39 votes
Accepted

"Am I Jewish​?"

According to traditional Judaism, you are Jewish if and only if you yourself have validly converted to Judaism OR your birth mother was Jewish at the time of your birth (Shulchan Arukh Even HaEzer 7:...
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  • 95.3k
15 votes

Can conversion be revoked?

See https://judaism.stackexchange.com/a/48512/21 for more. If we have some magical machine that can tell us that a person is completely sincere about their conversion, then it can't be revoked by ...
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  • 127k
14 votes

Does the gentile seeking conversion have more obligations than a Noahide Person?

God expects Jews to follow the torah and gentiles to follow the Noachide laws. Until you've converted you're still a gentile and don't have additional heavenly obligations. Perhaps you have heard of ...
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14 votes
Accepted

When is a convert's Hebrew birthday?

Dinonline answers, Although a Ger is considered to be “born anew” when becoming Jewish, this is a halachic concept that relates to family relationship and the like, and it is not a “biological ...
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  • 12.5k
14 votes

How can a Jew Exit / Leave their Religion?

I believe you have misunderstood the text. The interviewee is saying that in Islamic law it is forbidden to change from any one religion to any other religion other than Islam. So according to Islamic ...
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  • 24.3k
14 votes

How Do Modern Orthodox Women Typically Dress?

There is a wide variety out there. I'd recommend Googling some synagogues that you might visit post-pandemic, and often there are photos there of its members. That should give you some sense. If you ...
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  • 127k
13 votes

Can a convert to Judaism have a Jewish mother?

According to the Kahati comment on that Mishnah, it should be read A ger brings but does not read ... If [he is not a ger but only] his mother is Jewish he brings and says ... Kahati explains that ...
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13 votes

Can descendants of Amalek become Jewish?

We can see how the commandment to eradicate Amalek does not contradict the possibility of converting to Judaism, from Rambam's description of the eradication process (Hilchot Melachim 6:1-4, Touger ...
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  • 48k
13 votes

Does a transgender male convert require a Hatafas Dam Bris?

Here is an excerpt from Encyclopedia Halachit Refuit from Dr. Avraham Steinberg. Translation (my own): A women who underwent surgery to appear like a man, even if they formed for her a male limb, ...
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  • 1,113
12 votes

Would a convert/Ba'al Teshuvah have to remove any tattoos they may have?

According to this article by Rabbi Dr. Ari Zivotofsky there is no requirement to remove a tattoo, although it could be considered a pious act to do so, especially if the tattoo depicts something ...
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  • 31.3k
12 votes

Converts to be treated as if they were born Jewish

Does Vayikro (Leviticus) 19:34 suit? כְּאֶזְרָח מִכֶּם יִהְיֶה לָכֶם הַגֵּר | הַגָּר אִתְּכֶם וְאָהַבְתָּ לוֹ כָּמוֹךָ כִּי גֵרִים הֱיִיתֶם בְּאֶרֶץ מִצְרָיִם אֲנִי יְקוָֹק אֱלֹקיכֶם The ...
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12 votes

Can someone convert to "Messianic Judaism"?

So-called "Messianic Judaism", meaning something that claims Jesus is the aforementioned messiah, is not accepted by mainstream Judaism. It is presumably possible to "convert" to ...
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12 votes
Accepted

Circumcision for conversion of someone whose male genitalia have been removed

The Shulchan Arukh (YD 268:1) rules (like the Tur, quoting a Gaon; see too Tosfot Yevamot 46b) that a male whose genitals have been removed ("Nikhrat haGid") doesn't need Milah or Hatafat Dam Berit, ...
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12 votes

If I want to be a Jew, can I take any name from the Tanakh?

There is no law (halacha) requiring a convert to choose a certain name. So it would appear as well from a responsum of one of our great authorities, R. Asher b. Jehiel (§15:4). Examples of converts ...
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  • 11.8k
12 votes

Halachically, must a Jewish convert sever ties with his non-Jewish family?

Unless there were extenuating circumstances at play, I think someone has gone too far here. Maimonides Laws of the Rebel, 5:11: הגר אסור לקלל אביו הגוי, ולהכותו ולבזהו--כדי שלא יאמרו, באו מקדושה ...
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  • 127k
11 votes
Accepted

How is giyur le’chumra different from a standard conversion in practice?

This answer is based off of experience of being present at a giyur l'chumra conducted by R' Yosef Berger. The Beis Din does not remind the convert, as is normally done, that this is his last chance ...
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11 votes

What should a Jew do if encountered by ISIS?

As Mark Twain (supposedly) said, history may not repeat itself, but it sure does rhyme. Lo and behold, there was Islamic extremism 800 years ago, when Rabbi Moses Maimonides was alive -- and he left ...
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  • 127k
11 votes

Ensuring that a community is mainstream

The vast majority of shuls self-identified as Orthodox are mainstream. So chances are, any Orthodox shul or community you approach will be mainstream. Sabbateans are non-existent, as far as I know. ...
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  • 4,131
11 votes
Accepted

Why did the son of the Egyptian and Jew have to convert?

Ramban says that by "he converted", it means he chose to live according to a Jewish lifestyle. The rest of the nations followed the patrilineal system, according to which he would have been Egyptian. ...
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  • 22.8k
11 votes

Does Orthodox Judaism Recognize Reform Conversions?

The issue here is essentially one of lowest common denominator. A conversion will only be accepted by Group X if they think that Group Y, who oversaw the conversion, did so appropriately and ...
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  • 95.3k
11 votes

Why are Converts required to use "Ben Avraham" instead of "Ben Ysrael"?

Abraham was the first convert. He was not born into anything but the idol worshipping traditions of his day. He recognized G-D and served Him. He also brought others to that recognition. He was the ...
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  • 10.4k
11 votes

Currently in a marriage with a non-observant Jewish woman and I want to convert to Orthodox

Greetings and welcome to J.SE. Many born-Jewish couples have worked out agreements whereby one spouse's level of observance is higher than another's. Some of the biggest questions involve matters ...
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  • 127k
11 votes

How can geirus (conversion to Judaism) be done without the prospective convert knowing at least the basics of ALL the mitzvos?

Viewing geirut as spelling out every detail of the b'rit seems impractical. Even many Jews from birth don't know the basics of all the commandments, and while it's reasonable to have a higher bar for ...
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11 votes

"She may marry any Jewish man"

They meant "other than a Kohen, she can marry any Jewish man that a born-Jewess can marry"; her status as a convert poses no additional issues. (In fact, she can marry more men than a born-Jewess, as ...
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  • 127k
10 votes

what percentage of Reform Jews are halachically Jewish?

Non-halachic Reform Jews are those whose mother was not Jewish, yet they consider themselves Jewish because of either a heterodox conversion or patrilineal descent. We can mostly figure out the ...
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  • 444
10 votes

Is it possible for a man to convert to Judaism without circumcision?

In order to convert one has to accept all the commandments, which includes circumcision. If one would clearly not want to accept one of the commandments no Orthodox Rabbi would do such a conversion. ...
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10 votes
Accepted

Is it possible for a man to convert to Judaism without circumcision?

Circumcision is one of the Torah's 613 commandments (#86 of the רמב"ם's list; בראשית יז:י). A convert to Judaism has to accept all of them. If he does not accept even one of those commandments, he ...
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10 votes

Questions about Conversion to Reform Judaism

This is a pretty broad question. If you want to drill into any of these issues I recommend splitting off a separate question about just that topic. Would this limit me to only marrying someone who ...
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10 votes
Accepted

Where could an extreme ultra-orthodox baal t'shuva etc. realistically find a shidduch?

Generally with other ulta-orthodox baalei t'shuva or other people with similar backgrounds. That is a good idea, regardless, as the compatibility is more likely to be there. (The only exception to ...
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  • 31.3k
10 votes
Accepted

If a convert goes off the derekh, must he go to the mikvah again after he repents?

Shulchan Arukh, Yoreh Deah 268:12 ‏...ואפילו חזר ועבד עבודת כוכבים – הרי הוא כישראל מומר שקידושיו קידושין.‏ ישראל מומר שעשה תשובה – אינו צריך לטבול. רק מדרבנן יש לו לטבול ולקבל עליו דברי חבירות בפני ...
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