32

There is a tradition, recorded in various sources, that the prophet Ovadiah was an Edomite convert. This tradition is born of the fact that there is nothing within his short (one chapter) oracle that concerns Judeans or Israelites; the entire thing is an oracle about the Edomites instead. Sources: Sanhedrin 39b; Tanchuma, Tazria 8. See also Rashi and ...


32

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 7:17 and 8:5, Yoreh De'ah 268:6). To determine if your mother was Jewish apply the same rules: either she herself converted to Judaism OR her birth mother was ...


26

Tosefos addresses a similar line of thought in Bava Kamma 85a: שנתנה רשות לרפאות - א"ת והא מרפא לחודיה שמעינן ליה וי"ל דה"א ה"מ מכה בידי אדם אבל חולי הבא בידי שמים כשמרפא נראה כסותר גזירת המלך קמ"ל דשרי (Rough translation) - One may have thought that there is no right to seek healing from a sickness that comes from Heaven, as it ...


25

The fact that conversion exists as part of halachah means that it is within the framework of options that G-d is giving you. If you felt that really you were supposed to be a woman, then the correct response is to say "If G-d had wanted me to be a woman he would have made me one," because sex change operations etc. are not halachik options. We can't know ...


20

I am a convert and have learned both opinions. My late Rav, Rabbi Gedaliah Anemer, zt'l, held in accordance with the Rema. I did not sit shiva for my father or say the kaddish for him. However, Rabbi Yitzhok Breitowitz, shlita, told me that because there are "chashuvah" poskim who hold otherwise, e.g. Rav Ovadiah Yosef, the response should be based on ...


19

Rabbi Chaim Clorfene writes in his popular (and heavily annotated) book, The Path of the Righteous Gentile (p. 42), that B'nei Noach should learn parts of the Torah relevant to their service of God, as well as to the Torah's view on God. He adds that this can be broadly applied, as many areas of Torah "can bring one to greater knowledge concerning the ...


18

A non-Jew certainly may wear tefillin (in other words, there is no law against them doing so), but they will not be fulfilling a mitzvah. From that perspective, they might be viewed in the same way that one views a Jewish woman who lays tefillin: the Shulchan Arukh (Orach Chaim 38:3) exempts her but allows her to wear them if she wishes. Note, however, that ...


15

Shevet HaLevi 6:245:2 rules that he would have to tovel them with a bracha. He doesn't distinguish if they were toveled already beforehand and I fail to see why that would make a difference. Tzitz Eliezer 22:49 rules that they should be toveled without a bracha, reasoning that perhaps the tevillah of the person works to 'elevate' him along with all his ...


15

According to R. Yehudah Halevi, a convert cannot be a prophet. The question on R. Yehudah Halevi's view is that Chazal say Ovadiah was a convert. This question, which was raised by the commentators on the Kuzari, is addressed by R. Yitzchak Sheilat who suggests that R. Yehudah Halevi's view depends on a possible dispute in the Gemara about whether Ovadiah ...


14

Regarding conversion to Judaism in general, the answers to this question (mentioned by DoubleAA in the comments here) provide ample coverage. I recommend that you read them all, but here are some main points: Jewish Law provides a mechanism for people who are not members of the Jewish Nation to become members - conversion. It's not easy, and it's actually ...


14

Your question implies that when a new religion shows up everyone switches to it like it's the latest new technology. That is NOT the case. Some people did convert (a notable example is Yitro AKA Jethro), plus some Egyptians (the erev rav) and Canaanites. But the vast majority of the world did not convert. And on top of that, Judaism does not ask them to. A ...


14

In terms of rabbis being willing to work with you, I don't think that would be a factor. I've talked with a lot of converts and conversion candidates, including one named Christina, and none of them reported any inquiry or hesitation based on factors beyond their control like what their parents named them. You will probably get some odd looks from other ...


14

Converts are a way that Gd rewards us for doing His Will. He selects a righteous individual from the nations and attaches them to Israel, like a King who rewards his well-behaved son by planting a beautiful plant in his garden, (Yerush. Berahot 2:8). We'd be sorely lacking without these beautiful plants: Obadia, was an Edomite convert, praised even more ...


14

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 their behavior afterwards. But if we have reason to suspect an insincere conversion, then their behavior immediately afterwards could be used as an indication. ...


14

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 law, converting from Judaism to Christianity would be forbidden but converting from Judaism to Islam would be permitted (and presumably encouraged). I have no ...


13

To answer your more specific question: no, a Gentile who studies Torah in a forbidden way is still not stoned. The Rambam rules (Milchamot 10:9 and English) ואם עסק בתורה, או שבת, או חידש דבר--מכין אותו ועונשין אותו, ומודיעין אותו שהוא חייב מיתה על זה; אבל אינו נהרג.‏ If a gentile studies the Torah, makes a Sabbath, or creates a religious practice, ...


13

Shemaya and Avtalyon, two great rabbis from the 1st century BCE, are identified in the Talmud (Gittin 57b) as converts. So it seems that converts can become rabbis, and even important ones. I know of no sources that imply the law on this matter was different before that point. See also this question: Can a convert be a prophet?


13

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 this is put in because we might think that a person whose father is not a Jew but whose mother is a Jew would not be able to say the pasuk because the term ...


13

If you know for a fact that she was Jewish, then you are 100% Jewish. No conversion is needed. Mazal Tov, and Enjoy! :)


13

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 people in the process of conversion being required to do more. If so, it's likely a misunderstanding. Once you are studying with a rabbi he will guide you to ...


13

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, and can just go to the Mikva directly (like a woman). The Arukh haShulchan there explains this is because there is nothing to circumcise, and the Gra notes that ...


12

From the Rabbinical Council of America (RCA) conversion FAQ: The amount of time for a convert to be prepared for conversion varies from case to case, depending upon the level of knowledge and experience that preceded the quest for conversion and many other factors. A minimum of two years of study and experiential growth is generally recommended ...


12

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 immoral and idolatrous. He discusses four ways of removing a tattoo, two of which are permissible, and two of which are questionable. Removal via a cream or laser ...


12

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 stranger who sojourns with you shall be as a native from among you, and you shall love him as yourself; for you were strangers in the land of Egypt. I am the ...


12

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 their religion as their main mode of operation is to lure Jews into their churches, but that won't have any standing with most Jews. A conversion to Judaism ...


12

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 fact.” The Ger’s birthday thus remains the date that he was physically born on. Note that there is no actual halachic significance to a person’s ...


12

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 having different names, are plentiful. In the old rabbinic literature we find converts bearing names such as Onkelos (BT Meg. 3a), Judah (Mishnah Yadaim 4:4 and ...


12

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 translation, my emphasis): אין עושין מלחמה עם אדם בעולם עד שקוראין לו שלום אחד מלחמת הרשות ואחד מלחמת מצוה שנאמר כי תקרב אל עיר להלחם עליה וקראת אליה לשלום אם ...


11

Gentiles can certainly attend synagogue services on Shabbat (or at any other time). I know many converts and all of them were required by their rabbis to start doing this fairly early on in the process. Conversion is in part about joining a community, so you'd better get to know it. Also, while you can practice prayers on your own, you need the experience ...


11

The Gemara in Yevamos 101: mentions that Rav Shmuel the son of Yehuda reports about himself: ואנא גר אנא (“I am a convert”), yet he is named בר יהודה (son of Yehuda), Rashi explains, that this is since his natural father converted together with him.


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