I’ve recently fallen in love with Humans of New York. If you aren’t following the Facebook page, I strongly advise fixing that right away. But as I don’t live in New York, it’s highly unlikely that Brandon Stanton will ever interview me, so here’s a pretend HONY post (in pretend New York; this picture is from my vacation in England last summer).
“I grew up Jewish in a conservative Christian town, and had my Bat Mitzvah in a church. By the time I entered high school, I started telling people I wanted to be a rabbi. But I secretly nursed an obsession with Jesus and saints, and ended up converting in college. I loved the idea of a personal god in the form of a human, but I didn’t know what to do with Christianity’s very anti-Jewish belief that anyone who does not believe in Jesus will go to hell.The friends I made in my college ministry focused heavily on human depravity, unworthiness, and biblical inerrancy. I think I was too scared to question any of it.
Everything got thrown off balance after a disastrous attempt at graduate school at a conservative seminary and when my father died on Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year. I still feel I have a strong culturally Jewish identity, but spiritually, I wonder if I might be agnostic. Because I’m starting to realize that few things scare people away from religion like making an idol of certainty.”
(Maybe I’d hand him a business card and cutely say, “Can you mention I wrote a book about this, too?”)