Teachings: Conversion

A Jewish Soul in a Gentile Body?

Dear Reb Shohama,

All my life I have felt a warm connection to Judaism, although I was born and raised in a gentile home. It kinds of feels like I have a Jewish soul in a gentile body. Have you heard of such a thing?

Shalom, Joseph

Dear Joseph,

What Do Rites of Passage Accomplish?

What do Rites of Passage Accomplish? by Rabbi Goldie Milgram with Barry Bub

Rituals and their symbolic, action, and liturgical components facilitate lifecycle events or significant transitions by:

·     providing the framework of support for desired or necessary change

·     acting as speed bumps that invite reflection and integration

What's Involved in Converting to Judaism

a. It is a process to which a soul feels internally called.

b. This feeling may rise and fall, or ultimately abate. It may turn out that your soul needed to learn about Judaism, experience it and then return to another tradition or move on to another religion, no religion, or a different denominational context. There will be no hard feelings about this among your teachers, soul journeys vary in every life time.

c. Converstion involves a minimum of a year of study and engagement with the core practices of living as a Jew. During this time you will:

Ritual for Converting to Judaism

Planning a conversion ritual for yourself, a friend, congregant or a baby? Welcome to this tent of a loving, hopeful, caring people. Consider the ideas below. If what you really want to do is reflect on concerns about male circumcision a bit more, here is a remarkable experience that shifted my thoughts on the rite.

1. Who will be at the ritual? I recommend a few close friends (1-3), a few family members (if this feels safe and appropriate (1-3 or 4), the bet din (3 rabbis or ordained cantors, or in some cases available committed Jews). A minyan is not required. Too many people dilute the profound spiritual intimacy of the moment...often this ritual is nice in the smallest possible gathering. [Later, on Shabbat,

Ritual for Converting to Judaism

Planning a conversion ritual for yourself, a friend, congregant or a baby? Welcome to this tent of a loving, hopeful, caring people. Consider the ideas below. If what you really want to do is reflect on concerns about male circumcision a bit more, here is a remarkable experience that shifted my thoughts on the rite.

1. Who will be at the ritual? I recommend a few close friends (1-3), a few family members (if this feels safe and appropriate (1-3 or 4), the bet din (3 rabbis or ordained cantors, or in some cases available committed Jews). A minyan is not required. Too many people dilute the profound spiritual intimacy of the moment...often this ritual is nice in the smallest possible gathering. [Later, on Shabbat,