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Old 08-07-2019, 09:04 AM
 
Location: The Port City is rising.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rachel NewYork View Post
Yes, I agree that when a rabbi attempts to dissuade a potential convert, it's initially out of kindness than anything else. Every rabbi that I've had the privilege of knowing has been an individual of amazing kindness and patience. This kindness in dissuading potential converts comes from an understanding of how important family is (or ought to be) to all of us and, if it appears that a person's religious conversion may alienate that person from his family, then the kindest thing to do is to dissuade the potential convert.
My understanding is that the traditional reason to dissuade, is because on becoming a Jew you now have obligations to hashem you did not have before. As a gentile you follow the 7 noachide laws, you "do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with thy G-d" and you are fine. After conversion, if you violate shabbos, kashrut, etc etc you are now a sinner, which you were not before. (note this is one reason many Conservative rabbis were reluctant to extend the obligation to time bound positive mitzvot to women - "given that most of the laity is not observant, we would be causing thousands of women to be in violation of positive halacha, who now are not")
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Old 08-07-2019, 09:05 AM
 
Location: The Port City is rising.
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Originally Posted by Rachel NewYork View Post
Yes, I agree that those who convert become retroactively Jewish. I just prefer to use the term "Jew by choice" where one would ordinarily be using the word "convert" when talking about the subject of conversion. The term "convert" has historically had negative connotations for us, as many Jews were forced into becoming Christian converts. There was no choice in the matter.

Even though Jews don't force anyone to convert to Judaism, I nevertheless like to stress the choice made by those who have become Jews, in contrast to what some other religions have done to Jews.
This
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Old 08-07-2019, 10:32 AM
 
694 posts, read 77,337 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brooklynborndad View Post
My understanding is that the traditional reason to dissuade, is because on becoming a Jew you now have obligations to hashem you did not have before. As a gentile you follow the 7 noachide laws, you "do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with thy G-d" and you are fine. After conversion, if you violate shabbos, kashrut, etc etc you are now a sinner, which you were not before. (note this is one reason many Conservative rabbis were reluctant to extend the obligation to time bound positive mitzvot to women - "given that most of the laity is not observant, we would be causing thousands of women to be in violation of positive halacha, who now are not")

That makes sense. Thanks for that explanation!
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Old 08-07-2019, 04:51 PM
 
Location: small Southern town balabusta
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Originally Posted by theflipflop View Post
Jew by choice? Is there such a thing? I think when someone goes through a proper conversion, they become retroactively Jewish and there’s no need to qualify what kind of Jew they are. They’re just Jewish.
Well, we feel compelled to hide it sometimes, which is difficult, because people have ways of asking questions. Then sonetimes we get tired of hiding it and pepper it into every conversation so people know. But your point is well taken.
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Old 08-07-2019, 05:42 PM
 
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Originally Posted by 1+1=5 View Post
Well, we feel compelled to hide it sometimes, which is difficult, because people have ways of asking questions. Then sonetimes we get tired of hiding it and pepper it into every conversation so people know. But your point is well taken.

Someday, Chana, you may feel like having a bas mitzvah and, if you should decide to do it, don't feel self-conscious about it. There are a lot of adult Jewish-born and adult Jews by choice who never had a bar/bas mitzvah and who learn that it's never too late to have one. You'll be in good company.
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Old Yesterday, 09:50 AM
 
Location: US
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theflipflop View Post
Jew by choice? Is there such a thing? I think when someone goes through a proper conversion, they become retroactively Jewish and there’s no need to qualify what kind of Jew they are. They’re just Jewish.
There ya go...
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Old Yesterday, 02:07 PM
 
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My favorite story tells of how all Jewish souls that ever have or ever will exist were all present at the foot of Mt Sinai to receive the Torah. Therefore there are no "converts", there are just Jewish souls, finding their way home.
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Old Yesterday, 02:14 PM
 
Location: US
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Originally Posted by Shalhevet View Post
My favorite story tells of how all Jewish souls that ever have or ever will exist were all present at the foot of Mt Sinai to receive the Torah. Therefore there are no "converts", there are just Jewish souls, finding their way home.
Out of the nations that HaShem offered the Torah to, only Israel responded with ‘we will do and we will hear’...The other nations asked what was in it first...But, in those nations there were those that wanted the Torah, but were drowned out by those that were yelling in rejection of the Torah, therefore, the way is open for them...
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Old Yesterday, 02:31 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Shalhevet View Post
My favorite story tells of how all Jewish souls that ever have or ever will exist were all present at the foot of Mt Sinai to receive the Torah. Therefore there are no "converts", there are just Jewish souls, finding their way home.

I love that beautiful story, too!

There is another story about Jewish converts that comes from Kabbalistic tradition – specifically from the Sefer Peliyah ("Book of G-d's Miracle"), which said that converts to Judaism were Jewish souls that had passed into the bodies of Gentiles upon reincarnation, and they so longed to return to their previous Jewish state of being that this is what drove them to convert to Judaism.

Last edited by Rachel NewYork; Yesterday at 02:41 PM..
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Old Yesterday, 02:38 PM
 
103 posts, read 17,647 times
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I love this!! I need a heart emoticon.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rachel NewYork View Post
I love that beautiful story, too!

There is another story about Jewish converts that comes from Kabbalistic tradition – specifically from the Sefer Peliyah ("Book of G-d's Miracle"), which said that converts to Judaism were Jewish souls that had passed into the bodies of Gentiles upon reincarnation, and they so longed to return to their previous Jewish state of being that this is what drove them to convert to Judaism.
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