By Lawrence J. Epstein
From the biblical tale of Ruth to the megastar conversion of Elizabeth Taylor, Converts to Judaism tells the tales of people that have switched over to Judaism all through background. The ebook introduces readers to origins of Judaism and stocks the 1st conversion tales of the folk who helped the early Jewish religion develop. next chapters hint the trajectory of Judaism throughout the a long time whereas highlighting the tales of converts—both recognized and lesser-known—and how they formed the culture. The e-book comprises not just the tale of Warder Cresson, who was once wear trial for madness after changing to Judaism, but additionally recognized celebrities who grew to become Jewish similar to Marilyn Monroe and Sammy Davis, Jr.
Written through a famous specialist at the conversion technique, Converts to Judaism serves as a special source to humans contemplating the demanding course of conversion and a demonstration of the real, and infrequently astonishing, position Jewish converts have continually performed in Jewish life.
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Extra resources for Converts to Judaism: Stories from Biblical Times to Today
For these Jews who observed Diaspora existence as God’s layout to carry this sort of non secular instance to humanity, the belief of project persevered. Examples of such habit are available within the Talmud. for instance, Simeon ben Shetach was once a terrible guy who still constantly acted ethically in all company concerns regarding the linen items he got and offered. certainly one of his scholars, looking to please him, went to a Gentile service provider and acquired a donkey. The Talmudic legislation approximately such purchases was once that when the donkey was once bought, all that was once on it additionally belonged to the hot proprietor. Simeon gratefully permitted the reward, took off the saddle, and beneath it came across a pricey jewel. Simeon’s scholars have been extremely joyful simply because their grasp was once now a filthy rich guy. in any case, the jewel was once at the donkey and all at the donkey legally belonged to Simeon. yet Simeon knew that the service provider had now not meant to promote the jewel, and so Simeon lower back the jewel to the service provider, who exclaimed, “Blessed be the Lord, the God of Simeon ben Shetach” (Yerushalmi Bava Metzia, ii, 8c). the increase of Islam tremendously affected Jews within the heart a while. Jews in Arabia, Mesopotamia, and Persia have been below the rule of thumb of one more spiritual circulate that believed it had changed Judaism. The impression of Islam’s quick surge in heritage had one other impact in addition. strength converts to Judaism had a decision among a effective Christianity with expanding energy, the hot Islamic T H E T I M E OF RE LI GI OU S fight sixty five religion, or the negative, downtrodden, persecuted Jews, who had misplaced their place of origin and Temple. possible think a possible convert concluding a lesson from heritage that God had deserted the Jews and favorite Christianity or Islam. And, in case such conclusions weren't drawn, criminal prohibitions endured. among 395 and 408, Arcadius, the Byzantine emperor, reenacted Constantius’s decrees that prohibited Jewish proselytizing. In 538 and 548, the 3rd and Fourth Councils of Orléans prohibited Jews from proselytizing. among 717 and 720, Omar II prohibited Jews from looking converts from one of the Muslim inhabitants. In 740, Egbert, the Archbishop of York, in England, prohibited Christians from attending any Jewish non secular gala's. within the fourth century there has been a synod in Laodicea in Asia Minor that prohibited frequent social contacts among Jews and Christians accurately to guard Christians from outdoor spiritual impact. The Council of Chalcedon, which came about in 451, made it unlawful for Christians to marry Jews. The Trullan Synod of 692 integrated a solution that Christians couldn't devour matzoh, or be pleasant with Jews, or settle for medication from them, or shower with them. the location worsened within the 7th century. Any Jews who have been answerable for a Christian changing to Judaism will be topic to the dying penalty and feature all their items seized. by means of 1233 Pope Gregory IX ordered all copies of the Talmud to be seized and requested all German clerics to confront Christians who wanted to include Judaism.