What is the process for a person who has left Judaism and converted to a different religion, who now wishes to return to Judaism? I have heard (based on an Avos D'Rav Nosson) that he would need a second circumcision and Mikva. Is this true?

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    I'm rather uncomfortable with the gerut tag as well as calling them a convert. Being that a Jew can never really convert, perhaps this should be rephrased.
    – HodofHod
    Dec 30, 2011 at 6:49
  • I've never heard of a halacha being based on Avos D'rav Nosson that wasn't written elsewhere as well. It's one of the reasons its called a "minor tractate"
    – avi
    Dec 30, 2011 at 11:05
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    Nitpick: It's Avos d'Rabbi Nosson. He was an Israeli Tanna with real semicha.
    – Shalom
    Dec 30, 2011 at 15:14
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    Please link to the AdR"N
    – YDK
    Dec 30, 2011 at 18:05

2 Answers 2


I am unfamiliar with the Avos d'Rabi Natan that you seem to be referencing. However, the Rema says in Yoreh Deah 268:12 that an mummar (Apostate Jew) who does teshuvah need not immerse.

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    ...but should do so, he adds.
    – msh210
    Dec 30, 2011 at 7:37
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    so i am guessing the second milah or hatfas dam is defnitly not required? Dec 30, 2011 at 12:55

A second circumcision-like procedure is definitely not required! It's better for the person to dunk in the mikva again as part of re-emergence into mainstream Judaism.

This is quoted in Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan's The Real Messiah in regards to a born Jew who gets into Christianity and then (spiritually) comes back home.

In discussing the emigration of Ethiopian Jews to Israel several decades ago, Rabbi Benzion Uziel (the then Sephardic Chief Rabbi) advised they all immerse in a mikvah, if nothing else "as part of acceptance into the mainstream" (I think his language is something like kabbalat divrei chaverut or the like), as their practices of Judaism had become somewhat warped over time. Rabbi Uziel mentions a record of a large group of former Karaites reconnecting to Judaism some 800 years ago, with a mass mikva-immersion event supervised by Rabbi "Avraham HaNagid" (the Prince); believed to be Rambam's son Avraham.

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