I have heard that there is no conversion to the Jewish
religion. is that correct? If so, why is this ban is imposed
in your religion? In every religion conversion is acceptable
why there is no conversion to Jewish religion? I am a
Pathan belonging to the Afridi tribe and have love and
sympathy towards the Jewish religion.
Abdur Rashid Afridi advocate
Mardan (n.w.f.p Pakistan)
As the Chosen People, we Jews have throughout the centuries
suffered, for God, the wickedness of mankind. For this
reason we don't consider it a good idea to invite or to
encourage people to share in our misery! There is no ban
as such, but Rabbis require genuine and sincere reasons
why a person would want to convert to Judaism, and when
they are satisfied they will do the necessary to bring
the person into the faith - a process which may last several
may I respond to this letter:
The Jews actively sought converts. I think it was Tacitus
who complained that there were too many Roman homes where
candles were lit on Friday night. Apparently a large number
of Roman matrons were attracted to the Jewish religion.
As a matter of fact, Saul of Tarsus, otherwise known as
St. Paul rode on the coat tails of the Jews who preceded
him when he was looking for converts in the roman world.
We must also remember the khazars, a Turkish tribe, who
converted to the Jewish religion. Their kingdom lasted
a couple of centuries. They occupied the area between
the Caspian and the black sea. They were instrumental
in stopping the advance of the Moslem forces who wanted
to move into Russia.
There was also a Jewish kingdom in northern Iraq where
the ruling family converted to Judaism. The tomb of one
of their queens was discovered in Israel.
Then there was the Jewish kingdom in Yemen around 500
ce. They harassed Bysantian shipping going through Bab
al Mandab, because of the anti-Jewish policy of the government
in Constantinople. They did enough damage that the emperor
needed to appeal to the Ethiopians, who had converted
to Christianity, for help. An Ethiopian army invaded Yemen
and destroyed the Jewish kingdom.
There was also a Berber tribe in North Africa who converted
to Judaism in the 11th century which explains the non-Semitic
physiology of many Moroccan Jews.
It was the church that forbade the Jews from seeking converts.
Since Christianity had become the official religion of
the roman world, the Jews had no choice but to obey.
To close, I have to say that the Jews missed the boat.
Their religion was kidnapped twice which led to their
unfortunate and tragic history first under Christianity
and more recently under Islam.
I wish you and your readers a very happy 2005,
Naim S. Mahlab Montréal
All the conversions you mentioned were short lived and
in the end they gave way to Christianity and Islam. Judaism,
instead of opening up its doors to attract more converts,
actually kept making the religion more and more difficult
to follow and to observe.
While followers of other faiths kept increasing by the
millions, our numbers remained static.
Our aim therefore, must be understood to be not to seek
new followers- our aim and ambition is to see that the
acknowledgment and worship of the One True God, should
become universal. That will be the job of the messiah.