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  • Bat Yerushalayim
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      Shalom Binyamin-Nicholas,

      It took me a long time to fit into the Catholic world as someone coming directly from halachic (Modern Orthodox) Judaism. May I suggest that the misunderstanding was mutual. I did not understand the Church and her values and some members of the Church did not understand me and my needs. Guess what? We both had to compromise, but me in the first place. I had to stop thinking that the Jews are better than others and that knowledge of Talmud makes me more competent than others in the true Faith. I think we Jews as a people tend to be rather arrogant and self-important, and the Litvish culture fosters that especially. Christians can’t stand that since Christian values are all about humility and love. Not that Christians don’t struggle with these vices, but at least they don’t turn them into virtues. The Church needs to come to respect Jewish tradition, but don’t expect the priest to respect you just because you observe Jewish tradition. Most of Rabbinic Jewish tradition is irrelevant or even contrary to Christian faith and values. If you want a leadership role, don’t show off your Talmudic knowledge or flaunt your Jewishness. No one will accept you for that. Try to be humble and learn from those around you. I’m talking from my personal experience. I know a number of formerly observant, even hareidi Jews who entered the Church. They fit in because they don’t flaunt their Jewishness or try to take leadership roles without being duly trained in Christian doctrine. One’s yeshiva background is quite irrelevant. Yeshua did not have smicha from a Rabbi. If you want to be a leader in the Church, I highly suggest you go to seminary. And getting a good spiritual director helps very much in working on our midot. I can recommend mine. I’m sorry if I sound brash, that is not my intention. I can connect you to a former ordained rabbi who is now Catholic. He and his wife do keep Shabbat to some extent. But going Mass is way more important because that’s how Yeshua becomes part of you more and more and you become more and more part of the Church. Try going every day, without a kippa, sitting quietly in the back, and being friendly to everyone, including to your priest. After a while, he will warm up to you. Believe me, I tried it. Unfortunately, I had to change parishes to start with a clean slate. But it worked eventually, and I found my little corner in the universal Church. And I’m active as a Hebrew Catholic and recently started a havurah in Yerushalayim. You’re welcome to contact me through it.
      Blessings for upcoming Pesach and Pascha!

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