So, you want to convert to Judaism?
Ancient Jewish sources have one piece of advice: Don’t.
Seriously, watch a cat video. Go check the fridge.
Converting to Judaism is a big deal. So big that some commentators say,
when anyone asks to convert, you should tell them “no” three times.
These days, there’s a lot less pressure. You can start learning about Judaism,
and if at any point you decide it’s not for you —
as the sages say, no biggie. But if you’re thinking of dipping in…
The first step is studying. Jews are the People of the Book, after all.
Read up on it! Join a Torah study group.
Hit the library. Meet with some rabbis.
Talk to Jews–different kinds of Jews. Get different opinions.
Know what you’re getting into before you get into it.
You can even, ahem, look online. And as you’re learning about stuff, try
it. Go to a Shabbat dinner.
Visit a few synagogues. Try eating only kosher foods for a few days.
Step two is patience. You’ll find a rabbi who will sponsor you,
and probably counsel and teach you. Finding the right rabbi can be like dating
— not everyone is going to be the right fit.
Converting can take months, or years. There’s no single path.
But if you’ve made it this far, you probably know that already. No matter what path you take to conversion,
you’ll have to learn a lot of stuff. Even if you don’t plan on doing everything,
you should be aware of it. After all, it’s about to be your three thousand
years of glorious tradition, too. Three!
You’ll appear before a bet din. They’ll ask you questions to make sure you’re
ready. Some of them can be kind of personal.
Three and a half! Traditionally, men next undergo milah– circumcision.
It’s performed by a physician, assisted by a mohel, who’s responsible for the religious
part. If you’re already circumcised, there’s
a ceremonial drop of blood taken.. If you’re nervous about this, it’s a really
good idea to talk to someone who’s been through it.
If you’re a woman, there’s is no step three and a half.
Step 4: Everyone receives a new Hebrew name. Step 5: Go swimming! You’ll perform tevilah,
or immerse yourself completely underwater in a mikveh…
And now the bet din will tell you: You’re a Jew.
There’s a lifetime of things to do now. ..
the things that all Jews do. Mazel tov – welcome to the tribe.