Article Discussion: Converts On The True Colors Of The Jewish Community

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This topic has 5 voices, contains 13 replies, and was last updated by  genevieve 612 days ago.

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April 10, 2009 at 4:18 pm #2245

admin

Click here to read the article: Converts On The True Colors Of The Jewish Community

August 9, 2009 at 8:41 pm #3534

Unregistered

the stories are awesome and comforting it is good to learn about others journies and their steadfastness

August 19, 2009 at 8:29 pm #3610

Carol

I enjoyed reading this article. Thank you.

May 10, 2010 at 6:25 pm #4622

Unregistered

I know I am years late reading this article, but I’d like to ask a question about a friend of mine who converted to orthodox Judaism. She was one of my very best friends, and when she decided to follow her Jewish heritage and become orthodox I was completely cut out of her life, basically over night. No explanations or warning… just one day she stopped returning my calls and emails. At first I was really angry at her but now, two years later, I’m just left with all of these questions and an emptiness about the whole situation. Doing internet research has shown me that this isn’t uncommon but I’d like to know why. Maybe you’re the wrong person to ask but I’m at a dead end and after reading your article thought maybe you could provide some insight. I miss her so much, and though ideally I’d love to have my friend back, I would settle just for some closure.
Thanks

May 10, 2010 at 8:04 pm #4624

InterfaithFamily Administrator

In my experience, many people who decide to follow Orthodox Jewish practice leave behind non-Jewish and non-Orthodox Jewish friends. In more traditionally Orthodox synagogue communities, there is social pressure to reduce contact with non-observant Jews and non-Jewish friends. This isn’t the norm for modern Orthodox communities.

I have discussed this outlook with a few friends who have returned to traditional Jewish practice. One told me that she finds less observant Jews to be a distraction from her religious observance. Another told me she felt she had nothing in common with old friends and wanted to surround herself with those who could better relate to her lifestyle choices. It does not sound like you did anything to alienate your friend. The loss is hers.

Robin Schwartz
Network Director
InterfaithFamily.com

May 12, 2010 at 12:41 am #4634

Debbie B.

There are writings in the Talmud (rabbinic law written in 200 CE and 500CE) that prohibit all kinds of social contact between Jews and non-Jews, and unfortunately very “right-wing” Orthodox groups sometimes take these ideas very seriously. These writings are the source of some of the harsh attitudes toward intermarriage.

As a convert, your friend may also have felt a need to “prove” commitment to Orthodox Judaism by cutting off contact entirely with her non-Jewish past. Very strict Orthodox groups are sometimes very suspicious of converts and your friend might feel that contact with her old non-Jewish friends would make them doubt the validity of her conversion. It is sad that your friend would choose to sacrifice a friendship for the sake of her religious observance.

July 6, 2010 at 3:58 pm #4816

Anne

I am sorry about your friend.  It is always hard to lose a good friend.  If it is closure you are seeking  maybe you should send one final email, letter, or voicemail etc saying goodbye on your part.  In the letter, you could wish her well but explain the hurt on your part.  And then don’t have contact again unless she chooses.  I think it is important for people to know when their actions really hurt people.  I wouldn’t have converted to Reform Judaism if they told me I could not have any contact with my family or non-Jewish friends.  It wasn’t my new found friends and community that were there for me when I broke my arm,  experienced my first heartbreak, and cheered me on during flute recitals. That would have been a deal breaker for me.  My point being is that I understand how hurt you might feel.

In any case if it helps you, I would send a goodbye letter.    I hope this helps.

Anne

September 27, 2010 at 7:20 pm #5080

Anna

This article brought out alot of great things about the faith we all share. If you could please email me Aliza I would like to discuss your experience of conversion as I am preparing to undergo the process myself, alachman@jdirectfunding.com. I would really appreciate it,thank you.

July 7, 2011 at 6:37 pm #5942

BarbarA

Converts should be praised for infusing the Ashkenazic and general judaism with Life. They bring a very special blessing to all of Israel…and is any wonder then that”Ruth” should be esteemed

September 28, 2011 at 8:35 am #6153

spfix

It’s sad that so many Rabbis are chauvinistic to the point of being rude and exclusionary. 99% of sincere converts are more religious than those of us born Jewish!

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