Being a Ger and BT

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  • #1847578
    Markiplier
    Participant

    I converted to Orthodox Judaism two years ago and it went well up until I went on Birthright. I felt silently judged for being a convert even though everyone was outwardly friendly and it had a lasting impact. I went OTD and returned to Catholicism, which I was raised in. I was due to receive the sacrament of Confirmation next Sunday before the virus hit and our state went into a mandatory lockdown, and now I think I made the wrong choice. How do I go back to being frum with limited access to kosher food and five goy roommates?

    #1848266
    Shimon Nodel
    Participant

    I encourage you to reach out to Rabbi Yaakov Bender. It’s never too late for teshuvah. The Kudsha Brich Hu loves you more than you can fathom. In the meantime, just eat produce and groceries that have a hechsher like ou or starK etc. For Pesach, try to stick to fish, produce, eggs and dairy. As for living with gentiles, it’s not really problematic in terms of strict halacha. Of course it can be very detrimental for your spiritual health, and it is definitely not what your Creator wishes of you in the long term. Try to focus on only a few things. You cannot be a tzadik in the blink of an eye, but know that the instant you stir within yourself thoughts of teshuva, shamayim considers you to be completely righteous. ื”ื‘ื ืœื™ื˜ื”ืจ ืžืกืขื™ื™ืŸ ืื•ืชื•.

    #1848319
    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    What Shimon Nodel was saying at the end, whoever wants to purify himself will be helped.

    #1848353
    Joseph
    Participant

    If they were outwardly friendly how do you know that they are “silently” judging you?

    #1848366
    frumeyid
    Participant

    Wow! What a great zchus and merit! While obviously preferable not to be OTD in the first place, but doing teshuva and returning is unbelievable. And you got to do it twice. Once when you converted, and again now. Hashem loves when his children return!

    Obviously, please reach out for guidance, but do the best you can.

    (Lit. whoever comes to purify themselves will be helped from above)
    ื”ื‘ื ืœื™ื˜ื”ืจ ืžืกืขื™ื™ืŸ ืื•ืชื•
    Good luck!!

    #1848378
    yytz
    Participant

    Sorry to hear that! Some gerim end up feeling like people treat them poorly, but among the gerim I know they say they’ve always been treated well. I wouldn’t read too much into it if you feel silently judged–it could be these individuals happen to be not very friendly (it’s about them, not you). Anyway, if I were you I would find a way to move out into your own apartment within walking distance to an Orthodox shul, and start davening there (once the lockdowns are lifted.) For now, find shiurim you like online–check out all the different daf yomi daily videos (can also be done live with Zoom), for example, and see which one you like. Eventually you’ll find a nice shul with friendly people and a rav you’re close with. Hatzlacha!

    #1848415
    levi365248
    Participant

    I hope that you will fully realize that you have thrown away the life-giving waters. You are now in an arid desert. No water and nothing on the horizon with only vultures circling your head. PLEASE DO FULL TESHUVA! I know life as a G”T is not always easy and yes you”ll be judged by people in certain ways. But you have recognized that Hashem Yisborach is the only true place to go to! Don’t deviate from the straight path. Realize what you are doing! You made a terrible mistake going OTD. Don’t do it for the Aibishter, do it for the love of your own neshama and come back!

    #1848582
    motchah11
    Participant

    Welcome back! I promise that here you will not be judged. There are too many of us who have wavered from time to time to judge anyone else. What can we do to help you in your situation? If you need something, please tell us. If you live anywhere I can reach I will be glad to help you, bring you something. I would invite you to my house but with the Coronavirus going on I don’t know what to do. But if that’s what you need, I will ask my wife.

    #1848614
    commonsaychel
    Participant

    religion should not be changed like a pair of socks, find out where you heart lies and stick to it, Jewish or otherwise.

    #1848631
    yytz
    Participant

    Also keep in mind that if you come back to Yiddishkeit, you don’t have to say a word about this (almost re-converting to another religion) to anyone. It’s between you and Hashem. But even if you are open about I think the above poster is right that you will still be accepted and not judged.

    #1848704
    yisroellazear
    Participant

    To My friend and forever Jewish Soul,
    You have received some beautiful replies from Jews who clearly love you/ When this plague is over, PLEASE get involved with a shul, and know that it may take a while until you find one that “fits”. Learn Torah, go to shirim, and you’ll find friends and more, Jews who love you, like me

    #1848762
    ipchamistabra
    Participant

    I converted to Orthodox Judaism two years ago and it went well up until I went on Birthright. I felt silently judged for being a convert even though everyone was outwardly friendly and it had a lasting impact.

    I’ve been thinking about you post over yontev, and finally decided to add my few cent’s worth.

    I can see two contradictions in your story: Orthodox/Birthright; outwardly friendly/silently judging.

    I can imagine plently of readers screaming blue murder over this but I see a disrepancy between someone who claims to have been orthodox and then accepting a Birthright trip. That group is not made for Orthodox people; it is an Israeli front to indoctinate youth with zionism – nothing to do with Judaism. I’m pretty sure the group you were with were not only not orthodox, they were all/mostly/irreligious. No wonder they were judging you.

    I am also a ger. When I once attended a university symposium attended by many non-religious students, they couldn’t get over the fact and insisted on quizzing me on subjects totally unrelated to the symposium. Since I am reasonably learned (both in the subject of the symposium and in Torah) they couldn’t very well judge me, but I also felt that several of them resented me, and I’ve come across that iwhen meeting other non-religious people. Some are genuinly interested; some are genuinly surprised (why shouldn’t they be?!) and some are resentful. Occasionally virulently so.

    But none of that is sufficient reason to abandon Judaism. I really think you should look a bit deeper inside your own reasons and go beyond the reason you are presently selling. I doesn’t add up; it doesn’t compute.

    Best of luck for the future.

    #1848800
    charliehall
    Participant

    ipchamistabra,

    This is not the time nor the place to spread such sinat chinam. There are plenty of orthodox and orthodox-friendly Birthright trips. The Orthodox Union even sponsors some! In addition, some of the greatest rabbis of the modern era have been Religious Zionists.

    Markiplier,

    I am also a ger. (I grew up Protestant.) While there are plenty of judgemental Jews, communities I have visited do not judge me and I have never not been accepted as a Jew by any orthodox community and I travel a lot! Israel, France, Ireland, three provinces in Canada, and at least a dozen states in the US — there has never been an issue. And in my own community you can’t tell the FFBs from the BTs from the gerim.

    It is easy to compare yourself to others who have had the benefit of a yeshiva background and think that your knowledge will never match up to theirs. But you aren’t judged by HaShem compared to others, but to what you can do.

    And as both a Ger and a BT you have been where few of us have been and can contribute YOUR experience to others. Find the right community and the right rav, throw yourself into Torah and mitzvot, and you will be fully part of our world. Welcome back!!!

    #1848873
    levi365248
    Participant

    With all due respect. The past few days I have thought a lot about this thread (or post, or whatever you call it). I just can’t wrap my brain around it. When a person becomes Jewish, he must renounce all connection to all forms of Avoideh Zorah. He must be able to say from the depth of his heart that ALL other religions are absolute and total nonsense. Say about JC that he was one of the biggest fakes and abominations ever walking the Earth. If just not feeling accepted drives you off the Derech (I can understand that, even though I might not consider it a valid justification). That you feel that doing Mitzvos and live as a Jew is to difficult, again understandable. That you feel like eating a cheeseburger by McDonalds (albeit a very bad reason, understandable). But to go back to the folly of Christianity??
    My question to the Talmidei Chachamim here; A potential Ger who toivels to become Jewish but only says that he renounces Avoideh Zorah, but in his heart he keep the possibility open to return, is that a bonafide Jew? Devorim Shebaleiv einam Devorim. Or do we say that his actions (at a later date) confirm his Leiv?
    I had a very good friend. He became a Jew. He got married and had a lot of children. But he left his family and went OTD. It caused me a tremendous amount of heartache. (and still does). I found out that he now is living in a retreat for people who accept certain eastern philosophies.
    It caused me a lot of pain. But I spoke one time with a Posek about this and he told me that he was not convinced that we can call him a Jew. Why?
    The explanation was that his actions raised doubts about his original Geirus. Was he really peh wlaiv echad? Or did he leave open a kind of escape door?
    I know that this is very controversial (but being myself also a GT, I like to know if anybody knows more about the subject).
    To the original poster I would very much ask of you to think about your actions and ask poskim and rabbeim to clarify your status. I truly care for how you must be feeling, I am very disturbed by this whole maaiseh.

    #1848963
    MrSarahLevine613
    Participant

    “That group is not made for Orthodox people; it is an Israeli front to indoctinate youth with zionism โ€“ nothing to do with Judaism.”

    There are Orthodox trips. OU. Chabad. Others.

    The second — about Zionism and Judaism — is a topic that has been beaten to death my minds much much great than mine. But, in short, unless you are Satmar or follow that path — I would say if you are not wrong — your analysis is ridiculously shallow. (And zionism now does not mean what it did in 1800s — at least in my opinion).

    That is all.

    Moadim l’simcha.

    #1849001
    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    The great Chasam Sofer envisioned your problems by looking at the word ื’ืจ ger, a convert. It starts at the third letter of the hebrew alphabet indicating that you don’t start in the beginning. It ends three letters before the ending letter of the hebrew alphabet indicating that you will not be able to accomplish everything. Hard to start and hard to finish.

    #1849593
    Shimon Nodel
    Participant

    Levi365248
    I know that you have good intentions and ืžืงื ื ืœืฉื, so don’t take this personally.

    I am neither a posek nor a talmid chacham, but I am sure of this as fact (Though of course it’s always good to discuss ื“ื‘ืจื™ ื”ืœื›ื” with a talmid chacham).

    There is no such precedent as ืื’ืœืื™ ืžื™ืœืชื regarding ืงื‘ืœืช ืขื•ืœ ืžืฆื•ื•ืช. Whatever Beis Din has done is final. If a ger starts keeping mitzvos and conducting himself as a Jew for a period of time, that is sufficient to see that he has accepted the yolk of Torah. Although ืงื‘ืœืช ืขื•ืœ ืžืฆื•ื•ืช is an absolute requirement equal to Milah and Tvilah, as long we see that the ger in question has accepted, there is no going back. Were the ger to become a mumar afterwards, his status is still Yisrael. Even if the ืงื‘ืœื” was ืฉืœื ืœืฉืžื” and not for fear of heaven such as for the sake of marriage, wealth, fear, etc. it is valid ืžื” ืฉืขืฉื” ืขืฉื•ื™. In the case of the Cusim, they only accepted to keep the ืžืฆื•ื•ืช ืืœื•ืงื™ ื”ืืจืฅ because they were being eaten by lions, their status was Yisrael until the later Tanaim discovered that they were doing avodah zarah all along in secret.
    In the case of ger katan, when the child comes of age there is a disagreement among the Rishonim as to how long must he or she be acting as a Jew to keep the status of Yisrael. After a certain period of time though, there is no going back.
    I would really like to know who is this posek who told you otherwise. I highly doubt there can be any uncertainty regarding markiplier. If a proper Beis Din (technically even three Jews who are shomrei shabbos) did his geirus, it is absolutely final [definitely after being frum for certain time].

    Of course of course I can be dead wrong and talking complete ื˜ืคืฉื•ืช. So if anyone can answer me otherwise, please do.
    It’s very important to watchful when talking about a specific individual. We don’t want to become ืžืกื™ืชื™ื ื—ืก ื•ื—ืœื™ืœื”. In a purely halachic setting ื“ื‘ืจื™ ืชื•ืจื” have no restraints. Everyone please give your input.

    #1849618
    JustHavingFun
    Participant

    Dear Markiplier,
    I’m reading this shortly before Yom Tov candlelighting and I will b”n have you in mind as I light. It makes me so sad that you felt you were being judged. Unfortunately, we are judge-y. It’s as basic and low as jealousy. I’m not defending anyone who actually did judge you for being a GT, but people do judge.

    Having said that, please know that different groups and communities express themselves differently. There are certain people who fare well in Lakewood, others enjoy Brooklyn, and still others who feel comfortable in an “out-of-town” location. When I lived in X-city I felt unwelcomed. When I moved to Y-town I was love-bombed. What changed? I’m still the same.

    So find your place. Find a learning partner through Partners In Torah. Make a true connection. Can’t relate to the rabbi at your local shul? Find one you do like — listen to recordings — and contact him. If he cannot mentor you, it is likely he knows someone who can hold your hand and help you settle into your Jewish journey.

    I’m BT so I have felt some rejection, too. When I questioned it, I found my perception was colored by fear of rejection as much as by being in a group that was less open to people like me. It’s like high school in a way: I didn’t get their in-jokes. You know what that’s like. And that’s OK. I found my own group, with some effort, and I’m still here. You can do it, too.

    Sent with loving thoughts. Markiplier, you can do this.
    Some communities are more insular.

    #1849619
    yytz
    Participant

    Shimon, it’s more about their intention during the actual time of tevilah, on the day they converted. If they intended to completely accept the entire Torah as binding on themselves, with a lifetime commitment to observe it, then the conversion is valid and they are Jewish forever regardless of what they do afterward. However, if someone is not observant shortly after undergoing gerus, people often assume there was no real kabbalas ol (though that may not in fact be true.) The only time it really makes a big difference is regarding the Jewish status of a giyores’s children.

    If some time went by before they “went OTD” then no one really knows, except the ger himself, because it’s all about the kabbalas ol when he converted. In most such cases, I would assume the original gerus is valid.

    Like Shimon, I don’t agree with Levi that any ger who does OTD must not have been an invalid ger. I’m sure there are people who convert completely intending to be observant for life, and yet something happens later that leads them to fall. Hopefully, b’ezras Hashem, in case of this ger, he will make the right decision and return to Yiddishkeit.

    #1849623
    levi365248
    Participant

    Dearest Reb Shimon Nodel,
    Yasher Koach, tiyeh Kamocha Harbeh beYisroel. I understand from the way you posted that you re definitely from the more distinguished members from this small tzibbur. What you said is what I wanted to hear. Though, I can not reveal the name of the Posek (because of privacy reasons of my friends) I can tell you that this is a distinguished Posek in Chutz l’Oretz who have dealt with tens of cases (maybe even more) of Geirim and Geirus. No offense taken, I very much acknowledge my tremendous lack of knowledge in Halacha (and definitely in non normative Halacha). I don’t think you are saying Tipshus, but I still like to clarify the Inyan with a person who really has the answers. I spoke to a Rosh Kollel about this in E”Y on Erev Yom Tov and he said that these are the shaalois of the big Poskim. He didn’t though, brush aside the assumption of Giluy Milsa after the fact. He said that probably this would Paskened from a case to case basis.
    But indeed, till I heard the Maaseih of my past friend and what was being said about him I was also quite surprised at the utter possibility of this being taken in consideration. Now I didn’t think to much about it till I read the post of the chashuve first poster. It just reawakened in me the past and all the heartache.

    From E”Y a Gute (and now more then ever) and Gezunte Summer.

    #1849875
    Milhouse
    Participant

    Regarding the question of Kabolas Ol Mitzvos, one thing must be kept clear: It is kabolas Ol Mitzvos, not Kabolas Kiyum Mitzvos. The requirement is that the ger must accept the obligation to keep the mitzvos; he is not required to commit to actually keeping them. The gemoro’s loshon in this regard is very on point: He is not told “Yesterday you could eat chelev and from now you will no longer be able to eat it”. That would make sense. But no. He is instead told “Yesterday if you ate chelev you did nothing wrong, but from now if you eat chelev you will get kores”. In other words we assume he will do averos, and he must accept that he will be punished for them. In essence a ger is saying he’d rather be in a Yiddisher Gehennom than in a Goyisher Gan Eden.

    For instance, there is a teshuva in Igros Moshe about a woman who admitted, years after her giyur, that in the mikeveh, at the very moment she was telling the beis din that she accepted ol mitzvos, she intended to do an avera. She was under no illusion that it was not really an avera, she knew that she was now going to be obligated in mitzvos and should not do it, but the temptation was too strong. Reb Moshe paskened that the giyur was 100% valid. A ger does not promise to be a tzadik. Everyone including the beis din knows that he will do averos, because he is a normal human being with a yetzer hora, and giyur does not get rid of it. The fact that she knew what she was planning to do was an avera is enough to validate her giyur.

    #1849870
    Shimon Nodel
    Participant

    Levi, I understand what you are saying and indeed you raise some interesting points of discussion. See this ืฉืงืœื ื•ื˜ืจื™ื in which these questions are analyzed at length. ืœืžืขืฉื”, if the ger was frum if even for a brief period of time we say ื“ื‘ืจื™ื ืฉื‘ืœื‘ ืื™ื ืŸ ื“ื‘ืจื™ื and given that ื‘ื™ืช ื“ื™ืŸ saw no sibah or siman to make us think the ger wasn’t mekabel we assume everything was kosher after we see he was frum initially. The Rambam writes that he has the din of a Yisrael mumar. (I only saw these just when I went over this )

    Link removedย 

    #1850607
    Beast of a dude
    Participant

    i think that besides the rush of geirim and bts its nt supwerficia in the slightest sense of when and what consistesy

    #1850798
    levi365248
    Participant

    Reb Shimon, Millhouse, I am confused again. Is a Motz and dayan able to go against an outright Teshuvah of the Igrois Moishe? Okay some might claim that this comes from the famous fifth volume of Igrois Moishe (which I even think might not be true). Still it gives a very weak ground to ever do away with.
    I am sure now, that my friend is Jewish (welcome the heartache once more) and the original poster is a fulll geir. Maybe the Rabbi I spoke to was not familiar with this IM. Anyways thanks for the clarifications. Ayn Simcha ela bebirur safeik. (might be a wrong quote, but you’ll understand, I never claimed to be something like a Talmid Chacham).

    #1850901
    RYT26
    Participant

    I am also a ger. I have been a ger for many years. I would like to speak to you about this subject.

    #1850924
    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    A ger katan only becomes a ger at bar mitzva/bas mitzva because he has to act in accordance to the Torah which he/she is not responsible until then. Once he/she. at that age, follows the mitzvos by keeping shabbos and learns in a religious yeshiva is accepted to be a ger.

    #1850933
    RYT26
    Participant

    It is mamesh hashgacha pratis that I found this. I am not a fan of YWN I just came to check Corona news. I went to coffee room and l saw the title being ger and bt, and me being a ger I found it interesting. I had a similar situation to you. I was going through very difficult life situations and was depressed like never before. I am only a ger over a decade and have learned quite a lot of Torah. I don’t consider myself a talmid chacham. I have learned in yeshiva and kolel and even up to getting depressed I still learned quite a lot a day.

    I just want to say that through my research I have never found a jew who was learned in Judaism and then left to become a Christian. The catholic channel has a whole lot of videos of Jews who became catholic and.guess what , they were all from secular backs.and knew nothing about their own Judaism. There is also an Eastern Orthodox priest who was a secular Jew. No one who learned many years in yeshiva.
    With my experience I have read some of the new testament it is written so poorly. No one who is familiar with learning Torah could lehavdil trade it for this chicken scratch.

    You were hurt emotionally and therefore you went back to Catholicism, not that you truly believe in JC or believe in the NT. Hashem had mercy on you and closed the church so you could not get your communion. I understand where you are coming from. Please feel free for any questions

    #1851331
    GRATEFULBLAC
    Participant

    Dear Markiplier,
    Congratulations!

    You have passed your first test in Judaism. You have to realise that to be Jew means to be tested by the Yetzer Horoh who will try by any means necessary to get you to give up on Judaism. Whether you are born Jewish or a convert this is going to happen as that is Satan’s job here, get them to give up.

    Now as you say you converted and the felt put down on the Birthright scheme. But that was Satan’s job to tell you that everyone is looking down on you, laughing at you, rejecting you, making you feel like a second class Jew. But that is just in your head, the Yetzer Horoh grinding you down with the psychological hurt and embarrassment.

    He wants you to give, but G-d does not want you to give up. On the contrary he sent you the test to see how sincere you are.

    Now whatever level you go to in Judaism you will be tested and an attempt will be made to throw you down and out of Judaism. Why, because those are the rules of the game! If you want to have the special privilege of being a yid, learning Torah and doing Mitzvos, “to live in the palace”, you are going to have to fight to for that special right.

    Examine your thoughts, check that you are not being cheated, that it is just your imagination telling you things that are wrong.
    “How do I go back to being frum? ”
    – Say the verse Shema Yisroel every day with concentration.
    – Ask Hashem to get you out of your situation and back into Judaism. Speak to Him and ask him for forgiveness and almost giving up, and ask Him to help you.
    – Buy the Sefer Advice (Likutey Etzot) by Rabbi Nachman of Breslov (Author), Avraham Greenbaum (Translator), go through it slowly. It will help you!
    All the best

    #1852571
    KGN
    Participant

    1. You are part of the Jewish Nation, so being involved in the theological complications involving Catholicism is not allowed.

    2. You need to go to the communities that have more converts like Atlanta, GA. These places also have many Ba’al Teshuvah people.

    3. I am a Ba’al Teshuvah, and I found a way to “fit in” while still having a sense of self. However, Judaism, like any community, requires an understanding of one’s collective existence since no religion is individualistic (including Catholicism).

    4. Catholicism means “universal”. They are trained to accept converts, but that doesn’t mean they are on the our side. They are on their own side.

    5. Many people have converted and integrated into certain communities.

    6. Don’t be fooled by the “Hasidic Jews accept converts mentality” because they’re just following certain Mitzvos that there culture has. They might not be open to the stuff that many Yehudim are into. In fact, it might make sense for you to be in a Yeshivish or Kiruv-oriented Synagouge.

    #1852635
    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    Read the book from Rabbi Emanuel Feldman, Tales Out of the Shul from Atlanta, Georgia which is very amusing.

    #1861337

    1. As some have already pointed out, the story is somewhat strange.
    2. There’s been no response from the OP after starting the thread.
    3. The OP’s name is the username of a well-known person on another platform.
    4. On the other hand, the OP’s account was not created very recently.

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