First of all, happy Sukkot! Know is not a great time to post here, but I couldn’t refrain myself any longer. I’ll try to keep it short, but sorry in advance if I don’t succeed.
Well, I have been drawn to judaism for a long time and have taken my time in doing research about the religion, the culture and conversion. Since I lived in a small town in Brasil for most of my life, where no jews -at least of my knowledge- lived as well, all the resources and contact with the jewish people and heritance I had were remote.
Now, for 6 months I’ve been living in Rio de Janeiro, where the jewish presence is stronger, albeit not being the biggest community in Brasil, but where ultra orthodox stroll in the streets and a jewish club sits a few blocks from my house. For 6 months I have tortured myself for being so close to the people my soul longs to be a part of, but for feeling lost in where to begin contact and somewhat afraid to do so.
I know conversion is a strong step and a debatable topic, specially in my country, so I’m trying to go slow, as I have been all these years. All I want now is to learn more, to live and be a part of the community experience, to make a gradual path and see where it leads, hopefully to conversion.
Please don’t get me wrong, I have a profound respect for this people and these traditions. It is, indeed, out of this respect that arises my insecurity in reaching out to a community. I don’t want to sound invasive, noncommittal or fetishizing (as so many evangelicals are right now), but I want to experience judaism in my life and I feel I need some guidance-at least initial- that I haven’t been able to get from the internet resources. And I would like to join a community in doing so, because I have an idea of how communal some of judaism is.
Sorry for the long text, but I needed to get some of this out of my chest and to be able to explain myself.
I came here to ask if my intentions would be badly perceived by the jewish community if I was to approach some. If it is disrespectful to ask for that sort of experience before pursuing conversion more persistently. Furthermore, if any of you could refer me to a community or individual I could look for – currently I know no jews here personally – I would be extremely grateful.
Thanks in advance!