The Conversion Process

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Choosing a life lived in the light of a religious tradition means many things. To some, religion is an invitation to become a part of a rich and storied tradition; to others, religion suggests a life dedicated to significant time focused on contemplation, prayer, and personal reflection. As an individual matures throughout her life, whether she has been raised with or in lack of a faith tradition, she may find it does not suit the lifestyle she desires to live. In wake of this, a choice must be made: to find a religious tradition that suits her needs, or live in the absence of religion. Often times, it is found that if an individual was raised in an environment that stressed the importance of religion, it would be expected that a life lived…show more content…
Despite one’s motivation to become Jewish, one must explore the faith tradition, involving its beliefs, traditions, and requirements for potential converts. In beginning one’s conversion process, it is helpful to understand that as a whole, Judaism focuses on the relationship between God and humankind, God and his connection to the Jewish people as well as humankind as a whole, as well as obligations of the Jewish people as depicted by sacred scripture. Those who follow the Jewish religion believe in their sacred scripture, the Torah, which presents followers with obligations and a code of behavior to help govern daily life. There are three basic sects of Judaism who all interpret and understand the Torah in differing ways, leading to the separation of practice within the Jewish community. These sects are indications of the varying degree of strictness in which Jewish followers believe the sacred text should be lived out. Orthodox Jews believe that scripture specifies absolute, unchanging laws set forth by God, while Conservatives hold the belief that God’s obligations for his people have the ability to evolve over time. The final sect of Judaism is Reform Judaism. Reform Jews hold the belief that God’s guidelines are simply that—guidelines that one has the ability to choose to follow or choose to ignore (SOURCE.) Despite…show more content…
Throughout this process, the convert will work closely with her rabbi who will oversee her Jewish studies. The rabbi and convert might have regular meetings or the convert may attend a formal conversion class with other converts. During the time of study preceding the official conversion event, a convert will learn basic beliefs and practices, begin to understand the workings of prayer as well as prayer services, as well as introduce topics such as the history of Judaism and religious holidays. During this time, the rabbi will additionally ask the convert to begin practicing Judaism as they will following her official conversion
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