Can a Viking Be Jewish?
by Rabbi Aron Moss
by Rabbi Aron Moss
I feel like I am a Jewish soul born in a non-Jewish body. I have always been surrounded by Jewish friends, loved the religion, and after years of study I just fulfilled my dream and converted to Judaism. My family has no Jewish roots whatsoever, I descend from Vikings on both sides, so it is all a bit of a mystery. Any explanation?
Many people from all different walks of life have reported feeling an affinity to Jews and Judaism. Some leave it at that. Others take it further. For them, it is more than just a curiosity with Jewish things or a taste for Jewish cooking. It is in their soul.
The first Jewish couple, Abraham and Sarah, were married for decades before they were blessed with a child. But the Kabbalists say that although no physical children had been born to them, they had given birth to many spiritual children.
Every time husband and wife are together a soul is born. Sometimes that soul comes down into a body, and is born as their child. Other times, the soul remains in the heavens. Abraham and Sarah for all those years were in fact giving birth to souls without bodies. Those souls were then distributed among the nations of the world and spread over history.
These are the souls of converts to Judaism throughout the ages.
When a non-Jew feels within them a pull towards the Jewish faith and the Jewish people, it may be a latent Jewish soul wanting to return to its community, a long lost child of Abraham and Sarah reuniting with its family.
This is why when a convert to Judaism chooses a Hebrew name, they are called the son or daughter of Abraham and Sarah. This is describing a true fact, their Jewish soul came directly from the first Jewish couple. While a born Jew is a distant descendant of Abraham and Sarah, a convert is their actual child.
Now there are plenty of non-Jews who have Jewish taste. Just because you like Jewish humour, enjoy Jewish food and shop at Costco, doesn't mean you have a hidden Jewish soul.
But someone such as yourself, who studies Judaism and is enthralled by it, keeps the laws of Torah and just wants to do more, felt a deep calling to join the Jewish people and made the long and hard journey to do just that - it must have been Abraham and Sarah calling you home.