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Ivanka Trump Is Converting for Love. Would You?

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There are a million things you would do for love. Is giving up your religion one of them?

ivanka trump

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?


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10 comments so far | Post a comment now
Anonymous November 3, 2008, 2:30 PM

When my husband and I got married, I convert from Catholic to Lutheran. Not as big as a reach to Judaism but I see nothing wrong with her doing that. I wanted my kids to be raised with one religion and sharing in our joint beliefs. I have no problem with them converting later in life if they so chose to.

Kate November 3, 2008, 2:52 PM

If you’re willing to convert to a different religion, what does that say about how important your religious values are to you? If your relationship with a person is more important that your relationship with God, what kind of message does that send about you as a person? Obviously, religion isn’t important to you, and so the switch doesn’t really come as such a huge sacrifice because how committed will you be to this new religion? Anon, being Catholic and being Lutheran are both forms of the same religion - Christianity. Denomonational changes are completely different from religious conversions.

I can understand wanting to raise children in a home that follows one religion, but wouldn’t you want to choose a mate whose religion aligns with your own instead of asking them to change for you?

She November 3, 2008, 4:36 PM

From Christianity to Judaism? Personally I never think it’s a good idea to renounce Jesus as the messiah… but the Jews are God’s people.. I think she should pray and follow her heart.

Woo boy this topic’s gonna open a big can o worms…

Marisa November 3, 2008, 8:57 PM

Rabbi Hirsch is obviously a Reform Rabbi. Conservative and Orthodox Rabbis would never encourage conversions for marriage only. In Orthodox Judaism, what Ivanka is reportedly going through, a conversion for the purpose of marriage is not accepted and conversions usually last at least two years.

I really don’t see Ivanka going through with it. Ivanka has to change the way she dresses, eats, and she has to observe the Sabbath which will definately affect her job which requires constant travelng.

I think it’s absolutely ridicoulous for anyone to pressure their partner to change their religion before marriage. Obvioulsy Ivanka wasn’t Jewish when Jared started dating her so why is it a requirement now? Jared should convert to Christianity because he disrespected his strict religious ubringing by dating a non-Jew. In fact Jared broke-up with Ivanka in April because she refused to convert at that time. Ivanka is being pressured into something she doesn’t really want to do.

Laurie Graff November 15, 2008, 8:38 PM

This converting for love really struck me because I have just had a novel released that’s close in hand about lying for love. My novel is a must-read for Ivanka! Called, THE SHIKSA SYNDROME, it’s about a Jewish girl who pretends to be a shiksa to catch a Jewish guy. My book, in the end, comes down to love that’s managed with one own’s authenticity. Take a look: www.lauriegraff.com

Kris January 27, 2009, 11:37 AM

Religion couldn’t have been too important to either one of them, really. If it was in fact the leading force in their life, then they wouldn’t have been dating outside their religion, right? Wonder if the guy’s mother is behind this al???? hmmm—an intervening Jewish mother?

Anonymous October 26, 2009, 3:22 PM

What….no way…she married him for his money.

Nate September 28, 2010, 11:03 PM

I would contend with the Rabbi that the greater love should be to the God that is being worshipped. If Ivanka truly considered conversion she would have to weigh her love of Christ to her love of boyfriend. Anyone legitimately considering conversion should look at the considered faith for substance with a supported factual basis rather than a boyfriend who could be a dime a dozen. My opinion based on the article is that Ivanka didn’t know her Christian faith to begin with and just wants to get married.

Cate November 20, 2010, 12:49 PM

i think that you shouldn’t change because of him. if you really love him and will convert for him, your marriage needs to last a lot because it doesn’t sound wrong. it’s just that what if you end in divorce it would have been a waste

Michael May 13, 2011, 8:05 AM

So, she’s telling Jesus she’s moving onto Jared? Jesus died for the Jews (and the rest of us, of course), so why would she make a backward move unless she wasn’t really a Christian in the first place?


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