Several things have occurred in the past week that have really hit me and I have realized that I need to go back to the beginning to retrace my steps. I recently was talking to someone at synagogue during the community oneg and she said something that stuck with me. She said that she had been channel surfing and caught the Easter Mass by the Pope and she was floored because she felt she was seeing in many ways a Jewish prayer service, including the Amidah, that structure, that type of prayer. I was reading a booklet about Catholic customs and it says that Jesus, his family, all those who communed with him were faithful followers of the Jewish faith. It also made clear that the Church did and does seek to honor those roots, even though it did adopt slightly different customs, as they do accept Jesus as Messiah. What does that mean for me? As was put forth to me just today, it means a long journey of questioning.
It means I should really take a long time of study, reflection of my childhood faith as well as Judaism to ponder my path, my heritage all things before making any decision. My friend and Hadassah colleague said that any decision of a spiritual nature and change is a process at least for coming into Judaism that can take years. I will be spending the next three years, the time my intuition tells me to take, very likely doing a lot of revisiting of my Catholic Catechism and also studying the Torah. The one thing that I do know is that walking away from Jesus as Messiah in some form in my life is not an option, so that is something that I will have to explore and fit into my faith journey. Jesus is very important to me and I realize one of the reasons I am drawn to Judaism is that it was the faith he lives, so I was drawn to it as a means of being drawn to him and to a community of people that lived what he lived, something perhaps I felt I could not do Catholicism and I realize also there was an element of rejecting that faith because I saw in a sense my family as hypocritical and I won’t get into details about, but in a sense I decided if that is what Catholicism and that is all about, they can keep it, I want nothing to do with that community. Part of my three year plan might actually have to be becoming engaged with bible study in my local Catholic Church, while also taking classes at the synagogue. Doing parallel learning journey and honoring fully my heritage and in a sense my mom while she is on this earth. I will always love and honor my heritage in some way, whether it is writing songs in Italian, finding ways to keep up with the language. I will always find a way to honor it, be a part of it etc…, that is a given. I do have to really take a good long time study, reflect, contemplate and choose the path wisely. This is not like buying a shirt or a dress and then your return it, this is a life changing choice and commitment and one not to be taken lightly. I will make a plan for the next three years for my spiritual journey and stick to it diligently. As long as mom is on this earth, I will not turn my on the faith of our ancestors, I will not do that to her. Honor thy Mother and Thy Father and I will honor them and will not in formally convert to anything while my mom lives, I will honor her and the faith of the family. I will retrace my steps and seek to at least appreciate the faith she holds so dear to her heart and understand it more fully.
Shalom and Amen