IS CONVERSION TO JUDAISM TOO DIFFICULT?
My name is John D.
and I live in AUSTRALIA. I've
read all your articles and appreciate
your comments - they make sense.
I am actually after some serious help
from you regarding conversion to Judaism.
I have been married to a wonderful woman for 40 years who does not
wish to convert but is supportive of my decision
to do so. We have no rabbi in my city and all that I have
contacted so far have refused to help me convert
because of my wife. I feel totally Jewish and want to join
the Jewish people of my free will- and the only
concern that I have is that I may not be worthy. I know the written
Torah says that converts are to be made welcome
but Halacha states otherwise. Surely Hashem's written law is the
absolute law. Would you please advise me what
can be done to address my situation.
First of all let me thank you for visiting my website and reading my articles. As you see there, I have a different approach than the current Jewish denominations. I feel that converts SHOULD be welcome and their way into Judaism should not be made extra difficult. They should be allowed to join with eyes wide open to the covenant they are entering. It's a serious decision that requires a lot of study; you seem to have the right attitude and you are learning.
Unfortunately much of my religion has different ideas than I do with regard to conversion. In fact that is why I had to start my own website; I was worried that my words would have no other means of distribution. Talk to more rabbis in the other major cities of Australia. One of them will eventually empathize with you and help you on your way.
In the meanwhile, realize that conversion is a public and relatively new process. True conversion is a private matter. Ruth didn't have to undergo a conversion ceremony and neither did other important people in the bible who were not born Jewish. In my thinking what's really important is your private decision that the G-d of the Jews is your god, and that His law, as set forth in the Five Books of Moses, is the road to humanity's salvation.
Also please realize that Judaism is much more than a personal religion. Judaism requires a nearby Jewish community and a nation. So, to the extent you can be part of these, your Jewishness will be more complete. It may be that the rabbis you contacted were afraid that your Jewish social identification and participation would be limited by your marriage.
Feel free to write again and let me know how things go for you.