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Conversion

Rabbi Jonathan Blass14 Shevat 5764
572
Question
Shalom! Thank you very much for taking my question. I am a teenager who wants very much to convert to Judaism. I live in the United States. My town only has a reform synagogue. I believe that only Orthodox Judaism is real Judaism, but the nearest Orthodox shul is two hours away. I cant move on my own. Should I just wait until I am old enough to move out? Should I go to the Reform synagogue? Also, I have heard that the Orthodox dont welcome converts. Is this true? I hope not because I am very sincere in my desire to become a Jew. Thank you,
Answer
Since you are not yet Jewish there is nothing wrong in your driving or taking a bus to the Orthodox synagogue. Let people there know that you are not Jewish and are considering converting. The halacha doesn't seek out people and try to convert them. A gentile who keeps the seven Noachide laws is a fine person. If, however, someone of his own free will genuinely wants to convert, the halacha, after ascertaining that the desire to convert is genuine, requires the Jewish community to accept the convert with open arms and an open heart.
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