As our story begins your narrator, me, the Ger, is a thirty four year old man raised in a reasonably observant Irish Catholic home. The Ger was confirmed in the Catholic Church and then basically never went to church again. For years he wasn’t very religious at all. At times, he was downright hostile to the idea of spirituality. Then, two and a half years ago, he met a wonderful woman who we’ll call E, and things began to change.
E was raised in a reasonably observant Jewish home. She went to the high holidays, her family often did shabbos dinner, and she often attended synagogue, but she doesn’t keep kosher and her Hebrew is a little rusty. Being Jewish is hugely important to her, and the Ger has now been to his share of joyous Jewish weddings and somber and moving Jewish funerals. At first, when conversion was brought up, he stubbornly refused. He was born an Irish Catholic and by God, that was how he’d die. But things change, and slowly the wonders of the religion and traditions started to affect him and the Ger got to thinking about how powerful it all was the relation to God through a combination of intellectual discourse and spiritual belief. The beauty of the ceremonies and traditions and he started to feel a real calling to be part of all that and to share it with E and be a model of the good Jewish man to he and E’s theoretical children.
So the Ger started thinking about converting. At first he did so half in jest, bringing it up for a laugh to feel out the waters, and then, more and more seriously. He began reading about it on the internet, he began buying books and now, in a couple of days, he has his first appointment with a Rabbi to seriously discuss it, and he is scared to death.
Right now, I don’t know where this is going to go. I think I am going to convert, but I still have reservations. I am still thinking it through. I want to use this space to discuss the excitement and concerns I have about conversion, Judaism and Jewish history. Let’s see how it goes.