Maybe I Was Mistaken

Perhaps I was mistaken.  Perhaps I was wrong to assume that I would be seen in a positive light as someone journeying into Judaism.  I know there is a lot of debate between Orthodox, Conservative, Reform, and Reconstructionist but I thought that I would benefit from blogging about my Reform path.  All I seem to get on here in comments on my posts are people calling me a fraud and a fake because I am choosing Reform as my entry into a Jewish life.  That isn’t helping me.  I didn’t realize I would be shown little acceptance from people here while I feel so accepted locally.  There is a particular commenter from Los Angeles that seems to think he is the poster boy of being “true Jewish” though he looks more Abercrombie than Orthodox, so who is he to judge?

I have learned quite a bit so far during my time blogging here:

-Orthodox people define Judaism very technically.  Either you’re born to a Jewish mother, or you convert according to halacha (Jewish law).

-Reform Jews (I think) define Judaism more conditionally.  If you feel Jewish, act Jewish, raise the kids Jewish, were raised Jew-ish, you’re Jewish.

-In some cases, the Orthodox view will be more inclusive (like when a born Jew celebrates Christmas, wears a cross, burns the Israeli flag, and eats pepperoni pizza, he’s still as Jewish as Moses, according to Orthodox philosophy).

-Reform view is more inclusive (like when someone is born to a Jewish father but not a Jewish mother, he is still Jewish if he behaves Jewishly, according to Reform philosophy).

I am just trying to be true to myself and maybe one day I will be 110% ‘by the book’ but everyone’s journey is different.  I am reconsidering this whole “blogging my conversion journey” thing.  Maybe it’s best I keep it between myself and people who are interested and respectful.

About the Author
Ryan Fagan is originally from Southwest Florida, and currently lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota where he is employed in the financial sector and is active at Shir Tikvah, his Reform shul. He recently converted to Judaism after being raised in a Catholic household. He also goes by his Hebrew name, Aviv.
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