Monday, August 31, 2009

I Want to be More than a Dreamer.

I don't want to make it big. I don't want to be rich and famous with a house in Florida and another wherever I choose to place my head on any given night.(Although I wouldn't complain.) I just want to make things happen. More importantly, I want to make people happen. I want to help people feel what I feel, about Judaism.

Whoa whoa. I'm not going all proselytizer. I'm talking Jews here. Jews I know and Jews I don't know who are struggling to really feel what it is that I feel. The enthusiasm, the excitement, the passion, the need. Judaism isn't all action, it's emotion. It's intention. Most importantly, it's intention.

More than once recently I've had someone say to me, "Why on EARTH would you want to be Jewish?" followed or connected to something like "I want to know how you feel how you do, how can I feel how you feel?" I wish this feeling worked through osmosis, I'd have everyone on a Jewish high. But it doesn't. And putting it into words is equally difficult. But it's all I really want to do.

How do I translate everything? How do I convert to words how it feels looking at the havdalah flame, and why it makes my eyes well up? How do I divulge how it feels to be surrounded by song, by voices in a chaotic mess of beauty, singing praises to HaShem -- whether they're all fully involved or just going through the motions? The words may be coming from empty mouths, but when they penetrate my ears? I feel something beautiful.

I see fellow converts being interviewed, questions asked about their unique experience, their story on the road to Judaism, and I'd like to be one of those people. But I'd like how I feel to be more important than how I got here. The uniqueness of my story less important than the way that I do my Judaism now. I could be brown, white, black, red, yellow, green, but I think it's a lot less important than how I feel about everything. My family story, that I knew not a single Jewish soul until I'd already chosen to convert, is so minor in comparison to how I can inspire born Jews and those doing Judaism for their whole lives and more.

Does it make me a preacher? A proselytizer? Or just enthusiastic? Or maybe, without action and merely words, I'm just hopeful. I'm a dreamer. I'm dreaming of the perfect tikkun olam. The tikkun of the spirit of Judaism. I don't want people to feel like this guy. I want them to be excited, passionate, hopeful, full of intention.

It's great to walk into a public function and for someone I've never met to say "I've read your blog!" or "I know you from the internet!" But more importantly I want them to say "You said something that has changed my world, that has made me search, that has inspired me and given me hope in who we are."