69 million page views

Fred Shlomka's comments re: conversion to Judaism in Israel

Reader comment on item: Conversions in Israel
in response to reader comment: No Fatwas in Israel

Submitted by Mike (United States), Sep 20, 2008 at 22:42

Fred stated In pre-state Palestine, Muslim, Christian, and Jewish communities were geographically and culturally very close. Marriages between villages were common, with the women coverting to the religion of the community she married in to.

I'm pretty sure that many Jewish & Christian women married into Muslim families. In many cases, they converted. Islamic Sharia allows Muslim men to take Jewish & Christian women as wives, the non-Musliom wives are permitted to retain their religion (although encouraged to adopt Islam) but are required to raise any children who are issue of the marriage to as Muslims. Muslim women are completely forbidden from marrying out, unless the husband adopts Islam, in which case they haven;t married "out".

Even with the upsurge of the Islamic Movement in israel today, Muslims accept occasional conversions. It's the Jewish community in israel that has often violent reactions to conversionsof Jews to other religions.

The Muslim community will always be very hostile (to put it mildly) at anyone who abandons Islam for Judaism or any other faith. They will embrace converts TO Islam, although I've heard stories of Israeli Jewish women who were poorly treated in Arab villages after they married Muslim men, even after they converted to Islam.

Jewish converts are welcomed into their new communities whereas they are usually orstacised by their families and Jewish society.

I assume you are speaking of Jews who convert to Islam. Yes, naturally it upsets many Jews who know of the history of Jews being subjected to forced conversions in the past, and targeted by Christian and Islamic missionary activity alike, when their fellow Jews abandon the faith of their fathers and the Jewish community. Personally I believe in the religious free market and that any individual should have autonomy to decide where his religious beliefs lie (or not), but given that the Jews are a tiny minority in the world, its upsetting when some leave the fold. Also

Muslim converts to Judaism are viewed with suspicion and the new family usually shunned, often ending up back in the Muslim community.

You know, I've heard of very few cases of such a thing occurring, when it does, probably it happens in Israel when either an Israeli Arab marries into a Jewish family or when such an individual wishes to abandon his Muslim roots and thinks conversion to Judaism will be his entry card into Israel society. Religious Judaism tells people to love and accept the convert, in practice there is always suspicion and reluctance to convert someone. For one thing, Jews living in Christian and Muslim lands were for a long time forbidden to convert Christians and Muslims to Judaism on pain of death. Orthodox Judaism says to embrace the convert who sincerely wishes to adopt the path of following Jewish law, but to make sure he or she is not doing it for some ulterior motives first--that ulterior motive may be in some cases to marry into a Jewish family, to get Israeli citizenship, a job opportunity, etc. In the case of Arabs adopting Judaism, rabbis wish to know why they wish to convert, especially as Orth Judaism has a positive attitude to Islam, believe it or not.

Submitting....

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

Comment on this item

Mark my comment as a response to Fred Shlomka's comments re: conversion to Judaism in Israel by Mike

Email me if someone replies to my comment

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

See recent outstanding comments.

Follow Daniel Pipes

Facebook   Twitter   RSS   Join Mailing List

All materials by Daniel Pipes on this site: © 1968-2022 Daniel Pipes. daniel.pipes@gmail.com and @DanielPipes

Support Daniel Pipes' work with a tax-deductible donation to the Middle East Forum.Daniel J. Pipes

(The MEF is a publicly supported, nonprofit organization under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code.

Contributions are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law. Tax-ID 23-774-9796, approved Apr. 27, 1998.

For more information, view our IRS letter of determination.)