We are a gentile married couple and my husband wants to convert to Orthodox and I'm still not sure if I want to convert at all. I found out that the Conservative would let my husband convert and stay with me, but how is it in Orthodox? Our rabbi said he would have to divorce me, but our rabbi is super frum (good for him... not good for me).

Please help. I don't want to lose my husband but I also don't want him to be unhappy and Torah makes him happy.

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    tiger, welcome to Judaism.SE, and thanks very much for sharing your delicate, personal question with this community! Please consider registering your account to give you access to more of the site's features.
    – Isaac Moses
    Commented Nov 30, 2011 at 20:07
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    Has your husband considered joining a Noahide community as a possible alternative to conversion? That would allow him to be in a community of like-minded people who study parts of the Torah and work together to serve God, without changing his personal status to become part of the Jewish people and thereby changing the Halachic status of your marriage. Of course, if his goal is to become part of the Jewish people and accept all of the attendant Commandments, this is no solution.
    – Isaac Moses
    Commented Nov 30, 2011 at 20:15
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    Tiger, you should seek advice from professionals in this area. Ask your husbands rabbi to find someone who deals with similar cases. This may be a psychologist who deals with the Jewish community. Think about your reservations. Do you think your husbands emotions are fleeting? Are you looking for a more lenient rabbi, or do you think Judaism is a crock but don't want to lose your husband? Express these feelings to the professional. I hope everything works for the best.
    – YDK
    Commented Nov 30, 2011 at 20:33
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    To echo Isaac: the wisest move spiritually may be for your husband to pick up Noahideism; he can do so without hurting his spouse.
    – Shalom
    Commented Nov 30, 2011 at 21:17
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    This blog may be useful to you: crazyjewishconvert.blogspot.com . It has a lot of basic explanations and blogposts you may find useful.
    – Menachem
    Commented Nov 30, 2011 at 21:24

2 Answers 2


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 two of you could study for conversion together, knowing that conversion won't happen until and unless you're both ready. Meanwhile, he can begin to practice, you can explore what that means for you, and maybe you'll become more interested over time. You said you don't know if you want to convert, not that you know you don't, else I wouldn't suggest it.

I knew an Orthodox rabbi who had some students for many years (10+), and not all who study for conversion will ultimately convert. So it wouldn't be wrong for you to start down that path, so long as you're completely up-front about your current thinking. Converting is a big step and when you're at the beginning of the process you don't know enough yet to make an informed decision -- that's part of what the rest of the process is for.

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    The studying-together suggestion makes a great deal of sense.
    – Isaac Moses
    Commented Nov 30, 2011 at 21:05

If only your husband wants to convert, and you do not want to - according to orthodox Jewish law you would be unable to stay married. Even if both of you convert you would have to remarry under orthodox Jewish law. There is no orthodox Rabbi that would disagree with this, even if he is not super frum.

In addition a conservative conversion would not be recognized by anyone who is orthodox, however an orthodox conversion would be accepted by all.

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    "an orthodox conversion would be accepted by all." In theory; but in the last few years this has been an issue, especially in Israel.
    – yitznewton
    Commented Nov 30, 2011 at 20:19

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