I began studying Judaism to get in touch with a part of my genetic heritage after my ancestry DNA listed it at 15% Ashkenazi Jewish. I began reading more and more, talking to a rabbi (who I intend on continuing to talk to as he is wise and extremely kind, I also attended a Shabbat ceremony and it was beautiful. No exploration into my Jewishness would be complete with an understanding of the religion of the Jewish people.

Through all I’ve read, all I learned, the identity and culture, the language, and people/community is absolutely calling to me. I have begun studying some Hebrew, learning about the culture, food, people/history, learning about the holidays and observances, about what’s Kosher, what follows halakha, and how to celebrate the Shabbat correctly. It feels less like I am converting, more like I am asking to return, asking to bring that peace and wisdom and sense of community, culture, spirituality, and identity into my family. 

The more I explore my Jewish heritage and the religion often attached, I fall in love, I feel a pull, something primal within me yearning toward it. In the grief of my father’s passing, I have turned to study, understanding, and learning about every aspect of my own Jewishness in which I want to explore deeper. 

I am infinitely curious, and this curiosity has led me onto a path I had misunderstood about the Jewish religion. Many think that they know, but they do not have a clue honestly, it is truly incredible, deep, and personal on a spiritual level. I intend to explore this deep, to think deeply about everything, and to process things through my mind, through my heart, and through my soul.

This great shift in consciousness, comes after introspection and retrospection, as have many shifts and realizations in me over the decades. If you know about my past, then you know that this feels like coming to closure, and while it won’t erase my past, it will bring great peace to it, for me personally.

As I work toward a future knowing, who and what I am, on a deeper level than I’d thought possible, many new things await me to learn and grow and to help others avoid the pitfalls of my past. I… am… Excited!