Friday, October 22, 2010

Reason #1 You Know You're Crazy: You're Suspicious of Kindness

Reason #1 You Know You're Crazy: You're Suspicious of Kindness

As any of you converts/converts-in-progress know, the conversion process, despite being an incredibly worthwhile, meaningful, and "religious" experience, can be soul-crushing when well-meaning (or not so well-meaning) Jews try to "discourage" you. Sometimes this discouragement can cross the line over into flat-out rude or cruel. My two favorite pet peeves are (1) setting meetings and "forgetting" to show up to them and (2) saying things like, "No one will ever marry you/eat in your house/believe you're Jewish/marry your children/etc."

These kinds of experiences can tend to make converts-in-progress suspicious of kindness from anyone in Jewish authority, especially anyone related to their individual conversion process.

So besides this possibly being, in my opinion, the worst problem with conversions today, why am I bringing this up? Quite frankly, things are going too well, and I'm freaked out. I expect to end any interaction with a conversion-related rabbi with a good cry in the privacy of my own home. Yet I switched to a new beit din for moving reasons, and they're all just being too darned nice. It's terrible to say, but I feel like I'm being lured into a trap. What's this, rabbis are treating me with respect, kindness, and common decency?? They're returning my emails, they're not "losing" my applications, and they don't treat me patronizingly? I'm waiting for the floor to fall out and for the status quo to return.

On the other hand, perhaps I'm where I was always meant to be :)

If nothing else, conversion will give you middos you never thought you'd ever have. Ones you kinda wished you didn't have to learn the hard way.

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