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Dena

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PostSubject: What did you want to know?   Mon Jan 23, 2012 3:09 am

When you first considered conversion or made the decision to convert what were some of your initial questions? What do you wish you had known?
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Bee

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PostSubject: Re: What did you want to know?   Mon Jan 23, 2012 3:30 am

Uuuuuuu good question! I wanted to know if the rumors were true about child molestation was high in Jewish communities and covered up, if women were just seen and valued as livestock, why is it only adultery if a married woman cheats but not a married man with an unmarried woman, why orthodox women wear wigs to look like hair but can't actually show hair? Just a few questions like these came across when we first took interest in Judaism.
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searchinmyroots

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PostSubject: Re: What did you want to know?   Mon Jan 23, 2012 11:27 am

Wow! Those are some "heavy duty" questions.

I guess I can tell by the results, your questions were answered favorably??
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tamar

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PostSubject: Re: What did you want to know?   Mon Jan 23, 2012 11:33 am

Bee wrote:
Uuuuuuu good question! I wanted to know if the rumors were true about child molestation was high in Jewish communities and covered up, if women were just seen and valued as livestock, why is it only adultery if a married woman cheats but not a married man with an unmarried woman, why orthodox women wear wigs to look like hair but can't actually show hair? Just a few questions like these came across when we first took interest in Judaism.


Jewish Literacy by Joseph Telushkin is a good book to read.

Honestly there have been abuse cases in the ultra orthodox sector that has been in the news. I would differentiate that it is not mainstream Judaism but the ultra orthodox more insular communities.

Also I know orthodox who do not wear wigs but wear hats or scarves to cover their hair.
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tamar

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PostSubject: Re: What did you want to know?   Mon Jan 23, 2012 11:37 am

Dena wrote:
When you first considered conversion or made the decision to convert what were some of your initial questions? What do you wish you had known?


I wanted to know about the different movements and what they believed.

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Rocky_girl



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PostSubject: Re: What did you want to know?   Mon Jan 23, 2012 1:51 pm

I wanted to know how people were treated when they questioned beliefs, or stopped attending services.

I grew up in a faith that would shun anyone who did either of these things (among many other 'sins') It was especially bad when the person being shunned was a child (under 18) by those in his/her family.

I didn't want to be involved with any faith that 1) limited curiosity and personal study, and 2) used religion to break apart families through shunning.

It was refreshing to learn that questions and curiosity are valued highly in Judaism. And, as I understand it, shunning isn't widely used.
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tamar

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PostSubject: Re: What did you want to know?   Mon Jan 23, 2012 1:55 pm

Rocky_girl wrote:
I wanted to know how people were treated when they questioned beliefs, or stopped attending services.

I grew up in a faith that would shun anyone who did either of these things (among many other 'sins') It was especially bad when the person being shunned was a child (under 18) by those in his/her family.

I didn't want to be involved with any faith that 1) limited curiosity and personal study, and 2) used religion to break apart families through shunning.

It was refreshing to learn that questions and curiosity are valued highly in Judaism. And, as I understand it, shunning isn't widely used.

In the liberal end of Judaism there is healthy questioning and a variety of practices and beliefs. It was so refreshing for me to be able to talk and question and not be told I was wrong.
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Rocky_girl



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PostSubject: Re: What did you want to know?   Mon Jan 23, 2012 3:03 pm

Quote :
In the liberal end of Judaism there is healthy questioning and a variety of practices and beliefs. It was so refreshing for me to be able to talk and question and not be told I was wrong.

I love that... We have some who are Conservative, some Reform, and a few who lean toward Orthodox in our congregation so our Torah study group can be very lively, but we all respect each other. I have learned so much from listening to all of those different voices, knowing that I won't be judged if I have a different viewpoint.
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tamar

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PostSubject: Re: What did you want to know?   Mon Jan 23, 2012 3:09 pm

Rocky_girl wrote:
Quote :
In the liberal end of Judaism there is healthy questioning and a variety of practices and beliefs. It was so refreshing for me to be able to talk and question and not be told I was wrong.

I love that... We have some who are Conservative, some Reform, and a few who lean toward Orthodox in our congregation so our Torah study group can be very lively, but we all respect each other. I have learned so much from listening to all of those different voices, knowing that I won't be judged if I have a different viewpoint.


I bet it can! I love this kind of environment for learning. I think I learned more by being a part of more then I learned from books. Being part of the group and discussion was so important.

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Bee

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PostSubject: Re: What did you want to know?   Mon Jan 23, 2012 3:21 pm

searchinmyroots wrote:
Wow! Those are some "heavy duty" questions.

I guess I can tell by the results, your questions were answered favorably??
You have nooo idea how hard it was for us to continue fighting for truth in scriptures especially since we have no Rabbi or Jewish training on reading Talmud. A lot of tears my friend! I have a big problem with Rambams answer to the child thing which I won't get into. BUT it caused us to put the Sages on trial versus Gd on trial. The Laws of kings was another full set of questions and required us to put both Torah and the Sages on debate. One thing that kept us strong was falling back on the character of Hashem, not so much on man's. If any answers did not fulfill the criteria of sanctification of Hashems name than we dismissed it eventhough the Sages accepted it or became rabbinical laws. Later certain things were recanted by certain Sage. Now that we have a better understanding on how to study the Jewish scriptures we don't jump to conclusions. Torah/ Talmud doesn't hide mistakes, we are suppose to grow to a greater wisdom.
I still have a lot of questions, and we are reading and studying the scriptures like nobodys business because we strive live Torah...but how can we if we don't know it?
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tamar

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PostSubject: Re: What did you want to know?   Mon Jan 23, 2012 4:31 pm

Bee wrote:
searchinmyroots wrote:
Wow! Those are some "heavy duty" questions.

I guess I can tell by the results, your questions were answered favorably??
You have nooo idea how hard it was for us to continue fighting for truth in scriptures especially since we have no Rabbi or Jewish training on reading Talmud. A lot of tears my friend! I have a big problem with Rambams answer to the child thing which I won't get into. BUT it caused us to put the Sages on trial versus Gd on trial. The Laws of kings was another full set of questions and required us to put both Torah and the Sages on debate. One thing that kept us strong was falling back on the character of Hashem, not so much on man's. If any answers did not fulfill the criteria of sanctification of Hashems name than we dismissed it eventhough the Sages accepted it or became rabbinical laws. Later certain things were recanted by certain Sage. Now that we have a better understanding on how to study the Jewish scriptures we don't jump to conclusions. Torah/ Talmud doesn't hide mistakes, we are suppose to grow to a greater wisdom.
I still have a lot of questions, and we are reading and studying the scriptures like nobodys business because we strive live Torah...but how can we if we don't know it?


Do you have a Rabbi you can talk to? You seem to be out there all alone and Judaism is very much a community religion.

Studying is great but being part of a community and active with other Jews is equally important.

Can you shed some light on the Ramban's answer to the child. You don't need to go into it I just want to know where to look to see the question.

I see the sages as speaking of questions through the ages. They have their understanding of Judaism at the time.

One thing my Rabbi cautioned was that sometimes those who used to be Christians still look at Judaism through the eyes of a Christian and try to understand Judaism that way.

You seem to have real turmoil in your study of Judaism.
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Bee

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PostSubject: Re: What did you want to know?   Mon Jan 23, 2012 5:38 pm

We accepted Judaism unconditionally, now we are studying it and trying to live it. The only turmoil we had or have on occasion is Talmudic, Midrash or Halacha rulings. We have been working very hard to strip away former Christian ways of study, and interpretations of scriptures. That's why I sometimes ponder how easy it was for others to convert so quickly. I truely believe I always had a Jewish soul and have come home, its natural and peaceful, before I had a constant battle within myself. I truely love Torah and the Talmud...I can't imagine not having either. The question with the child is complex to answer because it deals with "damages" kind of thing and it can be misquoted. Rambams response needs to be discussed with cross studies and I will have to re visit it in the near future. I was happy with Talmud teachings on not harming children and that their cries are accounted for. Rambam is known for implying conflicts so that it forces the reader to dig deeper and pursue logic. So what he said may need a closer look...I just was appalled at his statement seeing that he was a physician.
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tamar

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PostSubject: Re: What did you want to know?   Mon Jan 23, 2012 5:52 pm

Bee wrote:
We accepted Judaism unconditionally, now we are studying it and trying to live it. The only turmoil we had or have on occasion is Talmudic, Midrash or Halacha rulings. We have been working very hard to strip away former Christian ways of study, and interpretations of scriptures. That's why I sometimes ponder how easy it was for others to convert so quickly. I truely believe I always had a Jewish soul and have come home, its natural and peaceful, before I had a constant battle within myself. I truely love Torah and the Talmud...I can't imagine not having either. The question with the child is complex to answer because it deals with "damages" kind of thing and it can be misquoted. Rambams response needs to be discussed with cross studies and I will have to re visit it in the near future. I was happy with Talmud teachings on not harming children and that their cries are accounted for. Rambam is known for implying conflicts so that it forces the reader to dig deeper and pursue logic. So what he said may need a closer look...I just was appalled at his statement seeing that he was a physician.


It was easy for me because my whole life I asked these questions. I grew up in a secular Christian home and had a father who taught at the university level about early church history, the medieval and Renaissance. He had gone to Union Theological Seminary so he knew so much about Christianity.

It took me a life time to understand that just because my whole family was Christian that did not make me one. As a child I struggled with how can G-d condemn all who aren't Christian even the good people. How can Christians think they have the only truth. Is there a truth?

I struggled with all this and finally realized that my original inclination and spark within me was Jewish. Once I knew that all the pieces of the puzzle came together.

My truth is that Judaism is right for me. The covenant with the Jewish people is ours but there is a place in the world to come for all mankind, not just Jews.

In the last 5 years as I moved towards becoming Jewish all that I learned and the Rabbis I worked with and took classes with gave me this understanding and validated my understandings. My community has walked with me and supported me.

My family was supportive and my children wanted to become Jewish too. When I go visit my family my dad goes to shul with me. I have been very lucky.

To be anything other then Jewish is unthinkable for me.


But as to the question I just wanted to know the question. I will not go into the kind of study you are doing and I won't get overwhelmed by it I just want to go read the question. What was his statement?
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Bee

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PostSubject: Re: What did you want to know?   Mon Jan 23, 2012 6:39 pm

Quote :
It was easy for me because my whole life I asked these questions. I grew up in a secular Christian home and had a father who taught at the university level about early church history, the medieval and Renaissance. He had gone to Union Theological Seminary so he knew so much about Christianity.

It took me a life time to understand that just because my whole family was Christian that did not make me one. As a child I struggled with how can G-d condemn all who aren't Christian even the good people. How can Christians think they have the only truth. Is there a truth?

I struggled with all this and finally realized that my original inclination and spark within me was Jewish. Once I knew that all the pieces of the puzzle came together.

My truth is that Judaism is right for me. The covenant with the Jewish people is ours but there is a place in the world to come for all mankind, not just Jews.

In the last 5 years as I moved towards becoming Jewish all that I learned and the Rabbis I worked with and took classes with gave me this understanding and validated my understandings. My community has walked with me and supported me.

My family was supportive and my children wanted to become Jewish too. When I go visit my family my dad goes to shul with me. I have been very lucky.

To be anything other then Jewish is unthinkable for me
cheers
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