Why Not Relax the Rules for Converts?


         


 
 
 
 

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Question of the Month

By Aron Moss

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?

Answer:

I would like to nominate you to be the next prime-minister. 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 scenarios, and most of society's 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 average life-expectancy from 70 to 50, people would live 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 Groucho: "I wouldn't join a club that changed the rules to let me in."

~~~~~~~

from the August 2006 Edition of the Jewish Magazine

 

 

 

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