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Non-Jew very interested in judaism (possible conversion?)

Hi everyone! I’ve been looking in this sub for a long time, deleted Reddit and now I’m back.

Some background on me before I get to why I’m here: I became interested in judaism in my mid teens after watching a film that heavily featured Orthodox Jews. There weren’t Jewish people where I lived at the time, so, bad as this sounds, I had no real idea what Judaism was. I knew Jewish people existed, but as far as a religion? I had no concept of what that meant.

There was this immediate pull to Judaism. I started reading books, going online, anything I could do to learn more. It was crazy. I’d never had a pull like that to anything. Simply because of information available, most of what I have read is orthodox leaning. Family pressure lead me to stop studying. I figured my interest would likely die.

It hasn’t. Not even a little. 10 years since my first look into Judaism, the spark hasn’t died. I figure I might as well pursue it. First, I’d like to visit a synagogue for Shabbat. How should I phrase it when I contact them? It seems a very welcoming synagogue, but this is new territory.

Books: I would love to get into books on halacha, why the rabbis ruled as they did. Can anyone recommend some books like that? I suppose the Talmud and shulchan aruch, but I’m not sure how user friendly they are. Thank you so much!

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