So I posted about my therapy appointment the other day where I was going to come out and tell my dad I wanted to convert to Judaism and, it certainly went in a direction that I didn’t expect. I thought that if he was going to be opposed, it would be for theological reasons, but no. He thinks it will be a distraction from school.
I asked if I could meet a local rabbi this summer and do occasional zoom meetings with them from the dorms rather than drive into town each week. (This is obviously a legit rabbi from a legit local synagogue, not those fake online ones.)
He said no.
So I asked at the very least if I could reach out to the local Rabbi so I could start the process, even if it is put on hold for the school year with no zoom meetings. But he said absolutely not.
“It will be a distraction, you have to wear different clothes, memorize long prayers, do essays, it will consume your time and energy.” He said.
I tried to tell him that in Reform Judaism, it’s not mandatory to wear long skirts or cover your hair .I’m not going to have to leave in the middle of class to go pray. Rabbis are understanding, and wouldn’t make me write a long paper if school was busy. I won’t be forced to become fluent in Hebrew.
But he didn’t listen.
He is worried, and I get that. This is my last chance at a four year university. I left in good standing three years ago, but I was struggling. I was depressed and didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life. But after three years, I’ve matured, gotten psychological help, and decided on my major.
What he doesn’t know is that time and time again, religion did not only not distract me, it also helped my grades.
It was during my most religious parts of my life that I did best in school.
It was when I went away from religion that I did my worst.
I just took a psych course at my community college and guess what? It was when I finally became comfortable with G-d in March that I got my grades turned around.
This isn’t on impulse. This isn’t a phase I’ve had for a few months. This was a years long process.
There is much, much more to this story, but it gets too personal to put online. I wanted to give you some background information so you could understand where I was coming from and that this is not a phase or an impulsive move.
I am going to write a letter to him tonight and put it in his pillow before he goes to bed. Maybe it won’t change his mind, and thats ok.
I’m willing to wait until graduation to convert if he still says no after reading the letter. If nothing else, it will be good to get some stuff off my chest.
I’ve been praying a lot today.