Why I chose to be Jewish – Stories of people who converted to Judaism

by Gideon

A son of a German Nazi, a Chinese person who grew up in communist china, a son of an African leader, an Argentinian Benedictine monk, Catholic Americans, and a Kuwaiti Muslim. What made them leave their families and friends, pack up their belongings and move to Israel; a place so different from their homes?  Will one of their decedents be the next great Jewish leader?

It won’t be the first time it happened. Two very important Jewish leaders are decedents of converts:  

Ruth, the grandmother of King David, one of the most important figures in Jewish history, was a Moabitess, who married into the Hebrew family of Elimelech and Naomi, whom she met when they left Bethlehem and relocated to Moab due to a famine.

Rabbi Akiva , the founder of rabbinic Judaism, who is considered to continue Moses’ work in delivering the Torah and its laws to the Jewish people, came from a family of converts. Either  his father was a convert, or his grandfather was.  Rabbi Akiva greatly influenced the preservation of Judaism as a religion and as a nation after the destruction of the temple and the exile.

The seven videos shown here tell the stories of people from different backgrounds, different religions, and different countries. They have almost nothing in common, except that at one time in their life they decided that they wanted to become Jewish.

These are their stories:

***

 

In this four minutes video a Chinese man explains why he converted to Judaism

***

In this ten minutes video  the son of a German Nazi and  his daughter explain why he converted to Judaism

 

***

In this seven minutes a Kuwaiti man explains why he converted to Judaism. (In this interview, few sentences are in Hebrew with no translations. However, the story is told in English).

***

In this four minutes video, an american woman, Barbara explains why she and her husband Ken converted to Judaism.

***

In this 8 minutes video, four Americans speak about their conversion to Judaism and what being Jewish means to them.

***

In this twelve minutes video an Argentinian Benedictine monk explains why he converts to Judaism

***

This forty-six minutes video tells the remarkable story of a black African from a royal lineage in Swaziland, who was raised a Christian, converted to Judaism and became a Haredi Litvish Rabbi in Israel.

 

***

In this 5 minutes video, a rabbi explains what the orthodox Jewish conversion process looks like, and why Judaism does not encourage people to become Jewish. 

***

In this sixteen minutes video, Rabbi David Bar-Hayim explains why some converts to Judaism become disillusioned and find themselves lonely.  

 

POSTS

%d bloggers like this: