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34

Yes, conversion is possible. The Talmud discusses it, Maimonides' Code of Jewish Law (around the year 1200) discusses it, and there is a section on it in Shulchan Aruch, the main code of Jewish Law that was compiled in the 1500s. Besides the book of Ruth, see for instance Numbers 9:14: If a proselyte joins you, he must also prepare God's Passover ...


22

There is a tradition, recorded in various sources, that the prophet Ovadiah was an Edomite convert. This tradition is born of the fact that there is nothing within his short (one chapter) oracle that concerns Judeans or Israelites; the entire thing is an oracle about the Edomites instead. Sources: Sanhedrin 39b; Tanchuma, Tazria 8. See also Rashi and ...


21

The Rambam in Hilchos Avel 2:3 says that a Ger is not obligated to mourn for either of his parents. This is so because someone who is aGer is considered as if he is reborn, and therefore has no Halachic relationship to his parents (Yevamos 22a; Bava Kamma 88a). The Beis Yosef (Yoreh De'ah 374) quotes the Mordechai in the name of the Ri that a convert must ...


18

I started preparing for conversion in 1999 during my undergraduate years, and finalized it in 2001. The hardest thing for me was to get an understanding of the legitimacy of different threads in Orthodoxy. I had a hard time accepting that Modern Orthodoxy could be legitimate, but eventually embraced what you might call right-wing MO. Finding a rabbi you ...


18

Tosefos addresses a similar line of thought in Bava Kamma 85a: שנתנה רשות לרפאות - א"ת והא מרפא לחודיה שמעינן ליה וי"ל דה"א ה"מ מכה בידי אדם אבל חולי הבא בידי שמים כשמרפא נראה כסותר גזירת המלך קמ"ל דשרי (Rough translation) - One may have thought that there is no right to seek healing from a sickness that comes from Heaven, as it seems like ...


15

@H'Gabriel provided a lot of good resources. In this answer I'll try to address the conversion issue specifically. The conversion process is involved and long. You will go through the following steps, possibly more than once: Investigation and exploration: beginning to figure out what is attracting you, what alternatives there are (e.g. does being a ...


15

Yes. See Igros Moshe YD 2:130, and importantly the Rambam Mamrim 5:11 where he writes: הגר אסור לקלל אביו העכו"ם ולהכותו. ולא יבזהו כדי שלא יאמרו באו מקדושה חמורה לקדושה קלה שהרי זה מבזה אביו. אלא נוהג בו מקצת כבוד.‏ A convert is prohibited from cursing his non-Jewish father or hitting him. And he shouldn't disgrace him, so that people ...


15

Yes (Yevamos 78a, Bechoros 46a), the child is completely Jewish. However, slightly different Halachos may be applied in some cases. (For example, whether the child can marry a Kohen.) There is also a dispute over whether the fetus is considered a part of its mother or not, and therefore, whether the child was born Jewish, or is considered to have converted ...


14

Anyone can convert to Judaism. We find an example in Gittin 57:2 that Nevuzardan killed millions of jews and then converted.


14

The fact that conversion exists as part of halachah means that it is within the framework of options that G-d is giving you. If you felt that really you were supposed to be a woman, then the correct response is to say "If G-d had wanted me to be a woman he would have made me one," because sex change operations etc. are not halachik options. We can't know ...


13

I would think it's simply this: The first few items - "your sons, daughters, servants, maidservants, and animals" - are all under your direct control. It is your personal responsibility to make sure that they rest and don't work on Shabbos. The convert, on the other hand, doesn't belong to you. You should teach him what to do and what not to do, but you ...


13

For a person who has renounced their Judaism, it appears that while the person doesn't need to undergo a full conversion (on a Torah level), they do need to reaccept the Torah on some level and immerse in a mikvah before returning to the previous status. This seems to be especially true if the Jew literally worshiped idolatry. Rambam, Hil. Mamrim 3:1-3: A ...


13

The Nitei Gavriel Pesach 2 Chapter 43:9 brings in the name of the Shevet Halevi that since a convert is as if he is newly born there is a question whether he is still considered a Bechor. Therefore the Nitei Gavriel concludes that it is best that he should either make a Siyum or be part of a Seudas Mitzva.


13

With regard to when she converted, both Ibn Ezra and Ralbag seem to believe that she converted before she married Machlon, being that we don't find any mention of her conversion afterwards and Boaz certainly would not have married her otherwise. Akeidas Yitzchak condemns this approach, though, since Naami explicitly tells her to return to her people, and ...


13

A convert can: Judge a case as part of a beis din that has been accepted by the Yisrael Force a judgment on another convert Force a judgment even on a Yisrael if the converts mother or father was born of a Yisrael A pure convert cannot: Force judgment on another Yisrael These laws are based on the double language of שׂוֹם תָּשִׂים עָלֶיךָ מֶלֶךְ, ...


13

A non-Jew certainly may wear tefillin (in other words, there is no law against them doing so), but they will not be fulfilling a mitzvah. From that perspective, they might be viewed in the same way that one views a Jewish woman who lays tefillin: the Shulchan Arukh (Orach Chaim 38:3) exempts her but allows her to wear them if she wishes. Note, however, that ...


13

Shemaya and Avtalyon, two great rabbis from the 1st century BCE, are identified in the Talmud (Gittin 57b) as converts. So it seems that converts can become rabbis, and even important ones. I know of no sources that imply the law on this matter was different before that point. See also this question: Can a convert be a prophet?


12

"Jewish," as @Yishai points out in the comments, is an anachronism. I don't think we're talking about being what we'd call Jewish nowadays - being a member of the Jewish Nation. It's pretty irrelevant to ask whether you'd marry off your daughter to Avraham Avinu or whether you'd count him for a minyan, since neither your daughter nor the other nine guys ...


12

Rema (Even Haezer 4:37, citing Beis Yosef) says of the Karaites "they are all possible mamzerim, and they should not be accepted if they want to return [to Rabbanite Judaism]." (Interestingly, Rambam, Hil. Mamrim 3:3, seems to disagree: he advocates trying to help them do teshuvah.) It seems that there is some dispute about this nowadays, though. This ...


12

There are indeed a lot of opinions on when Ruth underwent conversion. Rashi (to Ruth 1:12) states that she (and Orpah) were still gentiles when they were on the road back to Eretz Yisrael (indeed, we derive from their conversation the halachah that we are to attempt to dissuade a prospective convert (Yevamos 47b)). On the other hand, Zohar Chadash strongly ...


12

Rabbi Chaim Clorfene writes in his popular (and heavily annotated) book, The Path of the Righteous Gentile (p. 42), that B'nei Noach should learn parts of the Torah relevant to their service of God, as well as to the Torah's view on God. He adds that this can be broadly applied, as many areas of Torah "can bring one to greater knowledge concerning the ...


11

Does this happen regularly within the community? Depends upon the community. I once helped computerize a Brooklyn Rabbi's conversion records, and over the course of ~15 years he had helped convert between 150-200 people. How readily accepted are Gentiles into the community (are they seen as strange or welcomed openly)? In a word: readily. In my own ...


11

From Rambam, Laws of Kings and their Wars, Chapter 10: בן נוח שבירך את השם, או שעבד עבודה זרה, או שבא על אשת חברו, או שהרג חברו, ונתגייר--פטור. הרג בן ישראל, או שבא על אשת ישראל, ונתגייר--חייב; והורגין אותו על בן ישראל, וחונקין אותו על אשת ישראל שבעל--שהרי נשתנה דינו. A non-Jew who commits a capital offense and then converts: if the capital offense ...


11

I am a convert and have learned both opinions. My late Rav, Rabbi Gedaliah Anemer, zt'l, held in accordance with the Rema. I did not sit shiva for my father or say the kaddish for him. However, Rabbi Yitzhok Breitowitz, shlita, told me that because there are "chashuvah" poskim who hold otherwise, e.g. Rav Ovadiah Yosef, the response should be based on ...


11

As @GershonGold said, an Orthodox rabbi would not approve your husband's conversion while he is still married to you, and he would not re-marry you afterward, because doing either of these would create an inter-marriage that is a violation of halacha. One possibility is Isaac's from the comments; he could look into Noachide options. Another is this: the ...


11

An intriguing question, but I think you need to split this question into multiple questions. So I'm just going to focus on the first part of the question. "Why is Judaism comprised of so many precise stringencies in comparison to other religions?" I can not provide any sources for my answer, because I believe it is a "new answer", however it is one that ...


11

I'd say try anonymously contacting Rabbi Zylberman, who is involved in official Orthodox conversion standards for many institutions; he'll best know what to do (if anything) depending on the specifics of the case. But this is a job for a professional. Though honestly if the new convert is clearly keeping absolutely nothing whatsoever immediately ...


11

R Eliezer Dunner of Bene Brak told me, a ger firstborn, to fast. (The siyumim had already concluded.)


11

Shevet HaLevi 6:245:2 rules that he would have to tovel them with a bracha. He doesn't distinguish if they were toveled already beforehand and I fail to see why that would make a difference. Tzitz Eliezer 22:49 rules that they should be toveled without a bracha, reasoning that perhaps the tevillah of the person works to 'elevate' him along with all his ...


11

The vast majority of shuls self-identified as Orthodox are mainstream. So chances are, any Orthodox shul or community you approach will be mainstream. Sabbateans are non-existent, as far as I know. Karaites are very rare and will not pretend to be Orthodox. Any Orthodox shul without a mechitza (I hear there are a few left) is outside of the mainstream, ...



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