Towards More Transparency
This list includes the expectations placed upon you as you go through this process. It is not assumed that you will do everything all at once, nor is it advisable. This is a gradual process as seen from the amount of time it takes to complete and the great burden placed upon you. However, the end goal is not to have reached these expectations, but to sustain them over time. Some of these phrases may seem foreign to you. Everything included on the list below will be addressed in the class.
- Know how to read Hebrew, including the letters chet and chaf. You don’t have to read fast, but you should know how to read accurately and with some sense that you’ve been reading regularly for a while.
- Read through all/most of the Torah and be familiar with most of the narrative stories. (See Unit 3 in the Curriculum)
- Know by heart and say regularly blessings/brachot before eating.
- Know boreh nefashot/shortest after-blessing by heart and be very comfortable with al hamichya (medium-length blessing) and benching/birkat hamazon (long after-blessing) which you can access easily on your phone or wallet bencher.
- Know asher yatzar/post bathroom blessing by heart, as it is said every time one finishes using the bathroom.
- Know how to keep Shabbat.
- Know the Holidays and what they commemorate and their related mitzvot
- Know basic of halacha/Jewish law
- Attend services on a regular basis. It is understandable that people go away now and then, but if you are in town, you make every effort to attend.
- This includes a minimum of once a week for women (excluding holidays, when attendance increases) and multiple times a week for men.
- Feel part of our community and come to events that interest you. By converting you are entering into a community. Judaism is not practiced in isolation.
- Slowly, gradually take on full observance of all the mitzvot, without exception, to the best of your ability. Including:
- Full observance of Shabbat (abstaining from prohibitions and fulfillment of obligations)
- Full observance of Kashrut in and outside the home
- Note: Being a vegetarian or vegan is not the same as keeping kosher
- Pray every day, three times a day for men, and twice a day at a minimum for women.
- For men, put on tefillin each weekday
- This applies to the Jewish partner
- This applies to a candidate in the month before their immersion in the mikveh
- For men, wear a kippah every day and at all times, in and out of the home.
- Observing all the holidays
- Including taking off work if the holidays fall out on a workday
- Belief in one, noncorporeal Gd, who is both transcendent and immanent
- Belief in the Divinity of the Torah
- Belief in Divine reward and punishment
- If the Jewish partner is not currently observant, they must accept upon themselves a compatible level of observance to that for which the candidate is striving.
- The Jewish partner should come to classes, write the papers and share in the responsibility of the homework or take an alternative learning situation if that is more appropriate
Meeting the Beit Din
- The candidate (and Jewish partner if applicable) will appear before the beit din (Jewish conversion court) multiple times before the conversion.
- The purpose of these meetings is to determine the sincerity of the conversion and if the individuals have integrated observance of halacha into their life.
- More details are available for students
- Be aware that some Jewish conversion courts/batei din will require that a couple live in different homes before conversion for 3 months.
- Circumcision or ceremonial blood draw/hatafat dam brit for men
- Acceptance of the yoke of commandments and a sincere commitment to try to fulfill them all
- Immersion in a mikvah
- Affirm belief in one God, in the Divine nature of the Torah, reward and punishment, and in the obligation of Jews to keep halakha as set forth by the Rabbis
- Continue learning more about Judaism upon completion of this process.
- Commit to send your children to Yeshiva day schools for their education