I’d like to share something with many of you here that may not understand the heart of a new potential convert. Most of us grew up in a Christian background and all our lives we have been told of this loving, caring and merciful god. Once we come to seek truth and discover that this “god” is not real and attach ourselves to Judaism, we are faced with many disappointments. We are first introduced to a G-d that does not love all His creation the same. We are told that due to our birth (which we had no part in choosing) causes us to be outside of this covenant that G-d has with His people (you). We are told that this G-d does not want, even will not accept, our keeping of His “full” commands.
Suddenly, we are faced with not a loving, merciful G-d but one that picks and chooses whom He will love. On top of all that, we have to come to the knowledge that this G-d gave man (sages) the ability to make laws by His name and we are to obey them just as if they were spoken by G-d.
Growing up in the Seventh-Day Adventist church, I could not understand why people who joined as adults had such trouble following the rules that were set forth by the leaders of the church. Now I can see how and why that would be hard. Many Jews (those born and raised Jewish) may not understand why those seeking conversion struggle with minor things like, in my case, being told I can no longer keep Sabbath after having kept it all my life. I was never told that a person, even one that did not know G-d, should break His law and now I have those I view as being closer to Him than any other, telling me to do just that…..
I’ve been reading and trying very hard to find this teaching. As of today, I don’t see it. Yes, I see where the law was given to the Hebrews, but I see that there were others who kept this law who were not Hebrew.
I grew up with the knowledge that until you knew a law, you were not held responsible to keep that law. It is only then that you would be judged on breaking that law. So how could I knowingly break His law? How could He look at that and say it is fine because I am not born of the Hebrew people? But, I ask myself, what if I am and just don’t know it yet? Unlike so many of you, I don’t know who my great-grandparents were. I don’t know were my grandmother came from. My family is solely African American. Neither of my grandparents were 100% black. I don’t have family I can ask today. My aunt, who I love deeply, is white. She said she does not know who her grandfather or grandmother were. I don’t say this to say I am Jewish but to say I don’t know.
All I know is this: I want to find that loving, caring G-d I once thought I knew and to obey Him with all my heart, all my soul, and all my mind. I can do no more. I must obey Him. It is He that wakes me each day to spend another day getting it right. It is He that causes sleep to fall upon my eyes and keeps me in perfect peace. I understand that I also must obey what the sages have said but as of today, I don’t know them. I have not fully read or studied to understand who they were. You all have and you must give those of us that have not time and patience in this walk. You cannot, nor should you, expect us to do what you are saying with no way to understand the reason. Telling me to break the law of G-d with no explanation about why seems very unkind. I don’t think you fully understand the fear that arises within me just to consider openly breaking the law of G-d. It, for me, would be tantamount to having my limbs removed while still having to use them. (Sorry for such a long post. I will stop here.)