I suspect that my path to Judaism isn’t much different from other American journeys to a new faith ”” whether it be from megachurch to Zen monastery, or from mosque to the Cross. We Americans lust after movement: from town to town, from spouse to spouse, from religion to religion.
I was brought up to believe unquestioningly in that loving yet grouchy God who sat Zeus-like on his golden throne. But in third grade, being an appallingly rational little brat, I made my mother cry when I told her that I didn’t believe in God. (Not being a complete idiot, though, I still believed in Santa Claus, if not the Easter Bunny.)
After that, came busy decades of indifference, agnosticism and vague stirrings in the soul, like winter squirrels in the attic. As with Moses and the Jews wandering in the desert for 40 years ”” which, from this vantage, doesn’t seem so long ”” it took me a good long while to reach my spiritual home.
My wife, Deborah, is Jewish, and we married in 1981 and later raised our two sons Jewish ”” so long, Santa, old pal. But I didn’t convert until 2004, didn’t officially and irrevocably spurn my Protestant roots till some 40 years after the fact.