I remember us having a debate on the Ten Commandments thread. I posted that following the Sabbath was one of the first things that I questioned and after tons of research, (one of my degrees is a BTh), I discovered that it should be kept by me. So I did. And I loved it! Now even when we have company staying for an extended period of time I will explain what we do/do not do and give them options like here is the cordless phone but the ringer won’t be on etc. Here is food because I won’t be cooking. Absolutely everyone has said no, we love how peaceful this day is and how relaxed we feel. They decided to observe at our level.
During that post I felt your defensiveness and I understood because I was the same way before. Part of being a proselytizing religion is feeling that you are doing things “right” and others are doing things “wrong” and need to come to your faith. Complete generalization
but that is my quick way of summing it up. So it feels like a personal attack when someone doesn’t agree. I have freedom now from that because I don’t have to convince someone else to believe as I do. If they don’t think that they need to observe the Sabbath... okay... you don’t.
Later I noticed a questioning approach in your posts like I had. Truth-seeking, I call it. What am supposed to do? Not, what I have learned but really wanting to know how to please G!d and live in a way that He commanded. You were analyzing and asking questions and willing to even be “against the grain” as you stated then. In my past, I know in my personal experience I was not encouraged to ask questions but randomly believe. I LOVE that Judaism is a thinking
faith. You can debate, disagree and discuss anything. It is encouraged.
Whenever I saw your posts I would say to myself that I bet HP will want to convert one day! LOL
Personally I was not looking for a new faith. I really thought that I might end up in an early-church type experience but I just grew and grew. I met a friend online who was a part of the Messianic Jewish movement and she encouraged me to visit one of their meetings. I said no but she understood because she had been involved for 10 years and longed for more. Years later after losing touch, I told her that I was converting, she told me that she was too!!! I was astounded. We had the same thoughts as you. I just don’t believe in G!d being man, I don’t believe in the statues and artifacts, the trinity, etc. We have the most beautiful friendship and encourage each other all the time.
Well after looking into keeping kosher back where my parents grew up for when I visited, I discovered that I have a Jewish heritage!!! I had no clue even though looking back there were several signs. My conversion is on hold and I am having a genealogical company do the research. Apparently there were/are many Jews where my parents lived and my grandmother is part of one of the most prominent families. When she talks about how her mother prayed, things they ate, how they lived ... it now makes sense. From what I have seen online, this happens frequently. Many find Jewish roots. I think that it is because it is a calling back to who you truly are... Your neshama. Someone, I think Merpk, said that all Jews were present at Mt. Sinai which explained my feeling of complete and utter peace with this journey. That makes sense to me.
I still want to do more studies. I love the learning. I would recommend that you get connected with a Chabad house and start taking classes. They have so many good tools. You must
be a part of a community, it is so essential to Jewish life. In terms of family, the fact is that this way of life affects everything. That it is not a once or twice a week thing. It really encompasses your whole life. This affects where you live, what you eat, how you work, just everything. I guess I love that too. So be prepared for dramatic shifts in your relationships. And lots of people praying for your soul...
I try to remember that they have good intentions and want the best for me. But to be honest I do sometimes feel annoyed
. I have a dear friend who is not at all mainstream and has a wonderful respect for Jewish life. But after the 3rd or fourth invitation to a Messianic event on a Saturday morning, I had to tell her that basically I would never go. Our relationship has survived our differences but only because I stood firm and she respected that and stopped trying to convert me or see my acts as being deceived by the "enemy". My family is another story...
I wish you well and please feel free to PM me. I would love to discuss this more with you. I remember feeling so lost because I didn’t fit in to my past but didn’t fit in my new life either. Everyone was wonderful and kind but I was still out of my element. But that changes. I feel very comfortable now. I have a great book list that I would recommend. There is lots to learn!