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Old 05-29-2019, 02:22 PM
 
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Your reform conversion will not speed up a later Orthodox conversion. But I can’t see how the reform one hurts you? I’m sure you have read by now that reform/conservative conversions are not universally accepted as valid by other Jews? I’d think once your girls are out of the house entirely, you begin conversations (first with your husband) and then with an Orthodox rabbi to understand the unbelievable effort and commitment it takes to convert to Judaism.
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Old 05-29-2019, 03:27 PM
 
Location: US
28,691 posts, read 15,749,312 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TorahIsTimeless View Post
I am willing! I wasn't sure how that would be received here. Thank you for letting me know.
You’re welcome...I thought I’d throw that out there since your heart is set on Orthodox...
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Old 05-29-2019, 03:28 PM
 
Location: US
28,691 posts, read 15,749,312 times
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Originally Posted by theflipflop View Post
Your reform conversion will not speed up a later Orthodox conversion. But I can’t see how the reform one hurts you? I’m sure you have read by now that reform/conservative conversions are not universally accepted as valid by other Jews? I’d think once your girls are out of the house entirely, you begin conversations (first with your husband) and then with an Orthodox rabbi to understand the unbelievable effort and commitment it takes to convert to Judaism.
Oooh, I hope that JB doesn’t see this...
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Old 05-29-2019, 04:14 PM
 
16 posts, read 1,895 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theflipflop View Post
Your reform conversion will not speed up a later Orthodox conversion. But I can’t see how the reform one hurts you? I’m sure you have read by now that reform/conservative conversions are not universally accepted as valid by other Jews? I’d think once your girls are out of the house entirely, you begin conversations (first with your husband) and then with an Orthodox rabbi to understand the unbelievable effort and commitment it takes to convert to Judaism.
Actually, a reform conversion can, in some cases, speed up an orthodox conversion. I've read about it, and I've heard from two people in different states where this was the case. Of course, it varies by person and rabbi. But, someone who has already gone through a conversion process isn't starting from scratch. They have some knowledge and practice.

Because I want to convert orthodox and not reform, I have more knowledge and practice than someone aiming for a reform conversion and not intending to convert orthodox.

And because I have that knowledge, it makes it difficult for me to convert reform. I don't think it will hurt my chances for a later orthodox conversion, but I feel it hurts me spiritually not to be able to be with an orthodox community.

Whether the reform conversion helps my orthodox one along faster or not doesn't really matter. All that matters is that I get there.

My son and oldest daughter are moved out, so it's just my youngest at home now. She's 16. She's probably going to be home for a while yet. But I'm ok with that.

My husband and I plan to divorce so what he does is a non-issue for me. He isn't interested in converting orthodox. In fact, he's the reason my daughters chose not to.

We are not divorcing over Judaism. In fact, when I told my orthodox rabbi that I was planning to divorce him, the rabbi said that he would still sponsor me for conversion because I was divorcing my husband for reasons other than Judaism.

Yes, I am very aware of the effort and commitment it takes to convert to orthodox Judaism. I've already taken steps in that direction because that was the original plan for my entire family, not just me. We were working on that together before we ever contacted the orthodox rabbi. Then, when my family backed out, I remained in contact with the rabbi and even attended shul occaisonally.

Even when I convert orthodox, my conversion won't be accepted by some. I'm ok with that. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. I'm not converting orthodox to make anyone else happy. I'm doing it because it fulfills a longing inside of me. It makes me feel complete.
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Old 05-29-2019, 04:32 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Richard1965 View Post
You’re welcome...I thought I’d throw that out there since your heart is set on Orthodox...
To my thinking, there's no point in converting if you're not going to follow the Torah and take it seriously. You can do that just fine as a gentile.

Actually, you can follow the Torah as a gentile too. But, if you want to follow the Torah with other followers of Torah who take it as seriously as you do, you need orthodox Judaism for that.

I've never been to a conservative congregation, but reform just doesn't have anywhere near the same "feel" for me as going to the orthodox shul. However, Judaism at all levels has something to offer for someone.

There are, for example, many Christians (or Xians if you prefer), who are curious to learn more about Judaism. The classes offered at the reform synagogue are perfect for them and it helps create harmony between the two faiths.

Granted, those taking the reform classes will be learning about Judaism through the lense of reform, but it's a place where they are welcomed and can feel comfortable asking questions.

So, each sect has its place and purpose I guess. The majority of people flocking to Judaism aren't flocking to the orthodox shuls. I'm not one of the majority.
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Old 05-29-2019, 05:14 PM
 
Location: Long Island
1,754 posts, read 1,453,603 times
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Originally Posted by Richard1965 View Post
Oooh, I hope that JB doesn’t see this...
Why? He is correct that non-Orthodox conversions are not seen as universally valid. But, then again, not all Orthodox conversions are seen as universally valid either.

It's also true that it's not so clear-cut in the real world.
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Old 05-29-2019, 05:42 PM
 
1,352 posts, read 192,922 times
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Originally Posted by TorahIsTimeless View Post
Thank you Rachel NewYork. I very much want to live a traditional Jewish life.

I was at the orthodox shul a couple months ago and it was very hard. I loved being there so much. It's a sephardic synagogue.

When I walk into the orthodox synagogue, I sense holiness. But the reform synagogue feels more like a secular community center. It's just not for me.

I'm really depressed over this conversion. But, as I said, I will continue working toward an orthodox conversion. I'm trying to think positive!

Names. Well, I'll start with my youngest. She chose Yakira Shoshana - precious rose. It suits her perfectly.

My older daughter wants to use the Yiddish name Zelda. I asked the rabbi about it and he looked at me like I have 3 heads! I told my daughter she needs to come up with a Jewish name, not a Yiddish one. She's not happy about that.

Zelda is a video game character she likes. She's 23, is in college and works for a bank. I feel she should be a little more grown up about it. I think she will change it, she's just not happy about it. But I told her someday, when she's in her mid and later life, she may not like Zelda anymore. She disagreed, but what ever.

For my son, I'm thinking about Tovi Chaim (good life). It's my wish for him. I also wanted something he can pronounce.

My husband is thinking about Yonaton or Yochanon. He is trying to take the easy route and find something that means the same thing as his own name.

And then there's me. I wanted a name that expressed who I am and what I stand for. I've been thinking about names for about 7 years, and didn't find one that really clicked with me until just a few days ago.

My name will be Tziona Chayil. Zion (Jerusalem) Warrior. Or Zion Soldier. Or Zion is Able. It says it all. It's who I am to the very core. I'm a fighter. I don't quit. And I have zionist views, and I believe Jerusalem and Israel is worth fighting for.

It's also a nice way to quietly resist being a reform Jew. ;-)

I've thought about not converting reform. But I was the one who first found the Jewish path. I was the one who recruited my family into it. It's taken a long time for them to come this far. How can I abandon them? What does it say to them - especially my daughters, if I don't convert?

They would probably convert without me at this point, maybe, but then I wonder, too, how that will look to the congregation that has been so kind to us.

And if they didn't convert because I didn't, where does that leave us? I go orthodox alone down the line and my daughters lose their faith? I don't think I could bear that. I want us to share Judaism together - even if my Judaism isn't the same as theirs.

I know rabbis who will permit Yiddish names for liturgical purposes. But "Zelda" is one of those dated names, that a lot of people nowadays consider to be an "old lady name." Maybe that was the reason that your rabbi looked a little doubtful about it?

I love these name choices you gave: Yakira Shoshana, Tovi Chaim, and Tziona Chayil. Not so much the names Yonaton or Yochanon, though, as they're kind of obvious choices for Christians named "John."

Don't be depressed over your conversion to Reform instead of Orthodox. You are exactly where G-d intends you to be at this point in time. When you're ready, you'll become more traditional (and probably your children will, too), if that's what you really want eventually. Everyone starts with baby steps.
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Old 05-29-2019, 05:55 PM
 
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Yes, it seems like you have your priorities straight and you’re on your way. I wish the best on your journey.
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Old 05-29-2019, 06:45 PM
 
487 posts, read 148,623 times
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Originally Posted by TorahIsTimeless View Post
Even when I convert orthodox, my conversion won't be accepted by some. I'm ok with that. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. I'm not converting orthodox to make anyone else happy. I'm doing it because it fulfills a longing inside of me. It makes me feel complete.
By whom? Anyone who matters? If so, it's news to me, not that I am any kind of expert.

Best wishes on your long journey.
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Old 05-30-2019, 02:27 AM
 
16 posts, read 1,895 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rachel NewYork View Post
I know rabbis who will permit Yiddish names for liturgical purposes. But "Zelda" is one of those dated names, that a lot of people nowadays consider to be an "old lady name." Maybe that was the reason that your rabbi looked a little doubtful about it?

I love these name choices you gave: Yakira Shoshana, Tovi Chaim, and Tziona Chayil. Not so much the names Yonaton or Yochanon, though, as they're kind of obvious choices for Christians named "John."

Don't be depressed over your conversion to Reform instead of Orthodox. You are exactly where G-d intends you to be at this point in time. When you're ready, you'll become more traditional (and probably your children will, too), if that's what you really want eventually. Everyone starts with baby steps.
Thank you Rachel NewYork, for your kind and encouraging words.

I agree with you on the name Yochanon/Yonaton. He isn't 100% set on it and I've been trying to talk him into something else. In the end he can do what he wants. It doesn't really matter to me.

We had our final class tonight. I talked with the rabbi afterward and asked who is on the beit din. He said himself, the cantor, and another rabbi. Sounds great, except the cantor is gay and the other rabbi is a woman (she's a reconstructionist rabbi I haven't met, and I don't know anything about her).

I can't help it. I have problems with this. Big problems. Everything in me is telling me not to do this. It doesn't feel right for me.

And let's not even talk about what that might mean for the mikveh.

On the way home after class I talked to my 16 year old daughter and asked her how she would feel if I didn't convert with her and the rest of the family. She said she would convert anyway, and she and my other daughter don't too much care what I do because they know I plan to leave that synagogue as soon as I can. Ouch.

I told her that her dad will probably be a member there, and that there's really nothing I can do there as a member than I can't do now. She replied, "You can't be called to the Torah." I replied that not being called to the Torah doesn't bother me, since that would never happen in an orthodox shul anyway.

"I guess I'll just do my bat mitzvah with my sister," she responded. That was heart breaking. The three of us were going to do it together. And I don't know if I'll get a chance to do it in the orthodox shul or not. I'm certainly not 12. Even if I could, it wouldn't be the same as doing it together. I probably wouldn't do it.

I wonder if I can request they use another person on the beit din instead of the cantor. But then, I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings. The rabbi knows I want to convert orthodox. He knows my views. We meet with him Friday. I will talk to him.

I also don't want to hurt my daughters. I think my younger daughter would be more hurt than she let on tonight. She asked me later, "so, what are you going to do? Are you going to convert?" She's worried now. I can tell. I told her I would talk to the rabbi and go from there.
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