Forums Shmoozing Seeking Those from An Orthodox Background

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    • None None
      Participant
        Post count: 5

        Hello All,

        I trained in an Orthodox (Litvish) yeshiva. Now I am a practicing Catholic. I have not been able to locate local Catholics with a background similar to my own. No one seems to understand where I am ‘coming from.’ Thus, I am incredibly lonely.

        Are any of you from the Charedi world? I could certainly use some like-minded companions on this road!

        Kol tuv,
        R’ Binyamin

        • This topic was modified 4 weeks, 1 day ago by None None.
      • David Moss
        Keymaster
          Post count: 33

          I think I just answered you regarding the kippah. The AHC is still young and our members are spread throughout the world. We are encouraging the formation of havurot, where members can get together for prayer, study, and fellowship. It will still be awhile before we have enough people and enough structure to form an approved community within the Church. If you are able, join our Facebook group. There you will find Hebrew Catholics from a variety of backgrounds, cultures, and nationalities. That may help a bit.

          • None None
            Participant
              Post count: 5

              David, I understand this group is relatively young, but I have been waiting for years – more than a decade – for this to occur.

              My impression is that most of the members were non-observant Jews prior to converting to Catholicism, and so they assume we are all on-board with this non-observance.

              It is time for AHC to acknowledge that there are Jewish Catholics who observe Jewish laws and traditions. We are here, too. We seek a place in the community.

              When the community purposefully, knowingly, sets up all meetings on Shabbat and Tom Tov in such a fashion that a portion of the community cannot attend – well, it makes us wonder if we are wanted at all.

              • David Moss
                Keymaster
                  Post count: 33

                  Hi Binyamin,
                  I may have written this before, but to review: Fr. Friedman OCD launched the AHC with Andrew Sholl, a Holocaust survivor, in 1979. I learned about it and began to get involved in the early 1980s. I assumed responsibility for the development of the AHC in 1993. Since then, the AHC website, the AHC webstore, this Forum, The Miriam Press (the AHC publishing arm), the almost quarterly publication – The Hebrew Catholic, audio/video courses, sample home liturgies for Jewish celebrations in the light of Christ, etc. have all been developed.

                  In the last few years, Ken and Flora Wilsker has begun to encourage the development of havurot.

                  You write that most members (of the Facebook group) appear to have been non-observant Jews prior to their conversion to Catholicism. I cannot confirm or deny that is the case. Many Jews who were observant do not publicly reveal themselves in a forum such as Facebook. But, whether true or not, membership in the Facebook group is NOT membership in the AHC. The Facebook group was started by a friend from Argentina, Pablo Carrion. So whatever observations you make about the Facebook group does not necessarily apply to the AHC.

                  The work of the AHC is to preserve Jewish identity and heritage within the Catholic Church. While many talk about it in the Facebook group, the work is done in the AHC. There are many Hebrew Catholics in the AHC who come from observant backgrounds. One Observant Jewish woman, now also a Catholic, is married to a Catholic man. They are running an internet havurot from Israel for young couples with children. Their intention is to explore how to raise their children in both traditions, living and celebrating both traditions.

                  I should mention that the havurot are groups that are voluntarily started and run. While I believe that they will help us develop individually and as an organization, their work is not controlled by the AHC. Our only role is to support them as best we can as long as they remain faithful to the teachings of the Church.

                  The AHC community did NOT “purposdfully, knowingly” set up meetings on Shabbat. The AHC does not direct the setup, timinmg, or content of havurah meetings.

                  Binyamin, you are interpeting things too personally. The AHC is not officially connected to Facebook or to any havurah. If you want to be more involved with Hebrew Catholics who are/were observant, then let’s think about how we can invite them into some form of communication/meeting. What are you willing to do to make this possible?

                  I am starting on the next issue of “The Hebrew Cathoiic.” If you provide me with an email address, I can put in a blurb that you are looking to make contact with Hebrew Catholics who are/were observant and wish to connect with others like themselves.

                  Let me know. You can reach me at dmoss@hebrewcatholic.org.

            • Chana Ravinsky y
              Participant
                Post count: 2

                Hi Benyamin! I was raised frum and became a traditional Catholic in 1978 when I was 18.

                • None None
                  Participant
                    Post count: 5

                    Hi Chana! It is very good to hear from you.

                    May I ask: How does one learn to ‘fit in’ within a Catholic parish? I stick out like a sore thumb.

                    The parishioners are kind but I get the impression that the priests and prelates are trying to pretend that I am not Jewish, that I never studied in yeshiva for the rabbinate. So things get pretty awkward.

                    When I first arrived at my current parish, the pastor was thrilled and often asked me to informally expound a little bit on topics during his homilies. But then, after he found out about my yeshiva background, all of that stopped. Sometimes I wonder whether the priests worry that I am some sort of Jewish Pied Piper.

                    I do not know how to fit in. It is not a matter of knowing their culture – I’ve become pretty good at that – but rather that they seem ‘afraid’ to allow me to participate. I mean, I can attend mass, receive the elements, etc., but nothing else.

                • Chana Ravinsky y
                  Participant
                    Post count: 2

                    Hi Benyamin,

                    My situation is considerably different from yours, I think. I’m a traditional Catholic, meaning we practice the Catholic Faith as its been since before Vatican 2. I belong to a small traditional Catholic chapel where only the Tridentine Latin Mass is offered. I’ve been fully accepted and welcomed.I also spent a number of years in the Byzantine Eastern Catholic parish when my local chapel didn’t exist yet. You might find Eastern Rite Catholicism interesting! For me it felt more “Jewish” in an Eastern European sense, whereas the traditional Catholic Mass etc felt more Jewish in an ancient Jewish sense. A book you might like is HOW CHRIST SAID THE FIRST MASS by Fr James Meagher. Its from 1908 but is in print and also available free online as a pdf.

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