My husband and I got into a conversation on Tuesday. It upset me, not because he said anything hurtful, but because I realized there was an aspect to my Jewish identity I could never share with him.
The convert’s Jewish experience is radically different, in the sense that we will often have to justify our jewish-ness, or even prove to some that we are, in fact, Jewish.
Our conversation brought to mind scenarios I might face in the future (moving and changing synagogues, travelling to Israel etc.) where I might very well have to prove to people that I am Jewish. Especially if they choose to regard my conversion as not halachic.
It’s a difficult thing to put into words. When going through the learning, growing, and exploration of conversion, you are relegated to a school child again. One is constantly looking externally to learn, be inspired, and, yes, receive approval. But, at the same time, the process is a very internal, personal communion with G-d. I am perfectly comfortable with my journey in joining the Jewish people, but I might encounter important people in the future who will simply not acknowledge me as Jew. This is not something that people born to a Jewish Mother ever have to face, no matter how disconnected from their heritage they might be. All the more reason for the convert (me) to become more resolute in their identity and faith.