it.
The nagging females in my house didn't even annoy me after I floated through the front door. A chance to study Talmud. I can't believe my luck. I took my non-kosher brownie (I can't even remember buying it) and wandered upstairs into my room.
A chance, a real chance.
How lucky am I?