Because I was raised Catholic? Then I was agnostic but spiritual, and then I decided to explore Judaism because it seemed to philosophically match up to my own beliefs. I'm in the (slow, fits and starts) process of conversion.
Fascinating. I guess the natural in-between step from Catholicism to Judaism is agnostic but spiritual. Still, it's a leap.
I don't think so. For many, Catholicism is just too bound up with more recent innovaton-- historically speaking. Judaism is much more focused on the roots of spirituality.
I always was fascinated by it. I wanted to be Jewish since I read the All of a Kind Family books when I was a little kid. Then I found out that my great grandfather had been Jewish and converted to Catholicism several years after he and my great grandmother married. The rabbi I'm studying with said that very often converts seem to have a Jewish relative somewhere in the family tree and it makes him think there's something to the whole notion of a "Jewish soul".
My big problem with Catholicism and most flavors of Christianity is that faith and belief aren't just all you need, it's everything. Actions derive from belief. I never bought big chunks of Catholic belief despite 12 years of Catholic school. The older I got, the less believable I found any of it.
Judaism speaks to me because it's about the doing first. I go through phases of finding it hard to believe there's any God at all and through phases of feeling a presence very strongly. Judaism says, whatever, keep doing the commandments because it's good to the do the commandments and that's what Jews do. And the ethical standards are very strong.
I'm also converting Reform because they settled the whole gays being welcome or not question back in 1982 and show no signs of changing. I got tired of trying different Christian churches only to have them do flip flops over whether and how welcome non-heterosexuals are.
And of course, growing up Catholic also means an exquisitely developed sense of guilt about almost everything. That's easily transferred to Judaism. Just substitute "I ate ham" for "I ate meat on Friday during Lent." And I still get to have my old familiar vacillation between feeling guilty and then refusing to feel guilty about something I don't actually believe is wrong. But Judaism mostly crams that into one long miserable day once a year, instead of all 365 with double helpings for Lent...
For the record, at one point when I was thinking about it and hadn't made up my mind yet, I took the Beliefnet "What religion should you be?" quiz where you answer a series of questions about your own beliefs and it tells you how they match up with various world religions. I came out 100% Reform Jewish and in the 90s for Quaker and UU. I came out more Sikh and more Scientologist than Catholic (32% if I recall correctly). It wasn't the deciding factor but it was a signpost