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Is mental illness an impediment to conversion?

Question:

I work for a mental health agency and have a client who is passionate about converting to Judaism to be more spiritually aligned with his family and friends. This person has been stable on medications and living/working in the community for several years. Thus far their conversion inquiries have been politely dismissed by the local temple. Is there any official or unofficial reason why this persons inquiries wouldn’t be taken seriously? We would like to assist this person in achieving this spiritual life goal. Any suggestions?

Answer:

My apologies that it took so long to get back to you.

I don’t know the reasons of other people. In general however Orthodox Judaism is not looking for converts, and it is possible that they are pushing him off to see if he is really serious about his intention to convert. If there are other reasons including the person’s mental state that they really don’t want to accept him, this I wouldn’t know, as I am not familiar with the specific case.

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