When I was converting, a rabbi told me, “According to a Midrash, all of the Jews swore allegiance to God at Mt. Sinai. This included not just all the Jews living then, but all the Jews who ever were or would ever be. More, it included converts. Because of that, if a person converts to Judaism, they are not just converting to something new but recovering their lost soul.”
I have often felt that whatever my childhood might have been, I have the nashama (soul) of a Jew. I know this sounds like a form of predestination. Yet I feel that God gives each person a destiny, and it is up to them to live up to it. I remember hearing Mahatma Gandhi’s grandson speak, and he said his Grandfather felt early on in his life a sense of vocation, a sense that God had a special task that he had to perform. I don’t pretend to be as noble as Gandhi–I know my limitations, I have needed credit for my writing to live in my imagination. Yet I believe in the poem Invictus,
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul…
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.
William Henley was a World War I veteran, and this his best remembered poem (or rather, two stanzas in it). It was a favorite and quoted poem of both Churchill and Mandela.
However, to get back to my point–I felt in my bones that I must be a Jew. I also felt in my bones that I must write. That destiny, I believed, came from God. Well, at least the Jewish part. My writing may be self-willed.
So next month I will finally make it so my blog can be read by anyone–I have no money at the moment.
I am republishing this because I just got my webpage and authorcentral.pub page to work together instead of separately.