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Would the Orthodox Jewish community accept someone who wanted to convert to Judaism as one of their own and accept them as an equal?

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    One reason you will have trouble is because the question isn't fully fleshed out. Converts are accepted in the Jewish community. Those who are interested but are not yet Jewish can be part of the community on a limited basis, but their status is still of a non-Jew. So the meaning of "accept" is sort of up in the air. How exactly do you mean it? Accept as an equal in theological/ritual matters, or inviote over for a meal and have a conversation? – rosends Sep 18 at 16:18
  • The question is vague. But to start you out, the answer is, "No". At least not initially. Generally, someone who wishes to convert is discouraged from doing so, according to halacha. Gentiles should be satisfied with keeping the 7 Noahide commandments. Being a Jew with its obligation to keep 613 commandments is challenging for a Gentile. Add to this challenges of anti-Semitism and various challenges of assorted halachic prohibitions and secular influences and enticements that constantly abound everywhere in the world (Israel included) & you can see why conversion is discouraged. – DanF Sep 18 at 16:48
  • Would they accept them as one of their own and accept them as an equal. Sorry for the vague question, kinda came off the top of my head and was just curious. – Kyle Webb Sep 18 at 16:56
  • See also judaism.stackexchange.com/q/12648/170 – msh210 Sep 19 at 8:57
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The procedure for conversion to Judaism is set in tractate Yevamot of the Talmud. It all flows from this one passage, which I will therefore quote to you in full. Good luck. Ask for more if you wish.

Our Rabbis taught: If… a man wishes to become a convert, he is to be addressed as follows: -“What reason do you have for wishing to become a convert? Do you not know that the Jews at the present time are persecuted and oppressed, despised, harassed and overcome by afflictions”?

-If he replies, “I know and yet I am [still] unworthy [of converting]”, he is accepted immediately, and is given instruction in some of the minor [commandments] and some of the major commandments… He is also told of the punishment for the transgression of the commandments.

-Furthermore, he is addressed as follows: “You must know that before you came, if you had eaten forbidden fat… or profaned the Sabbath you would not have been punishable…; but now, if you ate forbidden fat… or profaned the Sabbath you would be punished…”.

-And, as he is informed of the punishment for the transgression of the commandments, so is he informed of the reward granted for their fulfillment. He is told, “You must know that the World to Come was made only for the righteous, and that the Jews at the present time are unable to bear either too much prosperity or too much suffering”.

-He is not, however, to be persuaded or dissuaded too much. If he accepted, he is quickly circumcised... As soon as he is healed, arrangements are made for his immediate ablution [in a mikvah], when two learned men must stand by his side and acquaint him with some of the minor commandments and with some of the major [commandments]. When he comes up after his ablution he is deemed to be a Jew in all respects… [Yevamot 47]

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I am basing my answer mainly on your comment - "Would they accept them as one of their own and accept them as an equal" together with the phrasing of your question stating "someone who wanted to convert"...

The answer is, simply, "No." As long as the person has not yet converted, he is a Gentile. Therefore, he is not "one of their own" nor "an equal". Furthermore, Jews discourage conversion. It's mainly because we want to be sure that the potential convert understands the enormous responsibility and challenges of being Jewish. Far too long to discuss all of them, here. But among them, include mitzvah observance and the challenges of anti-Semitism and secular influences.

Having said this, once a Gentile has understood what is involved, and is serious about converting (usually based on a rabbi, who will be the teacher and "supervisor" of the conversion process), he can convert.

Once converted, he is considered a Jew as all others are.

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    Some converts are not treated with full respects and yet other claim to be treated fairly. We must remember that many well-respected rabbis are of convert stock and Ruth was a convert, which would make both Kings’ David and Solomon as well as the Messiah of convert stock. Of course Ruth’s husband was a Jew; and maybe this is symbolic for both groups to work together to bring about the Messianic age. It’s not jut a Jewish responsibility. – Jonathan Oct 14 at 17:00
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I have frequently heard that a convert is treated identically to someone born Jewish, but this is not true. I know of one exception, a woman who converts to judaism is not allowed to marry a Kohen (Jewish man of the priestly line of descent). I would not be surprised if there are other differences in how converts are treated (but this may be the only one).

So my answer would be "no".

  • I realize this is over a month old, but did I get something wrong here? Just wondering why the downvote. I'm not offended, but curious if I'm wrong. – Matt Nov 21 at 19:31
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Yes, they would accept a convert, in the most general sense (literally just "one who completes the conversion process). Once converted, there is (or should be) no difference in treatment of a converted Jew and a Jew by birth.

That said, conversion is inadvisable and I would recommend against converting to Judaism.

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