Jewish Identity.

Ryan Swenson (rjswenso@edisto.cofc.edu)
Wed, 16 Jul 1997 17:54:14 -0500 (EDT)

I am a twenty year old college student who has been self observant for about
three years. I have devoted a tremendous amount of time reaching out to
Hashem in constant study. I am sincerely devoted and Believe that there is
no place that Hashem isn't. I am adopted, yes I am biologically jewish on
both sides. My family was quite religious Orthodox...I however was adopted
by a christian family who baptize me. They are wonderful and I love them as
my own but I have found more force in Judaism and my roots. I was required
to be raised Jewish by my Chassidic grandparents but due to the health of my
birth mother and Grandfather I was sent to a foster home that would place me
with any family regardless of religion...I am glad where I end up and Thank
Hashem for such a wonderful gift as my family. I was told by one Rabbi a
chassidim who knows my natural uncle a Rabbi in Ny.. that I was sent on a
journey by Hashem and it started when I was born. It ended when I observed
my first traditional shabbat with great feeling of ecstasy with the feeling
of oneness with Hashem.. That my journey from Birth was to return to hashem
at my age of discovering who I am--the same was for Moses...Another rabbi
told me that there is nothing wrong for non-jews raising Jews..even if I was
baptized because it was not my will at such an early age ...too young to
have a choice, clearly my choice now is in my heritage. I was told by
another I am at the point where my knowledge of Torah, Halaka(Jewish Law),
etc...my good hebrew it is too late to convert..I would impress my Chassidic
relatives with my quick endeavor with such desire to be one with
Hashem..that i learn so much in a short time...an absolute sign of Hashem's
presence in my life as he wants me to go his way and no other. I ask of you
your opinions on this matter...what do you think? Do I convert or
continue...What is said about orthodox jews seeing other non-orthodox or
other stream orthodox jews - in terms of dating and marriage?....Any advice
is appreciated...Todah Rabah chaverim!