Mi Yodeya is a question and answer site for those who base their lives on Jewish law and tradition and anyone interested in learning more. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

It is my understanding that when a person converts to Judaism, certain halachic relationships are severed.

So I have a couple questions about this.

  • Which relationships are severed?
  • Is a convert related to their Jewish (from birth) father?
  • If a person and their close relative convert together, are they still related? If so, what does "converting together" mean?
share|improve this question
I suggest watching the videos found in this blog. moriyasplace.blogspot.com/2011/04/… really interesting take on conversion and relationships, and how it feels to the dedicated convert. – avi Dec 28 '11 at 19:50
up vote 9 down vote accepted

1 All relationships are severed when a person converts.

2 The convert was never related to their Jewish (from birth) father and does not become so when they convert.

3 No, they are not related. The phrase "converting together" is generally used when a husband and wife convert together. When they convert their non-Jewish marriage is dissolved and they marry again as Jews.

Note that even though they are not related, nevertheless D'Rabbanan laws of incest to their former non-Jewish relatives still apply.

share|improve this answer
I should also note that the laws between parents and children who convert can be complex. Even though Yichus is severed, a convert who has had children before converting may still be considered to have fulfilled the Mitzva of Pru U'Revu, and a child still may have obligations to their pre-conversion parents even if the parents don't convert. – follick Dec 28 '11 at 2:16
Of course, in practice, conversion is a very complex area of Halachah and one needs to consult not just their local Rabbi, but an expert in these laws. – follick Dec 28 '11 at 2:18
Sources for any or all of the above would be nice. – Seth J Dec 28 '11 at 2:22
Could be this is derived from Yevamos 48b: A ger who is nisgayer is like a newborn child (ke-katan she-nolad dami) – yitznewton Dec 28 '11 at 14:36
@MarthaF., by "related," here, people mean in the technical-Halachic sense, with implications for various purposes, some of which are discussed in come comments above. For at least some of these purposes, a non-Jew and a Jew cannot be "related," so the Jewish father and his non-Jewish child, for those purposes, aren't. – Isaac Moses Dec 28 '11 at 19:46

Converting relatives are complete strangers but for the fact that they are not allowed to have any sexual relationship that they couldn't have had before conversion. If a brother and sister convert, they cannot marry as Jews.

share|improve this answer
This is not true. Many rules of incest do apply by rabbinic law after conversion, but not all of them. – Double AA Jul 29 '12 at 22:11
This answer needs some sources. – Seth J Jul 29 '12 at 22:32

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.