There are a million things you would do for love. Is giving up your religion one of them?
Charlotte did it for Harry on "Sex and the City," and last week we told you how Ivanka Trump is converting to Judaism so she can marry her boyfriend, Jared Kushner, the orthodox Jewish publisher of the New York Observer. While Ivanka's decision is making headlines, she's not the only one embracing Judaism for the sake of the man she loves. Rabbi Sherre Hirsch, momlogic contributor and author of "We Plan and God Laughs" explains what's involved, what it means and what you might not have thought about ... until now.
The facts are fairly straightforward. Rabbi Hirsch says it takes at least a year of study for a conversion to Judaism to be complete. "A woman goes through mikvah, which is a ritual emersion into a body of water. She also has to appear before the beit din, which is a Jewish court of law. As for a male converting, he will need to be circumcised if he already isn't." And as all "Sex And The City" addicts know from watching Charlotte have that door slammed in her face when she went to visit the Rabbi, a person who wants to convert is refused three times before they are accepted. Rabbi Hirsch explains why, "You have to show a powerful commitment to Judaism before you can convert." But the year of study needed for conversion isn't spent just hitting the books. "The year is spent living Judaism -- living with the faith and the practices, observing the holidays -- action is as important as belief in Judaism."
Rabbi Hirsch also adds, "Some people think you should convert only if you truly believe in Judaism. I don't believe that. We do all kinds of things for love. I think it's empowering to do this for another person, for the sake of raising your children and for yourself. To convert your identity or religion for someone is really a symbol of love. This is not just for the sake of the children -- this is for the sake of the marriage. If it were just for the sake of the children, that is too much of a burden on them. What Ivanka is doing is an incredible statement of love."
But the rabbi is quick to add that conversion can be a deal breaker. "If this is an ultimatum, then this is a relationship that needs to be reassessed." But while this can be a beautiful way to unify a couple, there are some sacrifices involved. So listen up Ivanka, Rabbi Hirsh says there are a few things converts often miss. "They miss the holidays like Christmas. They even miss things like cheeseburgers and BLT's if they decide to keep kosher."How about you? Would you change your religion for the one you love?