Reply To: Help – I want to convert to Judaism


I don't think observance has to be an all-or-nothing question. I know plenty of people who care deeply about being Jewish, are committed to being Jewish and to living a Jewish life but who are not Orthodox. Reform, Conservative and Reconstructionist rabbis all do conversions and will all expect different things of you in the way of observance. Talk to everyone from Chabad (this is run by the Lubavitchers, a Hasidic group) to the Reform and Reconstructionist rabbis. You may find yourself coming to some answers about whether to convert and, if so, under whose instruction. You should note that while everyone recognizes Orthodox conversions, the same is not true of conversions performed by rabbis of other denominations. On a personal, visceral level, I would have very different reactions to the idea of your not being strictly shomer shabbos (just fine) than to the idea of you celebrating Christmas (you can talk all you want about secular this and American that, it's still Christmas and it's a Christian holiday and it's not for Jews). Two more things you may want to check out: Mixed Blessings by Rachel Cowan, a book by a woman who converted to Judaism after marrying a nonobservant Jewish man. She is now a rabbi. Also, the 92nd St. Y (YMHA) in Manhattan runs an Introduction to Judaism course for, among others, people who are considering converting. If that's not convenient for you, I'll bet you can find similar courses in your area. Also, as you may already be aware, Jewish tradition says that a rabbi shouldn't accept a person for instruction for conversion until they ask three times (they're supposed to be rejected and sent on their way the first two). While you may not encounter people who take that tradition literally, if you decide you want to convert, I wouldn't be discouraged by rabbis who don't leap at the opportunity to instruct you at first. They just want to be sure you're sure.

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Name : Susan27499, Gender : F, City : New York, State : NY Country : United States,