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Converting to Judaism ?

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ALBdegas:
Recently I have been thinking about converting to Judaism more and more and I just think this would more or so be the right decision for me.  I've been researching Judaism and the sect I was mostly interested in was Reform.

But my main issue was more or so me being FTM trans. I've read up some stuff about lesbians and gays being accepted, but thats about it..

So my main question is, is it possible for me to convert to reform judaism ?

Stephanie.Izann:
 I was raised Jewish by a mother that converted to Judaism. I got to see her perspective on things, as well as experience the faith from my own perspective. My father was "HEEB" too. I went on a spiritual journey later in life only to come back to my faith...but this time it was a choice and not any thing else.

My minor was in World Religions. I had the pleasure of praying with my Moslem friends, I was heavily into Buddhism (even shaved the head),I have a few friends that are Pagan,I lived and briefly married a born again Christian, some of my family are very Catholic...anyway, you get the idea. I've looked high and low and have enjoyed the journey only to come back to my original Faith. It took a Buddhist nun to show me that path (but that is another story).

Now, do I believe that mine is the only faith?-no. Do I think we all share certain similarities? Sure. Religion is like a vehicle and the map is the book it follows (or the WORD). It's a man made thing; if I can be so bold to express my own opinion.

Not everyone likes to drive stick shift. Some prefer automatics...that is the way I see religion. It's also a very personal thing as you have discovered. If being Jewish is best for you (you like that car?), then go for it. 

We also believe that there is a purpose for everyone...even those of other faiths. To place ourselves above anyone just wouldn't be right. But does that happen? - Of course, there are a few bad Matzo balls out there making it hard on us nice Jews!

Answering your question, YES, Trans Men and Trans Women are indeed accepted in the faith as a whole. As you dive deeper into the different MOVEMENTS (we use that term instead of Sects), you'll find the the fine print may make you veer one way or another, depending on what you are really seeking.  Even within the same movements there are variations.

We understand what Tolerance is all about, and that seems to permeate into our teachings about life and how we relate to one another.

The Conservative Movement was actually the first to ordain a woman (yep, you heard right Conservative). The more liberal movements like Reform and Reconstructionist have Females, Trans Men, and gay/Lesbian as Rabbis. It's not about the shell of the person...it's about the soul...what's inside of you. And that's where you have started right? If you feel that Judaism is right for you and it "works" for your soul, then go for it (although, traditionally we should turn you down around 4 times...LOL).

Jews do not proselytize. It goes against our faith. In fact we do not even have a word for "CONVERT"! It can be a long process too depending on what route you take. We do this so that you make absolutely sure, this is what you really want and need. 
I mean, it's not easy being persecuted through out our history.  Yeah, sure the HOLOCAUST, but there were many before that was even a though in Hitlers mind.

There is a beauty in all faiths in my eyes. And at the same time a darkness that can also come from it for those that chose to twist it. Do I believe that we need religion? Honestly, I'm not sure. I know there is a little compartment that many of us need to fill. It works for me. I may not always agree with all of it, but "I GET IT" and in some way, I feel "IT GETS ME".
The cultural and traditional aspect really fascinates me too.

So, if you want to join only 1.8 percent of this world (yep, you read right), then more power to you.  ;)

I know I've written a book here, so I apologize for that.  I found myself taken over by my fingers.

If you have any questions I would be more than happy to answer them or point you to the right source.

The Tribe awaits.

SHALOM!

Stephie

ALBdegas:
Yeah, I heard about the turning down part. LOL. Thank you for answering my question ! I love how you put it out in a very detailed and organized manner, you may have given me a book, but you surely answered my alot of my questions.

I read that the reason they turn you down is to test sincerity and to see how serious you are about Judaism. I also read up about having to take classes, and depending on which road you take, it could take anywhere from 1 to 1 1/2 years to 3 or 4 years(Correct me if I am wrong about what I just said!) I am just trying to get as much information in my head as possible.

But I do have one question though, is there anything more about Judaism that I should know ? kippahs ? I would be happy to hear ! :)

sarahla:
I would not call the Reform movement a sect, but rather they are "the" Jewish people and then there is the conservative side, which is a bit stricter and less trans friendly, although they are coming around.

I am curious if Jewish people should have vote and drum the Orthodox and the Ultra Orthodox out of Judaism.  Hmm.  They are homophobic, transphobic, hypocrites, and want to impose their views on everyone else, such as the recent push by the Orthodox / Ultra Orthodox to make non-Orthodox conversions null and void (this past summer) and their desire that only Orthodox conversions warrant a right of return.  They want to impose their view on everything.

In Santa Monica, CA, they do not call "Santa Monica" the official name of the city, Santa Monica, but rather "Simcha Monica" because they do not recognize the word Santa or Saint, so they are okay with making a mockery of names and have no issue with not showing respect.  They do insist that others do show respect, though.

The Reform Movement has come a long way, but it still has a long way to go, especially in accepting transsexuals.  I asked my rabbi recently about proof that <not allowed> is okay in Judaism.  He punted and said that he has no time for the question and that I should go to TransFaithOnline.org.

Judaism is a nice religion, as far as religions go, but they have a long way to go.  I am being accepted into the Sisterhood, so that is a nice thing, so there is hope.

--------------

check out:

http://www.transfaithonline.org/more_resources/jewish_index

The answer to your question is ABSOLUTELY YES.

Although I am growing an active dislike for Rabbi Reuben Zellman for being a hypocrite, he is an FTM rabbi recently ordained and given a perish.

http://www.bethelberkeley.org/

There is a temple in West Hollywood that is devoted to the LGBT community.  I have been to synagogues and converting and being LGBT are two vastly unrelated things in the reform movement.  They have no connection now whatsoever, so no worries.

If you contact Rabbi Zellman, I would call him, not email him.

tekla:
We understand what Tolerance is all about, and that seems to permeate into our teachings about life and how we relate to one another.


I am curious if Jewish people should have vote and drum the Orthodox and the Ultra Orthodox out of Judaism.

So much for that advanced sense of tolerance.

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