Conversion to Judaism (Hebrew: גיור , giyur) is the religious conversion of non- Jews to become members of the Jewish religion and Jewish ethnoreligious. There lots of stereotypes and myths related to Jewish dating. Some of them might be true. Others But wait, there's another way to enter the tribe: Conversion. I am in the process of an Orthodox conversion to marry the man I love. The first is the concept of conversion within Judaism, whereas the second issue is how.
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Far more important than her past was her future; far more significant in judging her was not where she came from but to where her values and her commitment would lead her. Are those who treat converts as pariahs unaware of the background of the brilliant Rabbi Akiva, the rabbinic figure whom the Talmud dares to compare to Moses himself, who was a descendent of converts? Our tradition is blessed with countless Torah scholars who were Jews by choice. Our tradition is blessed with countless Torah scholars who were Jews by choice — converts, or children of converts, including Rabbi Meir of Talmudic fame as well as Onkelos, the translator of the Torah to Aramaic whose commentary invariably appears in every printed text.
Throughout the ages, there always were sages who espoused embracing these Jews by choice. They echoed the concern of the Amidah prayer in which we pray three times daily for the well-being of all converts. And the Kabbalah asserts that the souls of converts who embrace Judaism are akin to divine sparks which return back to their divine core.
Conversion to Judaism - Wikipedia
Maimonides perhaps expressed it most pointedly in his famous letter of response to the convert Ovadiah. Should he say them? Maimonides began his response by succinctly setting down the rule: Therefore, anyone who converts and proclaims the unity of the Name of the Holy One blessed be He, as is prescribed in the Torah, is counted amongst the disciples of Abraham our forefather and they are members of his household… Thus, Abraham our forefather is the father of all worthy people that follow in his ways, and he is a father to his students, and they include anyone who converts… There is no difference at all between us and you in any matter.
I told the young man who was contemplating breaking up with the woman of his dreams in light of the negative feelings of his friends that he should certainly continue the relationship and gave him my heartfelt blessings. The story goes back many years. Thankfully today I have the good fortune in knowing not only how right I was in encouraging him but also performing the marriage between the Jew by birth and the Jew by choice.
Converts are asked to commit to religious standards set by the local Reform community. Typically, Reform Rabbis require prospective converts to take a course of study in Judaism, such as an "Introduction to Judaism" course, to participate in worship at a synagogue, and to live as a Jew however that is interpreted by the individual Rabbi for a period of time. A period of one year is common, although individual Rabbis' requirements vary. When the sponsoring Rabbi feels that the candidate is ready, a Bet Din may be convened.
Other rituals such as immersion in a mikvah, circumcision or Hatafat dam britand a public ceremony to celebrate the conversion, are also at the discretion of the Rabbi.
The Conservative Committee on Jewish Law and Standards has issued a legal opinion stating that Reform conversions may be accepted as valid only when they include the minimal Conservative halachic requirements of milah and t'vilahappearance before a Conservative Bet Din, and a course of Conservative study.
Proceedings of Committee on Jewish Law and Standards: In general, branches of Orthodox Judaism consider non-Orthodox conversions either inadequate or of questionable halachic compliance, and such conversions are therefore not accepted by these branches of Judaism. Conversely, both Conservative and Reform Judaism accept the stringent Orthodox conversion process as being valid. SinceHaredi Orthodox religious courts in Israel have been rejecting conversions even from some other Orthodox rabbis, in addition to Reform and Conservative conversions, as not being stringent enough.
Please update this article to reflect recent events or newly available information. August Ina Haredi-dominated Badatz in Israel annulled thousands of conversions performed by the Military Rabbinate in Israel.
The Chief Rabbinate of Israelwhich is the only state-recognized authority on religious matters, backed by Rabbi Ovadia Yosefruled against this, making it legally invalid for purposes of Israeli law. Please help improve this section by adding citations to reliable sources.
Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. November Learn how and when to remove this template message There are two orthodox conversion programmes in Montreal. This program provides a way to convert according to the rigorous rules of Halachah while making the process more "user friendly" for non-Jewish individuals seeking a more "hands-on" or "modern Orthodox" approach. All conversion candidates—who could include singles, non-Jewish couples and adoption cases—must have a sponsoring rabbi and undergo a rigorous screening process.
Conversions stemming from both programs are recognized in Israel and around the world.
The process requires one year of learning, circumcision for malesand the taking of the vow that Ruth took. Who is a Jew?
The ‘Other Shidduch Crisis’: Dating While Convert
It would create communal standards of marriage and divorce. It was to be modeled after the Israeli Chief Rabbinate, where all the judges would have been Orthodox, while it would have been accepted by the larger Conservative movement as legitimate.
Conservative rabbis in the Rabbinical Assembly created a Joint Conference on Jewish Law, devoting a year to this effort.
According to Orthodox Rabbi Louis Bernstein, the major reason for its failure was the Orthodox rabbis' insistence that the Conservative Rabbinical Assembly agree to expel Conservative rabbis for actions they took prior to the formation of the new beth din, and the RA refused to do so. InRabbi Harry Halpernof the Joint Conference wrote a report on the demise of this beth din.
He writes that negotiations between the Orthodox and Conservative denominations were completed and agreed upon, but then a new requirement was demanded by the RCA: The RA must "impose severe sanctions" upon Conservative rabbis for actions they took before this new beth din was formed. Halpern writes that the RA "could not assent to rigorously disciplining our members at the behest of an outside group". He goes on to write that although subsequent efforts were made to cooperate with the Orthodox, a letter from eleven Rosh Yeshivas was circulated declaring that Orthodox rabbis are forbidden to cooperate with Conservative rabbis.
Denver program, patrilineal descent[ edit ] In DenverColoradoa joint Orthodox, Traditional, Conservative and Reform Bet Din was formed to promote uniform standards for conversion to Judaism.
A number of rabbis were Orthodox and had semicha from Orthodox yeshivas, but were serving in synagogues without a mechitza ; these synagogues were called traditional Judaism. Over a five-year period they performed some conversions to Judaism.
Marrying a Convert
However, in the joint Beth Din was dissolved, due to the unilateral American Reform Jewish decision to change the definition of Jewishness. This decision to redefine Jewish identity, as well as the designation of Denver as a pilot community for a new Reform out reach effort to recruit converts, convinced the Traditional and Conservative rabbis that they could no longer participate in the joint board They could not cooperate in a conversion program with rabbis who held so different a conception of Jewish identity.
And furthermore, they could not supervise conversions that would occur with increasing frequency due to a Reform outreach effort that was inconsistent with their own understanding of how to relate to potential proselytes. This departed from the traditional position requiring formal conversion to Judaism for children without a Jewish mother.
Most notably, the Israel Movement for Progressive Judaism has rejected patrilineal descent and requires formal conversion for anyone without a Jewish mother. Further, Haredi groups attempted to prevent non-Orthodox rabbis from following the traditional requirements of converts using a mikveh. In the Haredi view, it is better to have no conversion at all than a non-Orthodox conversion, as all non-Orthodox conversions are not true conversions at all according to them. In and Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir spearheaded an effort to find a way to resolve the impasse.
They were planning to create a joint panel that interviewed people who were converting to Judaism and considering making aliyah moving to the State of Israeland would refer them to a beth din that would convert the candidate following traditional halakha. All negotiating parties came to agreement: Many Reform rabbis took offense at the notion that the beth din must be strictly halakhic and Orthodox, but they acquiesced.
However, when word about this project became public, a number of leading haredi rabbis issued a statement denouncing the project, condemning it as a "travesty of halakha". Norman Lamm condemned this interference by Sherer, stating that this was "the most damaging thing that he [Sherer] ever did in his forty year career". He stated that had this unified conversion plan not been destroyed, he wanted to extend this program to the area of halakhic Jewish divorces, thus ending the problem of mamzerut.
Neeman Commission proposal[ edit ] In the issue of "Who is a Jew? Lamm told his listeners that they should value and encourage the efforts of non-Orthodox leaders to more seriously integrate traditional Jewish practices into the lives of their followers. They should welcome the creation of Reform and Conservative day schools and not see them as a threat to their own, Lamm said. In many communities, Orthodox day schools, or Orthodox-oriented community day schools, have large numbers of students from non-Orthodox families.
The liberal movements should be appreciated and encouraged because they are doing something Jewish, even if it is not the way that Orthodox Jews would like them to, he said. The Committee also recommended that conversion proceedings themselves be held in special conversion courts, to be recognized by all denominations in Judaism. The purpose of the proposal was to prevent a rift in the Jewish people, while at the same time bringing about a state-sponsored arrangement for conversion.
On September 7,the government adopted the Ne'eman Commission Report. A year later, the Joint Institute for Jewish Studies was established, and since then it has been the official state operator of conversion courses in Israel, including the military conversion courses.