Pushing off Geirim

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    I see I’m already too late to post on this thread — it’s descended into dissections of davening nusach and Broadway shows — but I felt I had to respond to a couple of earlier comments. I post here as ger tzedek 15 years in.

    Popa_bar_abba: I almost always enjoy your posts and laughed out loud at “There’s one weird guy in every room. If you can’t find him, it’s you.” I can always tell right away that I’m the weirdest guy in any room I walk into, doesn’t matter where.

    I have to admit I’m still struggling to understand why Chazal were mesakein that geirus should continue through all the doros of the galus. I’ve heard some of the kabbalistic reasons for it, I’ve heard the inyan that even the neshamos of the geirim were at Har Sinai, and I guess al pi seichel I can maybe understand how Hashem would want to give individual goyim the chance to be shomer Torah umitzvos. And I have to admit that my life has seen many immeasurable improvements since I was misgayer, and I shep a lot of yiddishe nachas from my kids.

    But I still struggle with the question as to whether geirus, on balance, is a good thing. I think a lot of people — both born Jews and geirim — misunderstand and misapply the mitzvah of ahavas geirim. And I think there’s just too much pain involved.

    I will forever be haunted by the question my oldest son asked at his seudas bar mitzvah, after he had already been to friends’ bar mitzvahs: “How come nobody’s here?”


    edited. Interesting, look at R’ Moshe Shmuel Shapiras ??????? ??????? on ?????? ?”?.


    A drop of kavod please, see if you can spare it.


    RebDoniel: You seem like a serious, thoughtful person, just like many serious, thoughtful people I’ve met in many walks of life. My own journey took me through just about every sector that can be remotely called Jewish. And I’ve met many wonderful Modern Orthodox people.

    I just have to say, regarding your comment that geirim should avoid the chareidi world at all costs, that with me it doesn’t wash. I’ve certainly experienced bigotry and condescension in the chareidi world — but I’ve also experienced it with Jews who are Reform, Conservative, and Modern Orthodox. No stream is immune.

    And most geirim are where they are because they’re seekers after truth. Not that there are no truth-seekers among the Modern Orthodox, and not that there are only truth-seekers among the chareidim. But a geir has already abandoned his family, his friends, his upbringing, and his whole way of thinking; why would he then want to sit at a Shabbos table where people are discussing movies and Immanuel Kant? Most of the geirim I know — and I know several dozen — have gravitated toward chareidi streams because they find more people with whom they share a basic outlook. And given that no one’s perfect, and they would likely experience rejection at some point wherever they go, most of them are willing to put up with a few stings from the group they feel most akin to.


    I was a prospective ger and my motives were complicated.

    1) Bible study like a typical guy in the South.

    2) Internet search on Bible terms yields Aish haTorah which I regular read and which continues for years even now a little bit.

    3) I leave the south and interact with Jews in business and social scenarios unlike my experience in the south.

    2) and 3) get twisted and mixed up. Though I’m a goy; notions Aish.com Jew directed memes like ‘marry Jewish’ creep into my thinking.

    4) I meet a Jewish girl I start crushing on.

    5) I start weighing the Bible, Aish, etc., ‘believe in ridiculous or go to hell meme’ v. Judaism.

    6) I renounce ridiculous.

    7) I look to convert; but I’m confused myself what my motives are: is it for social ramification like possible employment and marriage prospects? Or is it because of the Torah?

    8) Was I sincere about wanting to marry a nice Jewish girl. Probably. Was I sincere about kiddush haShem. Probably not.


    YMI, perhaps you can share some of the things that sting most. People are often unaware of what hurts. I doubt you are talking about people outright poking fun of the fact that you are a Ger.

    There is probably a lot of miscommunication. Many Geirim are embarrassed about their status and try not to bring it up, while many people actually mention it out of feeling of awe and admiration. Many Yidden think to themselves and wonder if they would have had the courage to be Megayer and had they not been brought up with Emuna, would they be believe in anything past science.

    The beingjewish website addresses the experiences one might encounter when coming to a Shul, and helps put things in perspective. Instead of viewing the guy staring at you as a representative of his community, you can view him as the guy that wasn’t thrown out.



    “It is certainly much harder to be a charedi convert than a modern convert. The change is more significant.”

    Are you saying that Modern Orthodox is closer to being not Jewish? And that is what a Ger Tzeddek is looking for????

    “One could certainly be a sincere convert and decide they dont want a beard , Peyos or wear a Bechasha and a streimel.”

    Chareidim make someone grow a beard ror put on a shtreimel? And can you please tell me what on earth a “Bechasha” is?

    “Also more Charedi communities might encourage the convert to cut off ties to non-jewish relatives (including parents and siblings) where the more modern might not.”

    You know what “assume” means. Leave me out of it.

    This rost of yours is worthy of an award.

    To YMIhere,

    I think your post was exceptional. Kol Hakovod.

    I embarrased of the other comments.


    To whichever Mod edited my post before – I did not mean that; it would be a troll post to put that in English here for those with possibly more open minds. Chas VeShalom I was not insulting anything R’ Moshe Shmuel zt”l wrote, nor did I mean any disrespect whatsoever; in fact I think it is an amazing shtickel.

    But for that to be posted here, in plain English, would have disastrous consequences.

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