3

If a non Jewish woman converts in order to marry a Jewish man are their children still considered Jewish? Even though the mother is converted and not raised in the religion.

marked as duplicate by Monica Cellio Nov 12 '18 at 17:16

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

  • Welcome to MiYodeya Caroline and thanks for this first question. Great to have you learn with us! – mbloch Oct 17 '18 at 7:14
  • 3
    Might not be a duplicate. The other question is specifically asking about a woman who never intended to keep mitzvot; this question just mentions that her motivation was marriage, but for all we know she may have intended to keep mitzvot. – Alex Oct 17 '18 at 17:52
  • @Alex If she didn't want to keep the mitzvot, for what else than a marriage did she convert? – Kazi bácsi Oct 18 '18 at 8:20
  • 1
    @Kazibácsi Whether someone intends to keep mitzvot can be a separate discussion from what their motivation for converting was. – Alex Oct 18 '18 at 9:17
  • 2
    This is not a duplicate- we can specify that she needs to intend to keep the mitzvot in our answers, but the question as asked is fundamentally different from the one it's purported to be a duplicate of – Josh K Oct 19 '18 at 4:22
7

If a non-Jewish woman converts to Judaism, she is considered to be naturalized1. This is of course assuming she had good intentions in her conversion. If the person in question never had intentions of keeping mitzvot (commandments) after becoming Jewish there can be complications.

But assuming the woman underwent an Orthodox conversion underneath a valid beit din (Jewish court) and was committed to living the rest of her life as a Jew, if she married a Jewish man and had children their children would be one hundred percent Jewish, no doubt about it.

Note that if the Jewish man she wishes to marry is not Torah observant, and is not willing to become so, there could be complications in the woman's conversion process.

Also, obviously someone wishing to convert to Judaism should discuss their own personal situation with their host rabbi. That way, he will be able to address the situation better.


1. I.e. as if she were born Jewish.

  • 1
    It's worth reading Yevamot 24b – Kazi bácsi Oct 17 '18 at 7:52
  • 2
    And the panel of rabbis overseeing the conversion will likely try to see how sincere her intent to convert is. They may ask something like -- if your husband disappeared from the picture, would you continue observing Judaism? – Shalom Oct 17 '18 at 9:56
  • 2
    (To OP) - In short, numerous woman convert only because they love their potential husband so much, are desperate to be married - all sorts of reasons. These reasons are insufficient to go through the conversion. A proper rabbi / bet din, would be able to detect this and not allow the conversion. I.e. the conversion has to be motivated solely by an interest and commitment to live and abide by Jewish rules and values, not just because of marriage. – DanF Oct 17 '18 at 16:58
  • @DanF excellent comment overall but the phrase "desperate to be married" lends itself quite easily to misinterpretation, especially on those of the female persuasion...would you consider deleting/changing that one bit? – Josh K Oct 18 '18 at 21:08
  • @JoshK First of all, I can't edit a comment. Secondly, I'll wait until some reader comments that s/he was offended and explains why, before I would feel a need to change it. It wasn't intended with any malice. FYI, my intention is that the main motive is loneliness or personal "advancement" (i.e. wanting better in life, raising a family, etc.) – DanF Oct 18 '18 at 23:06
1

Echoing Ezra's excellent answer, if a candidate is deemed to be sincere despite marriage being a significant motivating factor in her conversion, she is considered wholly Jewish just as if she had been born Jewish once the conversion is complete, except that she cannot marry a Kohain, who are a small subset of Jewish men.

From the Rabbinical Council of America (the main body setting standards and practices for Orthodox Judaism in the United States to the extent that there is one) website (italics my own):

a. Where the Conversion is Primarily for the sake of Marriage

i. Where marriage to a particular Jewish partner is a major incentive to a prospective conversion, there is an increased possibility that the geirus may come with less than the complete commitment necessary for a conversion that would be in keeping with the standards we are trying to set for the regional Batei Din. Nonetheless, experience also shows that such a motivation can result in converts of the highest caliber. Conversion for the sake of marriage therefore requires the Beit Din to constantly reevaluate if the candidate and future partner are likely to subscribe to the requisite beliefs and practices. The Beit Din must be convinced that if the potential spouse were to disappear from the candidate’s life, his or her commitment to the Jewish faith and people would not waver. These factors inevitably prolong the process and make examination of the prospective convert more intense. Indeed, should the couple mention a proposed wedding date as a deadline or goal, the Beit Din should respond that the process will take significantly longer than that.

  • "the main governing body of Orthodox Judaism" Even in the sense that that is meaningful, it's only so in the Diaspora. In Israel it's a different story – Double AA Oct 18 '18 at 21:24
  • Is the "the main body setting standards and practices for Orthodox Judaism in the United States to the extent that there is one" disclaimer sufficiently limited to satisfy your taste, @Double AA? – Josh K Oct 19 '18 at 4:20

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