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Would you Convert for the Perfect Guy?

Jane* walked into my office this week, wanting to talk about her relationship with Chris*:

"When I met Chris, I thought I'd finally found The One. I'm 30, and we met through a mutual friend. Chris is warm, friendly and charismatic—everything I could have possibly wished for. He is charming and intelligent too. As soon as he walks into a room, he makes everyone feel comfortable instantly. He has an excellent job, a warm, loving family and a fabulous sense of humor. He's always happy and can make me smile no matter what else is going on in my life.

"Chris was everything I could have dreamed of in a partner. I knew he wasn't Jewish, but that never bothered me. I just felt so fortunate to have found him. I grew up with virtually zero Judaism observance. I never kept kosher or Shabbat or went to Hebrew school. I did visit Israel pretty often, but would not consider myself religious in any way, shape or form.

"So it didn't bother me or my family that Chris wasn't Jewish. My parents loved him, my siblings loved him, and my friends who married non-Jews all seemed to be perfectly happy.

"After two years together, Chris and I went on a vacation. We began discussing engagement, marriage, having a family, where we might live, where to buy a house etc. After we'd worked out a lot of the details, Chris told me he needed me to do one small thing—convert to Christianity.

"In his eyes, this was a minor request; he didn't think it would be an issue at all. But my reaction was instant and virulent. Absolutely not! Convert? Renounce my faith? Betray my G-d? There's no way I would even consider it. Never!

"And so, the very next morning, I packed my bags and flew home. I cried the entire way, feeling like my world had come crumbling down. "

Here was Jane, in my office, two months after the break up, still deeply pained. "Why did G-d put me through this?" she asked. "Why did I have to meet Chris at all? He was so perfect. I still want to marry him, but I cannot convert. Wouldn't it have been better if I'd never met him in the first place?"

I listened as Jane poured her heart. "I don't know why you had to meet Chris," I said, "but maybe, just maybe, the reason has something to do with this:

"Each of us has two souls—the G-dly soul and the animal soul. The animal soul desires instant gratification. Whatever is good or comfortable right now, the animal soul wants. Food, fun, vacation, etc. The G-dly soul, on the other hand, wants to connect to its source in heaven. It wants to be nourished by its Creator, our Father in Heaven.

"Until now, you have suppressed your G-dly soul. You haven't allowed it to express itself. But your G-dly soul is connected to G-d in a most powerful way and that is what stopped you from converting. When your soul's connection to G-d is threatened, it expresses itself in the deepest way, and I think that's what happened here.

"So why did G-d make you go through this? To allow you to connect with your soul. To allow your soul to express itself, paving the way for you now to reconnect to G-d. Now you can learn about your heritage and your faith, and understand why you rejected the notion of conversion so virulently. "

Let's learn from Jane's experience and make sure to feed the G-dly soul.

*Names and details have been changed to protect the privacy of individuals 

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