I have been feeling a bit on the defensive side regarding my Jewishness. I'm not sure if it is a word, but it is the best way for me to describe it.
What is a Jew?...so many other Jews would say I am not. So many others have attitudes and opinions that can be hurtful and some downright prejudicial. It can be exclusionary and detrimental to individuals and ultimately to the greater Jewish world. Let’s face it, the world has not always been kind to the Jews…need we give the anti-Semites a roadmap of how to divide us?
In the Jewish Convert blogosphere there are so many bloggers who identify as orthodox and/or orthodox in waiting. They are interesting to read, and prolific, yet there is this subtle and sometimes not so subtle point of view/perception that choosing an orthodox world view is being “more Jewish.”
I was taught that the souls of all Jews, from all times, came together to hear the Ten Commandments from the divine on Shavuot. So I see that as meaning we are all equal, and “chosen” in our own individual ways. I may not be from Eastern European ancestry, or had grown up going to shul, or summer camp or any other event/test that can be thrown my way, but I am a Jew.
This shavuot I stand with all the Jews, I stand in the history and the faith wearing the symbolic cloak of Ruth. I am proud to be a convert, and I am proud to be in the Conservative stream of Judaism. I embrace all Jews as my brothers and sisters in faith, even if they do not embrace me.