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Old 10-26-2013, 05:17 PM
 
28 posts, read 23,956 times
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I'll do my best to make this as concise as possible.
I'm currently 18, and have for a while been facing a spiritual crisis, and I have this strong attraction towards Judaism. I was raised in quite a liberal Catholic household, with some Jewish ancestry on my father's side. From around 11 I started to doubt the claims of Christianity, particularly the status of Jesus, and vicarious redemption. In hindsight, I was foolish to turn to atheism as it made my situation worse. My sister, since living memory has always been interested in Judaism, in reality she's the epitome of a Philo-semite. She studied Biblical Hebrew for a year at university, was very active within the Jewish community there, and at one point contemplated converting but put it on hold. This has likely contributed to my subsequent interest in the religion. I've started to read more and more on the topic,besides watching videos about it ( such as JewishHistoryDotOrg), this includes The Dummy's Guide to Judaism, and more controversial pieces( The Modern Guide to Judaism, by Shumley Boatech). And there seems to be a deep resonation within me that makes me want to become Jewish and please Hashem. The sheer compassion and logic contained within Judaism especially appeals to me. During the recent holidays, I volunteered for a Jewish charity in London, in addition to learning Basic Hebrew, and it just seems to fit me perfectly. I have a particularly affinity towards Reform Judaism,partly due to its more welcoming approach, and more pragmatic attitude to the Mitzvot. But I'm scared I'll be turned away due to my young age, even though my parents seem to be somewhat supportive. I'm going to university next year which is another factor. Is there anything I can do to settle my nerves until the time is right for me to approach a rabbi?
Todah raba in advance
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Old 10-26-2013, 07:14 PM
 
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Quote:
I have a particularly affinity towards Reform Judaism,partly due to its more welcoming approach, and more pragmatic attitude to the Mitzvot. But I'm scared I'll be turned away due to my young age, even though my parents seem to be somewhat supportive. I'm going to university next year which is another factor. Is there anything I can do to settle my nerves until the time is right for me to approach a rabbi?
Have you tried sticking to the Noachide laws?
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Old 10-26-2013, 08:02 PM
 
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In all fairness, I think two things you should know:

All branches of Judaism will likely accept you if you are indeed sincere in your desire to convert. But you should also know, if you convert in a Reform shul, you will not be considered Jewish by the Torah, nor will you be considered Jewish by all Jews. The Torah will tell you that you must accept all 613 mitzvos and observe them in order to be fully accepted as a Jew.

I like the suggestion in the post above for you. If you have no intention of becoming fully Torah and mitzva observant, you're much better off becoming a Noahide than converting in a Reform or Conservative shul. Best of luck on this important decision.
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Old 10-26-2013, 08:05 PM
 
Location: Eretz Yisrael
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Do you even know what a Gerrer Hasid is?

http://www.yivoencyclopedia.org/article.aspx/Ger_Hasidic_Dynasty
http://failedmessiah.typepad.com/failed_messiahcom/2012/02/gerrer-hasidim-and-sex-345.html

You may want to re-think wanting to join the sect of Hasids.
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Old 10-27-2013, 04:57 AM
 
28 posts, read 23,956 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pruzhany View Post
Do you even know what a Gerrer Hasid is?

http://www.yivoencyclopedia.org/article.aspx/Ger_Hasidic_Dynasty
http://failedmessiah.typepad.com/failed_messiahcom/2012/02/gerrer-hasidim-and-sex-345.html



You may want to re-think wanting to join the sect of Hasids.
I know little about the Hasidim: they emphasise a more spiritual and esoteric reading of the Torah, which is why they tend to promote Kabbalah, and Midrash. But why the suggestion?
Quote:
Originally Posted by theflipflop View Post
In all fairness, I think two things you should know:

All branches of Judaism will likely accept you if you are indeed sincere in your desire to convert. But you should also know, if you convert in a Reform shul, you will not be considered Jewish by the Torah, nor will you be considered Jewish by all Jews. The Torah will tell you that you must accept all 613 mitzvos and observe them in order to be fully accepted as a Jew.

I like the suggestion in the post above for you. If you have no intention of becoming fully Torah and mitzva observant, you're much better off becoming a Noahide than converting in a Reform or Conservative shul. Best of luck on this important decision.
I'm aware that only an Orthodox conversion is recognised universally, hence your objections. But as I mentioned being a B'nei Noah just doesn't seem to help me spiritually.
Quote:
Originally Posted by iwishiwerethin View Post
Have you tried sticking to the Noachide laws?
I try and do my best to stick to the 7 Stipulations, but they just seem to be spiritually absent for me, even though it does provide a structure for the other nations, which in a way is what prompted me towards thinking of converting. But you're right, I should adhere to it more rigorously to see what happens.
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Old 10-27-2013, 08:33 AM
 
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Do I inderstand this right? You don't feel terribly connected to the 7 laws given to the nations of the world, and now you want to upgrade to 613 that will be required of you? I'm not sure I understand.
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Old 10-27-2013, 08:59 AM
 
28 posts, read 23,956 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theflipflop View Post
Do I inderstand this right? You don't feel terribly connected to the 7 laws given to the nations of the world, and now you want to upgrade to 613 that will be required of you? I'm not sure I understand.
It's not that I don't feel connected, it's just that I really don't get a sense of spiritual fulfillment out of doing so. Something's lacking I feel.I know I probably sound quite foolish, but these are my true feelings. Now regarding the 613 Mitzvot,the obligations are a lot greater, however, Reform Judaism which I am more attracted to takes a more lenient approach
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Old 10-27-2013, 09:09 AM
 
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Quote:
Now regarding the 613 Mitzvot,the obligations are a lot greater, however, Reform Judaism which I am more attracted to takes a more lenient approach
With all due respect, judging by this statement, it's quite apparent that you haven't even touched the surface of Judaism.

Since you're not attracted to the mitzvos themselves (and that's understandable), what is it exactly that is attracting you?
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Old 10-27-2013, 10:50 AM
 
28 posts, read 23,956 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iwishiwerethin View Post
With all due respect, judging by this statement, it's quite apparent that you haven't even touched the surface of Judaism.

Since you're not attracted to the mitzvos themselves (and that's understandable), what is it exactly that is attracting you?
How so? The Reform movement does believe in the Torah as being the foundation of the religion, but it regards the Halacha and the Mitzvot as being adjustable to circumstances, and so ever changing
Judaism seemingly has a set of clear and logical beliefs, that I find absent in other religions.One is seemingly able to reconcile rationality with, for example, Judaism's strong emphasis on education, to not just better oneself but also the world as a whole. This also links in with the very welcoming and compassionate approach to strangers, a trait reminiscent of the exile. I just feel it provides a more direct communication with G-D, I never really felt at home with Christianity which focused more on death and the infallibility of Man. I've been to my local synagogue a few times and I feel a lot more comfortable there,than in a church or chapel. It's a feeling that's quite hard to describe.Judaism seems to take a more empathetic approach to human affairs. From my perspective, and I'm probably wrong the religion views People as having the potential to create both good and evil in the world,and that free will can also be a a more tenable position than say the idea that man is inherently corrupt, without salvation.

Last edited by rab123456; 10-27-2013 at 11:38 AM..
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Old 10-27-2013, 11:41 AM
 
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Looks like you've done your homework. Best of luck to you. Let me know if I can answer any questions you might have.
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