Conversion Choices

I’m curious if anyone reading this blog has converted or is also in the process of converting? If so, how did you go about selecting a rabbi? How did you choose your community?

I would like to stay in Texas if possible, so that really narrows our choices. Austin isn’t going to cut it long-term. But in talking with my wife, I know she would be open to moving to a community outside of Texas if that better fits our needs. Can anyone offer suggestions?

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  1. Raine McLellan said:

    Conversion is something that we were wrongfully taught was something not to be considered. In fact in the former days of Beit Shalom, I remember you talking about people “Loving others straight to ‘hell’.” Of course this was a different conversation regarding those who try to stop others from following the path, but nevertheless in the Christian writings it is said that people should not convert because of this whole “grafting in” theory. Perhaps taken from a rabbinical stand point this could be another way to tell yeshu followers to not convert because they need to be true to who they are and refrain from following the Torah with the few exceptions that might apply to gentiles. Anyhow…

    My family’s conversion:

    My wife and I are currently in the process of undergoing conversion as we left the “yeshu movement” not but just over half a year ago when our eyes were opened to the falsification of what we were taught. This has come as a complete relief in many ways as we no longer feel like we are trying to hide in plain sight when at shul, holiday celebrations, or any other Jewish event around town. I find myself struggling to properly place myself within the ordained walls of a gentile who is currently converting without over stepping our boundaries by too much.

    One of the keys to conversion that I have found is that you don’t always get to pick your Rabbi. Perhaps this is because of a series of two reasons:

    (1) The Rebbe of righteous memory once taught that a person who is bent on converting to Judaism is only acting based upon the reality that G-d created that person with a Jewish soul, and it is that soul’s journey to come to a place to live out Torah by undergoing conversion.

    (2) A person converting has been aligned with a great tsaddik whom is their guide and is pulling on their soul to bring them into the world as a Jew.

    We know of a rabbi who is the shining example of what a mensch truly is. This man is a tsaddik who knows no evil and I would love to have him be the one who guides us through this process, but he has his hands full with other families as well as his duties of being a shliach of the Rebbe. Due to this fact, we have found a program which offers correspondence courses for the classes needed, and there is a local beit din who will oversee the naming, hatafat dam brit, and the mikvah events at completion. This allows us the freedom to do the course work on our time. This is a huge bonus for families as you can’t carve out every Sunday night to go to the shul in Boulder for classes.

    We are taking on what we know is a long and arduous journey, but after living out Judaism for the past five years, this is our engagement, and L-rd willing, the mikvah will be our wedding ring. This is Judaism with no dilution. This is Judaism.

    • Raine,

      I’m not sure what your point is in bringing up the “former days of Beit Shalom” or how the quote “Loving others straight to ‘hell'” fits in with the larger context of your comment. Maybe you could clarify?

      As for the rest of your post, I love the candid account and appreciate the two points about why one may not get to pick one’s rabbi. I’m also glad to hear that you guys have found a program that is working for your family. It is exciting to hear!

      Thanks for reading and posting. Please keep coming back.


  2. Raine McLellan said:

    By speaking of the “former days in Beit Shalom” I only point to a specific moment in time and space that is in days of old for you and me.

    The comment about “loving some one straight to hell” only serves my purpose of stating that in even the “messianic” theme, people are taught that conversion is wrong. This teaching is of course carried out with the best of intentions, and in a most loving manner because it would lesson the value of riding your way into Heaven on someone else’s wings opposed to working for it and using your life for the purpose of tikkun olam. Therefor in a sense, “loving someone straight to hell.”

  3. Dena said:

    I chose based on location, marital status (my husband didn’t want to convert) and some personal issues I was going through at the time.

    • Thanks for sharing that Nechama. Are you happy with your choice?

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