Recently, I met someone who is interested, toying with, the possibility of conversion to Judaism. But the first meeting with the rabbi went steadily south. In fact, that’s an understatement. It was downright awful. The rabbi even made some racist comments. Whoa.
But despite one rude rabbi, this person’s interest in Judaism was not deterred. And this is something I find pretty impressive, no matter how many times I hear this story. Most sincere converts keep coming back to Judaism no matter how many obstacles come their way. It’s a testament to the tenacity of converts how often this happens.
Though I’ve heard this story countless times, each time, I’ve wondered about how many prospective converts have heard that rabbis turn converts away at least three times to test their sincerity. (Some people in the community take this so seriously, they decide to do the rabbi’s job for him by making a prospective convert’s life as miserable as possible.)
But honestly, conversion is hard no matter how difficult the rabbis make it. In this week’s “Question of the Week,” Chabad went that extra mile and got very deep about answering, “Why do Rabbis Discourage Conversions?”