Monday, January 22, 2007

Soulfully Satisfying

This is the term I have come up with to describe the feeling through my body after attending shul, Torah study, Hebrew class, reading more about Judaism, etc.

For the first time in my life, I feel nourished by a religious and spiritual tradition, beyond my own belief that G-d exists.

This is truly wonderful, and words cannot fully describe it.

Many have asked me why I am leaving Catholicism. Is it because I am gay, jaded, or just disenfranchised?

It's not quite that simple. As I have told people in the past, my experience of Catholicism would not make for an exciting Lifetime movie.

The best answer I can come up for people is that there is room for me in Judaism. There is a space in Judaism where I can authentically be me, as G-d created me.

That doesn't mean I don't need to grow and change; certainly Judaism teaches us we must constantly struggle to grow and reach new heights. But, Judaism is the only tradition I have found that truly honors struggling, doubting, and striving.

This weekend, in his sermon, my Rabbi said that doubting, challenging, fearing, and worrying were just as much a part of the Covenant as celebrating, honoring, and loving G-d.

It was this moment that it dawned on me - my experience of Christianity is that everyone's experience of the traditions needs to be the same. You have to believe certain things, you have to feel a certain way about those beliefs, and if you doubt certain core, beliefs, there is shock and horror amongst the "believers."

In Judaism, I am allowed to learn about, struggle with, doubt, fear, love, celebrate, and honor G-d....all at the same time.

I am not sure if anyone else can identify with this experience, but it has been truly profound for me. This weekend marks the point in my life where I realized I am truly ready to convert and life my life as a Jew.

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