Thank you for your article “Christianity vs Judaism”..
I found it most interesting and helpful because I was raised in the Roman Catholic Church. As my children approached school age, I knew that I needed to start teaching them about G-d. Even as a Christian, I took the job of teaching my children very seriously, but I knew that I could not teach them what was not in my heart.
I searched and struggled while exploring the RC church and other “Christian” churches. I left each one angry and empty. My questions were left unanswered. I was told that I must “just have faith.” No one could comprehend that I was, apparently, not born with this faith inside me. It made no sense to me. I was tortured by the idea of worshiping a man-god.
Some looked at me in absolute fear that I should even question the things I was questioning. I think one reason Christians hold on to their faith so tightly is their fear of burning in hell if they do not believe. That is one heck of a way to get people in the doors every week to put money in the basket. I just was not buying it.
Right about this time, I became friends with a Jewish man. He was good and kind to those all around him - whether he knew them or whether they were strangers. I had never met anyone like him. As our friendship grew, I felt I could trust him with the angst of my searches for truth and tradition to pass to my children. He laughed and said if I wanted tradition, I should look into Judaism. He was 1/2 joking, but I took him up on it.
I studied on-line and took out books from the library and even purchased a few. I was not finding all my answers, but no one I talked to in the Jewish community told me not to ask the questions. No one told me to “just have faith.” Everyone welcomed the discussions. How different from what I had been experiencing!
I then found a wonderful Rabbi and studied with him for an additional year and 1/2 before I formally converted.
I started out searching for something I could teach my children, but came to realize that I have much to learn!
Thank you again for your article. I have a brother who is my opposite. I live in the Northeast, he in Los Angeles. I am a democrat, he a republican. I converted to Judaism, he to some offshoot of the Baptist church. Oy! He sends me many emails trying to convert me back. Lots of quotes from the Bible claiming that this or that predicted the coming of Jesus. I am happy to have quotes to send back to him now!
Perhaps I should have already had these verses in my back pocket, but like I stated before... I have much to learn.
Just a PS - Reasons why I chose Judaism and why I teach it to my sons:
Christianity is a death-based religion. They tell you that Jesus rose from the dead, but that is not the symbol that they wear around their necks or hang in their churches. The cross is a symbol of death.
Judaism is a religion that celebrates life. L'chaim!
Christianity is a selfish religion. The Christian does charity to feel good and with the thought earning heavenly gold stars. (Again more focus on death.)
Judaism is a community-based religion. Mitzvot and tzedakah are requirements from G-d to make the place we are living in a better place for all with no thought of doing it to save our own souls.
Thank you for listening.
Jew By Choice,