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I am attracted to Jewish traditions and I want to convert. Can you help?

by Rabbi Shlomo Chein

  

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Question:

Shalom Rabbi,

I am sincerely interested in converting to Judaism. I have attended synagogues on many occasions, and am deeply touched by the tradition and the beauty of the language. May I please ask you for your guidance in this matter? Although I've looked up some information on the internet, I am not sure of the procedure. Your help is much appreciated.

Todah
Carol

Answer: 

Judaism has beautiful traditions and a very majestic language.

It also has a lot more, and not all of it is so "attractive".

It would be dishonest of me to answer your question before knowing for certain that you know what you are asking.

Do you know that if you become a Jew you will no longer be able to eat what you want, where you want, or when you want? And this restricted diet forbids a lot more than shellfish or pork. The diet only allows certain types/brands of meats, it doesn’t allow milk and meat together, and it requires that every product have a Kosher certification. 90% of the food in the supermarket will be off limits, and 99% of restaurants will be forbidden.

Do you know that you will not be allowed to do so much as turn a light on for the 24 hours from Friday sunset to Saturday after nightfall? No computer, cell phone, tv, shows, car etc?

Do you know that for about two weeks out of every month you won't be allowed to have physical intimacy with your husband? Not just no sex, but no kisses, hugs, or even holding hands?

Do you know that as a non-Jew there are 7 Divine Commandments which you must live by and upon their fulfillment you are promised a place in the world to come, but as a Jew you will have 613 commandments to abide to? If you became Jewish and fulfilled 200 out of 613 you would be in a worse situation than fulfilling just 7 as a non-Jew?

If you are aware of all this and still want to convert Judaism will be glad to welcome you. Contact a local orthodox rabbi, and see What is the process for conversion? and also Why should I choose an Orthodox conversion?


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Kosher
Literally means "fit." Commonly used to describe foods which are permitted by Jewish dietary laws, but is also used to describe religious articles (such as a Torah scroll or Sukkah) which meet the requirements of Jewish law.