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Interested in Judaism from Agnosticism – where do I start?

I’m sure questions like these are posted so frequently- I suppose I’ll add to that list. Hope that’s ok 🙂

I grew up in a very devout and intellectual Roman Catholic family. I was taught a deep respect for Jewish people, who we referred to as our cousins. A few times, my parents took us to our local Chabad-Lubavitch center to eat, or see the menorah lighting ceremony, and I was always struck by the beauty of community that I felt.

Around 14, I started to seriously doubt G-d’s existence, and combined with the my inability to reconcile the doctrine of hell with my own intuition, I fell away from religion. In the decade since, various events have caused me to try to dive back into religion, but I’ve been unable to convince myself.

Now I am doing so again, because however unlikely G-d exists, I recognize that life without a higher power is ultimately meaningless, and materialism ultimately fails to tell me anything about that which I truly care about.

I have come across Judaism in my reading and research, and I am struck by its values, the connection to G-d it encourages, and its lack of condemnation of non-Jews, and generally what seems to me to be a healthy and optimistic outlook towards life. Still, while I could tell you all about the Christian denominations and their history after 2 decades of learning, I see that there are also many Jewish sects, some which may claim others aren’t legitimate, etc. and to be honest I’m overwhelmed.

Can anybody offer advice on where to start? Thank you, and I hope I did not accidentally offend or disrespect anybody. Be well.

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