Shalom Life | May 23, 2015

Benjamin Errett is Jew and Improved

The story of how Benjamin Errett converted to Judaism.

By: Helen Hatzis

Published: February 24th, 2010 in Culture » Books » Interviews

Benjamin Errett is Jew and Improved

In this delightful book by Benjamin Errett, he shares an aspect of his life and takes us on his spiritual journey of becoming a Jew.

A once self-described agnostic, Errett was traipsing through life, entertaining the possibility of entering medical school while studying biology at McGill University. Life took a sharp turn when he decided to forgo his spot at medical school to become a writer.

At the age of 22, he took on an editing position at the National Post with barely any experience – where he remains employed today. All the while, his longtime (Jewish) girlfriend was by his side. The book focuses on his relationship with Judaism through Sarah, his proposal of marriage and the decision and path of conversion without sparing any details – yes, circumcision included.

“For most of my life, I was quite happy to be unemployed, spiritually speaking. But when Sarah and I got engaged, I decided joining her tribe was the right thing to do. Beyond that slogan for Quaker Oats, I couldn’t quite articulate why I wanted to do this. Sure, it made her parents happy, but I’d like to think I had them onside from the beginning. I knew I was searching for something though I had no clear idea what that something was,” writes Errett in Jew and Improved.

Interestingly, when he spoke with Sarah’s father and requested permission to marry her, adding that he was converting, her father gave him his blessings and added that it was a nice gesture but one does not have to be Jewish to raise a nice Jewish family -- to which Errett replied, “I know. It’s something I want to do.”

And when Shalom Life asked, "How has it improved you?", Errett responded with “Well, it has certainly changed my perception on religion and what it is and what it can be. It’s a great way of life and knowing it’s there is a comfort.”

From his whirlwind trip to Israel to conversion classes and from the mishpacha to the mikveh, Errett’s aspiration and completion of becoming Jewish is a pleasurable read.

“This journey has enriched my life,” shared Errett.

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