Jewish Journey: Conversion – by Michael T. Pullen

You can read part I here. And part II here. Now, enjoy part III

Why should I convert to Judaism? I do not like religion? Religion causes all these problems and creates unreasonable people. Why do I need it? Ihave faith in one thing: when I put my feet on the ground it will be solid and I can stand on it. The rest of it forget it. – My 23 year old self

So why did I convert? What compelled me to do it? Was it because I wanted to marry a Jewish person? Was it because I reconciled the idea of a G-d who could let my mother die? Was it because I found a Jewish soul? Was it because I found my spiritual home?

No. I don’t commit like that. I do not jump both feet into the water nevermind a change like this. I eased in. Judaism resonated with what I believed. Here is a list of what I remembered agreeing with:

  1. I could argue with the rabbi
  2. I could argue with G-d
  3. I could image G-d however I wanted or didn’t want
  4. I did not need faith as a starting point
  5. Ethics and deeds were more important than dogma
  6. Heaven and hell were minimized, what was important was the here and now
  7. Death was taken seriously and had many rituals to help the survivors (not just statements like “she is in a better place now” – oo that makes me feel so warm and fuzzy inside)
  8. There was a strong history and peoplehood that I could learn about and become part of (I did not have much of a connection with American white guy)
  9. Sin did not occur from birth, people were not sinners, and sin was defined differently in Judaism – missing the mark

There wasn’t anything that I had a real aversion too. There did not seem to be a strong dogma and requirement to be a certain way.

Why should I convert? Momentum? Wanting to be a part of the life of the person I was going to marry? It, for sure, was not the romantic notion of G-d coming down and touching my soul. I am not that sort of romantic. Not even in my wedding proposal.

I agreed to convert. The rest seems like a blur. I do not remember struggling with it. I barely remember the beit din, even after an hour or more of answering questions. I do remember the mikvah, naked in a room with the rabbi asking questions from beyond the door. I do remember one question (paraphrased): ” Do you know that in every generation the Jewish people are persecuted and it may happen in this generation, are you willing to stand up for the Jewish people?” …


mTp – With Intention


5 thoughts on “Jewish Journey: Conversion – by Michael T. Pullen

Add yours

  1. I know I’m supposed to contribute my own seven cents, and I will, but first I’d like to tell you that I shivered too. You sum up the tenents of our faith so darn well.
    One thing I don’t get though- how do you not need faith as a starting point?

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