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The Purpose of Judaism

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#1 33948



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Posted 31 August 2012 - 12:29 PM

I was told on this forum that conversion to Judaism for the purpose of prosperity, success, life, opportunity and protection is not a legitimate reason to convert and will not be accepted. From what I understand:

we convert and fullfill the mitvot in order to become godly, or draw closer to god. We draw closer to god for the purpose of enriching our own experience, our own lives and that of our community. Ergo, conversion to Judaism because of a desire for a better life is legitimate.

In Judaism are we not our actions? Or is intention of primary importance?

If I intend to help someone but hurt that person then is that better than helping someone without intent?

What scripture claims that conversion cannot be accepted if it is to enhance one's life? Here is what I have found:

Deuteronomy 30:15-19

15 “See, I have set before you today life and prosperity, and death and adversity; 16 in that I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in His ways and to keep His commandments and His statutes and His judgments, that you may live and multiply, and that the Lord your God may bless you in the land where you are entering to possess it. 17 But if your heart turns away and you will not obey, but are drawn away and worship other gods and serve them, 18 I declare to you today that you shall surely perish. You will not prolong your days in the land where you are crossing the Jordan to enter [c]and possess it. 19 I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live, you and your [d]descendants,

Moreover, God entices Israel to observe the commandments, because they will lead to the following three results: they will become godly; God will raise them up above all the nations as God's "Am Segulah," treasured or Chosen people; and they will fulfill God's "holy mission" of being an "or lagoyim," a light unto the nations.

This seems to be the only requirements for conversion:
The consensus of halakhic authorities also requires a convert to understand and accept the duties of the halakha, classical Jewish religious law. This is not stated explicitly in the Talmud, but was inferred by subsequent commentators.[20]

#2 paganyid



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Posted 01 September 2012 - 09:16 PM

If you convert in order to get rich you might be sorely disappointed. Many Jews and many converts never get rich.

If you want to get rich, why don't you go to business school instead of converting to Judaism.

#3 33948



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Posted 04 September 2012 - 10:39 AM

It wouldn't be possible for me to go to business school, because I can't afford it. I believe that wealth comes from culture and society. A people who hold certain values, competencies, character etc. will always persevere over those who don't. In the short term a fool may prosper, but in the long term character wins out. So I believe the above scripture with all my heart: a certain moral code, commitment to excellense, spirituality etc. will lead to prosperity.

It's not always about getting "rich" but rather getting "richer". To simply do the best you can with the situation you have.

I would think that the only legitimate argument against my conversion (theoretically speaking) would be sincerity. A convert must be sincere, rather than converting based on a whim or arbitrary desire. A person can only be sincere if they truly understand Judaism and dedicate to learning it, thus study would precede conversion.

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