Allen S. Maller

Anti-Semitism is; but Judaism isn’t scary

Most non-Jews who become Jewish, come from not very Christian families.

Some however, have escaped from fundamentalist Protestant homes and are actively seeking to find a non scary, warm, and yet rational religion for themselves, and especially for their children.

When they meet Jews they are frequently attracted to them because non-Haredi Jews are very different from Protestant fundamentalists.

An example of this is an article written by Angela Himsel in the 10/2/05 issue of the New York Times. “It was 1968, and I was 7. According to the Worldwide Church of God, the small evangelical church my family attended every Saturday in Evansville, Indiana, the world was going to end in 1975.”

“In the end times’, the ministers shouted from the pulpit, “there will be mass murder, corpses will litter the streets, and the world will reek of the stench of dead bodies!”

“Satan has a hold of this world, and this world must come to an end!” they continued. “This world is temporal, God’s world is eternal! Jesus will return, like a thief in the night, lest all flesh shall perish. Do not slumber, do not sleep, do not let your love wax cold! The great God is going to spank this world, and he is going to spank hard! Worldwide droughts, starvation, etc.”

‘I have three children of my own now, and I live as a Jew on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. For the past several weeks, in preparation for the Jewish holidays, I have been taking stock, physically and spiritually.

‘My son could use a new suit for synagogue, my daughter needs her hair trimmed, maybe I really will send out New Year’s greetings cards this year, and will my sins be forgiven and will I be written in the Book of Life? If not, then what happens?

‘Memories of my past growing up in that church, which says it has about 64,000 members worldwide, elbow their way into my current world of apples dipped in honey and greetings of “Happy New Year!”.

‘I myself fled as soon as I could, both geographically and spiritually: After studying in Israel for two years, I moved to New York 22 years ago, and eventually married the son of an Orthodox rabbi.

A few years later, when I was pregnant with my oldest son, I decided to forswear demons and destruction and convert to Judaism, a religion that worried less than I would like about God’s plan and salvation, but one that encouraged me to keep one foot firmly rooted in this physical soil.”

The Orthodox Rabbi’s son who married this ex-fundamentalist, who had studied for two years in Israel, yet was still afraid to become Jewish, must have realized that she had a Jewish soul deep inside, that needed love and Yiddishkiet to welcome it home.

In the year 2014, may the Jewish people welcome many such Jewish souls who are seeking a connection with the God of Israel.

About the Author
Rabbi Allen S. Maller has published over 850 articles on Jewish values in over a dozen Christian, Jewish, and Muslim magazines and web sites. Rabbi Maller is the author of "Tikunay Nefashot," a spiritually meaningful High Holy Day Machzor, two books of children's short stories, and a popular account of Jewish Mysticism entitled, "God, Sex and Kabbalah." His most recent books are "Judaism and Islam as Synergistic Monotheisms' and "Which Religion Is Right For You?: A 21st Century Kuzari" both available on Amazon.
Related Topics
Related Posts