Wednesday, September 17, 2008

My Jewish childhood

I am a convert, so my childhood was not Jewish, but I always had a religious sense that I wanted to worship God. I asked my Mother to take me to church, but she refused because she had a very negative experience with the Catholic church. I asked my father to take me; he had been raised Lutheran, and although he never attended church as an adult, he took me every week and I was baptized Lutheran. I felt it was not spirited enough for me, and when I meet a girl in high school who was very gung-ho about her religion (Baptist), her parents would pick me up every week and I had a conversion experience and was baptized Baptist. The woman who served as my God mother in the church was very fascinated with Judaism, which she felt was the Christian Church had sprung from and was still the foundation stone. I later read Nietzsche, the "God is dead" philosopher and although he was against religion in general, he felt that Judaism was a noble religion and that Christianity had perverted it. This piqued my curiosity and I started to read more about Judaism. 

I felt very allied with Judaism and sought out a rabbi who was the Hillel director at my college in Detroit at Wayne State University.  He discouraged me from converting, as rabbis are supposed to, because non-Jews don't have to keep rituals like kosher and Shabbat, just be ethical, but once a person converts, s/he must follow Jewish law, and if s/he changes his/her mind later is sinning by not following the Law. I studied with him for four years and when I went to graduate school at University of Michigan, the Hillel director there facilitated my conversion. I was an Orthodox Jew for 12 years but somehow I lost my kavanah (enthusiastic intention) and still love to study about things Jewish and interpret in Jewish settings.

Please tell us about your childhood experiences. 

1 comment:

Amorrat said...

you deaf christian

you go jew ok?