Ask The Rabbi

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Am I a Jew or not?

The Rav Name: Rabbi Meir Arad


I have a halachic question. I was raised frum (Orthodox), but stopped observing later in life and became irreligious. Eventually, years later, I married a non-Jewish girl, and converted to Christianity for her.

I later ended up getting divorced and realized it was the wrong decision (not necessarily for the conversion, but more for the person I married). However, I would not say I didn’t believe in Christianity at the time and was “just doing it for marriage”, as I did earnestly try to convince myself and I guess at times “felt” something. I continued to go to church for a while, even well after the divorce.

I grew up in a very Christian area with not many Jews, for what’s it worth, so the pressure was always there. But now I realize the mistake.

Do I have to formally convert back to Judaism and undergo giyuros? Or is this simply “once a Jew, always a Jew”? The issue is that I don’t necessarily want to go back to observing anything (Shabbos, kosher, davening, etc), but I would like to be considered “Jewish” again.

Thank you for answering this difficult question,

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.