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...]

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...]

Community – What Online Conversion Lacks

There seems to be a proliferation of "convert to Judaism" online websites lately. I'm not sure why this is, although it does seem fueled by demand. Judaism is attractive to a lot of people and the internet helps would-be converts find resources and Rabbis. It's a cool thing, really. That should say a lot about the power of Judaism to bring people to the faith without actually proselytizing.Here are just some sites where you can convert online, at least up to the Beit Din and Mikveh … [Read more...]

The Things You’d Never Have Told Ruth

Nearly everyone who has read the Bible has heard of the story of Ruth. It's a lovely story, and has a good narrative. Ruth's story is both a romance and the epitome of the convert's story. The story goes like this:Naomi has a husband and two sons. They move out of Israel for better economic conditions.Her sons marry non-Jewish women.Her sons and her husband all pass away. The sons and their new wives don't yet have children.Naomi decides to return home to Israel. She tells both … [Read more...]

How Long Does Conversion to Judaism Take?

Image source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:RoyLindmanDavidsStarAriAshkenaziSynagogue.jpg One question I get asked frequently is, "How long does it take to convert to Judaism?"Lately, the conversation has gone something like this: Them: You converted to Judaism, right?Me: Actually, I'm still in the process.Them: Really? How long does that take?Me: As long as it takes.Them: *blink*Me: Um...somewhere around a year or two. Or until I'm ready.... That … [Read more...]

Spiritual Baggage, plus Advice for Visiting Synagogues

Spiritual baggage. We all have it, whether we’ve stayed in our birth religion or if we’ve left it like a bad ex. Like relationship baggage, it tints all new spiritual experiences. We can’t help but compare new experiences, rituals, and beliefs to old ones. It’s a part of how we think, really. We relate one idea to another, and then form new ideas.Christianity, especially the more fundamental or conservative branches, seems to cause some hefty spiritual baggage for individuals, at least here i … [Read more...]


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