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plecoguy:
You've certainly peaked my curiosity, cmonkey. How does conversion work, i.e., how do you proceed and is it different for Orthodox, Conservative, Reform? I guess it must be. I know that Jews don't proseletyze, so would you share a little about why you'd want to convert? How long does it take? Where are you in the process now?

Hmm. Well, I'm studying at a Conservative shul, which basically involves going to the class (18 weeks, two hours a week), going to services (I usually go Friday night, sometimes Saturday), and going to mikvah for the actual conversion. There's a beit din, of course, who all ask you a few questions about why you're converting, asking you a few (I don't know, maybe ligurgical?) questions about the faith, etc. Aaaand there's a paper you have to write, five pages for rabbi Ginsberg, 3 for his wife, rabbi Gordon. Guess who I'll be writing for?

I'm in my second round of classes; I had to drop out last time because I went into a pretty heavy depression, but I'm back in full form and we're in the middle of the class now. I think the last session is at the end of March.

No, there is no proselytizing, although there was, long ago before Christianity became the official religion of Rome (see? class pays off already!) There *are* some Orthodox groups who drive around in Mitzvah tanks on college campuses and exhort Jews to be more observant, but they're only yelling at folk who are already members of the tribe.


I don't mean to be intrusive, but I am curious.
Hey, I wouldn't have posted if I had a problem talking about it, so don't apologize.

I think one of the main reasons I'm converting is the sense of community and the importance it places on tikun olam. It's everyone's responsibility to make the world a better place, but here it's really more of a commandment than a suggestion. You are *supposed* to give charity, you are *supposed* to visit the sick, you are *supposed* to help the helpless. Other religions think it's a nice gesture, but there is no emphasis on it being a requirement.

I also love the sanctification of every day life. In Catholocism, you sanctify wine, you sanctify bread, but you only do that in church *and* only a priest can do it. You sit down on Friday for kiddush and a child can say the prayers. There are just a lot more daily reminders of who we are and what our place in the world is. And religious leaders can be married (very important to me; I don't want a celibate man telling me how to be a good wife. What kind of sense does that make?).

Plus there's the food. I like people use any excuse to eat...
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