Sunday, September 15, 2013
So Long, Farewell...
I started this blog over a year ago with few expectations and little vision. After a long and arduous conversion process, I just had a lot to say. I wanted to speak up against some of the things I had seen and disagreed with in the Orthodox world, but I also wanted to defend religion and observance against the cynics. As I didn't (and don't) feel that I fit into any movement perfectly, I wanted to carve out a niche here for myself and anyone who was like-minded.
I have been blown away by the wonderful people I've connected with. One of my favorite things about being a writer is to have someone tell me that I captured how they felt. It was always nice to receive validation from those who agreed with me, though even those who disagreed always did so in a respectful manner. Sometimes I wondered if people were so nice because I'm a convert, but hey, I'll take it.
The time has come, I think, to move on to other things. There are projects requiring more of my time and creative energy, but those obligations aside, it just feels like a good place to end the conversation. I've said what I needed to say. (Those who don't think it's possible that I could ever shut up will be shocked, I'm sure.) Before I really do give it a rest, I'd like to leave you with a few final thoughts:
-Enough with the labels already. Let the quality of your behavior speak for itself. Aim to sanctify G-d's Name in everything you do.
-Don't be afraid of diversity. Being friendly with Jews of all backgrounds doesn't mean you have to water down your Judaism in order to come to a consensus. It's Judaism; there is no consensus. Let the position of your mezuzah be a reminder to you, as you leave the house each day, that some of our greatest traditions come to us from brilliant Rabbis who worked together.
-Stand strong in your Judaism. I truly and sincerely feel sorry for those who think Judaism can't stand up to the internet, the movies, the world outside their own neighborhood, etc. Are there things we should just avoid? Absolutely. I refuse to watch the Saw movies (or anything similar), because I think there is enough tragic violence in this world without anyone conjuring up some for entertainment. But know this: When you love G-d as you are commanded to, with all your heart and soul and strength, you know what you stand for. You politely decline anything non-kosher and reach for what is. If you see anything immoral on a screen, it confirms the truth of the Torah for you. And when you step outside your bubble, you know that these people, too, are children of G-d.
Above all, thank you. Thank you for welcoming me into the Jewish world. Thank you for making me laugh, making me cry (happy tears), and making me think. Thank you for inspiring me to be a better Jew. Thank you for allowing me to be a part of your conversion journey. Thank you for reaching out to let me know you liked something I wrote. Thank you for inviting me to write for your blog and bringing me more support. Thank you for everything.
Maybe someday I will be back. But for now, this feels right.