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Rashi to B'reshis 12:5 quotes Rav Huna: "... whom they brought [to Judaism]. Avraham was converting the men and Sara the women...".

My understanding is that nowadays female prospective converts study Judaism mainly under the guidance of a (male) rabbi.

Any particular reason for the change?

  • And nowadays must be accepted by a male beit din, while it looks from your question like Avraham directly accepted the men and Sara the women. – Monica Cellio Jan 24 '12 at 15:00
  • Off-topic, but: does anyone know what happened to these converts, especially after bnei Yisrael went down to Mitzrayim? I recently saw a midrash that Damesek Eliezer in particular was taken up to Gan Eden alive. – Shivaram Lingamneni Oct 20 '13 at 7:26
  • @ShivaramLingamneni judaism.stackexchange.com/q/11296 – msh210 Oct 20 '13 at 13:53
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That's not exactly what happens today.

Typically, women who are preparing to convert to Judaism, do so in the context of an observant Jewish community.

While it is accurate that the rav of that community will ultimately testify before the beis din that this woman is ready for conversion, that only happens after many interactions (over a few years) with the rav, his wife, and other families within the community.

The many hours of discussion, informal instruction, questions and answers, and personal bonding will usually happen with a female (often the rav's wife, but it could be any respected female in the observant community).

To borrow a phrase, "It takes a village" to make a convert.

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    Everybody does it in the context of a community, but in the end isn't it the rabbi who oversees the learning? – Monica Cellio Jan 24 '12 at 15:01
  • @MonicaCellio, well, Will did say "The many hours of discussion, informal instruction, questions and answers, and personal bonding will usually happen with a female". That stands to reason, and may be what Rav Huna refers to, also. – msh210 Jan 24 '12 at 15:23
  • @MonicaCellio slightly analogous to the large university experience. Who technically "oversees the learning"? The Professor. Practically speaking, who teaches you the material, grades your papers, and gives you advice for the final exam? The Teaching Assistants. – user1095 Jan 24 '12 at 18:23

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