Conversion to any religion is an awesome decision demanding extensive soul-searching and thought. Changing one's faith has profound implications from Above and below.Couples who deem spirituality, worship and religious devotion of high importance, often endure much stress in choosing a common expression of faith. Strong-willed people with sound religious sentiments do not compromise easily, nor should they be compelled to do so.
It is far better to go through this "soul-searching" in the early stages of a relationship. Everyone, including any future children, will thank you for making the effort. Good communication and honesty are invaluable attributes in this endeavor.
Considering Conversion to Judaism
Perhaps you are married to a Jewish person and are considering conversion to Judaism. Your interest may stem from reading Jewish books or taking courses at college, from contact with Jewish friends, your love relationship with a Jew, an unfulfilled spiritual quest, an awareness of Jewish parentage or ancestry, or a positive image of the Jewish religion experienced at a synagogue or other social setting. Maybe you felt something very holy or inspiring in the chance performance of certain Mitzvot and perceive them as a welcome addition to your life.
You may be wondering: Have others who have chosen Judaism faced the same concerns and questions I have? Which types of concerns triggered the initial involvement of other "Jews By Choice?"
After polling hundreds of converts, we find the following motivations:
• Belief that Judaism is an attractive religion
• Feeling that God is leading them down this path
• Feeling that Jewish beliefs make sense
• Liking Jewish worship
• Liking the realism in Jewish practices
• Sense of spiritual or religious need
• Search for a better religious identity
• Concern for religious identity of children
• Desire for a Jewish wedding
• Desire to provide children with a coherent family tradition and religion
• Desire to share common faith and practice with partner
• Admiration of Jewish accomplishments in the face of adversity
• Desire to belong to a close community
• Desire to be part of an ancient heritage that has withstood the test of time.
• Feeling that Jews live meaningful and desirable lives
• Many Jewish friends
Although not every one of these categories may reflect your personal state of mind, perhaps some of them accurately portray your feelings and can help motivate you toward exploring a profound religious decision. Perhaps the most compelling reason to blaze your own path to a Jewish life is that stirrings within your soul incline you toward Judaism.
There is even a metaphysical theory about those who become "Jews by Choice" and that is, they have a Jewish soul that is striving to be revealed. Contemporary Jewish scholars have written on this phenomenon. Many people relate that for the longest time they've felt like they are essentially Jewish souls inhabiting Gentile bodies. Their eventual conversion to Judaism is simply a "homecoming" after a long absence.
How does one become Jewish?
The scope of this website limits our ability to address all facets of the vital issue of conversion. Briefly, conversion, according to traditional authorities, means a process of deep reflection and soul-searching on the part of the candidate to ascertain if adopting the lifestyle of Jewish commitment is truly for him/her. Technically, a non-Jew should not convert for the sake of convenience or simple conformity with the religion of one's spouse. Most people who have embarked on a course of authentic conversion have discovered a very real connection to God through performance of these life-enhancing Mitzvot. Far from being a hurdle to conversion, there are those who see them as the ultimate reward for the effort. Often, Jews by birth are envious of the enthusiastic way many converts adjust and matriculate into the fold of observant-Judaism.
Traditional Judaism views this as a question of objective reality. A non-Jew does or does not become Jewish by any particular procedure. This is in some ways analogous to the procedure by which a person becomes a naturalized citizen. Just as the oath of allegiance that the person takes to become a citizen is the end of a process, and only certain judges may administer that oath; so too, the Beit Din, formal acceptance of Mitzvot, immersion, and circumcision (if male) are the culmination of a process and may only be administered by certain rabbis. One should consult a traditional rabbi, or contact us, for further information about this process.
This completes the seven step path. We hope you will continue to explore other areas of the site using the panel to the left. Please contact us with any thoughts or concerns you may have.