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Ask the rabbi Family and Society Conversion

Becoming a Ger

Various Rabbis1 Kislev 5763
549
Question
I am from very assimilated family. My mother is not Jewish it is very common fact in Jewish community in Czech Republic. For a long time I did not know that I am not Jewish. Now I want to convert because I feel Jewish and I feel true love in Israel. I want to live in Israel, but my family do not want. I must study at University - I wanted to be an archivist - but in Prague it is only about Catholic Church and I have strong depressions. Here I cannot live as a Jewish because my parents feed me and they love me and I have to do what they want. What can I do?
Answer
From the brief glimpse you have given me of your situation it is very difficult to advise you thoroughly. But in general terms I can say that if your desire to become Jewish is profound then it is incumbent upon you to try with all your ability to fulfill this desire, even if it incurs discomfort, abstinence and even temporary poverty. Temporary loss of sustenance may be a test from heaven to prove your sincerity. We believe that a Jew must be willing to lose his job and not come to desecrate the Sabbath. A person may also be punished for the time he hesitated to convert if he was sure that that’s what he wanted. Since there may be touches of idol worship in what you are now learning, it may be forbidden to learn even for a non Jew. Try to explain to your parents in a gentle way. If they still oppose your plan that shouldn’t stand in your way if you are sincere about it. Rabbi Moshe Klein
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