How To Tell Your Parents You're Jewish?
All my life I've grown up with Christian parents, and while I'm not against the Christian faith, I've experienced the Jewish religion and I prefer it over Christianity. How can I tell them that though? I also have another question though. In my town there is no one of the Jewish faith really, so there is no place for me to attend synagogue on Saturday's. Is there anyway that I could watch it on Youtube? Or is there a way that one of you could help me understand a little deeper into this faith? I know the basics of the religion, but it's the rest I'm a little confused on. Due to me being just sixteen years old, proving this to my parents is going to be quite hard, so I want them to see that this is something I'm really interested in pursing in my life on earth. That's why I'd like to be able to watch different sermons on the internet of the Jewish faith. It doesn't matter if it's on Youtube, or an actual Jewish website for a church. I just want them to see that I'm really putting my heart and soul into this faith. Thank you so very much, and I hope you have a wonderful day.
- AravahLv 77 years agoFavorite Answer
JEWISH answer: you are not Jewish yet - you haven't even begun on the path to conversion. Judaism is different than Christianity - you don't just announce you've changed religions. There a lot of hard work ahead of you especially since you are under age. You will need parental permission to study at a nearby synagogue. No rabbi would proceed with conversion of a minor without it.
It is like becoming a Marine or a doctor - you have to put in the work and earn it before you can call yourself a Jew.
the main answer to your question: Talk to them and tell them you are interested in learning more about Judaism from Jews, not from a Christian standpoint (which doesn't get information about Judaism and The Messiah right)
study and determine which branch of Judaism is calling to you – Orthodox, Conservative, Reconstructionist or Reform. Find a synagogue of that branch near you and talk with the rabbi.
Typically, there is an Intro to Judaism class that can last 16 lessons (with a break in the winter or spring, depending on when the class starts). During that time you’ll be expected to attend Shabbat services and holiday observances at the synagogue and bringing more and more of the mitzvot (commandments) into your life, moving closer and closer to living life as a Jew.
After the class you’ll work one-on-one with the rabbi or an elder on any areas you might need more study. When the rabbi considers you are ready, you will be referred to a rabbinical court (who aren’t out to sink anyone). They determine if the candidate understands enough about Judaism and is living life as a Jew (except for saying the blessings on Shabbat).
If the candidate is male and approved, they will have to been circumcised or a ritual drop of blood drawn from the genitals (with appropriate numbing agent applied). Men and women converts then go to a mikvah, a ritual immersion in water with appropriate prayers. When one emerges, they are considered 100% Jewish.
Now, the different branches don’t all recognize conversions by other branches (much like some Christian denominations don’t consider other denominations as REAL Christians).
Orthodox – recognize only Orthodox conversions.
Conservative – recognize Conservative and Orthodox conversions
Reconstructionist – recognize all conversions
Reform – recognize all conversions.
The State of Israel recognizes all conversions as legitimate but only Orthodox Jews can marry in Israel or be buried in a Jewish cemetery. Non-Orthodox go to Cyprus, get married and their marriage is then recognized in Israel.
Orthodox = 2 – 3 years to convert
Conservative = 2 – 2 1/2 years
Reconstructionist – 2 – 2 1/2 years
Reform – 1 – 1 1/2 years
Side notes: “Messianic Jews” are NOT Jewish and are NOT accepted in any branch of Judaism. They are Christian sects with Christian beliefs and some are intentionally deceptive in their attempts to convert Jews. “Messianics” are NOT recognized as Jewish by any Jewish branch nor by Israel nor by the US military. They are Christians despite calling their churches synagogues and their ministers “rabbis”
You don’t have to be Jewish to reach G=d/heaven/the world to come.
Recommended books: The Complete Idiot's Guide to Understanding Judaism (a real book by a rabbi) - Choosing Judaism - Living Judaism - Jewish Literacy - What is Special about Judaism - What is a Jew - The Jewish Home (Amazon . com used books is a great resource - odds are these or most of these will be required in your class and the synagogue can order them for you)
in addition to Allonyoav's linksSource(s): Jewish convert James - I will pass your question along to two rabbinical students I know. Check back p.s. - 'messianics' are NOT part of any Jewish branch or part of the Jewish community.
- JamesLv 67 years ago
You just need to have a heart to heart with them and tell them what you think and they will either hate it like my Protestant parents did when I became an Orthodox Christian and began my catechism or they will try to be as supportive as they can.
You are not Jewish though, however; you're not even in the process of converting yet. There's nothing wrong with that; you're dedicated and trying to be one, I'm sure that your Rabbi will appreciate your zeal. But becoming a Jew is hard work and most Rabbis probably won't even begin the process with you unless your parents consent or you reach the legal age of 18.
I did have one question though for the Jewish guy who posted on here:
What happens if someone dies while in the process of converting to Judaism? Are they considered Jews and do they get to have a Jewish funeral (if there is such a thing?)?
EDIT: Will do. Thank you Rabbi btw for your answerSource(s): Aspiring Eastern Orthodox monk
- kaganateLv 77 years ago
Jewish is not just a faith.
It is an extended family --
to become Jewish you must formaly be adopted into the family -- ie: you must convert according to the laws of Judaism.
If you believe in the Jewish religion but are not converted - the common modern term is "child of Noah" / "Noahide"
If you fully study the Jewish religion you will learn that there is no need to convert and become Jewish.
Anyone of any culture is considered to be doing right in the eyes of God if he keeps the basic morality that is innate to all of humanity -- charity, kindness, the fight for a just and equitable social system.
If you do want to convert -- then there are no shortcuts -
you need to find a Jewish community and study with them and live with them.
"Saturday worship on youtube" does not cut it in Judaism.
Note that in the Bible, the first thing God says to Abraham is "leave your parents house and travel to the place I show you"
Abraham does not become "the Hebrew" until he crosses the river (the word Ivri means "the one from across the river")
Then there is Ruth. She is realy the main archetype of the convert --
She follows Naomi to an abandoned farm in Judea and says "where you go, I will go, your people will be my people ...etc."
So -- meantime -- you are not Jewish.
You realy don't need to tell your parents anything except perhaps to express your discomfort with the Christian faith and/or practices.
But -- that can always be left to when there is a comfortible opening for it.
- allonyoavLv 77 years ago
The best site to learn from is http://www.aish.comwhich/ has both written articles and audio files rated from beginner to advanced. It is far more reliable than any youtube videos, many of which are made by so called exerts that are actually fakes, many times anti-Semites looking to spread lies and misinformation about Judaism.
Unfortunately you cannot convert remotely in Judaism nor will any Rabbi convert you without your parents agreeing. An Orthodox conversion would require that you lived in an area with an Orthodox community and in a home where you could observe Jewish law- not something you can do while still staying with your parents- liberal Rabbis may not have that requirement but they will not convert a minor or even teach one without parental consent
Just an answer to the question of the status of a person who dies while in the process of converting:
Unfortunately the person is not yet Jewish and cannot be treated as a Jew. I have never heard of an actual case but practically I would expect the person would be buried to the side of the Jewish cemetery, not within it as they are not yet Jewish. If the person had been circumcised but had not yet been to mikveh there may be room for leniency and allow them to be buried as a Jew as they have accepted the bris milah. Unfortunately I do not have nay specific sources but I will see if I can find anything in my library which answers this question.Source(s): Orthodox Jew; Reverend
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- VanessaLv 57 years ago
You can just tell your parents, they should understand you have found a faith you prefer to practice. I would call up some rabbis in some towns near you, since you write there are no synagogues around you, they can give you a lot of answers. Rabbis are very cool, I called a couple to see if gifts I wanted to give to Jewish people I knew were okay, I knew one of the classical music artists was an anti-Semite and I did not know who it was, I Googled it but wanted to be sure the cd I was giving the guy was okay too, that Rabbi was soo nice she called me back immediately, her secretary took the message. But call a few synagogues and explain all you wrote here, maybe there are meetings in places around your town you are unaware of.
- 7 years ago
Judaism has still the main principles of Christianity. The two greatest commandments are to Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, soul, might, mind, and strengh. Loving thy neighbor as thyself is the second greatest commandment.
It should be noted that many Christian thoughts take after thoughts in the Torah, or what Jewish people refer to as The Bible for Christians. I will go over some of those things.
1. Elijah the prophet sensed the blood of the lamb so that The Lord would spare for lives of the Israelites.
2. Sacrifices were made in the Torah at given times instructed by the Lord, such as new moons and the Sabbath day.
3. The red sea turning to blood was the presence of Jehovah for the sins of the Egyptians.
4. The Son of Man must be raised up, as Moses raised up the serpent in the wildnernss.
5. David is the Son of "man" for how we perceive natural things in this world. He ate when he was hungry and sacrificed his place as a testimony for the Israelites, and the future glory of God.
6. 12 tribes separated from Judah. The Lord will restore all things, and as Isaiah the prophet said, the lamb will dlie down with the wolf, and people will sleep in the wilderness with no fear.
7. The glory of the face of the Lord is much for our sinful flesh to repair, which is why God said, "Anyone who sees my face shall die."
8. Exodus in The Bible talks about Moses being slow of speech and confidence and preaching to people when different times were right.
9. Leviticus in The Bible deals with many sacrifices. Sacrificing on the Sabbath means deep thinking towawrd to Lord and how we can perceive His presence in some way in this world.
10. Genesis is the beginning of all creation. It is how flesh came out from God so that we may see and perceive, and hear and understand. Remember Lot's wife. Whoever shall seek to gain his life and soul in this world shall lose it, but whoever shall see to lose his life shall preserve it.
born and raised Jewish, lived Ezekiel 43, Christian
- brother truckerLv 77 years ago
Religion isn't a matter of preference but of truth. Study and find the truth. Its far more important than any religion.
- A B2Lv 77 years ago
Talking to them.