If one underwent a public conversion ceremony, and hold a certificate with Rabbi and 3 Beit Din's signature.
Before and after conversion, that person was not told and require Mikvah, there is no Mikvah Bath in Synagogue, and no other Synagogue near by, can that person go to natural water for immersion to complete the conversion? Or, what to do to complete the conversion? Since Rabbi and Beit Din didn't tell one to Mikvah, can one go immersion by oneself?

  • 2
    All practical questions should be addressed to a competent halakhic authority; not to the internet. If you want your conversion to be universally accepted, it would have to be performed by Orthodox rabbis.
    – mevaqesh
    Sep 25, 2017 at 15:59
  • @user15676 Also know that you are not alone in this situation. Many other righteous and honorable people are with you
    – SAH
    Sep 26, 2017 at 14:27
  • Are you (correctly) assuming that bodies of water count for a ritual bath and asking whether one can complete the conversion on their own? It might help to add the denomination of the shul in question.
    – DonielF
    Sep 27, 2017 at 16:50
  • @DonielF, how about ocean?
    – user15676
    Sep 29, 2017 at 6:31

2 Answers 2


From your description of the Rabbi and Bais Din not requiring a mikvah, it sounds as if you are not going to a Bais Din that would be recognized by any other group (such as the Rabbanut in Israel). You need to call a group that is recognized by everyone else such as the Rabbinical Council of America whose explanation should make things clearer to you.

Note that the Rabbi and Bais Din that you used sound as if they would not meet the requirements for certification shown in the site that I referenced above. Of course, since I do not know who they are, I cannot say for certain what is going on.

It is possible, that they determined that the person is actually Jewish (son or daughter of a Jewish mother) but may be doing this to ensure that the person is recognized as Jewish. If that is the case, then the mikvah is not required for conversion

In order to ensure that the bais din that you are using is indeed legitimate, you should call the Rabbinical Council of America

305 Seventh Avenue, 12th Floor
New York, New York 10001
Phone 1: 212-807-9000
Phone 2: 212-741-7522
Fax: 212-727-8452

To contact the Rabbinical Council of America by email [email protected]

Rabbi Mark Dratch, Executive Vice President [email protected]
Rabbi Elazar Muskin, President [email protected]

I hope that you will be able to get an accepted conversion certificate or at least a referral to a legitimate Rabbi for advice.

  • thank you very much for your information. The thing is, will they answer the mail how to help, or just say "yes, or no" because I assume they are busy. Meanwhile, if the situation is addressed to them, the rabbi and beit din would be mentioned, will this humiliate the rabbi and beit din? There is no intention to hurt anyone in any way.
    – user15676
    Sep 27, 2017 at 0:00
  • 1
    @user15676 If they are not legitimate, then you need to determine this. It is not a matter of humiliating the rabbi and beit din but of possibly stopping crooks. They will indeed answer you and explain what is going on. You should first determine why they did not use a kosher mikvah and what the full details are. The RCA does indeed attempt to answer you fully and will attempt to solve problems in a good and halachic manner. You might first try by phone to speak to someone as well as get the name of someone trustworthy in your area from the RCA. You might also try your local Chabad. Sep 27, 2017 at 0:07
  • There are many "converts" undergo this way, even half-Jews. The point is what to determine wrong or right? If one is from super Orthodox or Chabad, maybe it's wrong. What if outside Israeli Supreme Court, RCA or Chabad? There is no intention to protect this Rabbi or beit din, like no intention to humiliate. The point here is how to help those "converts" who really want to live in a Jewish life to live a Jewish life.
    – user15676
    Sep 27, 2017 at 4:59
  • 1
    @user15676 There is no such thing as a half-Jew. One is either halachically Jewish or not. There is also no such thing as super-Orthodox. It is like being a citizen of a country. That is why one needs to get in touch with a legitimate organization. Note that the Israeli Supreme Court is a political organization and not the Rabbanut (Israeli Chief Rabbinate). The RCA and Chabad are two that I know are legitimate organizations and they can help you get in touch with someone that you can trust. Sep 27, 2017 at 12:33
  • @user15676 There are also valid batei don't in other communities such as Baltimore, but I do not know where you are do I gave you the name of a well accepted organization who could answer you. Sep 27, 2017 at 14:57

I assumed this question was theoretical until I saw the conversation with Sabbahillel. By the sound of it, it seems like you underwent a Reform conversion - maybe a Conservative one, but I haven't heard of any Conservative conversions that don't use a mikvah.

Either way, your question does seem to touch on some theoretical discussions in conversion law, so there are answers to your questions. Firstly, a conversion can be done in a natural body of water just like a mikvah. The mikvah is meant to substitute for natural water, not vice versa, after all. However, simply going there yourself is not sufficient. There is discussion of this case in the Talmud, or at least in a prominent side commentary to it. The conclusion is that an immersion with no witnesses is pointless. To play on a common allegory, if a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it, it doesn't make a sound.

When you say "public conversion ceremony," that reminds me of something akin to confirmation events that some Reform congregations hold for new converts, which is what is making me think you did this process with a Reform congregation. Those ceremonies, however positive they might be and innocent, are actually meaningless as a means of bringing someone into the Jewish people/Judaism.

The mikvah/natural water immersion is essential. For males, circumcision is essential (unless you were born without a foreskin, which is a theoretical case discussed in ancient sources - I forget where). When the Temple is standing, you must bring a sacrifice, but we do not consider that third requirement to inhibit the conversion process. The sacrifice is not required for a conversion to come into effect and isn't really relevant to this discussion (I thought it was important to mention it anyway since all major Jewish legal sources equate the three requirements in terms of importance).

As Sabbahillel said, you should contact an Orthodox Rabbi. I would recommend trying to contact a specific conversion-related Rabbinical body, but that is in addition to contacting the nearest Orthodox Rabbi possible regardless of that Rabbi's connections with conversion courts. While the standards the RCA use to weigh the validity of a conversion are probably stricter than required by Jewish law especially with the policy changes of the last 10 years with the GPS, the RCA is the most respected authority in the US and Canada for recognizing conversions. They are definitely more respected than the Israeli Rabbinate, which many mainstream Rabbis in North America consider to excessively and unjustifiably strict.

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