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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 ...


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 ...


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, ...


8

If you know for a fact that she was Jewish, then you are 100% Jewish. No conversion is needed. Mazal Tov, and Enjoy! :)


8

In order to convert one has to accept all the commandments, which includes circumcision. If one would clearly not want to accept one of the commandments no Orthodox Rabbi would do such a conversion. http://www.hebrewbooks.org/pagefeed/hebrewbooks_org_12136_14.pdf


8

As Mark Twain (supposedly) said, history may not repeat itself, but it sure does rhyme. Lo and behold, there was Islamic extremism 800 years ago, when Rabbi Moses Maimonides was alive -- and he left a paper trail. If you were to open up the Yad HaChazaka (his code of law), it would appear that if there is a time when there is a concerted effort to wipe out ...


7

Converts are a way that Gd rewards us for doing His Will. He selects a righteous individual from the nations and attaches them to Israel, like a King who rewards his well-behaved son by planting a beautiful plant in his garden, (Yerush. Berahot 2:8). We'd be sorely lacking without these beautiful plants: Odabia, was an Edomite convert, praised even more ...


7

In terms of rabbis being willing to work with you, I don't think that would be a factor. I've talked with a lot of converts and conversion candidates, including one named Christina, and none of them reported any inquiry or hesitation based on factors beyond their control like what their parents named them. You will probably get some odd looks from other ...


7

Circumcision is one of the Torah's 613 commandments (#86 of the רמב"ם's list; בראשית יז:י). A convert to Judaism has to accept all of them. If he does not accept even one of those commandments, he is not accepting Judaism, and has not converted. If he accepts that is a valid commandment but doesn't wish to fulfill it, he might as well not convert, so ...


7

NO. The Talmud does say that "converts are as troublesome for mainstream Jews as a skin disease." The commentaries suggest two interpretations: an insincere convert causes problems if s/he keeps missing the family Christmas party etc.; or a truly sincere convert puts the Jewish mainstream to shame because s/he does such a better job keeping the laws! Also, ...


6

In a Teshuva of the Maharam MiRottenberg (#19) he writes that the angel in charge of conception chooses souls from a chamber (that needs to be emptied before Moshiach can come) to place in the womb. Sometimes the angel makes a mistake and puts a Jewish soul in a non-Jewish mother, and sometimes the inverse. The Jewish soul goes on to become a convert to ...


6

There is no chain of descent. This is similar to the questions about relatives who convert and the various laws of inheritence. A man who has a child by a non-Jewish woman is not considered to have fulfilled the mitzvah of Pru U'Rvu and the child has no connection with him. This is analogous in the case of the person who blasphemed in the desert. The ...


6

A ger tzedek is a very great thing and there's nothing negative about it. One of the greatest Jewish scholars, Onkelos, was a convert. His translation of the Torah into Aramaic is printed in most chumashim. It's a very negative thing if someone converts insincerely or for ulterior motives, marriage is a very common reason. As Shalom answered " The Talmud ...


5

Yes and no. The only way to convert to Judaism is to follow the procedures provided by Jewish law, which require a beis din of three Jews. However, in practice, the three Jews are rabbis, since there are a limited number of widely-recognized batei din, all of which are composed solely of rabbis, and few Orthodox rabbis will recommend or arrange a conversion ...


5

This is a pretty broad question. If you want to drill into any of these issues I recommend splitting off a separate question about just that topic. Would this limit me to only marrying someone who is also Jewish? According to halacha (Jewish law), we are to marry other Jews and marriages with non-Jews are not recognized as valid. Intermarried couples ...


5

Nonsense if taken literally. That is, if one takes it as meaning that a non-Jew becomes a Jew by "adhering" to the Torah without undergoing a full conversion before a bais din in the proper manner. On the other hand if one takes it as a philosophical non-literal meaning, then it can be understood. In ancient times, before Matan Torah, the situation may have ...


4

Let's start with the captive. This only applies when the Kingdom of Israel is going to war. That has to be declared at the national level and has a particular legal status. As an individual I can't do "war", only "self-defense." What's more, Rambam Laws of Kings and Their Wars Ch. 8 spells out that the Jewish soldier is allowed to be with the captive one ...


4

"If she immerses in a Mikveh and a court of three observant Orthodox Jews finds her Giur to be successful, then she is a Jew, right?" Right, though you'd want to make sure the beis din is widely accepted. See the list of RCA batei din (http://www.judaismconversion.org/batei.din.html), or the list of batei din accepted by the Israeli Rabbanut ...


4

According to the Kahati comment on that Mishnah, it should be read A ger brings but does not read ... If [he is not a ger but only] his mother is Jewish he brings and says ... Kahati explains that this is put in because we might think that a person whose father is not a Jew but whose mother is a Jew would not be able to say the pasuk because the term ...


4

...if G-d had wanted me to have a Jewish soul, wouldn't he have had me born into a Jewish family? It's possible that you are being tested to see if you will go all the way and convert. We see that Abraham was tested; had G-d wanted him to live in the land of Canaan, why wasn't he born there? (That said, we firmly believe that there's no obligation for ...


4

From various Mishnayot (see below) we see that a Ger's possessions seem to continue to belong to him after he converts. In that case, the moment your buyer converts, he owns Chametz on Pessach - Chametz from which everybody is now forbidden to derive benefit from - similar to any Chametz a Jew owns on Pessach. Result: He would not be allowed to sell it ...


4

A convert should not say Yizkor for his\her non-Jewish parents, for the simple reason that the text of Yizkor is specific to Jews (as we ask God to bind the soul of the deceased with those of their ancestors Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel and Leah.) However, a convert may say a personal prayer in remembrance of his\her parents in place of the ...


4

Tshuvos Vhanhogos 2:506 in the name of Seridai Aish 2:108 says that there are some when converting that fast on the day of immersion. However Tshuvos Vhanhogos says that a convert should only fast up until the immersion, as after that it is a Yom Tov for him and it is inappropriate to fast then. The reason is that similar to a groom who fasts on the day of ...


4

Various shiurim and tapes have explained that a chalal is treated a a Yisroel and not a Levite. For example Rabbi Kaganoff gives the example of the son of a kohen who had married a divorcee had to perform a Pidyon Haben on his first born child. The shiurim that I have seen explain the reasoning behind this, but I do not have the explicit citations right ...


4

The rambam wrote responsa concerning this. See igeres hashmad where he clearly says choose islam not death, as apposed to Christianity which is complete heresy, where one must give up their life for kiddush Hashem.


4

There is a rabbinic text which refers to conversion status as being a blemish, but the very same text indicates that a convert is not any different than anyone else in this regard - Bava Metzia 59b: מאי דכתיב: 'וגר לא תונה ולא תלחצנו כי גרים הייתם בארץ מצרים' - רבי נתן אומר: מום שבך אל תאמר לחברך What is the meaning of that which is written "And a ...


4

Generally with other ulta-orthodox baalei t'shuva or other people with similar backgrounds. That is a good idea, regardless, as the compatibility is more likely to be there. (The only exception to your list is persons of color - my observation is that they tend to find a person of a different color who doesn't have a hangup about it). In addition, There are ...


3

A child born to a Jewish mother is Jewish,1 and one born to a non-Jewish mother is not. This is determined at the time of birth, which is why infant conversions are sometimes done when a woman is in the process of conversion. Changes in the mother's status after the child is born are not relevant. One source for this is Kiddushin 66b (in the mishna at the ...


3

The Gemara in Pesachim 87b writes: R. Elazar said: The Holy One, Blessed be He, did not exile Israel among the nations save in order that converts might join them. From this gemara it is clear that God desires that there should be converts.


3

Shaalos U'Tshuvos Achiezer 3:26 says that if one accepts all the Mitzvos yet intends to break one of them intentionally, it is not a lack of accepting the Mitzvos. . אבל במי שמקבל עליו כל המצוות, רק שבדעתו לעבור לתיאבון, אין זה חיסרון בדין קבלת המצוות Igros Moshe Yoreh Deah 3:108 also says that if one converts knowing they will be unable to keep one ...



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