(Continued from part 1.)
But as I kept reading, I realized I was only looking for ways to validate my own prejudices--and there were few. This was a sincere and beautiful story, although I was reminded at times of a friend who goes on and on and on about what she ate for lunch, what this cute guy said, and so forth, instead of getting to the point. You don't stop being friends, but sometimes just want to grab the person by the shoulders and shake. The author's comparisons of Christian and Jewish holidays and her reflections on Talmud were far more interesting to me than the details of her life.
Halfway through the book when I realized, despite the very many words, that she would never explain exactly why she converted, I suddenly felt much closer to this author. I saw a little of myself in her roundabout way of telling the story, her grappling with an acute, indescribable magnificence. Her God--just like herself--lived in more than one religion, and Christianity was her best way to celebrate this awesome mystery. But never does she disparage the religion she left, and she frequently draws upon the wisdom of her first path. I think my initial fear was that this book would be an anti-Jewish polemic; I really appreciated her completely opposite approach.
She describes her moment of revelation as a love that always existed, even when hidden from her. I feel this way about Judaism, a world whose language I didn't possess until I stumbled upon it. And then it fit perfectly. Part of me is a little afraid that one day it won't, the same terror of possible abandonment I felt after 9/11. But the rest of me knows that as each doubt compels me to learn more, I continue to fall into even greater love with my tradition, my community, and all the quirks and bits of glory that come with it.
p.s.: Happy 400th post!