Friday, July 20, 2007

story from a Jew-by-Choice

I just received your newsletter about the Orthodox Rabbi. When I first wanted to convert, it took me months to work up enough nerve to go into a Synagogue and ask about conversion. I was happy all day knowing that that day would be the start of something very meaningful. I went into a synagogue on Devon Avenue in the city. I approached a man who I assumed was a Rabbi because of his clothing and beard, etc. I started asking about conversion and before I could even get past the first sentence, he said; "The only way for you to become Jewish is if you died and were reborn to a Jewish mother." And that was it. He also made it very clear that any further attempts at conversion would be met in a similar fashion.
I was absolutely devastated. I just walked around in absolute hopelessness and shock. I was so shaken up by this encounter that I don't even remember where I was parked, how long it took me to get back to my car or the name of the synagogue. It took several more months before I worked up enough courage to try it again. I have nothing bad to say about this person because he obviously was so devoted to his beliefs and Judaism that he felt obligated to be this stern with me. Had it not been for him, I would never have met you, proving that G-d ALWAYS knows how to work things out properly.

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