Your Conversion

John emails:

I started reading your blog a few months ago when I was looking for "porn" and found your blog which is much more revealing and entertaining. I went thru your profile’s page and thought it was very informative. I looked up info on your dad, and although I’m not religious, I found him to be a very courageous man who stood up for something he ‘believed in’. And, something that a man of faith may not have contemplated while writing a treatise on a topic which was at the cornerstone of his faith and church. This is the "rule of unintended consequences."

I found out about it when I wrote a paper on the Calif. High School Exit Exam which explored the downside of "raising the bar" and mandatory passage of the above to obtain a high school diploma. The Calif. Board of Education did not consider the great number of drop-outs that would occur in minority children, plus the added expense for the increase in economic drain on the state. IE welfare, etc. They also did not expect the dramatic increase of those who first took the test in the tenth grade, and knowing they were never going to pass, dropped out shortly thereafter. This fact was not readily known since the schools tried not to report on themselves.

So, back to your dad. I don’t really believe that he had a total grasp of what it would cost him to make this stand against church dogma. And if he did, he is truly a hero in my eyes. Because why would such an esteemed intelligent person do something that had such stunning and drastic repercussions? I think it’s because he is someone who was vilified and accepted his fate and returned to the church that caused him such ruin. He did so based on principal and the courage to stand on it. That’s like Joan of Arc rising out of the ashes and not only forgiving those who conspired to burn her at the stake, but then taking them all out for a good steak dinner on her franc.

My point is Luke, that you have been searching for the truth, a holy man in different religions that you can emulate, a new Jewish identity, a hot woman, a new vocation, so that you may find someone or something that makes you feel like you are finally at peace or at least fulfilled. I think you should look within your own family. Dennis Prager is a step in the right direction, but your dad is where your journey should end. He is someone to look up to and emulate. I think he’s a helluva guy (my apologies for the slip, but I don’t go to church or have any beliefs that I would put it all on-the-line for in my entire life).

Now, if this has enlightened you, I feel I am the main cause (besides dad) of your future and eternal happiness. If you already truly feel that he is to be admired and praised, then just disregard all of the above because I really wrote to show you an article in today’s Jerusalem Times. No, I am not Jewish. But, I have some American Indian in me, and some cowboy.

The article is pasted below, but I must warn you that it doesn’t bode well for you converts in the State of Israel. Good reading and good-day. Tell you dad I said "hi", and as you can tell I don’t write for a living. Just when I want to be a do-gooder because that was my true intent.

Rabbi Seth Farber writes for The Jerusalem Post:

Imagine you are stopped by a policeman in Jerusalem, who demands to see your driver’s license. While you wait in your car, he goes and checks your record and then comes back to your car. "I’m sorry," he says. "Your license was issued in Tel Aviv. It isn’t valid here. We’re impounding your car."

Sound unrealistic? It isn’t. At least not when it comes to conversion.

There are more than ten rabbinates in Israel that refuse to open marriage files for men and women who converted through the Israeli rabbinate. Soldiers who have dedicated there best years to this country and have transformed their lifestyles to become observant are being told that their conversions are worthless. Having studied and focused on Jewish life, having passed through the conversion courts, and having waited to receive their conversion certificates, these soldiers cannot marry in Israel.

Are we reverting back to the third world?

Denying converts basic rights as Jews goes against Israeli law and against Jewish tradition. The Torah is very clear on the way to treat converts, recognizing their vulnerability. And yet, rabbis representing the Orthodox establishment are not being sanctioned for dismissing all of Israeli conversion in toto.

In Rechovot, the marriage registrar sends every convert who has a conversion certificate from the State of Israel to a rabbinical court for "certification." This is outrageous.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been noted in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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