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:
- I could argue with the rabbi
- I could argue with G-d
- I could image G-d however I wanted or didn’t want
- I did not need faith as a starting point
- Ethics and deeds were more important than dogma
- Heaven and hell were minimized, what was important was the here and now
- 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)
- 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)
- 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