Re: Jewish Identity

(iweiss@mcgraw-hill.com)
Wed, 30 Jul 97 13:12:51 -0500

Ryan Swenson <rjswenso@edisto.cofc.edu> wrote:
<< I am a twenty year old college student who has been self observant for
about three years. I have devoted a tremendous amount of time reaching out
to Hashem in constant study. I am sincerely devoted and Believe that there
is no place that Hashem isn't. I am adopted, yes I am biologically jewish
on both sides. My family was quite religious Orthodox...I however was
adopted by a christian family who baptize me. They are wonderful and I love
them as my own but I have found more force in Judaism and my roots. ....I
ask of you your opinions on this matter...what do you think? Do I convert
or continue...What is said about orthodox jews seeing other non-orthodox or
other stream orthodox jews - in terms of dating and marriage?....Any advice
is appreciated. >>

Dear Ryan,

Your story sounds very familiar to a book I just read titled "Playing with
Fire" (I think Feldheim Publishers distribute it.) In short it speaks bout
a girl raised in a Christian setting who also was baptized. When she sensed
in herself to do teshuva she went to the London Beis Din(High Jewish Court)
to validify her Jewish status. They were able to validate her Jewish status
based on her documents about her parents Jewish background, but they wanted
her to go to the mikvah - ritual bath anyway. They told her that although
the mikvah is normally used for conversion that is not the intended purpose
over here. They wanted her to go in to remove the impurities of the church.
I recommend for you to follow suit, go to an accepted Beis Din and see if
they can validate your Jewishness, or they might want you to through the
conversion process as a safeguard if proper background information can not
be obtained.

Irving Weiss iweiss@mcgraw-hill.com