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Noahide or convert?

Discussion in 'Reform DIR' started by Karolina, Nov 19, 2019.

  1. Karolina

    Karolina Member

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    I'm still very early in my investigation of Judaism, so I know it's a bit hasty, still I like to anticipate all possible obstacles well before I even meet with them. Therefore, I'm wondering about the Reform perspective on if it's better for a Gentile, specifically a Gentile family, to convert to Judaism, or simply to remain Noahide but worship with Jews in Synagogue? Because everything I've found on Noahide online seems to say: there's no need to convert, so don't unless you want to be part of the Jewish people.... BUT there's no attention given to the need of the Noahide seeker who needs a sense of community and faith fellowship.

    Currently, my family attend a Catholic church, but my husband is open to us looking into Judaism as he is as disillusioned with our current form of worship as I am. We have two young children, and I don't want to introduce confusion into their lives, nor do I want to rush them or us into something without first thoroughly educating myself on it.

    So far, I'm convinced of the need to switch to strict monotheism and trinitarian expressions of faith are no longer comfortable for me and feel idolatrous. On the surface, it seems Judaism would be the best move as far as beliefs about God, humanity, and the meaning of it all. There are only a few items I'm not totally comfortable with, even in Reform Judaism, but considering the laundry list of things I'm uncomfortable with in Catholicism, it makes no sense to just remain as-is.

    I guess my basic question is this - would our family be welcome to join the local Reform Jewish congregation as Noahides, or is there an expectation that anyone coming regularly is on the road to conversion?
     
  2. Rival

    Rival Noahide
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  3. IndigoChild5559

    IndigoChild5559 Loving God and my neighbor as myself.

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    Hi there.

    A Reform synagogue would love to welcome you, but they would not refer to you as noahide per se. They would simply see you as ethical monotheists who are attracted to Judaism. My synagogue has a half dozen such Gentiles. Heck, our organist jokes around that if he actually became a Jew that he would have to stop playing the organ on Shabbat. I have to warn you though -- these sort of Gentiles have a habit, after years of attending and getting a real good taste of Judaism, of wanting the meat and converting. :)
     
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  4. Jayhawker Soule

    Jayhawker Soule <yawn> ignore </yawn>
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    First, the caveat: it is generally unwise to generalize about synagogues affiliated with the Union for Reform Judaism. That said ...

    These synagogues will genuinely welcome you to their services, Torah studies, and other congregation services, but I'd be surprised if they would grant formal membership. I also suspect that most would resist granting you such privileges as aliyah.

    If you're serious, you should consider initiating a discussion with your local rabbi.

    My personal recommendation is that you consider UU. You could also supplement this with participation in a Torah class at a nearby synagogue.

    L'shalom.
     
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  5. Rival

    Rival Noahide
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    Once more I'd like to remind folks that this is posted in the Reform Judaism DIR and only Reform Jews may comment here. Thank you.
     
  6. Karolina

    Karolina Member

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    I'm sorry, I thought I could ask questions about Reform Judaism here. Is this not the case? (Yes, I'm a little slow, lol.)
     
  7. Rival

    Rival Noahide
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    You may ask questions here but they may only be answered by Reform Jews.
     
  8. Karolina

    Karolina Member

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    Thank you for clarifying.
    Intellectually speaking, I too think I should be fine with UU. But I've been to UU services and find them emotionally unfulfilling. There are people from all walks of life there, including non-theists, pantheists, polytheists, etc. When I think of a faith community, it is important for me that the people I worship with are worshiping the same God. Plus, the more ancient traditions (of Catholicism before, and now Judaism) resonate more with me.

    Yesterday I started a short course on Judaism at a local synagogue. I've also been reading their recommended book. Based on these and the videos and articles I've been reading, the beliefs of Judaism are pretty much what I've always believed on some level. Nothing requires convincing. What remains to be seen, I suppose, is how Jewish practices resonate with me, and there's only one way to find out.
     
  9. Jayhawker Soule

    Jayhawker Soule <yawn> ignore </yawn>
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    Shalom and welcome -- take it slow.
     
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