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Hey! I'm Bridget (not a parent yet, though!) ....and I have been puttering around in my head... trying to figure out what I believe about G-d,heaven&hell, as well as the beliefs and moral code a person should practice while alive and facing a decision, pressure, etc. However I was raised Christian and I am so scared to convert because the people I love may think I'm just trying to rebel or something? I am not sure what they would think actually, but I know they wouldn't like it...
So, recently I have been considering to convert to Orthodox Judaism. I'm learning the hebrew alphabet along with other things just to have a head start if I DO convert. I'm pretty sure I will though because I have had conflicting views with the church on mannnyyy things. It may seem like little things, but it's really not. I don't believe in the original sin, and i'm not sure what I believe about the messiah (supposedly Jesus in Christianity?!!)......... I am basically at a spiritual crossroad.
One of the main reasons I choose to convert is so that one day, when I have a child I want them to have a spiritual identity and a closeknit community. I want him/her to believe in a loving G-d, not a "loving" G-d with a horrible punishment system. (I personally feel that Christianity puts suchhh an emphasis on hell..... I think someone should act good by their freewill! not a threat of eternal ****ation!)
I just want my child to be happy.
I want to convert for MYSELF though..... I mean, that may sound selfish, but I just want to feel like I have a relationship with a Higher Power...
OKAY so long story short....
what do you think of converts?
what have you found is the attitude of Orthodox Jews towards converts?
Do you know anybody who dislikes/strongly dislikes them? Do you?
What do you think of the people who dislike converts?
According to Orthodox Judaism, a convert is just as Jewish as someone who is born Jewish! You are not even supposed to refer to that person as a convert once he/she has converted. The process of an orthodox conversion is very involved. I would recommend finding a local Jewish outreach group (like a branch of Aish HaTorah, Chabad or a Kollel) in your area. These organizations have Rabbis (and sometimes their wives) that you could talk to and learn with.
I think that some people are leery about people who convert only for the sake of marriage- this is probably more typical in reform/conservative conversions because an orthodox conversion has many more requirements. My exH had a reform conversion and promptly reverted to being "nothing" as soon as we split up. So was he sincere? Probably not. SO...your comment about converting for YOURSELF...that is not selfish at all...that is the way it should be!
One other thing- in traditional circles it can be customary for a Rabbi to initially turn you away 3 times when you inquire about converting; it is a way for them to see if you are really sincere. If you were scared off after one refusal, you probably weren't that into it in the first place!
My one friend, like you, wanted to be jewish. since she was 16 and raised catholic. She finally completed the process at 28 (she took about 5 years but that was because she was dating a Cohen in between it all and it caused problems for her, but thats a whole other story which you will learn on your course). she eventually broke up with him (he wasnt the nicest guy anyways), finihsed her conversion and married an awesome Israeli guy last month. She is so happy. Stick to what you want and good luck....... I have a few friends who are converted or have converted and they are the best ppl. They also teach me so much and i really respect them for taking on Judasim. I dont know anyone who thinks any different towards converts that i do.... they are just regular ppl at our Shul...... i hardly think about the fact they werent raised jewish...............