Friday, February 4, 2011

Shabbat Shalom! Conversion Is Like Falling in Love

In the beginning, you decide to convert, and you are infatuated. You want to breathe, sleep, and eat Judaism every hour of the day. Any time spent apart physically hurts. The "eccentricities" of Judaism and Jews are cute, and you're glad you noticed them.

You begin learning everything you can get your hands on, just like those long, all-night-long phone conversations.

And then reality begins to sink in. Judaism becomes a normal part of everyday existence instead of something so new and fresh. The eccentricities no longer look so cute, and they begin to annoy you. Your patience begins to run thin. 

Some days you love Judaism, and some days you want to hit it in the face. You don't understand why Judaism does the things it does, and then some days you discover a love letter waiting for you. You love it, you hate it, it excites you, it confuses you.

It drives you crazy, but you still love it. And everyone else wonders what you see in it.

Shabbat shalom! May you have a "date night" with Judaism this Shabbos, and may you be reminded of that puppy love in the beginning of your relationship!


  1. Absolutely! A warning to all people in the conversion process - sometime after your conversion you will experience something like postpartum depression. Many of the things you loved to do when they were optional will be burdensome now that they are required. This is normal, and if you just keep on this mood will also pass.

    My Chabad rabbi allegorized it this way "Before you convert, as a Noachide there was no obligation for you to keep the mitzvot. So your yetzer hara (evil impulse) didn't care whether you did or not, and things were easy. But now that you have converted, the YH has a strong interest in preventing you from keeping the mitzvot, so now it becomes more difficult.

  2. I agree so much with your comparison about falling in love. This can be difficult to logically convey to others. I got so tired of folks from my shul ask me the 'why do you want to convert' question that when asked at a very nice family's house I burst into a rendition of 'It Had To Be You'. No comparison to Sinatra's, but I think I conveyed the message.

    For nobody else gave me a thrill
    For all you faults, I love you still
    It had to be you... wonderful you
    It had to be you...

  3. thank you thank you thank you for this!! I was coming on to post just about this ver thing and for some reason I came here first. So glad i did. I'm still gonna post... but well it's just good to know I'm not going crazy (or crazier!)

    It is so important to us when people like you post honestly about conversion. The ups and the downs. not just the factual. the factual is really helpful it finding out ways through Judaism, but the honesty is what keeps us fueled.

    keep up the with the honest, raw, good posts :)

  4. John,

    that is just too sweet! I love that :)

  5. This is great! and so true! and something no one ever warns you about! Thanks for posting this!

  6. I don't ever get annoyed with it. But I do start to take it for granted. To me it's like falling in love vs. marriage. I miss the infatuation and breathless up-all-night joy, but I'm also so happy to be secure, in a new routine that I love, with the comfort of the familiar and the ability to sustain itself over the long term.