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Why is the Path to Conversion so Hard?

Abstract Businesswoman embarks on a difficult Maze journey. Great illustration of Retro styled Businesswoman with a very difficult task ahead of her to find her way through a maze to the other side.

These are all valid questions. The beis din (rabbinical court) when evaluating each candidate, wants to know as much as they can that you will adhere to the high standards of what it means to be a Jew. This may fluster the perspective convert because if they are doing everything they need to be a proper Jew, why is it that wayward Jews, who barely keep any mitzvos do not have to go through such an excruciating process.

On the one hand, we have to remember that the Jewish people were the only nation to accept the Torah when all the other nations rejected it. This is not a small thing and cannot be underestimated. When the Jewish people said “Naaseh v’Nishma” (we will do and we will hear) they forged a special relationship with G-d by doing so. The other nations all wanted to know what was written in the Torah before they were ready to accept it! Is this not the ultimate chutzpah?

After all, the Master of the World, the same One that created and sustains it, gave each nation a golden opportunity to accept the Torah and they rejected Him! Now that the Jewish people accepted the challenge and chose G-d and He chose them, they developed a special connection even if in the future that some will throw off their own personal covenant with G-d.

They always have the ability to return to Him and will be punished accordingly but they still have that special covenant that G-d will never break. People who are not Jewish if they want to have this type of connection then have to go through the conversion process if they want to be part of the Jewish people.

That being said, there are certain standards that they will have to follow to finish the conversion. One major obstacle they may face is that they have to move into a Jewish community. This means that there has to be more than one orthodox synagogue in the community. The reason is because if G-d forbid that synagogue goes out of business, how will they be able to live a Jewish life if there is no communal infrastructure set up!

How could the beis din do such a thing? Don’t they realize how difficult it is to move? What if a person can’t move because of their job? That in fact is tragic and cannot be underestimated. At the same time, the potential convert has to be aware that they must be part of the community so that they can finish the conversion.

For many people this may be an impossibility, nonetheless to be considered a worthy candidate by the beis din, this must happen or otherwise the conversion will not be able to be finished. This is something that must be thought through when considering the conversion process.

 

About the Author RabbiChaimCoffman

  • Aaryn says:

    B”H! Thank you for this! We hadnt realized there needs to be two! How frustrating it might have been if we moved into the area we have been looking at only to find out it wouldn’t due because there is only one Synagogue! Thank you again, Rabbi

  • Linda says:

    Greetings, I am a woman and have been studying, following Classes on Chabad.org for 5 yrs. Middle is where I am. After honoring Shabbat for 5 yrs, I now moved back to Alaska to put money back into my retirement and I cannot get Shabbat off in 1 1/2 yrs. I support my local Synagogue with $ and volunteering. In my heart I want to convert. Reality is what it is so I accept where I am until such time when my situation improves.

    • RabbiChaimCoffman says:

      I saw and approved your comment on my blog. I help converts to Judaism in
      all aspects of the conversion process. You can take a look at my facebook
      fan page at Beyond Orthodox Conversion to Judaism. you can also take a look
      at my youtube channel at rabbi chaim coffman and see videos I have done on
      the Torah portion of the week. You can also search youtube for Tenak Talk
      and my name and see videos I have done about my work with converts and
      noahides.

      If you want me to send you some sample classes, mp3’s let me know

      Let me know how I can help you

      Chaim

  • RabbiChaimCoffman says:

    These issues are the real deal and we try and give real deal answers!

  • Daniel says:

    “One major obstacle they may face is that they have to move into a Jewish community.”

    Hello Rabbi Coffman,
    Does “Jewish community” refer to a city such as Sunnyvale, CA or does it refer to a local section of the town or city?
    Daniel

    • RabbiChaimCoffman says:

      A Jewish community means where there is more than one orthodox synagogue. There should be Jewish schools there as well. Moving to a Jewish community also means that one is within walking distance to the synagoogue

  • kevin michael osborne says:

    i would just like to know where all of the other previous classes are archived. I see at the moment there are classes #55 / #56, but, I would like to know where and or what the classes #1 to #56 are available and what their titles are so I can access them

  • Glen says:

    Rabbi Coffman,

    Thank you for all that you do. I have been attending an Orthodox Shul’s Learners Service with my wife for 2 or 3 years. She was raised reform and I was raised Christian. There is a reform temple about 90 minutes East and a variety of Jewish services, from reform to Orthodox, about 90 miles West. We cannot afford to move to the eruv at this time, but our Rabbi tells us it’s better to drive and be there than not be there at all, as the Learner’s Service attracks all levels of Judaism. I know that it is a long road filled with obstacles, but with perseverance, I will follow the path that Hashem has set before me 5778 years ago. I am a veteran of the US Air Force and though there have been times that my usefulness as the “pocket goy” have proven beneficial, I cannot wait to tie my 513 knots.

    Glen

  • Luis Gustavo says:

    I am agree with the first text read, this is how I feel respect to the instruction from G-d through the Torah, Thanks to Him for It, I want to follow the true road with Adonai help

  • Glendalyn Hill says:

    Dear Rabbi
    I am also interested about Conversion. I start to read some books fir a month. Upon reading books i felt so much closer to God. I love Jewish Cultures ans there beliefs . I had some working experiuience with Jewish Family and its starts with them thats why i start to love Jewish bec.i saw there lives. How they pray. And the Kosher food are sanctified with prayers… This is why how i like to become Jewish too. I want to follow Jewish Laws and study Torah..and mqny more about Jewish. Please help me. I want to Convert as an Orthodox Jew. Thank you I am willing to move or live near in Synagogue or in Jewish Neighborhood. I am now in Brooklyn but its not Jewish neighbor. I look on net where i can find a solution my problem bec.i really like to find an Orthodox Rabbi and I saw you here in Facebook.I hope you will be the answer of my prayers..

    • RabbiChaimCoffman says:

      I can help you. Take a look at my facebook fan page at Beyond Orthodox Conversion to Judaism and my blog at orthodoxconversion.com You can find me on youtube as well at Rabbi Chaim Coffman. To contact me you can email me at rabbichaimcoffman@gmail.com

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