Wednesday, July 9, 2008


A friend recently asked my why I choose to convert.  What follows was my answer to him.

I converted for a number of little tiny reasons, really.  I abandoned Christianity for a few big ones, though.  What it came down to was that I felt that the Christian community had become so fundamentalist and closed-minded that I could no longer agree with many of their teachings, and because of that disagreement, I could never fit in with that herd.  When I started studying on my own, I was drawn toward the beginning of the Bible, because I realized that I didn't actually know that much about the Jewish origins.  Most of it had been taught to me as a child, so I got a very cursory once-over of the major stories, and then the Old Testament was infrequently revisited only when necessary to prove a point.  These points were almost always exclusionary or an attempt to prove that Jesus was the Messiah.  
On my own, I learned that there was a lot of richness and wisdom that I'd never really known before.  I also discovered that Jesus hadn't really fulfilled all the prophesies.  With that, I was no longer afraid to abandon Christianity.  As far as I'm concerned, the Messiah must fulfill all the prophesies.  If a candidate does not, then he is no messiah.  Maybe Jesus was the son of God and all that, and maybe he is going to come back.  Maybe he'll be the Messiah then, when he finishes the job.  I don't know.  What I do believe is that the God of Judaism is similar to the God of Christianity.  I think that sometimes Jesus gets in the way of God.  I don't really know if I think of Jesus as a second god, a facet of God, or an idol.  I haven't figured that out yet.
What I do know is that I started noticing more references to Judaism within things that I liked.  I was interested in Biblical Archaeology, and the parts that I was really interested in were Hebrew Bible stories.  My favorite TV show happened to have a Jewish host.  A song that I liked was inspired by a Jewish story.  Eventually, I contacted a Rabbi and started studying with him, because there was only so much that I could teach myself.

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