Top 20 Things About Taking a Decade to Complete Your Orthodox Jewish Conversion

I needed some humor this week after the news we received that we’ll be beginning our conversion process over again after our move.  So, in honor of our upcoming delay…I decided to focus on the positive and try to laugh a little about this all.  So, here it is…the top 20 best things about taking a decade to finish an Orthodox Jewish Conversion, in no particular order.

  1.  You never have to have Shabbos guests, yet you’re not seen as rude or stuck up.
  2. Any volunteer gigs you’re asked to do at shul are generally pretty simple, although they may involve light switches on Shabbos.
  3. You’re the go-to person to ask on basic halakhah and observance because you’ve studied it over and over.
  4. No one steals your wine.
  5. Yom Kippur is generally stressless since you’re already doing above and beyond what you’re obligated in.
  6. If you’re single there is no dating pressure.
  7. If you’re married, mikvah night does not involve a mikvah or mikvah prep.
  8. You can do wacky things like a Harry Potter Seder without worrying about offending guests.
  9. You can try out different hashgacha at will.  Want to try Dutch customs this month and then go full out Breslover next?  Knock yourself out!
  10. If you’re male and have social anxiety, all worries about having to stand up for an aliyah are gone.
  11. You can get creative with your 1 melachah each Shabbos.  Will it be borer this week?
  12. Plenty of time to test out sheital styles before you have one in too many simcha pictures.
  13. If you have kids, you can really save a ton on simchas.  If you play your cards right, you may only have to put on weddings.
  14. You are generally (and happily) left out of any shul politics.
  15. You can try out various kippah styles without many people thinking much of it or giving your family worries.
  16. Kiruv Rabbis do not harass you in public places.
  17. Less junkmail from Birthright.
  18. You’re never guilt tripped into making a minyan.
  19. You don’t have to eat the Afikomen.
  20. Your sincerity is rarely questioned…only your sanity!

Hopefully we won’t take a full decade, but it is looking like it will most likely now total 7-8 years.  I’d rather not get into the details of why we’re further delayed now, but suffice it to say that it’s no one’s fault, no one did anything “wrong” and we’re still on track, just a longer track than we were a couple of weeks ago.

That’s Orthodox Jewish Conversion…it’s unpredictable even for Rabbis and you just have to be so committed to making it through that you’re willing to roll with whatever changes come your way.

6 thoughts on “Top 20 Things About Taking a Decade to Complete Your Orthodox Jewish Conversion

  1. I’m so sorry to hear this. It is so wrong. You are amazing people to put up with this for so long, truly amazing. I think most people would not have the strength that you have. One day there will be a reward for every mitzvah, according to the effort, and a just verdict for every broken promise and every pain caused to innocent hearts.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think it is all for a good reason. I don’t want to go into too many details or speak loshon hara, but suffice it to say that some very wise Rabbis really do believe that waiting longer will gain us a better conversion than the path we were on previously. The last thing we want to do is be in a rush to convert and wind up having to convert again later.

      It IS really hard and painful, but I just have to trust that Hashem has a very special plan for us. It could be that having to take this long and winding path before our conversions could spare us so much future pain in some way.

      I do go through quite a process when we encounter setbacks like these. It involves being angry and hurt and often chocolate, but I know we’ll work through it all as a family and be stronger for it.

      Thank you so much for your kind words…they really do mean a lot!!!!!


  2. A decade to convert!? I was in a similar situation when I was younger but visited a few more orthodox rabbis and found one who was willing to convert me within a year. I am certain you could find a rabbi who would convert you within a year, even if you are married. I feel like 10 years is too much and is taking advantage of your situation.


    1. I think our case is just a really complicated one to begin with and then moving to Alaska added a whole other layer of complication. I really do believe we’re each on our own paths for a reason…and this has been ours.


  3. I’m working on my own conversion! My problem is I have way more issues than simply moving! At the moment, since I’m carless and unable to move near enough to a shul, I’m studying myself silly just learning (or relearning) what I need to know. It’s definitely a long process, but I’m dedicated. Might be a bit difficult to go Orthodox, especially since my husband may not be willing to convert with me, leaving me only Reform definitely and maybe Conservative, but being part of some form of Jewish community is more important to me than that. Any bits of advice you can give me will be very helpful! Love the humor you’ve showed here…sometimes humor’s the only thing keeping me from crying!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Tami!

      That’s a really tough situation to be in. Moving can always happen, but being married to someone unwilling to convert, as you already know, is a complete roadblock to an Orthodox conversion. I have known a couple of women in a similar situation. They even lived within an Orthodox community, so if their husbands had been willing to convert they would have been able to. I was amazed and inspired by their love and strength as they lived within the Jewish community as Noahides, the best examples I’ve seen of righteous gentiles in every meaning of the term. They both continued to pray and learn and became very beloved members of their local Jewish community even while not being Jewish themselves. I hope that one day, somehow, they will each be able to convert.

      You could try Reform or Conservative, but a lot depends on what Judaism itself means to you. If you believe the Torah to be divinely given, absolutely true, it’s doubtful you’ll be fulfilled in either. For us, when we tried either, it was actually more painful. It was just close enough to always remind us of what could be if we could live in an Orthodox community. This is not to denigrate either stream, just there is a reason why some people feel more at home in an Orthodox community than elsewhere and you might find that to be true of you…or not.


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