I have recently begun what I hope will be the conversion process. I am taking an intro to Judaism class, and so far I have been to services at three different synagogues (each a different denomination) and I have sat down with one rabbi and informally and briefly met a few others. I plan to continue shul shopping and meeting with rabbis of different denominations, before asking one to sponsor me for conversion.
I have had an enormously heavy, leaden heart since October 7th. That has only strengthened my belief that I am on the right path. But I’m beginning to worry that I won’t be able to find a rabbi who will sponsor me for conversion.
I think I most align with Reconstructionist theology. I am still trying to figure out what I think G-d even is, but I think right now my views most closely align with pantheism or panentheism, and I’m very interested in learning more about Kabbalah. I have read Reconstructionist ideas about G-d that resonate with me deeply. (I would love book recommendations, if you have any!)
There are only two Reconstructionist congregations in my area. I have checked out one so far, and spoken with the rabbi there. I have loved that community and their rabbi. But I do not agree with their rabbi’s politics on the conflict [Don’t want to get into the details because of the “no politics” rule]. I am comfortable with the idea of asking a rabbi to sponsor me for conversion who I have some differences of opinion with, but this difference of opinion feels like it might be too much for me.
I’m beginning to worry that I won’t find a rabbi who accepts my theology as Jewish, whose opinions on Israel/Palestine aren’t so different from mine as to make me feel uncomfortable. I cried when I realized that I might not be able to feel comfortable in this congregation anymore, and that I might have to search for another rabbi, who for all I know I won’t be able to find.
I think I’m catastrophizing. I should check out the other Reconstructionist congregation in my area and talk to some other rabbis about my feelings and fears. But I feel adrift and lonely and frightened right now.
Do you think I am putting too much weight on these political differences? If I can’t find a better fit elsewhere, should I just suck it up that we disagree so strongly?
I am sending love to everyone. This is a hard time.