Sunday, November 27, 2016


I Want to be a Jew - Am I Crazy?

​   by Reb Gutman Locks   

I Want to be a Jew - Am I Crazy?


Dear Gutman Locks,

     Please forgive me for intruding on your precious time, which I assume to be very valuable and very limited, owing to all your work that you do.

     I came across your videos on YouTube, and I really like your style.  I like the straight talking attitude.  That is why I wrote to to ask if they could let me contact you, but then I found your address.

     Anyway let me explain why I am writing.

     First off, my mother was not Jewish, father was because his mother was, but not her mother.  So I understand that in terms of Halakha I am not Jewish.  My father's family is also mixed up like this but they're not important at this point.

Anyway from a young age I have had dreams of a strange nature.  I won't go into much detail but I know that they portray a life that seems like my own, but obviously cannot be because it appears to be pre-1939 Europe.  So I thought the most obvious reason was this was due to books or motion pictures influencing this.  However there was also a strong desire to be Jewish.

     This was at odds with everything around me other than a few remnants of philosophy or artifacts, like a star of David bowl my Jewish aunt gave my parents as a wedding present.

     However the older I get, the more I desire to become a fully fledged Jew.

Even though I disagree with some of the Laws.  I still want to follow them.

     I also know that I don't need to be a Jew, but yet the desire or the wanting is so strong, to join this group of people.

     I don't understand it at all.  I don't understand why I would desire this; to join a persecuted people, or to "restrict" my life.  Because logically it makes no sense to my secular mind, but in a stronger and more forceful part it doesn't seem like a restriction at all.

     Am I crazy? Am I lost? Am I confused?

     Yours respectfully

     Matthew P


Gutman's response:


Shalom Matthew,

     When non-Jews come to convert we are instructed to send them away. The reason is not to be mean, but to encourage them to try to find the spiritual path they were born to. Almost always this is best for them. They should learn and follow the Seven Commandments of Noah. This will give them a wonderful life in this world and a share in the World to Come. This is the easiest thing for them.  

     You wrote that your "father was Jewish because his mother was, but not her mother." Were you referring to your mother here or your father's mother's mother? If your father's mother was Jewish then your father was Jewish. You have to verify the facts before you can know what to do.

     If your father was indeed Jewish as you have stated, then there is an exception to the sending away non-Jews who want to convert rule. If their father is Jewish, for his sake we are to try to help that person convert if that is their true desire.

     If your father was Jewish then it could be that your spiritual inclination is being nudged by your father's mother's soul. Maybe you should go to your closest Chabad rabbi and tell him your story and then follow his advice. Any orthodox rabbi should be able to guide you, but do not be satisfied with a non-kosher conversion as the orthodox Jews would never accept such a conversion.    

     Know now before you might start, it is a long path of study, practice, and tons of rules.

Be well,



  1. Converting to Judaism is the worst mistake you can possibly make.

    Obeying the laws is ridiculously difficult (big understatement), and the entire world hates you (big understatement).

  2. Hey, Matthew P! Noahidism isn't a religion or even a spiritual path. They have no mnemonic rituals or observances. There is no Noahide culture and you'll never find a community of Noahides that'll give you a sense of belonging. Noahidism is just a set of sixty-six of the six-hundred and thirteen mitzvot, that happen to fall into seven categories. Noahidism is just something that Jews offer non-Jews by way of patting them on the head and telling them to run along and play and stop bothering the adults. If you've got the money to move to a place where you can undergo an orthodox conversion, then move and convert! Just make sure that the rabbi and the rabbinic court supervising your conversion is on the Israeli conversion authority's list of approved rabbis/courts, otherwise your conversion won't be recognized and you won't be able to make aliyah.

  3. Mr Cohen, I am a future convert and undergoing conversion studies under the guidance of a Talmid chacham and what you wrote is a chillul HaShem..

  4. R' Locks gives good advice. Continue to explore and learn, and if you find you continue to have a strong desire to convert, go ahead and do it (Orthodox, of course).

    If you are determined to convert, whether or not you are "sent away" by rabbis is of no consequence. If you keep coming back, they will teach you. At any rate, someone will.

    Before someone converts then it is rational, to a degree, for people to suggest you would be better to remain a Noahide, because there are fewer mitzvos for which you are responsible. As far as they know this could be correct.

    But if you desire to convert anyway and succeed, then yasher koach and from then on, don't listen the naysayers. The fact that you accomplished it shows that it was Hashem's will!

    I am a ger and fortunately no one has ever told me I shouldn't have converted. If someone says such a thing then ignore them; they are probably bitter about Judaism and don't understand why anyone would love it. Try not to take it personally.


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