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converting and making the Aliyah


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#1 canadian

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Posted 04 September 2011 - 12:54 AM

I have a great love for the culture of Judaism, the Jewish people and Israel. I would like nothing more than to convert, make the Aliyah and serve with the IDF. Can you please shed some light on this please because this has been a dream of mine for a long time and i would like to start this as soon as possible.

Any guidance towards right direction would be greatly appreciated.


thank you


Paul

#2 EdfromNachlaot

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Posted 04 September 2011 - 11:44 AM

Start with a visit to your local synagogue, and seek out the Rabbi. The more orthodox, the better. It won't be easy, any way you look at it, and it won't be a quick process. There is a good chance that by the time you are done the conversion process and accepted to make Aliya, you will be to old to serve in the IDF.

#3 usuario

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Posted 05 September 2011 - 01:27 PM

IIRC, there is a waiting period of either one or two years after a conversion before you can make aliyah. This is to discourage people from falsely converting and immigrating to Israel from a poor country.

Since this is an Orthodox forum, most people will tell you to convert Orthodox. However, if you are trying to make aliyah quickly, this may not be the best practical option, even if your beliefs match up with the Orthodox.

IMO, you should convert with a Reform rabbi. If your city is bigger than, say, Guelph (Ontario) or Drummondville (Quebec), then there's a Reform community there. Depending on the rabbi, this should take ~ 1 year. Once the waiting period imposed by the Israeli government is over, then make aliyah and serve in the IDF. If you then want to convert Orthodox, I believe that there are rabbis in the IDF who will help you convert.

Good luck!

#4 Diogenes The Cynic

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Posted 06 September 2011 - 11:43 AM

IIRC, there is a waiting period of either one or two years after a conversion before you can make aliyah. This is to discourage people from falsely converting and immigrating to Israel from a poor country.

Since this is an Orthodox forum, most people will tell you to convert Orthodox. However, if you are trying to make aliyah quickly, this may not be the best practical option, even if your beliefs match up with the Orthodox.

IMO, you should convert with a Reform rabbi. If your city is bigger than, say, Guelph (Ontario) or Drummondville (Quebec), then there's a Reform community there. Depending on the rabbi, this should take ~ 1 year. Once the waiting period imposed by the Israeli government is over, then make aliyah and serve in the IDF. If you then want to convert Orthodox, I believe that there are rabbis in the IDF who will help you convert.

Good luck!

If you convert reform, you wont be Jewish.
Libertarian. Cynic. Pessimist. Skeptic. Jerk.

#5 usuario

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Posted 06 September 2011 - 11:53 AM

If you convert reform, you wont be Jewish.



My point is that he can get an Orthodox conversion while in the IDF. For now, he should convert Reform for the purposes of aliyah, even if he doesn't believe the Reform conversion is halachically valid.

#6 noam

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Posted 06 September 2011 - 02:08 PM



My point is that he can get an Orthodox conversion while in the IDF. For now, he should convert Reform for the purposes of aliyah, even if he doesn't believe the Reform conversion is halachically valid.


i don't think that's a very nice thing to suggest or do if someone does not actually believe in the principles of reform (or other non-orthodox) judaism. it's not fair for the convert, since if he/she doesn't believe in what they're doing, they should see no validity of the piece of paper; it's unfair to the reform community, because what one would do is basically lie their way through the conversion process and then bail; it's just not right.

OP - if you want to convert orthodox, do it. if you want to convert reform, do it. that is, if you believe in the traditions and principles of faith of the "type" you choose. converting with any available denomination just to go to israel is a very bad start, in my opinion. i would take things slowly and do them properly. you won't regret it.

#7 usuario

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Posted 06 September 2011 - 02:48 PM


i don't think that's a very nice thing to suggest or do if someone does not actually believe in the principles of reform (or other non-orthodox) judaism. ... it's unfair to the reform community, because what one would do is basically lie their way through the conversion process and then bail; it's just not right.


Conservative and Reform Judaism both see Orthodox Judaism as a valid interpretation of Judaism, but the converse is not true. Reform Judaism is about personal choice: choose which mitzvot to follow based on your personal level of comfort and belief. To a Reform rabbi, an Orthodox Jew is simply "choosing" to follow the beliefs, traditions, and laws passed down through the generations, and is thus a good Jew. So I don't see someone with Orthodox beliefs and practices going through a Reform conversion as dishonest to the Reform rabbi or Reform community at all.

There is a lot of value in going through a Reform conversion, even if the convert don't believe it is valid: it gives them a foot in the door of Judaism for an eventual Orthodox conversion. Especially since the current trend in Reform Judaism is to reintroduce more traditional rituals and liturgy, he won't be clueless when an Orthodox rabbi takes him on in the future. He might have to learn from the Orthodox rabbi which Reform practices and leeways are "wrong", but this is better than starting from scratch.

#8 noam

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Posted 06 September 2011 - 05:48 PM


Conservative and Reform Judaism both see Orthodox Judaism as a valid interpretation of Judaism, but the converse is not true. Reform Judaism is about personal choice: choose which mitzvot to follow based on your personal level of comfort and belief. To a Reform rabbi, an Orthodox Jew is simply "choosing" to follow the beliefs, traditions, and laws passed down through the generations, and is thus a good Jew. So I don't see someone with Orthodox beliefs and practices going through a Reform conversion as dishonest to the Reform rabbi or Reform community at all.


reform judaism isn't just about keeping some mitzvot instead of all. some 'theology' differs greatly from orthodox judaism. for example, it is a reform belief that the Torah is a human document written with divine inspiration. to convert reform, one would have to believe this. if one has orthodox beliefs, s/he cannot in good faith accept this.

There is a lot of value in going through a Reform conversion, even if the convert don't believe it is valid: it gives them a foot in the door of Judaism for an eventual Orthodox conversion. Especially since the current trend in Reform Judaism is to reintroduce more traditional rituals and liturgy, he won't be clueless when an Orthodox rabbi takes him on in the future. He might have to learn from the Orthodox rabbi which Reform practices and leeways are "wrong", but this is better than starting from scratch.


i disagree. first of all i don't believe the process of conversion should have any "value" other than spiritual/moral value given to it by the convert itself -- it shouldn't be done for any practical gain. i think it's not a good mindset for conversion.
secondly i am fairly certain a lot of orthodox rabbis would actually be more suspicious of someone with a liberal conversion, since one would have to think that this person has accepted liberal theology and believed it to be true (see example above), and then changed their mind. since there is no changing of mind after an orthodox conversion (one is a jew and has to keep mitzvot) i would understand such 'suspicions', so to speak. obviously there are people that after some deep introspection etc realise that, hey, the Torah is actually divinely revealed and not a human product (still, just one example, which is pretty huge in importance, though). but to say that accepting reform thought is a 'foot in the door' is too optimistic.
i do agree on the fact that it will give the person some knowledge -- however, to get this knowledge all someone has to do is go to services, rather than convert. they might learn the tunes and some prayers etc and they won't be completely lost in an orthodox service (that is, if they can read hebrew). but to attend classes and learn things and pretend to believe what other liberal jews believe, when they don't, i think would be dishonest.

#9 ColonelMoti

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Posted 07 September 2011 - 12:13 PM

Judaism is not a race. One can join the group through conversion. But the first step is study. The book "Becoming a Jew" by Maurice Lamm is a good introduction. Playing a game like "Chametz: The Search is On!" is also recommended. You'll find Jewish learning hidden inside the fun! (Full disclosure: I play a major role in the game "Chametz" but I'm completely unbiased).
Don't hate me just because I love Jewish Games that Feed the Brain, hazakah.com
(there are plenty of other, much better reasons)




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