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Showing posts with label conversion. Show all posts
Showing posts with label conversion. Show all posts

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Apparently, You're Not Supposed To Ask Why a Jew Is a Jew Or a Ger Is a Ger; And If You Do...

Don't let the others get to you. I had the same question and desire to know the story of a man whose story I read while I was randomly browsing ("Were you born Jewish or did you convert? Either way, tell us your story. I am curious to learn."). Besides:
1) We know of the conversion of Rachav.
2) We know of the conversion of Rut, the history of which G-d devoted a whole sefer b'Tanakh.
3) That's part of how I suspected that I'm Jewish. My paternal grandfather was very dark skinned for such a Polish and Lithuanian American, and the case turned out to be that he was a Litvak and Belarusish Yid (on his paternal side. On his maternal side, he was an Ungarish and a Slovakish Yid on his maternal side.). By the way, both of my father's parents were Anusim and bnei-Anusim (Pop-Pop made a veiled confession that we are Jewish in one of our final conversations after he denied it for years, and Grandma also made a veiled confession once. Dad, on the other hand, is still like Pop-Pop was—not happy that I found out.). Also by the way, Mom is Jewish (She denies her heritage as well.).
In addition, Rabbi Jack Romberg once wrote, "It is the power of constant questioning that creates the dynamism that keeps Judaism relevant. The world changes and Judaism must respond to those changes." That includes, of course, asking how a Jew found out that he or she is Jewish and/or came to terms with and/or came to appreciate and live in light of his or her Jewishness, or why a gentile stated "thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God" as Rut stated to Na'omi.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

I Was Reading (or Rereading) About Jews In Slovakia Tonight, And...

I got a better understanding of why my branch of the Foczkos fled from Russia to Upper Hungary (Slovakia)—I had pretty much figured that being Anusim in Slovakia felt better for them than being openly Jewish in even Poland (which, keep in mind, was under Russian control), and the (re)reading confirmed and solidified my figuring. Yes, we have Eastern European Y-DNA and atDNA; but that happens when men, for example (and as in our case), marry Leviyot (Levitesses) and are counted as Levites (as Yefuneh Hakenizi was counted as a Yehudi [Judahite] when he married Kalev's mother. After all, Tanakh talks about Kalev as a Yehudi. This doesn't mean that Yefuneh's ethnicity changed, by the way. He was a ger, after all; but his son was a Matrilineal Jew.).

Also consider Ruth: she remained a gentile, but Na'omi's people became her people.

Anyway, that's enough of that for right now. L'laila v'Shabbat Tov.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Sitting Shiva Isn't Always About Physical Death

I know this because I'm well read enough and have delved enough into my own family history. Shiva can be sat when:

  1. A child or other relatives intermarries (This happened to the late Ruth McBride Jordan, nee Rachel Deborah Shilsky [Ruchel Dwajra Zylska] when she was even just in a relationship with Dennis McBride.). This normally doesn't happen if a child marries solely a "shvartze"--as the Yiddish pejorative was thrown about back then. This happens if a child marries any gentile who doesn't convert or is not accepted for conversion into Judaism.
  2. A child or other relative converts out of particularly Non-Messianic Judaism into--e.g.--Roman Catholicism (or other so-called "denominations of Messianic Judaism [Christianity]"), even if they remain Non Messianic and are merely Anusim. Sometimes, shiva isn't even sat and there's a rowdy hatefest where the convert's "death" or death is celebrated (See "Evel Rabbati", which takes work to find but is worth fighting. As the Anti Semites like to tripe on about and the Karaites note, this is what the P'rushiyin do not want you to know.). The P'rushiyin particularly hated Jesus, and revisionists like to pretend that another Yeshua is mentioned, but all one has to do is look at Bava Metzi'a 59b and the New Testament to get the idea pretty quickly.
  3. A child or other relative acts so despicably that the circumstances play out as if he or she is dead, would rather be dead, or would be better off as such.
  4. A child or other relative is in circumstances in he or she is dead, would rather be dead, or would be better off as such. For example, a child who is inevitably going to die of terminal cancer and not be miraculously healed may have shiva sat for him ot her early on.
Shiva can always be reversed for the living. For example, Ruth McBride Jordan did get back in touch with one of her cousins who she hadn't seen in years and who was in California. Even relatives who had sat shiva for her (viz. her aunts Mary and Bernadette) had contact with her, even though that contact was telling her that they sat shiva for her and she was to stay out of their lives (which Mary did)--as well as slamming the door in her face when she reached out to them for help (which Bernadette did).

In my own family's case, I have been in touch with Rusnak relatives before. Also, the Czerneckis did write to us once to ask for the deed to be changed. Shiva will also be reversed for Aunt Mary if she ever reaches out to me again (See #3 to give you an idea of what she did. All that I'll say is that, that took hutzpah to cut me off without at least telling me why she would--at least Ruth McBride Jordan's aunt Mary told her that she cut her off and gave her a hint as to why she did.).

Shiva cannot be reversed for the dead (unless they of course miraculously rise again).

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Messianic Jews, Antimissionaries, and the Rest of Everybody

First of all, Messianic Jews don't proselytize. Many people (including on are  confusing proselytizing with being open about faith. My and other Messianic Jews' intent is not to convert or force conversion on anybody. 

Certain posters on like genecps (who is an Antimissionary, and Antimissionaries frequently) say that even being open about your faith is proselytizing or trying to force conversions; which is about them, not me. I understand, meanwhile, where some people are coming from, but I'm not proselytizing--if my intent were to convert anybody instead of just share my faith-based arguments and support them with Scripture, I could see their contention. As I stated, the Antmissionaries (in general, not just on PF) have been skilled in convoluting the meaning of "proselytize". Posting Scripture to support my arguments, by the way, is not proselytizing. Proselytizing is forcing conversion.

To proselytize is to:


: to induce someone to convert to one's faith
: to recruit someone to join one's party, institution, or cause
transitive verb
: to recruit or convert especially to a new faith, institution, or cause

We don't do that. We share our faith and let you and G-d make the decision:

1 Corinthians 3:5-8 (NKJV): 

5 Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers through whom you believed, as the Lord gave to each one? 6 I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase. 7 So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase. 8 Now he who plants and he who waters are one, and each one will receive his own reward according to his own labor.

The Inquisitors, the pogromists, etc.--they proselytized.

Secondly, Jeszua (Jesus) was a Jew. So you don't believe that Jeszua was the Messiah. Nu, what can I do about it? But don't tell me that I'm not Jewish because I believe that a Jewish man who you don't believe is the Messiah, is the Messiah. Thirdly, we Jews are a people first, regardless of what we believe--belief is secondary:

Deuteronomy 7:6-8
New King James Version (NKJV)
6 “For you are a holy people to the Lord your God; the Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for Himself, a special treasure above all the peoples on the face of the earth. 7 The Lord did not set His love on you nor choose you because you were more in number than any other people, for you were the least of all peoples; 8 but because the Lord loves you, and because He would keep the oath which He swore to your fathers, the Lord has brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you from the house of bondage, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Does Jews For Jesus, And Do Similar Groups, Actually Proselytize? The Answer Is That...

They sometimes but rarely do. Let's first look at what proselytize means:

Definition of PROSELYTIZE

intransitive verb
: to induce someone to convert to one's faith
: to recruit someone to join one's party, institution, or cause
transitive verb
: to recruit or convert especially to a new faith, institution, or cause
— pros·e·ly·ti·za·tion  noun
— pros·e·ly·tiz·er  noun

Jews for Jesus does not intend to "induce someone to convert to one's faith" or "recruit someone to join one's party, institution, or cause"-- that is not up to them. "Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers through whom you believed, as the Lord gave to each one? I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase. 7 So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase." So goes the same for any other Messianic Jew and G-d, although Jews for Jesus does indeed intend to-- as they state-- make the Messiahship of Yeshua (Jesus) unavoidable.

When they proselytize is when they go into places where they're unequivocally unwelcome, unless they are called to go there by G-d-- but whether they are called is disputable as well. For, "when you go into a household, greet it. 13 If the household is worthy, let your peace come upon it. But if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you. 14 And whoever will not receive you nor hear your words, when you depart from that house or city, shake off the dust from your feet.15 Assuredly, I say to you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for that city!"

Most haredim in haredi shtetlach are preconceivedly exclusive, private, and unwelcoming of Messianic Jews-- so why Jews for Jesus does enter neighborhoods like Crown Heights and Northwest Baltimore, unless invited, is one aspect of Jews for Jesus that I question.

In conclusion, Jews for Jesus (and similar groups) proselytize only when they go into places where they are clearly unwelcome and not called to go. Otherwise, they do not do or intend recruiting or inducing regarding Messianic Judaism. 

Sunday, March 11, 2012

My Sister Is Actually Thinking About Converting To Catholicism....

In the words of Link from Hyrule to the casual gamers, "Really, [Michelle]?" In all seriousness, though (besides "Really, Michelle?"), Michelle may want to search up on Roman Catholicism on Google, my blog, etc.. Besides, the only reason that my dad and his family is or was Catholic is because they were or are Anusim Katolim-- they weren't really Catholic--; and now my sister wants to become a Katolit-- an Evangelical Catholic, but a Catholic! Oy vey!

Part of the reason she wants to convert-- to observe Lent without feeling pressured as a Protestant to not observe Lent. She may as well convert back to English-American Catholicism-- Episcopalianism-- if she's going to convert. But to remain just a plain old Jewish Protestant would be better for her-- and Protestants, Jewish and gentile, observe Lent all the time; whether or not they've never been Catholics or they are Ex Catholics.