I am almost Jewish. Well, I am Jewish. I am Jewish now I mean. I wasn’t Jewish last Monday, but today I am Jewish . When I began writing this book I was not Jewish yet; but wasn’t quite not Jewish either. I was almost Jewish. I spent a decade – yes, an actual decade – living as a Jew, identifying as a Jew and taking my sweet time along the road to Jewish conversion. This is what this book is about actually. I did not begin in a typical fashion and I certainly did not take the road mostly traveled either. I’m not really sure if I should be the one giving advice on this, but here I am.
This book is so that ten years from now you are not in the same boat I have been in for the entirety of my adult life . I want for you to be Jewish and not just feel Jewish. (Note the Jewish sentence structure, write this down) I want for you to know with confidence that you have chosen a life that has meaning for you and not just an interesting identity that goes along with some vague concept that you really like bagels.
I want you to know what you are doing before you put on the kippah and go too far down the social line of calling yourself Jewish. You can’t be kind of pregnant and you can’t be kind of Jewish. It’s very black and white kids; don’t let Rabbi So-and-so tell you otherwise on the internet. There is a process and some expectations. Those expectations vary from rabbi to rabbi but they follow a similar path and timeline. There are many books focused on that topic alone and while I kind of find myself explaining how the process works, I really just want to give you an idea. The best way to do that is to really just show you what I have experienced. If you decide to convert after reading this then you’ve earned it. No. Seriously.
Like I said, there are many books on converting to Judaism but this one will tell you the truth about what goes on behind the scenes. I have lived in the limbo of “Ger” (it’s what you are when you are converting) for a decade now and I can tell you many things to avoid and how to take a much easier path than I chose. Hopefully I will make you laugh a bit too. I am a very funny guy. Ask anyone. My style is story telling from my own experience with bits and pieces tossed out to you as they feel appropriate.
Just so we are clear, I am not now nor do I ever plan to be a building-bridges Chanukah-Bush hippie Jew. I technically classify myself as Conservative only because I cannot be Orthodox and I am not really Reform. I have strong opinions and I’m not afraid to use them. (Requirement #472 of being Jewish) But I am open to the reality that we all find out path in unique ways. You should not feel that my perspective on a topic is the best one. I think it is the best one, but you don’t have to. You really don’t need anything other than a curious interest to feel as though this book speaks to you.
Look, taking on this process is not easy. It is not fancy or nice or pretty. Jews are a very unique and diverse group of people and you really do not have any idea what you are doing. In fact, you should probably skim through about half of this book and maybe choose something more suitable like Wicca instead.
Just a suggestion