37

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 ...


29

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 ...


26

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 ...


15

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 ...


15

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

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

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 ...


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

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

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 ...


13

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, there is no obligation to do a bris on this limb, even if it is formed from her natural clitoris. In regards to a non-jewish woman that underwent gender ...


13

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 can arrange a socially-distanced outdoors chat with a woman in a prospective community, that could be incredibly helpful. As Alex commented, there's a wide ...


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

There is a general consensus among the poskim that one who has an orlah cannot convert without having a milah. See here who refers to the views of: שו״ת ארץ טובה סי׳ ב׳, ומשברי ים סי׳ ט״ו, זכר זכר יצחק סי׳ ג׳, מלמד להועיל סי׳ פ״ו, דעת כהן סי׳ ק״נ, ועיין בשרידי אש ח״ב סי׳ ק״ב־ק״ג שכתב שלתשובתו הסכימו כל גדולי הדור,ובכללם מרן הגאון רח״ע גדודזנסקי זצ״ל. This is ...


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

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

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

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 חמורה לקדושה קלה, שהרי זה מבזה אביו; ונוהג בו, מקצת כבוד. The convert may not curse, strike, or demean his non-Jewish father; as people would say this guy has ...


11

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 to change his mind and not become a Jew, as we are already assuming that he is a Jew, and the conversion is "just in case." In the conversion which I witnessed, ...


11

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 a paper trail. If you were to open up the Yad HaChazaka (his code of law), it would appear that if there is a time when there is a concerted effort to wipe out ...


11

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. Karaites are very rare and will not pretend to be Orthodox. Any Orthodox shul without a mechitza (I hear there are a few left) is outside of the mainstream, ...


11

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. Choosing to be Jewish was his "conversion", in a way. ומה שאמר בת"כ (פרשה יד א): בתוך בני ישראל, מלמד שנתגייר, אינו שיצטרך בגירות, אלא ככל ישראל שנכנסו לברית ...


11

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 successfully, following all the relevant laws as understood by Group X. Otherwise, Group X will continue to view the potential convert as a gentile with all that entails....


11

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 first. Although Issac and Jacob/Israel are very great, they do not have the merit and mission that Abraham had. It is a badge of honor that the righteous ...


11

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 that affect both of them; most significantly, taharat hamishpacha ("family purity" laws, which will affect both of you), and anything involving children -- at what ...


11

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 those seeking to become obligated, that's an awful lot of learning and testing before the person can enter into the community. A convert is required to agree ...


10

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 demographics from particular questions asked in certain surveys. According to the 2013 Pew Study on American Jews, 10% of American adults who identify their religion ...


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