HomeCalendarFAQSearchRegisterLog in

Share | 
 

 mikvah

View previous topic View next topic Go down 
Go to page : Previous  1, 2
AuthorMessage
Bee

avatar

Posts : 314
Join date : 2011-09-12

PostSubject: mikvah   Wed Dec 14, 2011 3:50 am

First topic message reminder :

I read all your stories about going to the mikvah for conversions, but I am puzzled on why all the inspections and strict rules on this and that? Why is dunking make you from a gentile one minute to a Jew the next? Maybe its a two part question but all the scrubbing and mirror checks, naked infront of an inspector as if quality control? Toe fungal will disqualify a person etc. Legs shaven? What? Maybe I'm reading the wrong manual.
Back to top Go down

AuthorMessage
Bee

avatar

Posts : 314
Join date : 2011-09-12

PostSubject: Re: mikvah   Sun Dec 18, 2011 9:05 pm

Much love Dena ;-) I honestly do not see you being short with me at all. I had to re read your post and could not figure out which one. I'm just glad I can be honest with everyone here and get real answers. I don't like debating as battle of the minds and ego's...I like that everyone is sincere and very real here. It's not sugar coated or demeaning, but you care enough to tell me how it is. It pushes me to think and research it. If I still can't figure it out I let it go...then along the road I get it. This site shows me the many facets of Judaism, so many different experiences that has changed a lot of my opinions, eased some fears, and given me reality checks.
Back to top Go down
Bee

avatar

Posts : 314
Join date : 2011-09-12

PostSubject: Re: mikvah   Sun Dec 18, 2011 9:17 pm

maculated wrote:
Good for you. In any religion, there is a culture of "do not ask questions." If the logic doesn't work for you, it's doesn't. If your faith and logic don't align, you're screwed, and don't expect others to do it for you.

There are many things that make me see a lack of divinity in some Orthodox rulings. For example, I learned early on that your pet is mukzeh (forbidden to touch) on Shabbat. Not everyone agrees with this, but it's what I learned. And who decided that? Rabbis with no experience with pets, that's who. My dog would die if I avoided contact with her because she wasn't "sanctifying Shabbat." But my argument is that she does, cuddling up to a dog with a good book on Shabbat is my favorite thing.

A lot of this stuff comes down the way laws we're familiar with come down. At some point a question was asked, people had to discuss it and rule on it, and then there you go. In Orthodox thinking, once something is ruled upon, it cannot be revised, so the questioning has to stop there. Other forms of Judaism are open to positive historical interpretations.

You might try reading the Daf Notes. It gets emailed to me somewhat regularly and you can see a lot of the way people were thinking when things were ruled on - it's nothing but a discussion of a situation. http://www.dafnotes.com/

I would also add that in all honesty, I've seen the following ways to approach Judaism and its mitzvot (if you're leaning toward the divine commandment being non-negotiable):

- Seeing, shrugging, and deciding it's not all for you. Jews by birth get away with this. Most converts cannot. Nor should they.
- Completely on board. Everything is right, other ways are wrong. There is no grey area. I see this with ba'alei teshuvot and Orthodox converts. These people really appreciate the structure and guidance of the stringent mitvot following and find ways to make it work with their mindset.
- Seeing Judaism for all its flaws and human inventions and working with that. Most people I know actively observant do this. I have a friend that's a ba'al teshuva who is always quick to point out wholes in traditional thinking. He loves doing it. I won't lie that he isn't questioning his complete observance right now. It's hard to live with this mindset and go full-on.

My personal approach is that people screw up stuff. You have to look past people and see the divine and find a way to be comfortable with the fact that at times, HaShem and people will be at odds, even if people have the best intentions.

Who is Daf Yoni? Is he a Rav? I looked at the website and will read the article as soon as hubby gets off my computer. My phone doesn't show the site too well.
Back to top Go down
maculated

avatar

Posts : 156
Join date : 2011-09-08
Age : 37
Location : San Luis Obispo, CA

PostSubject: Re: mikvah   Sun Dec 18, 2011 9:53 pm

Daf Yomi is a daily study of the Oral laws. Each day, (more or less) a portion is sent out for studying. There are books and even phone apps, but this one is pretty nice.
Back to top Go down
http://www.about.me/kristin.mcnamara
Bee

avatar

Posts : 314
Join date : 2011-09-12

PostSubject: Re: mikvah   Sun Dec 18, 2011 10:00 pm

Nice. Thanks ;-)
Back to top Go down
BRNechama

avatar

Posts : 44
Join date : 2011-12-04
Age : 38

PostSubject: Re: mikvah   Mon Dec 19, 2011 1:43 am

maculated wrote:

There are many things that make me see a lack of divinity in some Orthodox rulings. For example, I learned early on that your pet is mukzeh (forbidden to touch) on Shabbat. Not everyone agrees with this, but it's what I learned. And who decided that? Rabbis with no experience with pets, that's who. My dog would die if I avoided contact with her because she wasn't "sanctifying Shabbat." But my argument is that she does, cuddling up to a dog with a good book on Shabbat is my favorite thing.

LOL, great example. Thumps Up Regarding pets being mukzeh, this is what I had learned: If you are petting the pet for you own pleasure, than it is forbidden to do so. But if the petting is needed for the pet (i.e. to stop it from whimpering, to reward it, etc.), then it is allowed. Also if the pet comes to you, then you don't have to avoid it or turn it away.

But for many Orthodox Jews, this is a non-issue. 80% of the ones I know don't have pets. Having a pet not only complicates Shabbos, but Pesach as well (pet food also has to be free of chametz...which can be tough). Also it can interfere with having guests. I have good friends who are Orthodox and who have a Springer Spainel (not a "mean" dog in the least), and people have outright turned them down for Shabbos meals (they are Baalei Teshuva btw). Also the rabbi won't come to their house either. For Yom Tov (where they can't avoid guests), they have to put the dog in the kennel. Shocked

Quote :
- Seeing, shrugging, and deciding it's not all for you. Jews by birth get away with this. Most converts cannot. Nor should they.

So converts can't question Judaism and/or Jewish Law? scratch Not trying to be snippy or anything Wink and Smile , but I'm interested in more clarification on this. Perhaps this issue deserves it's own topic...I definitely feel that converts should be sincere about becoming Jews. However converts are 'supposed' to be just like a born Jew after conversion. Which means that even with questioning and waning, in the end they are still Jews. Cool
Back to top Go down
http://about.me/rishona
Dena

avatar

Posts : 678
Join date : 2011-09-05
Age : 35

PostSubject: Re: mikvah   Mon Dec 19, 2011 1:51 am

BRNechama wrote:


But for many Orthodox Jews, this is a non-issue. 80% of the ones I know don't have pets. Having a pet not only complicates Shabbos, but Pesach as well (pet food also has to be free of chametz...which can be tough). Also it can interfere with having guests. I have good friends who are Orthodox and who have a Springer Spainel (not a "mean" dog in the least), and people have outright turned them down for Shabbos meals (they are Baalei Teshuva btw). Also the rabbi won't come to their house either. For Yom Tov (where they can't avoid guests), they have to put the dog in the kennel. Shocked

I have an Orthodox friend who did have several horses, bunch of chicken, dogs and a few cats (her husband has since made her get rid of many of her pets in a personal compromise I'm not going to share here). Because of this they chose to live outside of the Jewish community where they could have some acreage. On some Shabbats they go stay with friends and on every holiday they go back to Baltimore to be with his family (she's a convert). I haven't heard her say people treated her badly but they do obviously think it's very odd for an Orthodox couple to have so many pets. But they get Shabbas invitations all the time so I don't think they are treated too harshly over it.

Quote :
Perhaps this issue deserves it's own topic...I definitely feel that converts should be sincere about becoming Jews. However converts are 'supposed' to be just like a born Jew after conversion. Which means that even with questioning and waning, in the end they are still Jews. Cool

Yes, I think that would be a good topic. Very Happy
Back to top Go down
maculated

avatar

Posts : 156
Join date : 2011-09-08
Age : 37
Location : San Luis Obispo, CA

PostSubject: Re: mikvah   Mon Dec 19, 2011 3:47 am

With regard to dogs: Ahh, but the OU lists a bunch of chametz free dog food! Nutro Natural Lamb and Rice!

With regard to deciding it's not all for you, I'm curious, as an Orthodox convert do you feel free to do this? During my Orthodox conversion process (which lasted two years - and I do primarily learn from Orthodox sources), I was supposed to disavow myself of any questionable material and "swallow the pill" without question. Any very specific questioning was seen as insincerity and a result of not being "ready" to convert. You wouldn't feel like your identity was questioned if you picked up a Book of Mormon out of curiosity or, in your learning, decided that a particular mitvah had no value today?

My point spoke more to the people I know who were raised in observant communities who just walked away from most of it. In Orthodox circles, you do that as a convert, they declare you an insincere convert and revoke your paperwork. Converts are baby Jews, and telling someone that they must never go back on their beliefs from two years of studying *or else* was something I just couldn't deal with. Jews by blood have "blood" so they get a pass in hopes that "one day" they'll mature into what is right.
Back to top Go down
http://www.about.me/kristin.mcnamara
BRNechama

avatar

Posts : 44
Join date : 2011-12-04
Age : 38

PostSubject: Re: mikvah   Mon Dec 19, 2011 4:04 am

Great questions; I'll address them in a new thread :-)
Back to top Go down
http://about.me/rishona
Debbie B.

avatar

Posts : 373
Join date : 2011-09-05
Location : Chicagoland

PostSubject: Re: mikvah   Mon Dec 19, 2011 4:25 am

Some of my Modern Orthodox neighbors have dogs. We have Modern Orthodox friends in Israel who had a cat and when the scuds were being shot at Israel during the Gulf War (1990-91) and the family was often going into their "sealed room", their kids thought that they were making sure to get the cat into the room in order to save the cat. But in reality, the parents wanted the cat to be the "canary in the mine"---if there was truly poison gas that got into the room, they would know to keep their gas masks on if they saw the cat die.

As for expectations of converts, Orthodox and Conservative converts are required to observe the mitzvot to a degree which varies by community and rabbi, otherwise they will not be accepted as conversion candidates. Often, converts are expected to be much more strictly observant that the typical Jew in the communities that they join. Certainly, the level of observance of kashrut and Shabbat expected of me by my sponsoring rabbi was much stricter than the level of observance of the average member in his own shul, although he would have accepted a level less observant that the average member in my lay-led minyan (in which many members are "Orthodox" in their level of observance except for being members of an egalitarian minyan.) One cannot convert under Orthodox or Conservative auspices in order to become a "secular Jew" and ignore kashrut and Shabbat.

As I've mentioned before, this is similar to the fact that naturalized US citizens have to pass a test that many born citizens would flunk. I don't think it is unreasonable to ask more of those wishing to join certain groups than those who are born into it.

After conversion, Conservative converts are considered Jews regardless of what they do. In fact, there is a Conservative RA responsum about a case in which it became clear that the "convert" lied and simply used the "conversion" for immigration purposes, and the conclusion was that even in the case of misrepresentation, the conversion was valid because it did have the required aspects. If the "convert" goes back to living as a Muslim, the person is considered to be an "apostate Jew".

There have been cases, most notably in Israel, where Orthodox converts had their conversions retroactively invalidated due to actions considered by some rabbis to indicate insufficient levels of observance. This actually goes against traditional Jewish law. There is ample Talmudic support for the Conservative ruling that converts remain Jews even if they convert to another religion, just as born Jews are still considered to be Jews even if they convert out. (So for example, if a spouse converts to another religion, the other spouse is not considered to be in an intermarriage, however a Jewish wife still requires a "Get" in order to divorce even if her husband has converted to another religion and therefore doesn't care and won't give her one.)
Back to top Go down
maculated

avatar

Posts : 156
Join date : 2011-09-08
Age : 37
Location : San Luis Obispo, CA

PostSubject: Re: mikvah   Mon Dec 19, 2011 4:28 am

Still others I know of didn't have it "revoked" but were required to go through as many as four conversions when they moved around because the stringency of the beit din wasn't acceptable in that community. And while this seems like it's getting off topic, my point in all this is that it's a human element that any religious person has to face. How much is really coming from your maker and how much is well meaning people being misled.
Back to top Go down
http://www.about.me/kristin.mcnamara
tamar

avatar

Posts : 181
Join date : 2012-01-01
Location : Northern Virginia

PostSubject: Re: mikvah   Mon Jan 02, 2012 2:22 pm

Bee wrote:
I read all your stories about going to the mikvah for conversions, but I am puzzled on why all the inspections and strict rules on this and that? Why is dunking make you from a gentile one minute to a Jew the next? Maybe its a two part question but all the scrubbing and mirror checks, naked infront of an inspector as if quality control? Toe fungal will disqualify a person etc. Legs shaven? What? Maybe I'm reading the wrong manual.


I was not inspected. I did all my time consuming preparation the night before I went to the mikvah. The day of my conversion I went in before my children so I became Jewish first. That way they were able to take my name as a Jewish parent along with Abraham.

I brought a towel but in the mikvah shower area was everything I would need and a list of things I needed to do. The mikvah lady went in to show me where everything was but then she left the room. I showered before entering the mikvah. When I was done I knocked on the door as I went in the mikvah then she came in the room and sat so she could hear me and make sure the immersion was kosher. The 3 Rabbis waited outside behind a screen so they could hear my blessings as I recited them.

After I came out and while still in my towel the Rabbi I worked with came in and we said Blessings together. I was not expecting this but it was ok as she was a women and has been such a mentor to me during this whole process.

Back to top Go down
Bee

avatar

Posts : 314
Join date : 2011-09-12

PostSubject: Re: mikvah   Mon Jan 02, 2012 4:15 pm

Thanks for sharing Very Happy
Back to top Go down
Sponsored content




PostSubject: Re: mikvah   

Back to top Go down
 
mikvah
View previous topic View next topic Back to top 
Page 2 of 2Go to page : Previous  1, 2

Permissions in this forum:You cannot reply to topics in this forum
 :: Jewish Fundamentals :: Conversion Discussion & Issues-
Jump to: