|5 years ago :: Apr 06, 2011 - 3:07AM #11|
I don't think that conversion is an entirely rational choice. It's sort of like marrriage or having children - your heart has to be in it for it to work. Doing a cost-benefit analysis would not necessarily lead you to do these things.
You don't convert to Judaism for the next world. You convert because you feel a special pull to the Jewish people and the Torah in this world. You convert because, after learning about Judaism and the Jewish people, you feel that that's where you belong.
You've gotten a remarkably honest and sincere picture of what conversion means. Just like in marriage, there is no guarantee that a convert to Judaism will always be in love with Judaism and the Jewish community. As a born Jew, I thoroughly agree that it's a matter of committment and not feelings.
I would disagree with the statement that Judaism does not see itself as "the only true religion" - although I understand what's behind it. As I understand Judaism, it's much more nuanced than that:
The principles of Jewish faith are as true as true can be. They are part of a direct and unique revelation from G-d, and reflect His truth. Other religions have a portion of these truths, and we recognize that all human beings are G-d's children and He is concerned with all humankind. We are all made in His image, and He has expectations from all of us - to revere Him and to be ethical and just people. The 613 commandments of the Torah apply to Jews, the seven Noahide laws apply to all.
Having said all that, Judaism has a vision of all mankind coming together to serve the Creator in truth - but not to become Jews.
All the Monotheistic religions have an important part in spreading G-d's truth and advancing humanity towards redemption. Ultimately, their faith will become refined from the various flawed beliefs that they have accepted throughout history, and mankind will unite in the service of the One G-d.
Not all Jews (especially liberal Jews) would agree with this formulation, but that's what classic Jewish sources say.But Jews have a tradition of debate and interpretation, and it's not surprising that we have different views.
Again, you don't have to be Jewish to serve G-d or be loved by Him, or to have a portion in the next world.
As a SDA you observe the Sabbath - but the way you observe it is radically diferent from the traditional Jewish observance. Look at the SDA board and you'll eventually find an interesting discussion I held with those fine people (and they really do seem to be fine people to me) about non-Jews observing the Sabbath.
If you are really not sure what the difference between Reform, Conservative, Orthodox, etc. is - you don't know too much about the Jewish community today. Read all you can.
At this point, I would suggest that you put plans to convert on the shelf. Spend a year or so getting to know Jews, the Jewish community, the history and culture of the Jewish people. Study Judaism- Jewish thought and traditional Jewish practice. Learn about Israel. Then, if you still feel the pull towards Judaism and the Jewish people, contact a rabbi regarding conversion.
|5 years ago :: Apr 06, 2011 - 10:07PM #12|
yeah - what Nahum said.
Blessed are You, HaShem, Who blesses the years.