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Have Her Convert?

I’ve been dating a young woman for the past two years and we are starting to think about marriage. The problem is that she is not Jewish. I would want her to convert, but in a way where there would be no doubt about its validity, so that we and our kids don’t have problems later on. How do you recommend that I proceed?

The Aish Rabbi Replies:

I appreciate your desire to resolve this in an authentic, non-contentious way. Unfortunately, it is going to be quite difficult for your friend to go through a real conversion.

First she has to believe that Judaism is the true religion. not just accept it by default.

This means that she believes that there is a G-d who gave the Torah to the Jewish people.

Then she has to study what it says in the Torah.

Then she has to commit herself to observe all the commandments in the Torah.

Once she gets to this point, she is ready for a real conversion.

Ironically enough, If she ever did get to this point, she may never want to marry someone like you, who may lack this level of appreciation and commitment.

My advice is to try a separation from your friend and ask yourself this question: "Do I need to be married to this person to find happiness in life, and is it worth all the trouble of converting? Or would I be better off looking for someone else to marry?" Until you have done that trial separation, you do not have clarity about the right thing to do.

Another key step should be to find out more about your own religion. I can see that you are an upright fellow who wants to do the right thing. So find out what's been driving the Jewish people to greatness for the past 3,000 years. I suggest attending a Discovery seminar, an excellent presentation of Jewish history and philosophy which is given in hundreds of cities throughout the world. For the current schedule, visit

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