5

If one met a very nice Jewish girl and would like to marry her but was told she can't marry a non-Jew, and decided that one wants to convert to stay with her, would that be acceptable? And whole heartedly accepted the commandments with intention to believe on the same level as her.

  • Welcome to Mi Yodeya Albert! This site isn't meant for guidance in specific cases, but for general questions. Therefore, I took the liberty of depersonalising the question. Feel free to further edit the question as you like. – mevaqesh Nov 20 '17 at 20:20
  • 2
    No, your motives to joining the Jewish faith should solely be out of love for Hashem and Torah, and that you want to live the life of an observant Jew. Any valid beis din (Jewish religious court) would not accept you as a convert, since the only reason you want to convert is so you can marry a Jewish girl. – ezra Nov 20 '17 at 22:33
  • "with intention to believe on the same level as her" What does that mean? Does he believe it or doesn't he? – Double AA Nov 20 '17 at 22:50
  • Eventually he will. As he learns more about judaism he wants the religion more but originally learnt for the girl. – Albert Nov 20 '17 at 22:54
  • 2
    It is my understanding that converting to Judaism for the sake of marriage is not an acceptable reason. However, if one came to love Judaism through the influence of a Jewish woman and the man has reached the point that he would convert whether or not he actually marries the girl, this would be a valid reason. – JJLL Nov 20 '17 at 23:11
4

Masechet Gerim (1:7) rules that conversion in order to marry a Jew/ess is invalid:

כל המתגיר משום אשה, משום אהבה, משום יראה: אין זה גר.

The Talmud (BT, Yeb. 24b) ostensibly maintains the same, i.e. conversion for marriage is prohibited.

However, halachists, particularly of recent (R. Grodzinski, R. Uziel, R. Waldenberg, R. Yosef and particularly R. Haim Amsalem who wrote extensively on this matter in his books Zera Yisroel), have demonstrated that such is not a bold and concrete rule and have ruled leniently accepting and affirming such a conversion when the non-Jew demonstrates a genuine intent* to be a religiously observant Jew. See this essay for exact sources.

*For a suggested determinant, see Yabia Omer vol. 2 EH §3. He suggests that the convert first be rejected and subsequent, voluntary conversion be sanctioned.

2

Thank you for the question - which you ask during the week where we read the Torah portion of Jacob being willing to work seven years to marry the woman he loves, Rachel !


Yes, one should convert for love - for love of Hashem (God), the Jewish people and the Torah of Israel. Judaism is a demanding religion, i.e., there are many commandments (obligations) to learn about, it requires a real change in day-to-day behavior and there are some demands specific to the conversion process (e.g., learning about Judaism, living in a Jewish community, circumcision for a male, passing an exam in front of multiple rabbis).

Wanting to marry a Jew can be a trigger for such a process but it requires thoughtful thinking and a multi-year process for most individuals. It cannot be the only reason.

Should you be interested to take things forward, you should find a local rabbi who is willing to explain what the process entails and accompany you along.

The following articles might prove helpful to understand better what conversion entails

You must log in to answer this question.

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