Hi I’m Matt. I started this blog to track my strange, terrifying and wonderful journey toward Judaism.
If you’re wondering about the name of this blog, the Hebrew word for convert is ger – גר – meaning stranger or resident or foreigner. A group of ger are collectively gerim. As in ger.im — get it?
Some facts about me: I’m an out, married (to a dude) gay man. I live in a large West Coast city in the US. I grew up as a progressive Christian, but became distanced from that faith as an adult. I’m politically left — way left. I have major issues with the supernatural, with belief, with a whole lot of things. I’ve always had an affinity for Judaism, and lots of Jewish friends. I am more attracted to practice than faith, more inclined toward religion than spirituality. I try not to take myself too seriously.
In 2017, I made a discovery about some hidden Jewish ancestry in my own family that somehow freed me to think about exploring Jewishness more deeply. Over a series of months, affinity and curiosity became resonance and deeper interest. I’m now well on my way into on a journey of discovery — of my own identity and of the tradition itself. Who knows where all of this will lead. To conversion? Maybe, but not certainly. We’ll see.
This journey I’m on has no beginning or ending. It extends back into the past, and into the future. If and when I become Jewish by undergoing a formal conversion, I will still be a ger — a full Jew (by choice!) — but my strange origin will remain a part of my story. I think we are all strangers anyway — each in our own way. All of us a big bunch of gerim. Even Moses himself named his first boy Gershom, saying “I have become a stranger in a strange land.”
If you’re reading this because you’re on your own journey — and who isn’t — then I hope you find what I’m writing here useful. Leich l’shalom — have a good journey — go toward peace.