Converts Have Nothing In Common

I was talking to somebody today about converts to Judaism.

He asked me to assess their role in American Judaism and whether they were becoming more accepted on the Jewish street.

"Converts to Judaism have nothing in common beyond the fact that they are converts," I said. "A typical convert to Reform Judaism and a typical convert to Orthodox Judaism have nothing in common. They are two different religions they are converting to. A convert’s influence on Judaism is determined by the same thing as a born Jew’s influence — by how much they study and practice. I know chareidi rabbis who are converts to Judaism. If somebody studies Judaism and practices Judaism, he’s going to influence Judaism. If he doesn’t practice and learn, he won’t. A convert will be accepted according to his merits. If a convert gets attacked by Jews for being a convert, that’s likely because they are reaching for his weak point. He’s hurt them in some way and they instinctively react by reaching for the chink in his armor."

About Luke Ford

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