Converting To Judaism?
Hello, what would it take for me to convert to Judaism?
Thanks very much.
- Anonymous1 decade agoFavorite Answer
Answer: determine which branch of Judaism is calling to you – Orthodox, Conservative, Reconstructionist or Reform. Find a synagogue of that branch near you and talk with the rabbi.
Typically, there is an Intro to Judaism class that can last 16 lessons (with a break in the winter or spring, depending on when the class starts). During that time you’ll be expected to attend Shabbat services and holiday observances at the synagogue and bringing more and more of the mitzvot (commandments) into your life, moving closer and closer to living life as a Jew.
After the class you’ll work one-on-one with the rabbi or an elder on any areas you might need more study. When the rabbi considers you are ready, you will be referred to a rabbinical court (who aren’t out to sink anyone). They determine if the candidate understands enough about Judaism and is living life as a Jew (except for saying the blessings on Shabbat).
If the candidate is male and approved, they will have to been circumcised or a ritual drop of blood drawn from the genitals (with appropriate numbing agent applied). Men and women converts then go to a mikvah, a ritual immersion in water with appropriate prayers. When one emerges, they are considered 100% Jewish.
Now, the different branches don’t all recognize conversions by other branches (much like some Christian denominations don’t consider other denominations as REAL Christians).
Orthodox – recognize only Orthodox conversions.
Conservative – recognize Conservative and Orthodox conversions
Reconstructionist – recognize all conversions
Reform – recognize all conversions.
The State of Israel recognizes all conversions as legitimate but only Orthodox Jews can marry in Israel or be buried in a Jewish cemetery. Non-Orthodox go to Cyprus, get married and their marriage is then recognized in Israel.
Orthodox = 2 – 3 years to convert
Conservative = 2 – 2 1/2 years
Reconstructionist – 2 – 2 1/2 years
Reform – 1 – 1 1/2 years
Side note: “Messianic Jews” are NOT Jewish and are NOT accepted in any branch of Judaism. They are Christian sects with Christian beliefs and some are intentionally deceptive in their attempts to convert Jews. “Messianics” are NOT recognized as Jewish by any Jewish branch nor by Israel nor by the US military. They are Christians despite calling their churches synagogues and their ministers “rabbis”
Recommended books: The Complete Idiot's Guide to Understanding Judaism (a real book by a rabbi); Choosing Judaism; Living Judaism; Jewish Literacy; What is Special about Judaism; What is a Jew; The Jewish Home (Amazon.com used books is a great resource - odds are these or most of these will be required in your class and the synagogue can order them for you)
D Aravah, Jew by Choice
- AprilLv 44 years ago
I haven't converted yet, but I plan to in the next few years. I'm really excited, and I can't wait until I'm able too. I wish you the best of luck in your learning. Edit: If you believe that Jesus was the Messiah or had any influence in Judaism, you can't be a Jew. Jews that believe in Jesus are no longer Jews, they're Christians.
- 1 decade ago
D Aravah's answer (the first one) is very good. From the books he/she recommended, I can recommend Jewish Literacy, it is an excellent book.
Here are some books that I think are very worthwhile: http://www.torahandisrael.com/recommended_reading....
(I made the site that page is from.)
Also, here is a good selection of articles:
(Although, I must admit that I may be biased being that I selected them.)
Also, keep in mind that not all teachers/rabbis are equal. There are major differences in quality.
I suggest searching to find out if their is an Aish shul ("shul" is the word Jews use for "synagogue") in your city. They belong to the Orthodox stream. However, they would be very good since they mainly work to help bring Jews closer to Judaism; hence, they'll also be able to help you convert better than many others.
Hope that helps,
All the best,
Hatzlacha raba (lit. "much success"),
- Anonymous1 decade ago
Why do you want to know? You have asked about converting to every other religion as well in a few minutes. Are you really interested in Judaism or just shopping around? If that's the case, don't bother with Judaism. It is a long and complicated process that can take years. Christianity is different in that you can just start calling yourself a Christian and practicing the rituals and that's it.
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- 1 decade ago
Well, you'd have to change your username and get rid of the cross for a start..... :)
As other have said, you'd need to learn about Judaism first and after that, if still keen, speak to a Rabbi.
Please note: the Christian groups that pose as "messianic jews" are NOTHING to do with Judaism.
There is no one 'messianic' sect IN Judaism.
As for 'jews4jesus' - it was founded by an ordained BAPTIST Minister. Clearly, no Baptist gets to start a 'jewish' group!
- HatikvahLv 71 decade ago
As others have said, find a congregation, ask questions, talk to the rabbi, participate, and read everything you can get your hands on about Judaism.
One note of caution. There are Christian groups who call themselves Jews in order to convert Jews to Christianity. If you're interested in Judaism, you won't find it among "Messianic Jews" nor "Jews" for Jesus.
- 1 decade ago
Circumcision, keep kosher, observe the sabbath. And a whole lot more, but those are the big three that always come up. Also if you're keeping a little jesus around just in case, you're going to want to talk to a Rabbi about that. In fact, you're goinjg to want to talk to a Rabbi no matter what so, pick up the phone and start calling shul's.
- Anonymous1 decade ago
You hafta take on all the responsibilities and tough rules. Whats your reason for wanting to convert? Is it enough to commit yourself to something you'll need to work really hard for?
- Anonymous5 years ago
converting can be tricky if you run into the wrong community, especially frenchy jews
- DjLv 41 decade ago
One thing to bear in mind if you're male & uncircumcised - you'll need to be circumcised which is not a trivial thing for a teen/adult male!