Ask The Rabbi

Ask The Rabbi


Convert – or not?

The Rav Name: Rabbi Meir Arad

Hello, I have a somewhat nuanced question, and would appreciate some guidance. I’m undergoing education leading towards conversion to Judaism through a recognized (but non orthodox) local Rabbi, and have discovered I’m (through great distance) maternally of Jewish, though with no material previous connection Jewish practice or heavily documented enough to prove ‘without a doubt’ she was Jewish due to conversion and some immigration record irregularities. Additionally complicating this, is the fact that I’m married to a deeply supportive but non-Jewish or actively religious wife, and as such even if I were to seek a traditional conversion through an Orthodox Rabbi it would likely not advance far since it would creat an interfaith marriage (though it existed before I knew of this ancestry.) So my question is: as someone with “Jewish” religious convictions, and maternal/halachic but not definitely Jewish descent, what would be my best approach to approaching orthodox Torah observance? Seek conversion and practice as a ‘frum’ but heterodox convert? Would the expectation be I ‘ere’ on not being counted for minyan etc. ?

It is permissible for a woman to perform her ritual immersion, tvila, in a lake, only in the event that there is no available mikve (ritual pool) and if she does not use the lake, her immersion will have to be delayed. Also, the water should not be flowing, and it should be done with guidance from a Rabbi in order to clarify additional details.