Anonymous
Anonymous asked in Society & CultureReligion & Spirituality · 1 decade ago

Can I convert to Judaism?

Many generations ago, my family was Jewish. Now they are Christian. They have been Christian for hundreds of years now. Can I convert back to Judaism? Would I be considered the same as someone who has no history of it? I'm just looking for information on how this is viewed in the Jewish community. Thank you.

Update:

I'm not converting because my ancestors were Jewish. I'm merely mentioning it in order to see how I would be viewed in the Jewish community. I've thought of converting long before I know of my ancestry.

Update 2:

*knew*............

16 Answers

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  • 1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    Judaism accepts converts with open arms: So yes, if this is what you would like to do, you are welcome to convert to Judaism. Once someone converts, they are considered to have been Jewish from birth. You would be considered as Jewish as everyone else.

    It is important to stress that since conversion requires a complete change on beliefs, it is highly respected in the Jewish community (it is much harder to fully believe in something that is different from how you were raised).

    Also, take into account a few things: First and foremost, is that conversion is not an easy process. You would be taking on many rituals, giving up others and essentially changing your lifestyle forever. Secondly, it can take up to seven years in some cases before you actually get to convert.

    The reason for this is because Judaism wants to discourage spontaneous choices in this matter. One should know and understand every aspect of the laws they are agreeing to, and should have all their questions answered as they learn.

    You also need to ask yourself:

    Why do you want to be Jewish?

    Why does it appeal to you?

    Can you handle observing the commandments?

    What does it mean to be Jewish?

    etc..

    If you are convinced about knowing more, speak with your a local Rabbi at a synagogue. I would also suggest that you speak with a Rabbi from all three movements (Orthodox, Conservative, and Reform), in order to see if anything fits well with you.

    So, research a bit first, and then speak with your local Rabbi.

    Here are some Jewish informational sites, to help you learn a little bit more:

  • 1 decade ago

    Judaism welcomes converts. You would be treated with the same respect and - albeit cautious - friendship as any other prospective 'jew by choice'.

    Whether a person has any Jewish heritage or not doesn't make a difference; they will be treated the same regardless. Was the Jewish heritage via your mother's maternal line? If not, it won't actually count at all, because Judaism passes via the mother, always.

    You would be, as are all converts, seen as *totally* Jewish if you did go through a formal Orthodox conversion. For a Conservative or Reform conversion, while they are still thorough, Orthodox won't count you as Jewish.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    You would be welcome to convert to Judaism, if you so desired.

    I think you are asking how many generations your Jewish ancestry can go back without the need to convert. I believe (but I am not positive) that if your grandmother was Jewish and her daughter, (your mother) converted to another religion, you would still be considered Jewish. If your great grandmother was Jewish and your grandmother converted to another religion and your mother was raised outside of Judaism, you would then require a conversion to become Jewish.

    We are only concerned with the matriarchal line as the determination of who is or isn't Jewish is passed thru the mother to the child and not thru the father.

  • 1 decade ago

    Of course you can return to Judaism. We would be more than happy to have you back into the Jewish fold. ( :

    I have experience in this subject. My mother was Jewish and then she converted to Christianity when she married my dad. And I returned to Judaism out of personal conviction. (And I love it!)

    Most Rabbi's require returnee's to re-convert. (So it's important for you to study as much as you can about Judaism.)

    Although some Rabbi's are more lenient and will allow you to do teshuvah (which means repentance and give up your former religion). By doing this you should be able to come back into the community with no problem at all.

    I hope you won't run into any problems with your return to Judaism; I wish you luck on your journey into faith. ( :

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  • 1 decade ago

    The answer to this depends on who you ask. Conversion is handled differently by orthodox, conservative and reformed rabbis. The need for conversion would seem to be common to all three. I seriously doubt anyone without a Jewish mother would be considered a Jew under any other circumstances. Mind you, I'm a goy from Brooklyn, so what do I know?

  • 1 decade ago

    Yes, certainly you can convert. If you convert to Orthodox Judaism, you will be accepted as a Jew by ALL Jews. Orthodox Jews don't accept Conservative or Reform conversions, but that doesn't mean that you're not welcome in their community. It only means that you won't be given special privileges accorded Orthodox Jews.

    Visit several synagogues, ask questions, and choose the branch that suits you best.

    Talk to a rabbi!

    Read "A History of the Jews," by Paul Johnson. You will be VERY proud of your ancestors!

    .

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    answer: You don't convert back to Judaism - you would convert to Judaism and anyone can convert to Judaism, my friend.

    You would be welcomed as someone who has Jewish ancestors, just the same as anyone who doesn't. All are welcome to convert and all are welcome as full Jews once you convert.

    You would be welcome

    Determine which branch you'd like to convert to and find a synagogue near you. Talk with the rabbi, take an Into To Judaism class and begin the journey. It will take at least a year but its a beautiful religion

    Source(s): studying Judaism now
  • Feivel
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    You can concert of course. A Rabbi will often turn you away more than once to insure you are serious. Study and read. Learn with the Rabbi when he sees you are serious.

    If the Jewish lineage in your family is from your mother and her mother before her. You may be able to take it back far enough to prove you are Jewish and a formal conversion would not be necessary.

    At any rate, study and learn. There are many sites and many books to help you. There are many of us on YA who would also be willing to help you.

    Source(s): I am Jewish and my father is a Rabbi.
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    yes, contact your local rabbi or synagogue to get information. you may need to take some classes in order to have some knowledge of our religion, but there are many conversion processes so i cant say for sure what youll have to do. it also depends on if you wana convert to reform, conservative, or orthodox judaism. according to jewish text, converts are to be highly respected by people who are born jewish. this is because it is considered a holy thing to do to switch to the jewish faith of one's own choosing.

    Source(s): my father converted, so i know a bit. plus im jewish, so yeah. lol
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Of course you can, but conversion isn't a 1-2-3 process. This takes many years and much practice and study, so unless you really want to be prepared.

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