I have a sincere desire to convert Orthodox with my family and don't have the financial means to do so. My main question is how do people in these circumstances handle all the extra duties that are required, especially if the distance to a Shul is too great and moving is impossible. Are there steps they can take to begin the conversion or is that basically not an option?
closed as off-topic by DonielF, robev, Ploni, sabbahillel, mbloch Jul 22 '18 at 17:46
This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:
- "Questions asking for a practical ruling (p'sak halacha) are off-topic. For practical advice consult your rabbi. Try to broaden the question so it applies to a wider audience, such as by asking what sources are applicable to the question. (More information.)" – DonielF, robev, Ploni, sabbahillel, mbloch
You have asked a useful, practical question. My thoughts on this - much based from experience being a religious Jew as well as some experience of conversing with a close friend of eventually converted.
There is a general rule that we try to discourage people from converting. Religious Jewish life poses many challenges for Jews, and these challenges can seem even greater for a Gentile. I don't want to detail much how things are more expensive. However, I recommend that you consider the expense factor carefully before you decide to convert. The decision is not reversible. Ask a rabbi or a practicing religious Jew to detail the expenses among the other time commitments involved, if you want a better idea.
You mentioned - distance to shul, etc. Technically, of course, you can be Jewish without attending shul, ever. There are numerous Jews throughout the world who never attend shul or observe Shabbat. They are Jews "in name", in my opinion. Statistics show that their children have a high likelihood of intermarriage, and as a result of that, if it's a man marrying a Gentile woman, the Jewish continuity stops.
My point is, that continuous ritual is extremely important. It need not be everything, but it should, at least involve Shabbat / holiday observance and having a kosher home. Those two tend to be the "essentials" and insure continuity. Yes - they are expensive. Perhaps, you can get some assistance to manage these expenses. But, I strongly recommend that if you decide to convert, be prepared to fund and deal with these expenses for the remainder of your life and make them priority. If you have no means to do this - either yourself or via assistance / funding from someone, then I think conversion may not be the right route for you.
My friend converted about 30 years ago, when she was single. She didn't completely calculate how difficult it would be when she married about 10 years after she converted. She struggled but managed for many years. The community pitched in, frequently. She occasionally told me, "I wish I had known how expensive this was." In her case, I don't think it would have affected her decision. But the fact that she has said this several times, is some indication that knowing this beforehand would have helped her make a better educated decision.