Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Quickie Conversions?

A long while back, someone asked the following question: I had a teacher who said: A ger has soul but it is trapped, once they convert then they untrap it-because they do have a tzelem elokim-that is how it came into context-but if they have a soul but trapped then why do we try to dissuade them? Besides the fact we need to make sure they are serious about it.

To help answer this, I want to post the following question and answer from R' Moss.

Question of the Week:

I often hear rabbis complain that the Jewish people is shrinking due to intermarriage and assimilation. But it is you rabbis who are the major obstacle to Judaism growing! If you would make conversion a bit easier, many more non-Jews would join us. Why do you stubbornly insist on a long and difficult conversion process, when you are closing the door to many potential converts?


I would like to nominate you to be the next Secretary General of the UN. You have come up with a brilliant formula that could greatly benefit the world.

You argue that the Jewish people would grow if only it were easier to become Jewish. Let's apply that logic to some other world issues, and most of our problems could easily be solved.

- Poverty could be reduced immediately. Simply lower the poverty line.
- There would be many more millionaires around if you didn't need so much money to be one.
- The crime rates would drop dramatically if we just legalise criminal activity.
- If we dropped the life-expectancy age from 70 down to 50, people would on average live much longer.

Either Judaism is truth, or it is not. If it is truth, then truth can't be saved by diluting it. And if it isn't, why bother saving it at all?

The road to conversion is a challenging one. Jewish law doesn't make it easy to convert, because becoming a Jew is a serious commitment. If someone is not ready for that commitment, then they shouldn't convert.

But bending the laws to allow quickie conversions makes a joke of the whole thing. If a law can be bent, then what significance does it have in the first place? To paraphrase Marx (Groucho that is): "I would never join a club that changed the rules to let me in."

Good Shabbos,
Rabbi Moss

To subscribe to emails such as these, send an email to rabbimoss@nefesh.com.au


  1. I agree, it shouldn't be a piece of cake to convert! One thinks long and hard before getting married (or at least they certainly should) and one should at least be willing to give that amount of time before jumping into a religion that will change every single last aspect of their entire lives! Being in the process of conversion is a lot like being engaged... at least by modern American standards. Some people take it seriously use the opportunity to get to know their "fiancee". They use their time wisely and ready themselves for their upcoming vows. Others use the "engagement" to come to their senses so to speak, that it isn't actually the life they want to live... and they move on to the life that is right for them. Either way - time and work actually serve a very important role and I think it would a horrible thing to make conversion "easy".

    HOWEVER, some of the standards of conversion have little if anything to do with halachic or rabbinic law... but more so to do with politics. That is when it's ugly and it's a shame on the Jewish nation. When something as spiritual as converting to Judaism is leveled down to mere politics and procedures, everyone suffers. Those who are meant to be Jewish, as then forced into alternative lives where they don't truly belong. They suffer as does the Jewish nation as one of their own isn't allowed with them. To keep a soul away from it's true family is nothing other than cruel.

    There are two sides to this coin and I really don't think just one side should ever be discussed because it gives a pretty inaccurate account of the situation.

  2. I love the analogy!


You made it to the end of this post! What do you think about it?