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Questions tagged [conversion-to-judaism]

Conversion to Judaism. This entails acceptance of the mitzvos, tevila (immersion), and for men, bris milah (circumcision).

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"Am I Jewish​?"

How can one tell if one needs to convert in order to be Jewish or if one is already Jewish? Would one's or one's ancestors' conversion to another religion or their lack of knowledge about Judaism ...
Double AA's user avatar
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50 votes
9 answers
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Can a Jew lose their Jewish Status?

Can a Jew lose their status as being a Jew by performing any action (example: performing idolatry, disavowing core beliefs, converting to another religion, etc)? Or once a person is a Jew then they ...
Yaakov Ellis's user avatar
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26 votes
6 answers
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First steps for someone considering conversion

I am 25 years old and I am truly interested in converting. I too also only believe in G-d. I live my life to certain rules that others I see aren't strong enough to live by. I want to know what I ...
Steven Lemos's user avatar
31 votes
5 answers
7k views

Is it possible for a Gentile to convert to Judaism? [closed]

Is it possible for someone who is Gentile to convert to Judaism? What is the prevailing belief of Jewish people on this subject? What scripture backs up this belief? What do prominent Jewish ...
going's user avatar
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27 votes
6 answers
2k views

When did Avraham Avinu become Jewish

Avraham Avinu is often called "the first Jew". When did he become Jewish. Was it when: He recognized G-d? G-d spoke to him for the first time? Covenant Between The Parts? When G-d changed his name? ...
Menachem's user avatar
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23 votes
6 answers
2k views

Am I liable to be stoned for my devotion to Hashem and the Jewish people?

I have spent over 2 years to this day praying for the Jewish people from the Koren Siddur and Machzorim. I have with my Rebbe's help tried to follow Jewish customs and laws, to my best ability. ...
Ben's user avatar
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23 votes
2 answers
2k views

May (or should) a convert recite kaddish after his biological parents' deaths?

May (or should) a convert recite kaddish after his biological parents' deaths? I think the answer is that yes, he may do so out of respect for them (even though, in a strict halachic sense, he is no ...
Alex's user avatar
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12 votes
3 answers
25k views

Can a gentile go to Synagogue on Shabbat and what is forbidden on Shabbat for a gentile?

Is a gentile allowed to participate in Shabbat prayers in a Synagogue (of course he/she will not count for a minyan) if they do so in order to gain knowledge of Jewish customs for the purpose of ...
MichaelS's user avatar
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24 votes
3 answers
2k views

Can an Alien convert to Judaism?

Suppose we one day find an extraterrestrial walking on our planet that originated from another planet. The alien quickly learns all about religion and now wants to become a Jew. Do we let him? ...
yydl's user avatar
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20 votes
3 answers
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Does a convert have a clean slate?

When a non-jew converts to Jusaism, must he still do teshuva from past sins, or does the "reborn" concept stretch far enough to consider him "sinless"?
jake's user avatar
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32 votes
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If a woman converts to Judaism while pregnant, will her child be a Jew?

If a woman converts to Judaism while pregnant, will her child be a Jew once born?
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29 votes
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Can a non-Jew don tefillin?

May a non-Jew or a person who is in the conversion process don tefillin? If not, what are the reasons that they cannot?
Ger's user avatar
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6 answers
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Is there any benefit for a gentile to convert through one denomination versus another?

Despite being raised Conservative, it has been my impression that the only conversion that "counts" is an Orthodox one. I suspect this is the case for making aliyah, but under what other ...
Meliorate's user avatar
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19 votes
2 answers
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When (if ever) are converts still related to their relatives?

It is my understanding that when a person converts to Judaism, certain halachic relationships are severed. So I have a couple questions about this. Which relationships are severed? Is a convert ...
HodofHod's user avatar
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13 votes
6 answers
662 views

What happened to Avraham's students?

We read how Avraham was going around convincing people to believe in one G-d and of his many students. Yet we don't hear of those students (or their descendants) ever again. What happened to them ...
ertert3terte's user avatar
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10 votes
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My great great grandmother was Jewish - am I? [duplicate]

I've discovered that my great, great grandmother was Jewish - i.e. my mother's mother's mother's mother. She converted to Catholicism upon marriage. Are matrilineal descendants of a Jewess who ...
NinaTheNinja's user avatar
15 votes
1 answer
1k views

Understanding discouragement of converts

Why do we discourage converts? I know that Naomi did so with Rus, but Moshe doesn't seem to do so with Yisro. Why wouldn't Judaism want to encourage converts? Furthermore is it a responsibility merely ...
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14 votes
3 answers
5k views

Was Judaism ever a proselytizing religion?

It is often asserted that up until the time of Constantine or so, Judaism was an actively proselytizing religion. This can be contrasted with the common practice today of rejecting potential converts ...
yoel's user avatar
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13 votes
4 answers
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How is giyur le’chumra different from a standard conversion in practice?

I am interested to know how giyur le’chumra is different from a standard conversion in practice? Does anyone have any personal experiences? My understanding of the meaning of giyur le’chumra (from ...
Simd's user avatar
  • 355
12 votes
2 answers
4k views

Can the child of two converts marry a Cohen?

Can the child of two converts marry a Cohen? How does the situation differ if only the mother, or only the father, is a convert? (I have read that "ideally" the child of two converts should not ...
SAH's user avatar
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10 votes
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What happens when a potential convert can't have a circumcision? [duplicate]

Suppose a man wants to convert to Judaism but cannot have a circumcision for bio-medical reasons (he has a foreskin, but has hemophilia or some other condition which would make the surgery fatal or ...
please remove my account's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
601 views

Motivation for Disallowing Conversions

What was the motivation of the Syrian community's rabbis for disallowing conversions and when did it happen? Did any other Sephardi communities join in this decision later on?
SimchasTorah's user avatar
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Does Orthodox Judaism Recognize Reform Conversions?

If a person converted into the Reform or Conservative (Masorti) Movements, would Orthodox Jews consider them to be Jewish in the first place? This is also assuming the person keeps basic Kosher (not ...
user avatar
39 votes
13 answers
7k views

Conversion: If G-d really wanted me to be a Jew (and observe mitzvot), why was I not born into a Jewish family

This question pertains to the issue of conversion, and if it makes sense in the Jewish context of some people being Chosen specifically by God. Before beginning, this poster is aware of the long, and ...
Jeremy Glenne's user avatar
27 votes
6 answers
2k views

When did Ruth convert?

In the book of Ruth it never openly states that she converts and in fact she is referred to as Ruth the Moabite throughout the text. At what point, chronologically, did she in fact convert?
bookofruth's user avatar
17 votes
4 answers
4k views

Can conversion be revoked?

In a recent case the Israeli Rabbinical Court has revoked someone's conversion to Judaism on the grounds that they were deceptive. This decision was "...Based on the fact that she completely ...
bondonk's user avatar
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13 votes
4 answers
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Would a convert/Ba'al Teshuvah have to remove any tattoos they may have?

A Jew is prohibited from tattooing himself. If a person with tattoos were to convert to Judaism, would they be required to have the tattoos removed? Would a Jew who got a tattoo and later repented be ...
Seth J's user avatar
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12 votes
3 answers
4k views

A Convert taking on customs of ashkanazim or sephardim

When someone converts is there any determining factor on what minhagim (customs) they will take upon themselves in terms of Ashkanazim or Sephardim? Should it be dependent on the Beis Din they ...
Yehoshua's user avatar
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12 votes
1 answer
1k views

Can a convert serve as a dayan?

I believe that there are specific restrictions placed on a ger (convert) being a legal decisor on a beit din. What are these restrictions and do those, ipso facto, preclude that individual from ...
minhag's user avatar
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8 votes
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Can a convert become a synagogue president? Why or why not?

I understand that the National Council of Young Israel has a rule that women and converts may not be elected president of a Young Israel synagogue. I think I saw a gemara -- or a comment to a gemara -...
Bruce James's user avatar
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7 votes
1 answer
7k views

Are children whose mother converted after bearing them Jewish?

If a Jewish man and non-Jewish wife have a child, and the mother completes her Orthodox conversion to Judaism after the child is born, must the child also convert to be considered Jewish, if they were ...
JosephG's user avatar
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7 votes
2 answers
4k views

What is the definition of Zera Yisrael? Please read description

Shalom Aleichem, I am considering a halachic conversion to Judaism after having converted (along with several family members of mine) with a reform rabbi several years ago. In my research and studies, ...
Aspiring Ger Tzedek's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
1k views

Children of Converts and Specific halachos

The Pri Megadim in OC Siman 156 Ashel Avraham Sif-Katan 2 writes that a child that was conceived in kedusha (sanctity) and born in kedusha to a mother and father that had both converted (i.e. these 2 ...
Yehoshua's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
2k views

Is the child of a convert, conceived after she converted, Jewish? [duplicate]

If a woman converted before she conceived any children are they considered Jewish? Even with a non-Jewish father? I understand that non-Jewish mothers with Jewish husbands do not have Jewish children ...
teenagegirl's user avatar
21 votes
1 answer
1k views

Is a convert obliged to honor his parents?

Is a convert obliged to honor his parents? I understand that a convert loses all halakhic relationship to his parents upon being "reborn." Therefore, does the mitzvah of kibud av va'eim still apply?
SAH's user avatar
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15 votes
1 answer
843 views

Where did the converts camp in the desert?

When the Bnai Yisrael left Egypt, many converts left with them. Shmot 12:38: וְגַם עֵרֶב רַב עָלָה אִתָּם וְצֹאן וּבָקָר מִקְנֶה כָּבֵד מְאֹד: And also, a great mixed multitude went up with them, and ...
Danield's user avatar
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13 votes
1 answer
3k views

Are we allowed to ask someone if he's a convert?

I remember learning that we are forbidden to "remind a convert of his past". The implication, as I remember it, is reminding someone that he used to be an idolater. (Though not all converts were.) ...
Monica Cellio's user avatar
12 votes
4 answers
1k views

Do Rabbis have to be Jewish by ethnicity?

I am under the impression that a person can be received into Judaism from a gentile nation. My question is whether or not that person could conceivably then become a Rabbi? Please indicate whether ...
Jas 3.1's user avatar
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11 votes
3 answers
533 views

What should a Jew do if encountered by ISIS?

Theoretically, if (Gd forbid) ISIS took over Israel, and the Jew in question was not immediately killed because he was Jewish and was not in the financial situation to pay the required taxes, should ...
Ely Eastman's user avatar
11 votes
2 answers
1k views

Do converts represent a "farblondzshet" neshama?

Before our wedding, a mikvah lady learned that my wife was marrying me -- a convert to Judaism. Her response was that I must represent a "farblondzshet neshama" (a confused or a lost Jewish soul). ...
Bruce James's user avatar
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10 votes
1 answer
1k views

If a woman converts to Judaism while pregnant, will her child be eligible to marry a Kohen?

If a woman converts to Judaism while pregnant, will her child be eligible to marry a Kohen? Case #1 -- Assume her husband is a Jew by birth. Case #2 -- Assume her husband converted to Judaism prior ...
SAH's user avatar
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10 votes
1 answer
523 views

Can a convert drink wine he previously touched?

If a non-Jew touches uncooked wine it is considered yayin nesech. If that same non-Jew then converts and states categorically that he did not offer the wine as an idolatrous libation when he was a non-...
not-allowed to change my name's user avatar
8 votes
2 answers
485 views

Why are modern conversions valid?

I have heard that Rashi said that there are three requirements for conversion: brit milah; mikveh; korban in Beit Hamikdash. If this is true, why is it that this is not rendering modern conversions ...
Ben's user avatar
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8 votes
1 answer
873 views

Non-Jews & Shul Access

Can a shul deny access to a non-Jew due to the fact that he/she is not Jewish? Even if the person genuinely has a desire to learn about Judaism and worship Hashem? What are the rights (if any) of a ...
Malka S's user avatar
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8 votes
3 answers
1k views

Is a convert free to choose his own minhagim?

Back when Jews lived in the same communities for generations, they were obligated to follow the minhagim (customs) of their community. The classic example is that East European Jews held that one ...
Bruce James's user avatar
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8 votes
1 answer
1k views

Who are these "aliens" in Isaiah 56?

I was reading through this passage in Isaiah 56: 4 For thus saith the LORD concerning the eunuchs that keep My sabbaths, and choose the things that please Me, and hold fast by My covenant. 5 ...
user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
500 views

How should a modern non-Jew interpret commandments in the Torah that they perceive to command individual violence?

If a non-Jew is interested in Judaism, how should they approach commands in the Torah like Exodus 21:17, Exodus 31:14, Leviticus 20:13? Should these passages be seen not just as command not to do the ...
Andrew's user avatar
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7 votes
3 answers
3k views

What is a ger toshav?

I read in the Book of Isaiah (Is. 56:1-8), about the foreigner joining Hashem. I asked my Rabbi briefly about this passage. He explained that the passage is probably neither about a gerut conversion ...
Ben's user avatar
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6 votes
1 answer
427 views

Non-Orthodox converts and Olam Ha-Ba

Would a Gentile who converted through a non-orthodox movement be judged as a Gentile or a Jew in Olam Ha-Ba? In regards to the judgement, would his/her action of converting and living a "Jewish" ...
user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
2k views

Tribe of Converts

This question was inspired by a recent question asking about knowledge of one's tribal lineage. I am aware that male converts are often given 'Avraham' as a Hebrew name. (Not sure what the standard ...
JJLL's user avatar
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