In Raphy’s bogology, I discussed Michael Wyshogrod’s “The Body of Faith”, where he states that converts to Judaism undergo some kind of quasi-biological change.
Now, say a Jew wants to study Kabbalah. No problem; as someone said, “The Jew is the only one who can understand these things (Kabbalah) because his soul is different to that of other humans.”
But, say you’re not Jewish, that’s no obstacle; you can become Jewish. As the same someone said, “everybody who wants to can convert to Judaism and start learning the Revealed Torah.” But, “only after a person has reached a high level in observance, age and piety can these secrets (of Kabbalah) be transmitted to a person.”
There is firstly, the “revealed” Torah, secondly, the “alluded meanings” of Torah (remesh) and, thirdly, the “secret” Torah (the sod). The “revealed” Torah is what you see on the page; the allusions and secret meanings – Kabbalah – is what you see through the page.
So, now you’ve converted to Judaism and got your new set of DNA. There’s, however, still a long way to go before you can get your beaver teeth into Kabbalah: 40 years of Torah study.
Now, consider someone like me who has Jewish DNA and (but?) later becomes a Christian. If Hashem can change goyishe DNA into Yiddishe DNA, then why (Wyshogrod would probably wish) can’t Hashem pull – at the moment of my Christian conversion – my Jewish genes and replace them with a clutch of goyishe genes. If the miracle can work one way – a good way; goyishe to Jewish, it should – to be fair – work in reverse; Jewishe to goyish.
But say, by some miracle, my Jewish genes have not forsaken me; it’s still too late for me, because I haven’t got another 40 years to study Torah; never mind an extra 20 years to grow in piety. But it’s not too late for my quarter-Jewish grandson, who has just turned four.
4 years old + 40 for Torah + 20 for piety = 64. A good age for a quarterle-Jewish boy to begin Kabbalah.