Finding my own spiritual path – by Michael T. Pullen

I grew up in an a-religious household. We were nominally Christian. My mother was Catholic and my father is not into the whole religious thing.

At 16 my mother died. She was a good woman. She took care of us all, my sister, father and I. She made my clothes until I was 12. She made dinner and kept the house. She was always home when I came home, always.

The priest next door came by to visit shortly after she died. My sister and I were stacking wood. The priest said that she died for a reason and that we should just trust G-d.


Trust G-d? How was I possibly going to trust a G-d that would let my mother die? How was I possibly going to be able to handle such an off handed comment from a man that did not know me from any other kid on the block?

My journey begins here. Mad. Angry. Antogonistic. I wanted nothing to do with religion. Nothing to do with such stupid comments. There is no god that would torture a person for 2 years and then let them die. There is no reason.

For years I encountered people, Christians who would try to tell me that I had a hole in my heart and if I only accepted Jesus then everything would be better. Ha! That was worth a good argument. How could I possibly have faith when the only faith I had was that I would wake up each morning and the ground would be beneath my feet.

I went to the Dominican Republic my senior year of high school and dated a young woman who’s mother was a fanatical evangelical. She infuriated me all the time. And the rocking, speaking in tongues and blaming everybody as sinners did nothing to help my interest in religion.

I went off to college and met my first Jewish person (at least that I was aware of). Oh by the way I married her. We dated for 5 years before we decided to get married. I knew that if I was going to marry her that my children would be Jewish. I could not see myself standing on the outside arguing against Judaism if did not know anything about it. That would just be stupid. So I started studying with a rabbi.

To make this long story short. I converted, got married, had kids. I am 14 1/2 years a Jew. I study, practice, participate and wrestle. I have been writing about it for a couple of years and now have joined Blog Midrash. My journey continues and I hope to ask questions and make you think. Thinking and wrestling and do things with intention are my tools for my Jewish journey.

For my next step in my journey I will be called to the Torah on May 30th to participate in a group adult b’nei mitzah with 6 other adults. My portion is Naso chapter 6. If anyone has some good advice (I can’t chant or remember a tune) I could use it. 


With Intention


6 thoughts on “Finding my own spiritual path – by Michael T. Pullen

Add yours

  1. Michael, Michael! How could you do this to us?! You write the whole, very interesting story, and skip the best part: What was it about Judaism that didn’t make you go… Ha! (or did it?)


    I am sure I’m speaking for all our Jewish (and probably non-Jewish) readers when I say that I’m highly interested to hear that part of the story, if it’s tellable.

    I do hope you’ll grace us with an answer.

  2. Wow, such an interesting and special story! Yasher Koach! And yes, if you’re comfortable, please tell us “that part” of the story.

    Kol Tuv,


  3. I am glad you found the story interesting. I will write more I just did not want it to drag on. Little pieces are better I think.

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