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The articles in this issue have been divided upinto the following categories






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)

The Scribe:

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 years.

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

The Scribe:

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.



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