Question

I have searched since I was about 20 years old (now 33) for something more to life than meets the eye. I have looked into different religions, like Buddhism and other kinds of spiritual soul searching. Over time through reading and experiencing all sorts of things I started to realize that the conclusions I came to on very different levels  match what is taught in judaism. What I am trying to ask is how do I comfortably delve into Judaism after experiencing and coming to conclusions I made outside of Judaism?

Answer

One important point to remember is that when a person comes to a recognition of “truth” it stands on its own. The word אמת / emet (truth) in Hebrew – “א aleph” – “מ mem” – “ת taf” is comprised of three different letters that are fully resting on the baseline (unlike many other letters in the hebrew language which don’t rest on the baseline). When you genuinely come to perceive a truth it doesn’t matter so much how you got to it because the soul accesses these truths and transmits them to the mind. Therefore, it stands on its own. These aspects or bits of truth you discovered in your journey over the years also stand on their own. You don’t need to worry about how you came to discover them.

However, what you may consider doing now, if you are ready to do so, is plunge into the depths of understanding the Torah and Judaism to “check” that the conclusions you came to before in fact match up. There are many ideas that on a superficial level sound the same as Jewish ideas but when you delve into them you realize they aren’t really the same. One of the beauties of in depth Torah study is that it allows you the benefit of really breaking through the tendency people have to superficiality and clarify your definitions of truth and reality in a very profound way.