Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Acceptance Exception

My father was invited to a talk the other day by a colleague of his, let's call him Dr. Don't, who is Jewish, who, apparently, knows of my interest in Judaism.
(I don't know this man.)
Later, my dad and I were talking about the talk. It was supposed to be about Jewish mysticism, but instead it was mostly about the speaker's time in the IDF, and how he was on the team that assassinated one of Arafat's assistants way back in the day when I was in middle school and the news came on reels of film. Back then, everything was Yasir Arafat this, Yasir Arafat that.
"Who is this Dr. Don't?" I asked.
He worked in the hospital, my dad explained. He's a great guy, they think so much alike. He actually invited me to the talk, but since I couldn't go (not living in Big Apple State), my dad went in my stead.
"I've told him a lot about you," my dad said. "Did I ever tell you what he said?"
"No," I replied.
"He said, 'Don't convert.' He said you'd never be accepted by bgehrjsdf Jews."
"By who?"
"By born Jews. He said they don't think of converts the same."
"Well," I said, "I don't really care what other people think." Obviously, I would not convert for other's pleasure.
"I know," he said.
Although it is true that I don't care about what other people think about me, usually, I felt a little let down. The words rang in my ears, don't convert, don't convert.
And then I thought, sort of solipistically, how can Dr. Don't know anything outside of his own head? All his words really mean is "Dr. Don't wouldn't accept me if I converted."