Here is a fascinating article on how some poor black families inCairo, IL, have converted to Judaism. Strangely missing, though, are interviews from the converts about why they did so. This is an example too of the clash between two views of religion: is it a matter of identity or belief? Most of these new Jews were formerly Baptists, who seem to be bringing that conversion mentality to a religion that is normally understood by its adherents as an ethnic identity. (The reporters don’t delve into that either, with no interviews of the rabbis who brought them into the religion. Nor is there much on HOW one converts to Judaism–a membership class? subscription to a set of beliefs? how about circumcision?–beyond a ritual bath, which probably has historic ties, unremarked on, to Christian baptism.)
About Gene Veith
Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.