Wednesday, January 7, 2009

My story up until I started studying for conversion...

People always want to know my story. Why did I convert to Judaism? Where did I come from (religiously)? What are my parents?

My mother was Catholic. My father was raised at a United Church of Christ church, protestant. Neither one went to church while I was growing up. My parents were divorced on my second birthday. So, my mother (and grandmother) raised me. So, when it was time for a life cycle, Catholic was the way we went. However, my mom never went to church, let alone take us. My grandmother went. If I wanted to go, I could go with her but, I wasn't taken to church.

I always felt warmly towards Jews. I got, and of course still do, warm fuzzies seeing a star of David. I remember reading Anne Frank and seeing the movie, looking for the extra Jewish parts like Chanukah. However, our area would have been waspy if it weren't for the high percentage of Catholics. So, I didn't haven any encounters with Jewish friends growing up.

When I was in about fifth or sixth grade, I started going to a youth group at a church. I became a very religious xtian. In high school, I went to another church which was right wing fundamentalist. The women were really into skirt-wearing as proper attire. You weren't supposed to go to the movies. You weren't supposed to buy anything on Sundays. There should always be six inches between persons of opposite gender.

Eventually, I was attending x-tian college and I could no longer ignore the problems I saw with the religion. If He is Eternal, He couldn't have become a human? Why are there two different geneologies for this person that's supposed to be Him? The argument used is that one is Joseph's geneology and the other is Mary's. However, the doctrine states that Joseph was not the PERSON's father. So, what gives? Friday to Sunday morning is not three days and three nights. If they knew enough to record this birth, why was nothing but, one teenage incident recorded until the PERSON was 30 something?

So, I left x-tianity.

After making the decision, I was asked by people, "so what do you believe now?" That was a good question. I had to ask myself. I concluded that all the problems I had with the Bible were with this "new" testament, if you will. I didn't inconsistencies within the "old" testament. I decided that the G-d of the "old" testament was indeed, G-d, the Creator of the Universe and the Eternal One. I discovered this religion existed and that it's called Judaism. So, I had one Jewish Email pal and I asked him where to start. He did such a great job of dissuading me. However, I stopped celebrating Xmas, Easter and New Year's.

Fast forward several years. In June of 2004, I moved to New York City. I originally came to pursue a career in acting. However, being surround by Jews tugged at that thing inside me that caused me to look into converting previously. One day in the summer of 2006, I was walking in downtown Brooklyn, when a Chabadnic asked me if I was Jewish. I replied, "no, but, I-" The "I always wanted to convert," was cut off and he gave me a bnei noach card.

Well, I took that card home and I prayed on it. I prayed to Hashem if perhaps I was supposed to convert, that he should send me a sign. Perhaps I could make a Jewish friend or work for a Jewish person.

On the 26th of Elul (less than a month later), I started working for this Jewish guy.

I will continue the story another day...

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