Rabbi Q & A Question of the Month - November, 2012

Question: I have a halakhic question about my husband who was converted by a Conservative Rabbi. We are joining a Conservative congregation and one of the questions on the application is Date of Conversion (if applicable). I always thought that once someone converts to Judaism that he or she is Jewish and that individual should not be asked about their conversion. Is such a question appropriate?

Answer: It is likely that the purpose of the question is to address possible concerns that the conversion was not completed properly.  For example, a conversion ceremony without mikvah would not be considered valid by a Conservative rabbi. In addition, the principle of not reminding a Jew by Choice about his/her prior status comes from a mishnah whose intent is to remind us not to embarrass people by reminding them of their sinful past.  Because I don't believe that one's past prior to conversion was inherently sinful, I don't think inquiring about one's conversion is necessarily embarrassing.

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  3. Rabbi Q & A Question of the Month - Summer, 2012
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  5. Rabbi Q & A Question of the Month - April, 2012
  6. Rabbi Q & A Question of the Month - March, 2012
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  9. Rabbi's Q & A Question of the Month - December, 2011
  10. Rabbi's Q & A Question of the Month - November, 2011
  11. Rabbi's Q & A Question of the Month - October, 2011
  12. Rabbi Q & A Question of the Month - September, 2011
  13. Basic Jewish Belief
  14. Basic Judaism
  15. Conservative Judaism
  16. Conversion to Judaism
  17. Heaven and Hell
  18. Hebrew
  19. History Table of Contents
  20. Interfaith Dating and Marriage
  21. Israel
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  24. Judaism and the Body
  25. Judaism and Christianity
  26. Kashrut - Basic
  27. Kashrut - Is It Kosher?
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  29. Kashrut - Miscellaneous Questions
  30. Life Cycle 1 - In Defense of Brit Milah
  31. Life Cycle 2 - Birth and Naming
  32. Life Cycle 3 - Parents and Children
  33. Life Cycle 4 - B'nai Mitzvah
  34. Life Cycle 5 - Weddings
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  36. Life Cycle 7 - Illness, Death, and Mourning
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  44. Tanakh - General
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  47. Tanakh - Torah (3) - Leviticus - Deuteronomy
  48. Tanakh 2&3 - Prophets&Writings
  49. Yom Tov - Pesah - General
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  51. Yom Tov - Pesah on Saturday Night
  52. Yom Tov - Shavuot
  53. Yom Tov - Hanukkah
  54. Yom Tov - Purim
  55. Yom Tov - Miscellaneous
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