My first conversation with the Rabbi naturally includes her asking me why I want to convert to Judaism.
Obviously I want to make a good impression so I have pre-prepared an answer. I can sum up my reasons for wanting to convert as follows:
- For me
- For my daughter
- For my ancestors
The first one is easy, I clearly need to explore this connection that I feel. The second one is because I want my daughter to grow up with a positive experience of what is a significant part of her heritage. The third one is a little more obscure.
Several years ago I mentioned to my husband that my grandmother had a Magen David that she wore on a few occasions that was a gift from her mother. My husband was flabbergasted, and rightly said that there was no way a poor Welsh miner’s wife would have such a symbol without a reason.
My grandmother was raised in complete ignorance of what a Jew even was. She told me that once when she wore her mother’s Star of David at work she was amazed that one of her work colleagues accused her of being Jewish. She thought it was a symbol of eternity and of St. David, the patron saint of Wales!
When my grandmother left Wales her mother had presented her with her 3 most precious items and told her to pick one to take with her. There was her cross (my great-grandmother was a devout Christian for as long as my grandmother could remember), a ring and the Star of David. My grandmother chose the latter without any inkling of what it would come to represent, a clearly Jewish symbol passed down the maternal line.