I see these people who are lucky enough to have been born Jewish repeat over and over again that what affects converts ultimately affects the entire Jewish people, not just converts and their immediate family because the entire Jewish people IS a family. What happens to one Jew affects all Jews. It is a quick step from making the everyday lives of converts and potential converts miserable to making the lives of every Jew (born Jewish or not) miserable and making anyone and everyone's Judaism suspect.
Two things stood out to me in that quote. The first is the phrase "lucky enough to have been born Jewish."
I think this is a common feeling in converts. We think, if only we had learned this wonderful religion from the start, how much pain and trouble it would have saved us!
We might feel frustrated that those who were born into it don't appreciate it enough or realize what a treasure they have.
But what we often don't realize is that we needed that pain and trouble to get where we are today. It was part of our soul's journey to struggle to find a path that gives us peace. We are lucky in our own way, to have the opportunity to explore all the options and to find the way that we are completely sure of.
When I was a kid, growing up in a spiritual organization, some of the adults who had found it later in life used to tell me how lucky I was to have been born into it. "You won't have to make the same mistakes I made," they told me.
I found that it was a tremendous pressure to always be perfect and to follow the path they gave me because they told me it was the best, not because I knew it for myself.
I also discovered that I had to make mistakes. We don't get through life without making mistakes. That is a huge part of how we learn things.
Sometimes I think my life would be easier if I had been born fully Hindu and sometimes I think that I might not have loved it as much as I do if that were the case.
That is, of course, not to say that born Hindus can't love and appreciate their religion. But I think many of the born Hindus who love their religion have thought carefully about it and examined it. Who knows if I had been born Hindu if I would have done that? I'm very glad that I did and so I don't think that I would change my path even if I could. I have learned so much just because of starting as an outsider and working my way in.
The other thing that I like in this quote is the way of seeing everyone in the Jewish faith as family. I think this is true of Hinduism too. If we see all Hindus as part of the family we can see how we would be diminished by leaving anyone out. The variety and debate are some of the things that make Hinduism great. Diversity of thought keeps our minds sharp and keeps us always questioning so that we don't become complacent in our knowledge.
On an administrative note, I will start to delete comments that I find hateful or offensive. If there is a point that you would like to make that might be considered angry or hateful, please email it to me and I will decide whether to discuss the issue or make a post related to it.