Conversion Conversations: Antisemitism and the Conversion Process

One of the absolutely most terrifying first steps to take as a prospective convert is to contact a Rabbi. To me it was worse than cold calling, because unlike potential clients, there aren't thousands of other rabbis in your area. In my current living situation, there is only one synagogue in my local area (< 1 hr) and they don't even have a rabbi. In Indianapolis, there were just a handful of non-Messianic congregations in my city.So one thing you will definitely hear at some when you … [Read more...]

Conversion Conversation: Knowledge to Cram into your Noggin

Question: As a prospective convert, what knowledge do I need to know in order to convert to Judaism, at least as far as knowledge goes?My lay person answer: How much do you need to know at a bare minimum in order to have the knowledge side of conversion down depends on your chosen branch of Judaism and your desire to learn. That's a vague answer, but it's true. My reform Rabbi encouraged my desire for deep knowledge. Orthodox branches will have long knowledge requirements as well.If … [Read more...]

Why You Need a Jewish Bible

Note: This post is geared toward readers interested in conversion, however the points are valid no matter what your background is.  Introduction I finally gave away my Christian Bible earlier this year when we moved from Indiana to my husband's home in Illinois. It was a big study Bible, maybe three or four inches thick, with pretty gold on the edges and a mahogany leather cover. I gave it away because there was no room, but also because I was ready. It was time for it to go.Earlier this … [Read more...]

Why Do People Convert…to anything?

 "Why do you want to convert?"I sit at the table across from my mother-in-law, her face revealing a lively eagerness in what she thought would be my answer. She had things to say in response, and awaited my answer with visible excitement. Surely I had an answer she could refute! I responded that I was still in the process and that it was something I'd always longed to do. In turn, she joyfully expounded the virtues of the messianic principles found in Genesis as if they were self-evident. I q … [Read more...]

Interview with a “de-convert” from Christianity to Atheism

I want to remind any readers that I am interviewing because I feel that, despite any differences in belief, those of us who choose a different faith are alike. We long for a better fit, and we seek it out despite personal or professional costs.The first interview with someone who moved from one faith to another is…anonymous. Seriously. Here’s my interview with him, including why he feels that anonymity is required despite living in a “free” country.The Interview Questions:1) What w … [Read more...]

Hey Convert – I want to Speak with You

I am strongly interested in why people choose the faiths that they choose. Why do some stay with their birth faith, while others leave it? Why do some choose no faith at all (not necessarily atheism or agnosticism, but nothing), while others convert?These are the questions that I want to answer.So far, I have scheduled two interviews for this blog. One converted from one branch of Christianity to another, and the other went from fundamentalist/Evangelical Christianity to Atheism.If … [Read more...]

Is Interfaith Dialogue Worth The Trouble?

Interfaith dialogue is a mainstay of modern interfaith relations. It is touted as a way to bring communities together and find common ground. I'm not sure I could find many theists who would say, "Yeah, interfaith dialogue is a bad thing." No one says that, at least not openly. But is it true that interfaith dialogue is always helpful? Definition I guess we'd have to start with a definition of interfaith dialogue, right? Generally when I think of "interfaith dialogue", I think of a panel of … [Read more...]