There are many rabbis I’ve heard talk about how we should make our will conform to the Torah. I’ve heard Christian pastors say similar things about believers. While I see some value in keeping organizations together, I find that this kind of thinking makes it where the Torah isn’t that much different from the world. It doesn’t feel as fresh. If the Torah’s laws are completely my own will, then the Torah is no more meaningful to a law that I don’t have the possibility of breaking. I’ll do my best to explain.
Any converted Jew who says they hate the taste of ham, of REAL bacon, or some fresh shrimp is lying to themselves on some level. Yes, I’m making a very broad statement because there could have been people out there who didn’t like any of these things even before they started keeping kosher. But the point is, once you hit the mikvah or make a covenant with God, this does not turn off your love of things that you no longer than do.
With full confidence and without shame, I can say I wish I could still do these things:
- Eat pork rinds – I loved pork rinds.
- Eat fried shrimp – I ate fried shrimp at every seafood restaurant I would go to.
- Take a bite out of a big fresh ham – FRESH ham, mind you; that low quality ham has always been gross.
- Play gigs on Friday nights – not every Shabbat, of course.
- Shave…when it’s convenient (job interviews, etc), even though I don’t think I ever would. Just the idea that I could would be nice.
- Go out without wearing tzitzit. I get weird looks – especially being in Oklahoma.
- Get some tattoos – I’ve never had a tattoo, but if they were ok according to Torah, I’d probably have quite a few.
Is it wrong for me to still want to do these things? Not at all – as long as I don’t do any of them. That’s actually something I really love about the Torah; it’s so much bigger than me. I loved these things, but I love God more. The Torah can definitely be inconvenient when it comes to my own fleshly desires and that’s why I cherish it; it lets me know that not everything is about me. I don’t try and justify doing these things just because I want to do them and I feel that really makes the Torah so beautiful.