My Mother has to be Jewish and she’s just hiding it from me. That’s it. My grandmother is actually Jewish and therefore my mother is and therefore I am.
I mean, how else am I to understand this pull I have towards becoming Jewish? Why Judaism? I’ve tested myself against most religions and always came running right back to Judaism and especially celebrating the Sabbath. What is going on with me?
Most converts, as I suspect, already feel Jewish. I know I do. I can’t explain it. One day I was in my Jewish doctor’s office and I found myself, once again, asking as much as I could about Judaism. He taught me how and why to fast on Yom Kippur. He taught me a few things about Rosh Hashanah. I especially loved Rosh Hashanah because I could write down all the nasty things that were ‘last year’ and throw them in a river and watch them go gurgling away forever.
You see, I have felt Jewish since I was 18 year s old and probably further back but I don’t remember it. I snuck into a Synagogue when I was 18, after Friday night services. I just knew how great it felt as I sat in the red glow of the Synagogue with my hands wrapped around a Siddur (Jewish Prayerbook).
It is said that converts to Judaism are very respected in Judaism, sort of highly evolved people spiritually. Yep, that’s me. I’ve been spiritually trying to tune into Judaism for decades and now I’m going to study and become Jewish.
I can only imagine the Beit Din (Judges that will allow or disallow my conversion) as I tell them I’ve always felt Jewish.
They’re probably going to look at me funny but if it’s one thing I’ve been with my Rabbi so far is completely honest.
I sometimes tell myself that no matter what the Beit Din says, I will remain Jewish and will practice my Judaism.
The strength of my feelings about this are incredibly strong and have been with me for years. This is why I think my mother has to be Jewish. I’m trying to find ways of explaining such strong feelings I have. Then there’s the wishful thinking of ‘Why couldn’t I just be born Jewish? Why do I have to go through all this stuff to pronounce and confirm what I already know about myself?’
It also costs a fair bit to take the year long class and to convert. Just using the bath is $500 dollars. This is why my Mother must come clean and just tell me and the rest of the family that she’s Jewish and has been hiding it. Then all this middling around will cease. I will be a Jew right now, and I won’t have to go in front of any court or pay any money to learn what I already know.
I wonder if my story is similar to that of other converts. I know my Rabbi wouldn’t have accepted me to study if he didn’t feel I’d have a good chance at making a great Jew. I just know how deeply Jewish I already am and figure it must be due to having already been born a Jew.
So when I told my family years ago that I was Jewish and was going to study, I sat by my phone waiting for a call from either my Mother or my maternal Grandmother admitting the truth. I waited and waited. Even to this day I still feel that call may come. After all, my Mother won’t send me my Tanakh. I can only think it’s because she’s hiding something from me. Why wouldn’t my own Mother send me my ultimate copy of the Hebrew bible that I left there 10 years ago?
The only other explanation I can think of is that my Mother doesn’t want me to be religious. Maybe she truly is an unhappy, ex-Catholic who thinks all religions are as crazy as Catholicism? Maybe this is the reason she refuses to send me my copy of the Old Testament? That still doesn’t make sense because my parents prided themselves on raising my sister and I to grow up to be whatever we wanted. Do you see what I mean? None of this makes any sense.
The first time I met with my Rabbi, I got off the bus and an old Jewish man and I walked to the Temple together. Throughout the walk he thought I was going to see the Rabbi to determine if my Mother was Jewish. I tried telling him I was just going there to see if I could study but the old man insisted. That got me thinking even more.
Whatever happens with my Mother I must continue this path and get over my fears. It’s hard to walk into a Temple where nobody knows you except the fact that you aren’t Jewish. And that’s another story.