“One didn’t grow up orthodox, and so maybe has a grudge to settle (with whom? himself?) and one of them is a convert who deems himself worthy of commenting on Jews’ lived realities outside of Torah observance, something they have not experienced.”
What does this even mean? Because I was brought up non-Orthodox I didn’t have a Jewish upbringing? Because Jacob is converting, his time and effort spent within the Jewish world is meaningless?
How do you define YOURSELF, Lazer? Gefilte fish and Yiddish? I’ll pass.
There is a new Jewish Renaissance of Ba’alei Teshuva and converts. Judaism is being reinvigorated by those who embrace Hashem and Torah, not your false Jewish markers.
Tonight I am having two tattooed Ba’alei Teshuva at my Shabbos table. One is a biker and one a recent parolee. Tomorrow I am having lunch with an entire frum family of converts. In fact, all of my friends are converts and Ba’alei Teshuva - Just like during the time of the Tanach, Mishna and Gemara.
But I guess Rabbi Akiva, Onkelos, Rabbi Meir Ba’al Haness, Reish Lakish, Ruth, Yisro, Ovadia, Tzipporah, Yael, etc. aren’t Jewish enough for you.