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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 ...


15

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, ...


10

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 ...


10

1 - Conservative and Mamzerut are two separate issues. If the boy is Jewish (his mother is Jewish) then he does not need to convert. He would be considered a Baal Teshuva, one who has repented. He does not require any specific training, although if he is serious about his orthodoxy should learn the Mitzvos in order to lead a proper orthodox life. 2 - If the ...


10

According to traditional Judaism, you are Jewish if and only if you yourself have converted to Judaism OR your mother was Jewish (ShA EH 7:17 and 8:5). To determine if your mother was Jewish apply the same rules: either she herself converted to Judaism OR her mother was Jewish. This process recurs indefinitely. NOTE that in order to prove any of these claims ...


9

Shulchan Arukh, Yoreh Deah 268:12 ‏...ואפילו חזר ועבד עבודת כוכבים – הרי הוא כישראל מומר שקידושיו קידושין.‏ ישראל מומר שעשה תשובה – אינו צריך לטבול. רק מדרבנן יש לו לטבול ולקבל עליו דברי חבירות בפני שלושה ...even if the convert returned to worshiping idols -- he is still a Jew such that his marriage proposals are binding. An apostate Jew ...


8

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 ...


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


7

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 ...


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, ...


7

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 ...


7

See http://judaism.stackexchange.com/a/48512/21 for more. If we have some magical machine that can tell us that a person is completely sincere about their conversion, then it can't be revoked by their behavior afterwards. But if we have reason to suspect an insincere conversion, then their behavior immediately afterwards could be used as an indication. ...


7

I'm a layperson (not a rabbi) who's spoken with and helped teach Reform conversion candidates. This answer is based on that experience; see also the CCAR's guidelines for conversion. The beit din will, nearly universally, require successful completion of an introduction-to-Judaism class early in the process (~3 hours/week for 6 months or so). This class ...


6

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 ...


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

This answer is based off of experience of being present at a giyur l'chumra conducted by R' Yosef Berger. The Beis Din does not remind the convert, as is normally done, that this is his last chance to change his mind and not become a Jew, as we are already assuming that he is a Jew, and the conversion is "just in case." In the conversion which I witnessed, ...


6

According to this article by Rabbi Dr. Ari Zivotofsky there is no requirement to remove a tattoo, although it could be considered a pious act to do so, especially if the tattoo depicts something immoral and idolatrous. He discusses four ways of removing a tattoo, two of which are permissible, and two of which are questionable. Removal via a cream or laser ...


6

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 ...


6

The Torah Lodaas sheet published weekly by Rabbi Matis Blum, in its Vayishlach 2014 issue, quotes the G'riz as follows (in my own translation): In truth, the response of Yaakov's sons was not merely to fool [the Shechemites] into circumcising themselves so they'd be able to kill them. Rather, it was a truthful response to Chamor's words: he had told them ...


6

ArtScroll comments on this situation. Consider the case of two twins, conceived before the conversion but born after the conversion. Thus the case in the mishnah in which one is conceived before the conversion and one afterward is one of maternal but not paternal brothers (as if they were fathered by two different men). This is the same as the case of a ...


6

The Talmud states in several places (Yevamos 46b, Kiddushin 62b), based on Biblical exegesis, that 3 people are required to witness something in order for the conversion to be valid: גר צריך שלשה מ"ט (ויקרא כד, כב) משפט כתיב ביה כדין Conversion needs 3. Why? It says "judgement" by conversion, like a court case (which needs a Court of 3 judges). ...


5

While there is a commandment for a Jew to not get a tatoo, Leviticus 19:28, B.T. Makkot 21a there is, however, a separate Torah prohibition - "Lo Yosif" - not to inflict a wound upon yourself, Deuteronomy 25:3. According to many poskim, removing a tattoo involves "wounding" yourself. Therefore, it is generally prohibited to a Jew to inflict pain upon ...


5

"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 ...


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 ...


5

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.


5

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 ...


5

On a similar question about a woman's regular mikvah immersion, Daily Halacha reports several opinions (emphasis mine): Hacham Ovadia Yosef addresses this question in his work Taharat Habayit (vol. 3, p. 26), where he cites a responsum from the work Shebet Halevi (Rabbi Shemuel Wosner, contemporary). The Shebet Halevi distinguishes in this regard between ...



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