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I'm in love with a non-Jewish guy - is conversion an option?

by Rabbi Dovid Dubov

  

Library » Jewish Identity » Conversion | Subscribe | What is RSS?


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Conversion is serious business. Ask yourself a serious question: Is the conversion being carried out from a true desire to become Jewish, independent of any impending partnership, or is it a token conversion, done to please a potential spouse or his/her parent?

A serious conversion can take years and involves serious changes in lifestyle and conduct.

To go through the motions of a ceremonial conversion without an authentic desire to convert to the Jewish way of life is obviously no real solution. A true conversion has to be such as to transform a non-Jew into a Jew, a transformation that is essentially supernatural. It must begin from a sincere will deep within and result with the divine will of the one above. Such a conversion can only be carried out in strict accordance with Halachah; anything less is really not anything at all.

The Halachah is very clear in its insistence that the would-be convert honestly, wholeheartedly and unconditionally accepts all the mitzvahs. Accepting all but one of the mitzvahs automatically invalidates the conversion, and the non-Jew remains a non-Jew exactly as before. Of course, it is possible to mislead a rabbi or a Rabbinic Court by declaring one’s readiness to accept all the mitzvahs, but one cannot mislead the Creator who is the One who implements this transformation.

Needless to say, there is no point in fooling oneself either1 

A word of caution is called for here: within the Jewish community today one has the choice to convert in either an Orthodox (i.e. Halachic) or in a Progressive establishment. It should be known that an Orthodox conversion is accepted in all Jewish circles, whereas a Progressive conversion is only accepted in that particular movement, or in a movement more progressive than that. In other words, when converting in a Progressive establishment, one’s Jewish identity is not universally recognized.

An Orthodox conversion is analogous to the longer-shorter way. It may be arduous and take a longer time but it is the shortest way to universal recognition. A Progressive conversion may be relatively easy but, in the final analysis, it is a very long route, for the end result is not recognised. It is a source of great shock to many children who find out that, since their parents underwent Progressive conversions, the Orthodox establishment does not consider them to be Jewish.

For an in depth explanation of the differences between conversions see www.whoisajew.com and also read about Why should I choose an Orthodox conversion?

Footnotes

  • 1. See "A non-Jew’s perspective of intermarriage" (http://www.askmoses.com/en/article/194,2137095/Im-in-love-with-a-non-Jewish-guy-is-conversion-an-option.html)

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Halachah
Jewish Law. All halachah which is applicable today is found in the Code of Jewish Law.
Halachic
Pertaining to Jewish Law.