Aug 31, 2009

I Want to be More than a Dreamer.

I don't want to make it big. I don't want to be rich and famous with a house in Florida and another wherever I choose to place my head on any given night.(Although I wouldn't complain.) I just want to make things happen. More importantly, I want to make people happen. I want to help people feel what I feel, about Judaism.

Whoa whoa. I'm not going all proselytizer. I'm talking Jews here. Jews I know and Jews I don't know who are struggling to really feel what it is that I feel. The enthusiasm, the excitement, the passion, the need. Judaism isn't all action, it's emotion. It's intention. Most importantly, it's intention.

More than once recently I've had someone say to me, "Why on EARTH would you want to be Jewish?" followed or connected to something like "I want to know how you feel how you do, how can I feel how you feel?" I wish this feeling worked through osmosis, I'd have everyone on a Jewish high. But it doesn't. And putting it into words is equally difficult. But it's all I really want to do.

How do I translate everything? How do I convert to words how it feels looking at the havdalah flame, and why it makes my eyes well up? How do I divulge how it feels to be surrounded by song, by voices in a chaotic mess of beauty, singing praises to HaShem -- whether they're all fully involved or just going through the motions? The words may be coming from empty mouths, but when they penetrate my ears? I feel something beautiful.

I see fellow converts being interviewed, questions asked about their unique experience, their story on the road to Judaism, and I'd like to be one of those people. But I'd like how I feel to be more important than how I got here. The uniqueness of my story less important than the way that I do my Judaism now. I could be brown, white, black, red, yellow, green, but I think it's a lot less important than how I feel about everything. My family story, that I knew not a single Jewish soul until I'd already chosen to convert, is so minor in comparison to how I can inspire born Jews and those doing Judaism for their whole lives and more.

Does it make me a preacher? A proselytizer? Or just enthusiastic? Or maybe, without action and merely words, I'm just hopeful. I'm a dreamer. I'm dreaming of the perfect tikkun olam. The tikkun of the spirit of Judaism. I don't want people to feel like this guy. I want them to be excited, passionate, hopeful, full of intention.

It's great to walk into a public function and for someone I've never met to say "I've read your blog!" or "I know you from the internet!" But more importantly I want them to say "You said something that has changed my world, that has made me search, that has inspired me and given me hope in who we are."

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hello,
You sound enthusiastic! It is true that no one human being can relay an feeling. I am sorry,yet this is the truth. i have been there, too in that moment.
I was born as a jewess and my family was not observant (my father is not jewish) and we kept nothing in the home. i was taught about my judaism by my mother is secrecy and like I said we observed mostly nothing. Too much to go into right now, yet there was a holiday that my mother and I kept in secrecy and it is the key to my "enthusiasm" in how I observe.
I, wondered how other jews who had there observance out in the open could possibly be bored by it or unenthusiastic about it.....
Always do something everyday that will allow you to retain the enthusiasm. Ha, I see down at the bottom my son's name is in the box to click on yet I am his mother...

Chaviva said...

Anonymous, whoever you are, thank you. I can't imagine how a peoplehood with such a gift couldn't want to sing from the mountaintops and embrace the beauty of it all. Then again, I come from a different place. I can't imagine having to keep something like a holiday in secrecy. At the same time, it develops a specialness that others probably wouldn't understand. Thank you for this comment and your hopeful words!

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