Article Discussion: Thoughts on Secular Conversion An Important Alternative to Relig

HomeDiscussionsConversionArticle Discussion: Thoughts on Secular Conversion An Important Alternative to Relig

This topic has 3 voices, contains 2 replies, and was last updated by  Phx Mom 845 days ago.

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April 10, 2009 at 4:16 pm #1814

admin

Click here to read the article: Thoughts on Secular Conversion An Important Alternative to Relig

August 22, 2012 at 9:45 am #7119

Natalie

I found Dr. Beilin’s article to be extremely interesting. As an agnostic non-Jew, I have been struggling with the concept of a potential conversion to Judaism since my partner of four years is Jewish.

Our relationship is a serious one, and I have hopes that it will include marriage and children in the future. It is important to my partner that our children be raised in the Jewish faith. I support his decision, but am beginning to wonder if a part of my history and traditions will be lost to my future children (I celebrate Christmas with my family each year).

I wonder what Dr. Beilin’s thoughts would be on including non-Jewish traditions (such as Christmas) in a family where one of the parents is a secular-converted Jew.

Thank you for this thought-provoking article. As always, your website and enewsletter is a great source of information and open dialogue.

August 30, 2012 at 3:43 am #7310

Phx Mom

I think you need to understand that in Israel, Jews who are not Orthodox are often called \”secular.\” That doesn\’t mean they don\’t believe in God. A secular conversion, to an Israeli Jew, simply would be a non-Orthodox conversion. In the US that would be Reform, Reconstructionist, or Conservative. However, the Humanistic Judaism (non-theistic) movement may hold conversions, although I think they call them \”adoptions.\”
You called yourself \”agnostic\”–not atheist–so I assume you\’re questioning whether God exists.
IMHO, yes, we do refer to ourselves as \”the Tribe,\” but the very basis of our existence is our relationship to God. It\’s one thing to already be a member of the Tribe and then question one\’s own faith, but personally, it makes no sense to convert if you don\’t have any belief. You can support the Jewish people and love a Jewish man, but I think you really have to search your heart as to why you\’re really considering conversion. It\’s unnecessary. Reform (and I believe Reconstructionist) Jews recognize patrilineal descent as long as the children are being brought up as Jews and make public affirmation of that fact. Nobody\’s going to come after you for having a Xmas tree, but the kids need to go to temple for their religious studies and not both church and temple. Their father even can take them into the mikvah for a formal conversion. In the meantime, when they grow up, if they want to remain Jewish and marry someone who is more religious, nothing prevents them from going for a second conversion in another branch of Judaism.

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