Conversion to Judaism. This entails acceptance of the mitzvos, tevila (immersion), and for men, bris milah (circumcision).

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20
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4answers
2k views

Is it possible for a Gentile to convert to Judaism?

Is it possible for someone who is Gentile to convert to Judaism? What is the prevailing belief of Jewish people on this subject? What scripture backs up this belief? What do prominent Jewish ...
17
votes
6answers
586 views

When did Avraham Avinu become Jewish

Avraham Avinu is often called "the first Jew". When did he become Jewish. Was it when: He recognized G-d? G-d spoke to him for the first time? Covenant Between The Parts? When G-d changed his name? ...
16
votes
6answers
893 views

First steps for someone considering conversion

I am 25 years old and I am truly interested in converting. I too also only believe in G-d. I live my life to certain rules that others I see aren't strong enough to live by. I want to know what I ...
17
votes
2answers
457 views

When (if ever) are converts still related to their relatives?

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 ...
19
votes
4answers
929 views

Can a Jew lose their Jewish Status?

Can a Jew lose their status as being a Jew by performing any action (example: performing idolatry, disavowing core beliefs, converting to another religion, etc)? Or once a person is a Jew then they ...
14
votes
2answers
464 views

May (or should) a convert recite kaddish after his biological parents' deaths?

May (or should) a convert recite kaddish after his biological parents' deaths? I think the answer is that yes, he may do so out of respect for them (even though, in a strict halachic sense, he is no ...
13
votes
2answers
340 views

Does a convert have a clean slate?

When a non-jew converts to Jusaism, must he still do teshuva from past sins, or does the "reborn" concept stretch far enough to consider him "sinless"?
9
votes
2answers
620 views

Can the child of two converts marry a Cohen?

Can the child of two converts marry a Cohen? How does the situation differ if only the mother, or only the father, is a convert? (I have read that "ideally" the child of two converts should not ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

Can a gentile go to Synagogue on Shabbat and what is forbidden on Shabbat for a gentile?

Is a gentile allowed to participate in Shabbat prayers in a Synagogue (of course he/she will not count for a minyan) if they do so in order to gain knowledge of Jewish customs for the purpose of ...
11
votes
1answer
222 views

Understanding discouragement of converts

Why do we discourage converts? I know that Naomi did so with Rus, but Moshe doesn't seem to do so with Yisro. Why wouldn't Judaism want to encourage converts? Furthermore is it a responsibility merely ...
6
votes
2answers
646 views

A Convert taking on customs of ashkanazim or sephardim

When someone converts is there any determining factor on what minhagim (customs) they will take upon themselves in terms of Ashkanazim or Sephardim? Should it be dependent on the Beis Din they ...
14
votes
2answers
919 views

Can a non-Jew don tefillin?

May a non-Jew or a person who is in the conversion process don tefillin? If not, what are the reasons that they cannot?
17
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2answers
1k views

If a woman converts to Judaism while pregnant, will her child be a Jew?

If a woman converts to Judaism while pregnant, will her child be a Jew once born?
16
votes
3answers
469 views

When did Ruth convert?

In the book of Ruth it never openly states that she converts and in fact she is referred to as Ruth the Moabite throughout the text. At what point, chronologically, did she in fact convert?
11
votes
6answers
654 views

Am I liable to be stoned for my devotion to Hashem and the Jewish people?

I have spent over 2 years to this day praying for the Jewish people from the Koren Siddur and Machzorim. I have with my Rebbe's help tried to follow Jewish customs and laws, to my best ability. ...
11
votes
1answer
372 views

Are we allowed to ask someone if he's a convert?

I remember learning that we are forbidden to "remind a convert of his past". The implication, as I remember it, is reminding someone that he used to be an idolater. (Though not all converts were.) ...
7
votes
1answer
217 views

Who are these “aliens” in Isaiah 56?

I was reading through this passage in Isaiah 56: 4 For thus saith the LORD concerning the eunuchs that keep My sabbaths, and choose the things that please Me, and hold fast by My covenant. 5 ...
6
votes
6answers
528 views

Is there any benefit for a gentile to convert through one denomination versus another?

Despite being raised Conservative, it has been my impression that the only conversion that "counts" is an Orthodox one. I suspect this is the case for making aliyah, but under what other ...
4
votes
1answer
119 views

Are children whose mother converted after bearing them Jewish?

If a Jewish man and non-Jewish wife have a child, and the mother completes her Orthodox conversion to Judaism after the child is born, must the child also convert to be considered Jewish, if they were ...
5
votes
2answers
415 views

Can a convert become a synagogue president? Why or why not?

I understand that the National Council of Young Israel has a rule that women and converts may not be elected president of a Young Israel synagogue. I think I saw a gemara -- or a comment to a gemara ...
15
votes
1answer
285 views

Is a convert obliged to honor his parents?

Is a convert obliged to honor his parents? I understand that a convert loses all halakhic relationship to his parents upon being "reborn." Therefore, does the mitzvah of kibud av va'eim still apply?
9
votes
2answers
551 views

Can an Alien convert to Judaism?

Suppose we one day find an extraterrestrial walking on our planet that originated from another planet. The alien quickly learns all about religion and now wants to become a Jew. Do we let him? ...
8
votes
1answer
239 views

Can a convert serve as a dayan?

I believe that there are specific restrictions placed on a ger (convert) being a legal decisor on a beit din. What are these restrictions and do those, ipso facto, preclude that individual from ...
6
votes
1answer
393 views

If a woman converts to Judaism while pregnant, will her child be eligible to marry a Kohen?

If a woman converts to Judaism while pregnant, will her child be eligible to marry a Kohen? Case #1 -- Assume her husband is a Jew by birth. Case #2 -- Assume her husband converted to Judaism prior ...
6
votes
3answers
113 views

What happened to Avraham's students?

We read how Avraham was going around convincing people to believe in one G-d and of his many students. Yet we don't hear of those students (or their descendants) ever again. What happened to them ...
6
votes
3answers
721 views

what percentage of Reform Jews are halachically Jewish?

Was there ever a study done on the percentage of Reform Jews who would be considered Jewish according to Halacha?
5
votes
3answers
472 views

Do Rabbis have to be Jewish by ethnicity?

I am under the impression that a person can be received into Judaism from a gentile nation. My question is whether or not that person could conceivably then become a Rabbi? Please indicate whether ...
4
votes
1answer
200 views

Non-Jews & Shul Access

Can a shul deny access to a non-Jew due to the fact that he/she is not Jewish? Even if the person genuinely has a desire to learn about Judaism and worship Hashem? What are the rights (if any) of a ...
4
votes
0answers
144 views

Statistics regarding how many people convert yearly

What are the statistics for the last 50-100 years as to how many people convert and become Geirim yearly?
4
votes
1answer
250 views

What is a ger toshav?

I read in the Book of Isaiah (Is. 56:1-8), about the foreigner joining Hashem. I asked my Rabbi briefly about this passage. He explained that the passage is probably neither about a gerut conversion ...
2
votes
1answer
229 views

Is the child of a convert, conceived after she converted, Jewish?

If a woman converted before she conceived any children are they considered Jewish? Even with a non-Jewish father? I understand that non-Jewish mothers with Jewish husbands do not have Jewish children ...
10
votes
2answers
593 views

Can only the husband in a gentile married couple convert?

We are a gentile married couple and my husband wants to convert orthodox and im still not sure if i want to convert at all. i found out that the conservative would let my husband convert and stay with ...
10
votes
2answers
209 views

Could someone who has committed a heinous crime convert to Judaism?

Is there any reason that someone who has committed horrible sins in the past (for example, mass murder) could not become a Jew? Assume, of course, that the sinner/criminal is willing to do teshuvah ...
9
votes
4answers
383 views

Can a convert be a prophet?

I don't think there were any gerim amongst the nevi'im, but would it have been possible?
6
votes
2answers
317 views

Why Do Converts Change Their Names?

Rabbi Avigdor Miller said that it used to be that gerim (converts) and baalei teshuvah (repentants) who had been given non-Jewish names did not change their names when they became part of the Jewish ...
17
votes
2answers
217 views

Why Not Eight Days Until a Convert's Circumcision?

Why doesn't a convert dip in the mikveh and then wait eight days until he gets his circumcision? The gemara (Yevamot 97b) says ger shnitgayeir kekatan shenolad dami (A convert is like a newly-born ...
8
votes
1answer
200 views

My great great grandmother was Jewish - am I?

I've discovered that my great, great grandmother was Jewish - i.e. my mother's mother's mother's mother. She converted to Catholicism upon marriage. Are matrilineal descendants of a Jewess who ...
8
votes
2answers
153 views

Were the eirev rav Jewish?

Were the eirev rav Jewish? If they were in fact Jewish why are they described by the term eirev rav instead of just referring to them as we would any other Jew? If they were not Jewish why were they ...
7
votes
1answer
157 views

Did Jethro convert? Before or after Matan Torah?

Did Jethro convert? And, was it before or after the Torah was given? I heard a few things this past shabbat, but I would like to see if we can compile all of the midrashic and aggadic opinions.
6
votes
1answer
772 views

I want to be a Jew, but I'm born as a Muslim

I'm from Algeria, but I'm now living in France. I was born as a Muslim, but since I was 13, I realized that Islam wasn't for me. Since two years, I'm now looking for a new religion, and from what I've ...
6
votes
0answers
211 views

Can a convert mourn for their Jewish parents?

Consider someone who was born to a jewish father and non jewish mother who then converted to Judaism with his mother. It seems pashut from the Shulchan Aruch that one who converts is considered a ...
5
votes
1answer
340 views

Does someone maternally Jewish, but without documented proof, need “giyur l'chumra”?

If a person is Jewish by maternal decent, but can't prove it conclusively through documents. Do they need to convert? Do they need normal conversion or giyur l'chumra? What are the steps involved? I ...
5
votes
2answers
182 views

Why isn't modern conversion invalid?

I have heard that Rashi said that there are three requirements for conversion: brit milah; mikveh; korban in Beit Hamikdash. If this is true, why is it that this is not rendering modern conversions ...
5
votes
2answers
347 views

If a convert's parents convert to Judaism, do they become his halachic parents?

If a convert's parents convert to Judaism, do they become his halachic parents? I understand that a ger is thought to be "reborn" upon conversion to Judaism; therefore, his birth parents are not ...
4
votes
1answer
157 views

Can a woman converting to Judaism go to the Mikvah during her period?

When Gentiles convert to Judaism, they are "like a newborn". If I understand correctly, there is no such thing as Niddah vis a vis non-Jews. So, if I add those two together, I am inclined to assume ...
4
votes
1answer
230 views

Would a convert/Ba'al Teshuvah have to remove any tattoos they may have?

A Jew is prohibited from tattooing himself. If a person with tattoos were to convert to Judaism, would they be required to have the tattoos removed? Would a Jew who got a tattoo and later repented be ...
4
votes
0answers
446 views

How is giyur le’chumra different from a standard conversion in practice?

I am interested to know how giyur le’chumra is different from a standard conversion in practice? Does anyone have any personal experiences? My understanding of the meaning of giyur le’chumra (from ...
4
votes
1answer
113 views

When did Rus bring a korban?

(Inspired by this answer.) The gemarah in krisus [8b-9a] discusses the requirement for a convert to bring a korban (sacrifice) to enter into the community. If this is the case, how could Rus have ...
3
votes
1answer
276 views

Can the descendants of a mamzer ever become full Jews?

Is there any way for the descendants of a mamzer to ever become Jews with full rights, or are they stuck with mamzerus forever? For example, if a man who is a mamzer marries a non-Jew, and then their ...
3
votes
0answers
210 views

Children of Converts and Specific halachos

The Pri Megadim in OC Siman 156 Ashel Avraham Sif-Katan 2 writes that a child that was conceived in kedusha (sanctity) and born in kedusha to a mother and father that had both converted (i.e. these 2 ...