Baring My Soul: The Truth About My Absence & Why I Hope To Convert To Judaism

I’ve always loved history; It started as a brief interest when we studied the “olden days” at school in grade 3, and grew when my Dad took me to see Neil Taylor’s vintage (1959-1972) Barbie doll collection on show the following year. It was fascinating to see the trends of the era emulated on the tiny mannequin-like doll, and I immediately fell in love with the bold colours and patterns of the retro fashion; My love for history never branched out from 20th or 19th Century Western culture until I became a statistic of the worse possible kind in mid-2012.

It was that year that I became the 50% of children who’s parent’s marriage ends in separation,1 and then consequently the 35% of teenagers who would need psychological help within the first year of said separation.I struggled for the next few years with an anxiety disorder (and still do struggle) that  wouldn’t subside, so much so that I had to drop out of mainstream school, even with the help of weekly therapy sessions and medication.

So in 2014 I did something in desperation and without thought – I asked my friend if I could go to church with her family. I’m still not sure why, perhaps because I knew that I needed God, and the Christian concept of Him was the most familiar.

It was a happy-clappy evangelical-y megachurch, but to my surprise,  I met God there and for the first time in a long time, I felt genuine peace. There was no prophetic vision, no speaking in tongues, just the deepest form of meditation and peace one could possibly imagine.

I know, I know – I sound like I’m going to give one of those ‘inspirational’ testimonials you see on Hillsong TV at 6am when the rest of the world is sleeping, but hear me out.

Whilst the music was great, and I loved the sense of community, their sermons never stuck out to me as being particularly profound, or even original.

After my initial connection, I became bored and found that I didn’t need the pastor, who actually had very little training in Biblical thought, to intermediate my relationship with my Creator.

I left that church soon after, but continued studying the Bible and fell in love with every facet of religious history. To me, there was/is nothing better than combining my love of history with God’s love for ALL of us; I began blogging about religion and history, mostly Christian history and hermeneutics, at first anonymously, then publicly – but it wasn’t long before I ran into questions, issues and ultimately suffered a year long spiritual crisis.

It started with Islam. Why did Muslim women wear the hijab? Was it cultural or religious? And if it wasn’t cultural, why didn’t Christian women also continue to cover their heads, in accordance with St Paul’s writings in 1 Corinthians 11?

I looked online for answers to this single question, but instead found fallacious “complimentarianism” and soon after, answers to every yearning my soul had ever pondered.

I had stumbled across a tichel tying tutorial by an Orthodox Jewish woman named Andrea Grinberg, the director and founder of Wrapunzel.com – Up until then, I hadn’t even considered that Jews might also engage in this practise, they seemed like such a small and insignificant group compared to Christians and Muslims.

Andrea’s videos raised new questions for me: What in the world was a tichel, why was it significant to Judaism and how does Mrs Grinberg get her soul to radiate through my computer screen like that? I didn’t know what it was about her, but I felt like I needed that too and I began swallowing every one of her theology videos whole.

Unbeknownst to her, Andrea led me onto other Orthodox Jewish women with soul-elevating messages – Rivka Malka Perlman, Penina Taylor and Chaya Lester to name but a few.

It was around this time that I asked my mother a pointed, and quite honestly, an anti-semitic question: “How are Jews not a**holes?! Seriously, have you read the Old Testament?!” – I was genuinely shocked that these women could have such empowering messages whilst following a Book that I had previously believed to be outdated, cruel and had been consequently abolished.

[The depressing irony is that at this point in time, I had not even bothered to read the Tanakh (Old Testament) for myself.]

Penina’s videos had a particular impact on me, as she had reverted to Judaism after 17 years as a Christian/Messianic Jew. Her story intrigued me, and worried me, because she raised objections that I felt I couldn’t ignore.

Soon enough, my blog posts began containing Jewish undertones and after months of inner turmoil, I contacted the organisation Jews For Jesus for some resources to ease my concern; Instead I was met with hostility for having questions, and was subsequently hung up on.  In a stubborn response, I bought Penina’s book Scripture Twisting: A Course In Jewish-Christian Polemics and began watching videos by Jews For Judaism, a counter-Jews For Jesus organisation.

My love of history and accurate retellings had finally gotten the better of me – I could no longer accept Jesus as God or as the Jewish Messiah, and I knew immediately that I had to convert.

My love for Jesus as a human being remains strong – If even a quarter of the Christian account of his life is true,  he was a righteous and just man. I love my Christian friends and family and will always support the good works of Christians who live their life authentically and in the foot steps of Jesus. (The beautiful thing about Jewish mysticism is that reincarnation is real, meaning Jesus could be the Messiah, he just isn’t yet)

For me, I have to take on 613 Torah commandments as well as additional Talmudic commandments and I know how rigorous, difficult (in every sense of the word), long – taking on average 18 months to 3 years – but completely worth it the conversion process is.

My spiritual journey has not been linear, but I’m proud of where I am, the ancient Middle Eastern culture, history and religion that I am making my own, and for the first time in my life, I am certain of my meaning and purpose.


This decision has been extremely difficult for me, so please be kind. Rude comments will be deleted. I understand and accept that many of my readers will have to stop following this blog, and that they may be disappointed in my decision. My previous blog posts will remain live as a sign of my journey, and because they may continue to be helpful to others. Thank you all for your ongoing support.

15 comments

    • simoneknelson@outlook.com says:

      Thank you so much for the encouragement, I will definitely continue sharing – you can subscribe via email if you would like to stay updated on when I post. Wishing you all the best on your continuing journey.

  1. TonYa says:

    Wow, what an AMAZING testimony. I mean yours is so similiar to mine. I just came to this Revelation gradually over the past two years as I have been on a spiritual journey like yourself. In the beginning The Most High flooded me with revelations, and it was so overwhelming I cried out have mercy on me I only want the truth!! What is the TRUTH? LIES ALL indoctrinated lies! I want to understand, have wisdom like Solomon. My journey began searching, and I went from…
    [16 churches, 7 online ministries, and joined messianic Congregation] yet in all these places I knew something was very much missing. I just confirmed for sure for sure, that I am being lead toward Judaism, and I’m starting to wonder if my soul actually was meant to be a Jew all along. I am so serious about it I’m on ancestry.com looking at my family tree to see if there may be a female Jewish woman in my bloodline, just for myself to confirm I’m not crazy. I am at a Crossroads because my Ministry was very Christian and at this point I have subsided from even posting a lot on Facebook all of my friends are Christian and believe in Jesus. The last two years I have spent writing testimonies and daily devotionals based on Christianity and Jesus as well as intercessory prayer for people all over the world for healing and restoration, and I actually have a blog like yourself which I now have to completely rewrite. I am waiting on Hashem to lead me. Im kindof in a transition period, like your opening sentence explained. I am not sure how I can explain to my family and friends about my absence. I have just been reading so much scripture I have been buried searching deeply for the truth, I mean to the point where I couldn’t rest or sleep until I found what it is I was supposed to find. I have been learning Torah now for 2 years and belonged to a Messianic community, that is until Hashem pulled me out. I very distinctively felt Hashem
    ( I call him Father) touching me and gripping my attention, when I I started interceding for Israel during prayer very diligently. I Heard a Voice tell me, (still small voice), stay focused on my Commandments. Dont get distracted or overwelmed, I am with you. It has been a beautiful Journey & still growing. I decided to join the group that you shared your testimony on so that I could feel comforted. I mean this is a very lonely road and diffucult you know. Coming to the conclusion Jesus is NOT.. YEAH. I had questions, no one wanted to answer them. I dared not say it out loud what I was thinking. The history doesnt lie, and it speaks for itself. That was a tough one, I cried for 3 days straight. I mean I was in mourning, but then I was reading Exodus 23:13 where it says that we are not to even remember the other gods, not even their names. I was like okay Father I hear you, I’ve had my time in mourning, now it’s time to get serious there is none other besides you. First he took away my Christmas trees then he told me cover my head, then he helped me clean out my house I removed a lot of idolatry items, these all happened very rapidly in the beginning when I first returned to Hashem. Then he took away pork and forbidden Foods, then he revealed the truth about Sunday, so you see gradually he has been stripping away the Pagan Worldliness that surrounds me. Still, I have so many questions, so eager to learn. I was determined, and still am to follow through. What I mean is being obedient takes courage, change takes courage. Being a humble servant of the MOST HIGH is a lifetime sacrifice and commitment once you put one foot in the door there is no returning back. We would never want to, this is Amazing to experience. I call this experience my wilderness, much like Moses when he left his hometown and ventured out to follow Hashem, that had to be very difficult for him but it was necessary. Thank you so much for sharing, I just wanted to encourage you today that it has deeply touched my heart. HalleluYAH.

    • simoneknelson@outlook.com says:

      Wow, thank you so much for the encouragement and sharing your story. Indeed – ours are very similar, and I am also looking for a Jewish female in my ancestry to help make sense of it all. However, according to Kabbalah (Jewish Mysticism) each time a husband and wife are together, a soul is created. As Abraham and Sarah were together for many years before conceiving, it is said that they had created many souls and these Jewish souls are in non-Jewish bodies, which is why some people like us feel a pull towards Judaism even when it doesn’t appear to make sense – our souls are wishing to return to their people. That’s why Jewish converts are called sons and daughters of Abraham and Sarah. Wishing you all the best on your continuing journey.

  2. Batya Miriam Perlman says:

    I can tell through your writing what a truth seeking person you are, and your bravery to challenge what other’s take for granted is beautiful. I hope Hashem gives you the confidence and courage to arrive where you feel most connected and in love with the Creator.

  3. Heidi says:

    Hi, I read your blog and I understand that when you love God so much you need to know more. When I stumbled upon your blog I was looking for a bible timeline. But instead I was reading your writing. I know, I don’t know you but I cried when I read what you wrote about ” Yeshua or Jesus is just a man” he isn’t just man he is a man in the form of God. One gentile to another gentile you are so special and I don’t know you but I love you. Those people that were mean to you about asking questions about Yeshua is wrong. We are suppose to love one another not hinder each other my heart hurts for you over that. I admire your pursuit but remember love people because when you go on your journey to convert to Judaism these people are not perfect either your going to feel hurt and pain at either end but remember to love no matter what. God bless

    • Simone says:

      Hi Heidi, thanks for your lovely comment.
      From the bottom of my heart, I am so sorry that my post upset you. Please know that I have the utmost respect for Jesus, his followers and the Christian faith as a whole. Whilst the few nasty individuals I encountered were certainly not helpful in my pursuit of truth, they are not the reason that I lost faith in the doctrine of the Trinity.
      I have decided to convert to Judaism because I believe that God wishes for me to keep the 613 commandments He has written about in the Torah (Old Testament), and I believe that these are commandments Jesus himself abided by. It is my personal belief that Jesus could be the Messiah that is prophesied in the Torah, however this is not something I can feel certain of until the end of days when he does or does not return. I believe that God understands my intentions are to know His truth fully and completely, and that if I am wrong in my decision to go down this path, He will forgive me. I ask that you pray for me, and sincerely thank you for the love you have sent my way. May God continue to bless you.

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