"Why did you come back as a Jew?"
Disclaimer: I realize that delving into this subject is risky business. Please note that this is my own spiritual journey.
My views in this post are my own and are not meant to offend anyone.
"Why did you come back as a Jew?"
It was 1998 and I had been living in Israel for twenty-two years. I was thinking about returning to the USA for a short stint. I had decided to see a very good and trustworthy psychic to help me sort out my thoughts. I learned a lot about my past and present life as I contemplated my next steps. This was an important turning point in my life.
I remember that in one particular session the psychic stated, "You might want to ask yourself why you chose to come back in this life as a Jew?"
I am Jewish, born to two Jewish parents and raised Jewish in the USA. I lived in the Jewish state of Israel for twenty-two years where I married a Jewish man and raised Jewish kids (now amazing young adults). No-one had ever asked me why? I had never questioned it either. I just was, is and always will be Jewish.
However for those who still don't know it yet, being Jewish, practicing Judaism and living a Jewish lifestyle are all very unique and different things. I've been involved in and with many of the main streams of Judaism (Reform, Conservative, Orthodox) and even some other newer versions. I've never found the need to affiliate with any in particular. I enjoy them all. The fact is that I'm just simply Jewish.
I love studying Torah, Tanach, Jewish history, theology, philosophy, Hebrew language and all its layers. I love to enter the "Pardes/Orchard" of Jewish thought and commentary, to seek the mysteries that lay within, beneath, above and all around. I love all the good stuff that Judaism has to offer. I enjoy learning from the rabbis when I go to shul (synagogue) and I really like watching all sorts of interesting lectures on-line. I particularly enjoy Rabbi Mendel Kaplan, Jews for Judaism and lately Dr. Henry Abramson. This is how I "practice" my Jewish faith. I am bound to it. In fact it feels as if I know a lot intuitively. This is me in this life as a Jew.
With all that, since my return to the USA in 1998, I find myself experiencing a particular phenomenon even until today. Devoted Christians seem to flock to me like a magnet. In the USA I taught classes in Conversational Hebrew. I thought I'd have Jewish students but, save one or two, those who came to study the Hebrew language were mostly Christian. In fact many were Catholics running away from the preaching of their churches. Others were themselves Christian religious leaders who were eager to understand the Bible in its original language. I'm no Bible scholar. As it happened we all learned a lot from those classes. My students were always very respectful of me and my perspective as a Jew. Through our after-class discussions and conversations I also learned a lot about Christianity.
Sadly I have also had too many "believers" approach me with their hidden agenda. They try in vain to tear me away from my faith. They insist that I need Jesus to "save" me. When I refuse their offer they say they will pray for me. I find this to be absolutely insulting and extremely disrespectful. Do I really need to be "saved" by Jesus the Jew? According to Jewish sources he was at best some sort of protege gone bad. At worst he was simply a heretic. Not the role model I'd like to emulate and certainly not the one I'd turn to for help. OY VEY. For the life of me none of it makes sense. It never has and never will.
I've posted the video above for those who are interested in understanding more about this subject. I am personally tired of the discussion now.
The good news is that maybe I am getting close to answering the original question. The truth is that I had two prior instances where the subject of Jesus seemed to pop up into my world causing me to grapple with the question at hand.
In 1986 I was healing from a particularly challenging event in my life. Following the event I felt that a "presence" had come to "visit" me. The "presence" seemed to have a stereotypical Jesus-like manner about it. At that same time I "received" a message telling me that "Jesus was just a man - nothing else". End of discussion. I will never be convinced otherwise. I believe in my/G-d's "angels" who have the last word! Please don't worry about my sanity either. I'm not going crazy. 😁
I appeared on a TV show in September of 2017. It was broadcast "live". I didn't know the host was also a psychic and that readings were part of the show. I reluctantly agreed to a reading. I was told that perhaps I had lived in the Galilee and was possibly an assistant to Jesus. In that same session I was also told that my deceased mother z"l had an important message for me: "Don't forget your faith". Again, end of discussion. Whether Jesus existed or not and whether I had been by his side in a past life really doesn't matter. In this life I am Jewish through and through.
So in an effort to answer the question, "Why have I come back as a Jew", I think I can go with this answer. Let's say I've had a few past lives as a gentile, pagan, Christian or what-not. In this life I have chosen to live as a Jew. Why? Clearly I need a "tikkun/healing" from those past lives!!!
Please, again, I do not mean to offend anyone. However, I implore you to view life from the perspective of the Jew. It is downright offensive, insulting and disrespectful to try to convert us. It is equally offensive to pray for us because you believe that we somehow need to be "saved". Jews do not worship Jews nor do we bow to any human for that matter. G-d is our L-rd and the Torah is our guidebook to life.
This is my spiritual journey. It really has nothing to do with anyone else. Please continue to believe as you do but stop imposing your beliefs on me.