January 25, 2017 8:35 pm at 8:35 pm #619091
Thank you for reading this, and any output in this subject is welcomed and appreciated. Any criticism will be also taken into regard as it is crucially important to me at this moment.
Maybe Hashem bless all of you!January 25, 2017 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm #1213113besalelParticipant
Litvos – you obviously have a very special soul. You will meet a very wide variety of posters on sites such as this one – from the very learned and intellectual to the simple and uneducated and everything in between. A topic as important as this one should probably be first discussed with a trusted orthodox rabbi specializing in conversions. after laying down some roots with the assistance of such a rabbi it may not be harmful to seek output and criticism on a board such as this one.January 25, 2017 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm #1213114Geordie613Participant
If you’re in Hungary, I suggest you look up Rabbi Oberlander in Budapest.January 25, 2017 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm #1213115
Thank you for the kind reply, besalel. I will try to contact the rabbi of the local synagogue tomorrow and speak to him about the conversion courses that begin in February. You have a right, we should be careful in our approach to forum-based web-sites, where verious types of people express various opinions. I have so much to learn and I think this website and its user base is just a great way to approach ‘Jewish-minded’ people and connect with Jews around the world about what their thoughts are.
B’shalomJanuary 26, 2017 12:16 am at 12:16 am #1213116zahavasdadParticipant
If you are interested in conversion, it is recommend that you move to a community with orthodox jews.
You might have to move to another country as I think the Bulgarian jewish community is very small. Budapest has one of the largest jewish communies left in Europe so that would be an optionJanuary 29, 2017 3:23 am at 3:23 am #1213117
You may be able to get a rabbi to teach you via Skype or Facetime for now.
Though, I know that isn’t the same as the real life experience.
Isn’t there a rule about practing mitzvot before conversion? I don’t know why the first three posters didn’t sway you not to convert.
Just in case, here goes:
Why be Jewish? Yes so you may feel connected to Judaism. So what. A lot of good Noahides feel this way. You can be a perfectly good person without becoming Jewish. Just observe the 7 Noahide Laws.
Being Jewish is joining a minority that much of the world cannot stand. You could be a victim of terror or a hate crime just for being Jewish. Why would anyone do that, seriously?
Are you sure that you really want to do this? Maybe take some time to think about it. You have your entire life to convert. It also affects relationships with family members, friends, and significant others.
Please think this through another time. You may realize this isn’t for you.
All the best.January 29, 2017 3:26 am at 3:26 am #1213118
Okay, next two posters, it’s your turn ~ you know what I’m talking aboutJanuary 29, 2017 3:31 am at 3:31 am #1213119
Litvos: I promise I’m not being mean. Maybe you know what I’m talking about. If not, you will see it soon.January 29, 2017 7:11 pm at 7:11 pm #1213120baisyaakovliberalParticipant
As someone that is the child of a convert in the orthodox Jewish community, I would advise you to think critically before you commit to converting. Although my mother made the right decision for herself, I can see that she struggled with culture shock. There are many wonderful people in our community, but there will be those that judge you because of your status. Depending on what type of community you see yourself in, you and your children can experience prejudice. When I was younger, I didn’t get into a judgmental type of school most probably because of my mother’s background. If you’re familiar at all with the way most orthodox Jews get married, know that some people may not want to date your children because of where you come from.
In no way is this post intended to put down the orthodox Jewish community. I’d like to reiterate that there are so many amazing people within it, and the bulk of them will admire you for your conversion. However, I do want you to know that once you convert, that doesn’t necessarily translate into unconditional acceptance from everyone.January 29, 2017 8:27 pm at 8:27 pm #1213121
What I like about this forum-based website is the encouragement to make people think. No just think, but to re-think the thoughts you have. It does remind me of the stories of Chassidim rebbes from 19th century trying to discourage and turn away potential converts as to test their actual intention to become part of G-d’s chosen nation, the children of Israel.January 29, 2017 8:36 pm at 8:36 pm #1213122
I have read plenty of history about many cases of Reform and other liberal denominations being denied Israeli citizenship on the grounds of being non-Jewish and rejecting their conversions as unauthentic by the Orthodox Chief Rabbinate. Regardless, I have carefully thought about my case for more than two years and just recently has G-d shown me that my intentions were right. Just like Moses and the children of Israel wandered for 40 years in the desert before they were given what G-d promised them, thus I am being given what G-d wanted me to have – Judaism as my way of life.January 29, 2017 8:45 pm at 8:45 pm #1213123
Traditionally, someone who wants to convert is pushed away three times. I think by rabbis. But anyway, so I took a shot at being the first poster here.
You don’t need to convince me or prove yourself. You are welcome.
Btw I have heard different explanations for why the potential convert is pushed away three times.
One belief is that if he/she has dormant Jewish soul, then that nudging back awakens it and only a Jewish neshamah would still go through with it in the end.January 29, 2017 8:47 pm at 8:47 pm #1213124
baisyaakovliberal, thank you for sharing ?January 29, 2017 9:02 pm at 9:02 pm #1213125zahavasdadParticipant
Reform and Conservative convertions are allowed to make Aliyah, HOWEVER they are not registered as jews and not allowed to marry other jewsJanuary 29, 2017 9:13 pm at 9:13 pm #1213126
Today Rabbi Yitzchok Fingerer’s posted a shiur about converts on Torah Anytime:
“Who is a Real Convert? How Does this Effect us?”January 29, 2017 9:22 pm at 9:22 pm #1213127
I think you might be right, now that I decided to check on Chabad. I remember I read about the turning away in a book I bought from the synagogue written by a Sephardic rabbi who explained many things Sephadic and Ashkenazi rabbis did. Great contribution, lightbrite! It is an honor to speak to someone who dives deeper in the Jewish thought.January 29, 2017 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm #1213128
ZD: Really? Wow. I know a Conservative rabbi who told me that her pupil made aliyah and the rabbi is on their list of people to accept. I thought that mean that her pupil was considered Jewish.
Where do I look this stuff up?January 30, 2017 7:19 am at 7:19 am #1213129WinnieThePoohParticipant
The Israeli rabbinate is very particular in whose conversions they accept. There are Orthodox batei din (religious courts) outside of Israel that are not recognized as well. For that reason there are converts who will get converted by an Israeli Beis Din so that they do not run into problems later on.
Litvos, there are two issues that are under discussion here- first is whether the conversion is halachically accepted, i.e. a proper conversion by Jewish law. Conservative and reform Judaism has rejected much of Jewish law and do not follow the Torah; therefore their conversions would not be considered valid by Jewish law, which requires the convert to accept all of the Torah and its commandments.
The second factor that BaisYaakovLiberal brought up is a sociological acceptance once properly converted. She wanted you to be aware that the Orthodox community is often very insular, and often encourages people to be exactly the same. It’s a way to protect the community from outside influences and preserve our Heritage and moral way of life. But the downside is that people who don’t fit the mold can be excluded or otherwise feel that they are not accepted. A convert, or his children, may very well be affected by this. If you go through with your plan, you should speak with other converts and carefully chose the community that you want to live in.January 31, 2017 9:41 pm at 9:41 pm #1213130yytzParticipant
LB: ZD is right. The Rabbanut only accepts Orthodox conversions, and generally only ones from a certain list.
Litvos: Welcome to the Coffee Room, and I wish you success with your spiritual journey, wherever it leads you. Gerus is often a long process and can be very difficult. Have faith that if it is indeed the right thing for you to convert, Hashem will allow it to happen at the right time. Of course, your own efforts and determination will also make a big difference.
It’s true that some gerim or their children experience discrimination or lack of acceptance, but this doesn’t happen to everyone and depends very much on the community. I personally know gerim who have never experienced discrimination after converting. Gerim often (not always) end up marrying other gerim or Baalei Teshuvah but this is to be expected, as they tend to have more in common.January 31, 2017 11:43 pm at 11:43 pm #1213131
Thank you very much for the heads up, yytz!
May Hashem bless you!February 1, 2017 7:31 am at 7:31 am #1213132WinnieThePoohParticipant
NYC would be a great move for you to grow religiously. The orthodox community there is of course quite large and varied. You should be able to find something that fits your needs. Good luck.February 1, 2017 5:46 pm at 5:46 pm #1213133Lilmod UlelamaidParticipant
I know a Giyores who was specifically told by the Rabbanim who converted her that she had to move from Manhattan to Brooklyn first and live there for a certain amount of time so that she could be exposed to mainstream Orthodoxy before she converted.
While WTP may be right that you should choose your community carefully once you convert, you should also choose your community carefully before you convert, and the considerations may be different.
After you convert, you may want to look for a community that is more accepting and open. Before you convert, your emphasis should be on exposure to the mainstream Orthodox community. Even if it is a bit more right-wing than you may choose to become once you convert, it might be good to have some exposure to it now.
Of course, those two “types” of communities (openminded & accepting vs.mainstream) could coincide in any case.
It sounds like you may not have a choice right now anyhow, but it would probably be a good idea to visit other communities for Shabbos, etc. in order to get a broader picture of the Orthodox world (which is confusing enough even for those who were born into it!).
Hatzlacha! It’s a big step to take, and kol hakavod for choosing it. I hope you find a wonderful community to grow and learn in.
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