Good afternoon, Rabbi J
I hope you and your family are all well and happy.
It was exactly a year ago today that we visited the Mikveh and met with the Beit Din to begin this phase of my life as a Jew. I didn't want the anniversary to go by without my saying "hello," and telling you how rewarding and fulfilling this year has been.
I have frequently been struck over the course of the year by how much there is to learn -- particularly the kinds of things that "born Jews" learn more-or-less through cultural assimilation as they grow up. I have also been struck this year by how much I do know -- not infrequently as much or more than my Jewish friends and acquaintances. I do not think it is an exaggeration to say that in some way or other I make time every day to explore Judaism in some way. I continually keep a book on one Jewish topic or other close at hand, and I regularly explore various Jewish ideas and concerns through discussions with friends and colleagues (or the ever-helpful internet). I guess my point is that I have ultimately realized that the key to "success" for me is to focus on the process and not the end result. When can one ever learn "enough" about anything, particularly a subject as rich and vast as Judaism?
Although I do not personally really believe in reincarnation, it is clear to me that there are connections, motivations and resonances below the surface that we are only vaguely aware of, if at all. Something about Judaism has spoken to me for as long as I can remember. To the extent that such a thing is possible, becoming Jewish was as much like coming home as I could ever have wished.
Moving forward, I will continue to find as many ways to connect with Judaism as possible, all the while remembering to focus on the beauty of the process. Now that my personal life and career seem to have reached a lovely point of relative peace, there is no doubt that I could do more, be more helpful, and commit my time and resources more fully, and that is my ever-present goal. Maybe one of these days I'll even make it to shul for an Erev Shabbat. We can all dream, can't we? :-)