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Old 04-11-2018, 05:25 PM
 
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I've written, and rewritten, this post about two dozen times now, flip flopping between what feels like too much information,and not enough information...so if I seem to missing chunks, or over stating, I apologize.

The short of it - I was born into a family with a Lutheran mother, and Catholic father. I was baptized Lutheran around the age of 3, though I essentially lost all faith by my early teen years once I was able to form my own opinions on the world. Christianity just didn't make sense to me, largely based on how we're supposedly born sinners based on Original Sin, regardless of how good we may live our lives, yet someone like a mass murderer could suddenly accept Jesus while in prison, and magically be saved.

Over the years, I've occasionally felt some kind of internal pull to return to something like Church, yet I never felt comfortable within the Christianity community. I've recently made the acquaintance of a Jew, and that person wasn't at all what I expected a Jewish person to be like, though admittedly, I likely have some preconceived notions based on things like Hollywood influences. I started doing some research on Judaism, and the belief structure appears to be much more in line with how I thought G-d would be. The explanations that I've read on Paul, and his diversion from Judaism also make an awful lot of sense, and have done a lot to explain the questions I've had about Christianity for quite some time.

I'm now wondering, and I mean absolutely no offense to any Jew if it comes off that way, and really starting to believe that the universe, in some way, intended for this acquaintance and I to cross paths in life for more reasons than just a random thing. A friendship has grown, I've come to realize that I've been living my life in many wrong ways (not so much in a bad way, but rather things like the area in which I've chosen to live isn't the right place for me). I've also seriously began to consider if, and again, I mean absolutely no disrespect if it appears that way, perhaps I was supposed to have been Jewish all along? If that internal tugging I've been feeling isn't actually a pull towards Christian Church, rather towards a Jewish Synagogue?

As such, is it considered in poor taste for a non Jew to visit a synagogue, and attend services, in an attempt to learn more about myself?
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Old 04-11-2018, 06:39 PM
 
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Nothing wrong with that, although a discussion with an orthodox rabbi may be more informative than just a visit. Of course, the visit may be a logical first step.

"I've also seriously began to consider if, and again, I mean absolutely no disrespect if it appears that way, perhaps I was supposed to have been Jewish all along?" Well, if you ultimately end up being Jewish, I'm pretty sure that a standard orthodox view is that you WERE supposed to have been Jewish all along.

Not sure what you have heard about Paul, and I suspect that there are many different Jewish views on Paul, and probably more than one of them are more or less kosher.

Hope your quest works out well for you.
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Old 04-11-2018, 07:25 PM
 
Location: Booth Texas
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It's certainly good if you have representation, I mean, a lot of crazies will show up to synagogues, not like churches, some people at some synagogues may raise an eyebrow at first for good reason, and so it's good to know somebody to walk in with.
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Old 04-11-2018, 11:49 PM
 
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I’ve had a lot of change in my life over the past couple of months, much of which has been the result of many things suddenly becoming clear to me, but there also has been some confusion added in as well. The best way of explaining it that I’ve come up with, as I explained to my parents as to why I’ve made such changes in a short period of time, is that I feel as if I’ve been chasing someone else’s dream for the past 20 years.

I’ve been reading an awful lot over the past few days, and it’s certainly possible that I’ve mixed up some things, or just plain understood incorrectly. What I thought I had read regarding Paul was that he had essentially started Christianity, and modified the Torah to become the Bible, adding in things such as original sin and removing the passages that says man has the ability within him to choose to be good of his own free will along with accepting Jesus Christ as the only true savior and the path to heaven.

It’s entirely likely that I’ve misunderstood some things along the way, and I know all of my questions aren’t going to be answered overnight. It’s taken a lot of years to get to the point where I am now, and it will take time to readjust my path in life.

The aforementioned acquaintance is the only Jewish person that I know, or at least that I know is Jewish. I understand the Jewish people haven’t exactly had an easy go in life, and I’m sure it’s not common for many people to be open about being Jewish. Whereas I’ve had many invites to go to Church with people I’ve just met. As such, I didn’t know if it would even be appropriate to ask my acquaintance if I could attend services with them sometime, as I could see where it may be taken as a mere curiosity rather than a genuine interest.
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Old 04-12-2018, 07:09 PM
 
13,093 posts, read 13,700,372 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by urbex View Post
I’ve had a lot of change in my life over the past couple of months, much of which has been the result of many things suddenly becoming clear to me, but there also has been some confusion added in as well. The best way of explaining it that I’ve come up with, as I explained to my parents as to why I’ve made such changes in a short period of time, is that I feel as if I’ve been chasing someone else’s dream for the past 20 years.

I’ve been reading an awful lot over the past few days, and it’s certainly possible that I’ve mixed up some things, or just plain understood incorrectly. What I thought I had read regarding Paul was that he had essentially started Christianity, and modified the Torah to become the Bible, adding in things such as original sin and removing the passages that says man has the ability within him to choose to be good of his own free will along with accepting Jesus Christ as the only true savior and the path to heaven.

It’s entirely likely that I’ve misunderstood some things along the way, and I know all of my questions aren’t going to be answered overnight. It’s taken a lot of years to get to the point where I am now, and it will take time to readjust my path in life.

The aforementioned acquaintance is the only Jewish person that I know, or at least that I know is Jewish. I understand the Jewish people haven’t exactly had an easy go in life, and I’m sure it’s not common for many people to be open about being Jewish. Whereas I’ve had many invites to go to Church with people I’ve just met. As such, I didn’t know if it would even be appropriate to ask my acquaintance if I could attend services with them sometime, as I could see where it may be taken as a mere curiosity rather than a genuine interest.
you might want to go to some classes to start instead of services, that is a more relaxed informal setting, with more opportunity to ask questions, talk with people before and after class, and build trust. Look for the Chabad center near wherever you live there are usually classes during week. i found it much more intimidating to go to services than to go to classes.
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Old 04-12-2018, 07:13 PM
 
Location: Mars City
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Since it's not clear, what would be intimidating about going to services in this case? And why would there be "raised eyebrows" without going with someone else...familiar? As a non-Jew, I can't imagine the reasons. Not that I have any intentions of doing anything like this, but it's got me wondering.
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Old 04-12-2018, 07:27 PM
 
Location: US
27,997 posts, read 15,078,190 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thoreau424 View Post
Since it's not clear, what would be intimidating about going to services in this case? And why would there be "raised eyebrows" without going with someone else...familiar? As a non-Jew, I can't imagine the reasons. Not that I have any intentions of doing anything like this, but it's got me wondering.
Just look at our history...
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Old 04-12-2018, 07:37 PM
 
13,093 posts, read 13,700,372 times
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Originally Posted by Thoreau424 View Post
Since it's not clear, what would be intimidating about going to services in this case? And why would there be "raised eyebrows" without going with someone else...familiar? As a non-Jew, I can't imagine the reasons. Not that I have any intentions of doing anything like this, but it's got me wondering.
when i started going the service felt intimidating to me because it was in a language i did not understand (all in Hebrew, and I only knew English), it had a structure and pace that i did not know what was going on, people were focused on prayer and the service, not chatting and answering questions, i didn't know where the bathroom was or how to get there, i did not know when to stand and when to sit, and whether to sway or bend, what to do during different parts of the service, there was a book but i couldn't follow along because i did not know where we were in the service, and glancing at different people's books they were in different parts of the service anyway on different pages from each other, occasionally page numbers were mentioned but they were all over the map, not in any sequence or order, people came and went and were doing different things in different parts of the room. at the meal afterward when i sat any old place i could tell this made people uncomfortable and i did not know why, when i offered to shake hands or strike up a conversation, this made people uncomfortable and i did not know why. i was unintentionally doing things that i later found out were inappropriate.

if a person shows up that has never been there before and is obviously not acquainted with the service, it is definitely noticed. yes, people are going to wonder why you are there. are you doing research for a school project? are you going to start talking about JC after service during the meal? do you mean harm to the group or to individuals in the group? are you going to show respect for this place you have walked into? initially people are suspicious, and with good reason. are you going to want to tell your life history and all your thoughts on what is wrong with other religions? those are all things i witnessed happening in the span of just a few months

jews don't proselytize. they are not there to meet and greet and make you feel welcome and tell you about what it's like to be a Jew. they are not looking for new members. they are not seeking converts. it is not a promotion or advertisement, it is a prayer service. they are not there to discuss comparative religion. you will stand out like a sore thumb and people are going to first and foremost wonder why you are there, what is your intention, what is your motivation, and yes be suspicious. often there will be police at the door, in the parking lot, in and around the building. people may come right out and ask you "who are you? why are you here? what do you want?"

i am speaking only from my personal experience of the last 10 years. other people can certainly share their perspective.

Last edited by Tzaphkiel; 04-12-2018 at 07:46 PM..
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Old 04-12-2018, 10:06 PM
 
Location: Coastal New Jersey
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Tzaphkiel, when you say there are police around the synagogue, do you mean civil police or Shomrim? I understand the need, but I will feel worse about our society if the synagogue thinks it is necessary to have the former.
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Old 04-12-2018, 10:14 PM
 
13,093 posts, read 13,700,372 times
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Originally Posted by Mightyqueen801 View Post
Tzaphkiel, when you say there are police around the synagogue, do you mean civil police or Shomrim? I understand the need, but I will feel worse about our society if the synagogue thinks it is necessary to have the former.
city police. not every week, but regularly throughout the year.
security cameras inside and out in every shul I've ever been in.

Last edited by Tzaphkiel; 04-12-2018 at 10:47 PM..
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