I know, strange title, but will I ever be a Jew?
This post follows on from my post ‘Correcting life’s wrong turns‘. I have now been attending Shabbat services via Zoom since December and even been to the Synagogue for a service.
It is best if you read the other post first to save me going through it all again!
I have felt very content, I have finally scratched that itch that I have had for so many years and it feels good, it feels right, I am happy!
I have learnt to read Hebrew, I pray and I have been very warmly welcomed by the Reform Jewish community.
And yet I also feel at times worse than I did before, and that is because even though I am attending services, praying and reading Torah, I am not immersed in Judaism, I am still very much on the outside looking in like a kid at a sweet shop (kosher one) with his nose pressed up against the window.
Judaism is more than prayer, more than Torah. It is a way of life, it is lived and it is lived through family life and my daughters are adults and have left home and my wife is not joining me on this journey.
And so I can’t do it justice!
There is also the issue of my health. I missed the last Shabbat services as I am having a big pain flare up and the fatigue both physical and mental is high and so I couldn’t attend, either in person or online.
When I am like this, as the day goes on, I start to struggle even more and so evening prayer or Maariv as it is called is not possible because I am so mentally fatigued that, how can I describe it? It mentally hurts, thinking is like swimming through liquid cement!
I have dipped my toe in and my true desire is to convert, to be a Jew and yet, I fear it is not possible because my health will stop me from being able to do what is needed to convert.
Then there is the financial cost of conversion.
I am not able to work due to poor health and disability, my wife cares for me and so finances are tight, well they strangle us they are so tight. There is a cost for converting with the classes and when you have done that, there are fees for going in front of the Beit Din (Hebrew: “house of judgment”)
So main issues stand in my way and I can’t see either being resolved.
I can’t explain it to you, but I guess using modern terms, just like someone who says they feel like they are in the wrong body, that they feel like they should be of the opposite sex. I feel like I am also in the wrong body, my soul is Jewish and I have felt that for about 30 years or more.
I have tried to ignore it, but as you can imagine, a Jewish soul will not sit there quietly!
So it seems it may never happen and I need to accept that and just do what I can!