Thursday, 4 July 2013

I feel Jewish and want to live in Israel

Dear Rabbi Jonathan Keren-Black,

Please forgive me if I have addressed you incorrectly, I am writing to you in hope, of the possibility I could have an appointment with you in regards to some advice.
My name is Jo, I was raised as a Christian but I have not ever considered myself to be a Christian, I have been on a spiritual path for the last few years. Over the last couple of years Israel, Hebrew and Judaism have all been 'calling' to me, but I kept trying to ignore it. A few weeks ago during a meditation I felt overwhelmed with emotion and fell apart (that has never happened during meditation to me before) I was crying because I wanted to go 'home' and that home was Israel, for the following 48hrs I kept being told I was Jewish and I was to convert. To my ego this made no sense, but I feel like I have awakened to a deeper level of my soul and my soul is Jewish, and I am not currently with my people and I really want to go home (Israel). I would like to know if this is normal for someone who is not born Jewish, I have been guided to read the books of Enoch and have almost finished a translation on the dead sea scrolls as these kinds of writings really 'speak' to me.
I am in confusion however I know that is only my mind and I would really appreciate a meeting if possible.
Thank you for your time,
Kindest Regards Jo


Hi Jo,

You addressed me exactly correctly!

You have not told me where you are based, or much about yourself.

I am a bit puzzled about Enoch (not really one of ours as, though originally Jewish, it is not part of our cannon and has had more influence on Christianity!).

The Dead Sea scrolls are a collection of Jewish Canonical and Essene texts.  An interesting place to start!  What is important to understand is that Judaism is an unfolding and developing tradition – nowhere in the world will you find Jews practicing Biblical Judaism.  Of course we like to say that the ‘core truths’ remain constant – One power of the universe, loving, patient, forgiving, and just – and our task is to try to emulate God, and bring those values to the world about us.

We have a special connection to the land of Israel where significant parts of our story unfolded (much also developed in Babylon – ie Iraq!) – but, though the modern State of Israel is an amazing story, and almost all Jews believe absolutely in its right to exist in safety and security, the relationship is very complicated, and you can certainly be a good and active and involved Jew whilst living outside of Israel.

So if your motivation is to go and live in Israel, I am not sure that we’d be the best port of call – but if you are interested in learning about a wonderful framework for modern spiritual life, then please contact me with some more details.  

Rabbi Jonathan

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