Jun 15, 2016

How a Chinese became a Hasidic Jew Conversion to Judaism (video)

What brings a young man born in modern, communist China to move to Israel and convert to Judaism? In a black hat and suit, Aaron Waldman talks about his long search for the truth and his family's difficulty accepting his metamorphosis.
"I was taught when I was young, in elementary school, that the universe has no beginning and no end," he recalls. "If you believe there is a beginning of everything, you are religious. You're like superstitious, you're stupid. In university I was taught that the universe has a beginning, called Big Bang. If you do not believe that the universe has a beginning, you are stupid. What's the truth?
That was when Chai began intensive Judaism studies. "In China I couldn’t, there was no synagogue when I decided. How can I keep kashrut? So I decided I have to go away. I felt that the Land of Israel is my homeland. I found home. This was what I was looking for: A sincere, honest, devoted life," he says.

"When I came to Israel my parents were furious. The media isn't friendly to the Jewish people. We 'occupied Arab lands,' we 'slaughtered or massacred the Arab people.' So from my parents' point of view, they thought that I joined an evil cult and I went to an evil country. Now I think they reconciled somewhat." 
Waldman likes to joke about the similarity between Judaism and the Chinese culture. "I wear a suit, I have a hat, and now I have a beard. But think about it, it isn't such a big difference. This suit is made in China. It's a Chinese suit. I have black shoes made in China. Also this hat, which they call a haredi hat, is also from China. So everything I have is made in china. So what's the difference?"

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