If you’re thinking about converting…


If you’re thinking about converting, firstly and foremost, ask yourself “why,” you’d want to convert. You’re not simply converting to a religion, you’re converting to a people, like immigrating to another nation, adopting another culture, and taking on another peoplehood. Once you convert, there is no unconverting, it cannot be undone, even if you convert to another religion, you’re a Jew converting to that religion, but still a Jew.

You can be a righteous gentile, you can come to know and connect with G-d without converting, so now ask yourself, with that aside, why would you want to convert? My reason is that I’m ethnically Jewish and want me and my family to help replenish those lost in the holocaust, and to be counted within the people of the book, within the covenant with Hashem. I want their people to be my people, I want their G-d to be my G-d, I want that cultural and deeply maintained cultural tie, to become mine as well, I want to be a part of the ancient Jewish line in history.

…are you still with me? Do you still want to convert? If so, continue reading on… 

So, there’s a lot to read, like a lot to read and study, some Hebrew to learn, some culture, some practices, some beliefs, all in all, it’s a lot to take in and learn. Also, you’ll want to spend some time in the Jewish community near you, time in the synagogue, as well as you’ll need to take the intro to Judaism (or equivalent) course which lasts months. It can take a year or two before you’re ready for conversion, which in some cases (Not all) includes a hatafat dam brit (look it up fellas), a Beit Din, and ritual submersion in a Mikvah. 

Think of it less like converting, and more like immigrating!

Next, you have to realize converting is not the end, it is actually a beginning of a lifelong study into all things Jewish. You will always study Torah/Tanakh, you might study Mussar or Kaballah, or both, history is also great to study, as well as the Talmud, Mishnah, et cetera. There are two or three maybe more, lifetimes worth of study in Jewish wisdom, so don’t expect to learn it all in the year or two leading up to conversion. There is no proverbial “end,” to learning!

If you’re still with me reading here, it must mean I haven’t dissuaded you and that you have good reasons to seek conversion, excellent, so let’s go into how to begin the process.

I suggest looking into the branches of Judaism first; ultra-orthodox, orthodox, reform, conservative, reformation, etc… and finding a local synagogue. Contact the synagogue and ask if you could attend a Shabbat on a Friday evening, if they have an oneg (a sort of meet and greet) before or after, go to that too. Introduce yourself to the Rabbi and others there, and give a few days after that before contacting the Rabbi about joining the synagogue and converting. The Rabbi will probably want to talk to you a bit and fill you in on how they do things there, and it’ll get the ball rolling for you.