by Reb Gutman Locks @ Mystical Paths
Hello Reb Gutman,
I am writing regarding your post on Mystical Paths with the title, “I Would Convert.”
You said to that man, "You were born a member of one of the 70 Nations, and you must find your spiritual path among them."
I was born a member of the 70 Nations, and I converted to Judaism. Are you saying I should not have converted?
Thanks, (a reader)
When someone comes to an Orthodox rabbi wanting to convert, the rabbi must send that person away. That person was born into a certain nation and should find his or her way with the Seven Mitzvahs of Noah, which form the spiritual path given to the 70 Nations. This is a complete and holy path. Those who follow it become holy people who enjoy shares both in this world and the in World to Come.
If he returns to the rabbi and again asks to convert, the rabbi must send him away again. After all, he was born a member of one of those nations for a good reason. Besides, Jews are a people, not a religion. Why would anyone want to change his people?
If that rejected person returns a third time, the rabbi is to again tell him to keep the Seven Commandments of Noah and be a holy person.
If the person returns a fourth time, the rabbi is to question him to see if he wants to convert for the right reason. Is he converting to marry a Jewish girl he loves or to get a better job? If so, the rabbi is to reject him completely. There is no set number of times that a potential convert should be sent away, but he should be discouraged from converting.
If after these rejections he still wants to convert, because he loves G-d and the Jewish people, then we assume that in his last lifetime he was a Jew, but he did not act as a Jew should act and was reincarnated as a non-Jew with a strong desire to return to his people. Or, it could be that one of his ancestors had special merit and therefore he has a strong desire to become a Jew. The rabbi then begins the long process that leads to his proper conversion.
On the surface, there is no reason for a member of the 70 Nations to convert. If he will follow his spiritual path properly, he will not lack anything. In fact, Jewish writings teach that anyone can attain the level of ruach hakodesh which is a spiritual level just under prophecy…. a Jew or a non-Jew.
According to the Tanna De Bei Eliyahu, all people can experience Divine inspiration. “The reward is commensurate with the effort—the greater the sacrifice, the greater the revelation. It all depends on one’s deeds.”
You asked if you did the right thing by converting. If you pushed through the obstacles and came back again and again and your conversion was kosher k’halacha – according to Jewish law, then, welcome home.