There's a fairly well known journalist who is undergoing conversion and also writing a number of articles about it. I can't point to a specific part of halacha, but somehow this just feels off. Mostly because as someone who makes a living selling articles and getting her name well-known, it feels like she's essentially profiting off of her conversion. Is there anything in Jewish law or custom that explicitly addresses this situation?

  • 3
    I think a competent beis din can quickly get a feel for when it's just a stunt, and when someone is going through a serious change in life, and documenting it along the way. "Profiting off conversion"? No, profiting from writing; they'd otherwise be writing about other stuff. Do we object to born-Jews who make a living writing about their religious experiences?
    – Shalom
    Feb 14, 2021 at 21:50

1 Answer 1


If this profit would be a reason to think that she is not sincere in her conversion, then the Beis Din doing the conversion should not accept her, like they are not supposed to accept a convert who they know (or suspect) is converting in order to marry a specific Jew. However, if the Beis Din is convinced that this is not an ulterior motive, they may accept the convert, even though she is planning to marry a rich man. There is an interesting story in the Gemmara (Menachos 44a) about this:

מעשה באדם אחד שהיה זהיר במצות ציצית שמע שיש זונה בכרכי הים שנוטלת ד' מאות זהובים בשכרה שיגר לה ארבע מאות זהובים וקבע לה זמן כשהגיע זמנו בא וישב על הפתח

There was an incident involving a certain man who was diligent about the mitzva of ritual fringes. This man heard that there was a prostitute in one of the cities overseas who took four hundred gold coins as her payment. He sent her four hundred gold coins and fixed a time to meet with her. When his time came, he came and sat at the entrance to her house.


אמרה לו איני מניחך עד שתאמר לי מה שמך ומה שם עירך ומה שם רבך ומה שם מדרשך שאתה למד בו תורה כתב ונתן בידה

She said to him: I will not allow you to go until you tell me: What is your name, and what is the name of your city, and what is the name of your teacher, and what is the name of the study hall in which you studied Torah? He wrote the information and placed it in her hand.


ובאת לבית מדרשו של ר' חייא אמרה לו רבי צוה עלי ויעשוני גיורת אמר לה בתי שמא עיניך נתת באחד מן התלמידים הוציאה כתב מידה ונתנה לו אמר לה לכי זכי במקחך

She came to the study hall of Rabbi Ḥiyya and said to him: My teacher, instruct your students concerning me and have them make me a convert. Rabbi Ḥiyya said to her: My daughter, perhaps you set your sights on one of the students and that is why you want to convert? She took the note the student had given her from her hand and gave it to Rabbi Ḥiyya. He said to her: Go take possession of your purchase.

  • I believe you should edit and explain more of what you mean here; especially since the Gemara you quoted is only being partially presented. Feb 14, 2021 at 22:34
  • @DavidKenner, I don't see what's missing. Both parts of the rule that I said are used in the story. And trust me, the rest of the story is not relevant to this point. If you want to see it, I included a link.
    – Mordechai
    Feb 15, 2021 at 20:46

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .