No Regrets

I’ve had no regret about converting to Orthodox Judaism, even as I have grown to understand the depth of my brokenness that led to the drama I created (in myself and around me) as I undertook all sorts of contradictory actions. I converted to Judaism in part to try to heal myself but my primary motivation was following divine truth and so even though my conversion did not heal my brokenness as I had intended, I’ve remained fascinated by Jews and Judaism, no matter what I’ve learned. I can’t imagine learning anything that would then make me bored with Torah and the Jews.

Of course someone driven to publicly proclaim that they have no regrets is giving himself away.

My happiness (in Judaism and almost everything else) correlates almost 100% with the quality of my connections. I struggle with feeling disconnected from others and this always puts me on the precipice of depression. Luckily I have Facebook and short wave radio.

For those who are Orthodox Jews from birth (FFB) (as well as for full fledged converts and BTs), I have a question: If you were born a goy, do you think you would want to convert to Judaism (having the Jewish knowledge that you possess now)?

Chaim Amalek: “Luke, if back when you first considered becoming a Jew you had known everything about the Jews that you know today, would you still have converted? I can imagine a future for you in which you convert to something else as a result of your newfound identity as a White Man. I do not see you as a Jew for Jesus ever, but I can see you teaching Roman Catholic theology as a Roman Catholic.”

Miriam Lilian D Or: I have seen a lot of people proudly proclaim “I’m here to convert” and the celebration red carpet is rolled at their feet by their close friends. The reality is that the red carpet is more like a ripped up old carpet in an alley behind the shul and pathetically mean comments from FFB people. And the things some rabbis wrote about converts are just as nice. I think the majority of people considering conversions these days should be made aware, rather than go in with the enamoured idea that they are more beloved and special. Rather than dealing with the harsh reality after and go off the derech from the rejection as many have.

Chaim Amalek: “I think most people who convert to a new religion have something wrong with them, or are trying to get beyond an unhappy childhood.”

Luke: “Rabbis know this. That’s why they turn away most prospective converts. They seem mentally ill.”

Miriam Lilian D Or: “Or criminals trying to find forgiveness from their crimes through a deity. I do have respect for anyone who can convert to Zoroastrian, that’s impossible to get into.”

Cole Tepper: “Convert reporting…I’d have done it much differently had I listened to the wisdom of peers also going through giyur. They ended up more established because they hung around established crowds, while I hung with the party folks in Chabad and fell into the allure of it all. It took time to see that the allure covers much darker things, and that really a lot of theological beliefs unique to Chabad have no relevance in my life. Really, I’d have been better off nutting up and flying here(Israel) sooner. I could’ve done army giyur…or..machon meir. Both would’ve turned out, I think, possibly better.”

Casey: “The great religions are the ships, Poets the life boats. Every sane person I know has jumped overboard.” -Hafiz

It’s kinda the opposite question: if you were born a Jew, would you want to convert to Christianity? The answer is apparently universally, “uh, no.”

A friend says: A friend says: Dear Luke,

The question worth asking yourself, is not knowing what you know now would you convert to Judaism, but in your case had you been anywhere but the United States (and let’s face it, that means for someone born in Australia, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and Great Britain with the possibility of South Africa pre ANC governance) would you have converted to Judaism.

I believe you needed a sufficiently multicultural environment to feel comfortable converting to Orthodox Judaism. If this is true, it is ironic since only by living in the type of society you deplore would you have considered conversion.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been covered in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and on 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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