Over the past 18 months, I spent less time in synagogue than at any point since I started going to shul regularly in the fall of 1993.
Until September 14, I was going through my Orthodox conversion to Judaism and I had so much fear that something would go wrong, I stayed away from shul to narrow my chances of disaster.
Before Rosh Hashanah, I finished the process. But I haven’t hurried back to shul.
I’ve had several reasons for this:
* Over the past year, I’ve dated women who weren’t into Orthodox Judaism. I couldn’t shlep them along to shul and I didn’t want to leave them behind. When given the choice between a hot body in the hovel and an invisible God at shul, I frequently chose to stay home.
* Getting booted from five shuls for my controversial writing took a toll on my psyche. Stepping into shul became scary. It didn’t feel like a safe place. To avoid anything going wrong with anybody, I distanced myself. I didn’t open up to many people. I didn’t engage deeply. I didn’t form many bonds.