OC 687: EARLY PURIM MORNING CONVERSION
One who converts Purim morning after dawn but before sunrise is not obligated in the previous nighttime’s reading of Megillat Esther. However, the convert is obligated in the daytime megilla reading, as one was a Jew by the time the obligation became activated (sunrise).
PURIM DAY CONVERSION
In spite of its reading being allowed all day, there is a dispute whether one who converts during Purim day is obligated to read the megilla. This dispute is based on halacha’s assigning each person their proper Purim date (Adar 14 or Adar 15) based on their location at sunrise on Adar 14. Thus, although a convert should be obliged to read, both due to the fact that the reading obligation exists the entire day (as in entry OC 25) and that one can be assigned the default date of Adar 14, the convert should preferably avoid the question that year by hearing the megilla and its blessings, instead of reading it and blessing God directly.
CONVERTING IN JERUSALEM OVER A THREE-DAY PURIM WEEKEND (PURIM MESHULASH)
As regards someone who converts in Jerusalem over a three-day Purim weekend (Purim meshulash), when the city’s Adar 15 Shushan Purim falls out on Shabbat: It seems clear that if one converts on Sunday one is not obligated in any of the mitzvot of Purim since one missed the holiday date, and that if one converts on Friday one is obligated in all of them since one is Jewish by the time the holiday date begins. If one converts on Shabbat during the daytime, a question similar to the one discussed in the previous paragraph arises, but the question has little relevance in practice since conversions are prohibited on Shabbat.
GOING TO JERUSALEM ON SHUSHAN PURIM AFTER CONVERTING ON PURIM
One who converts on Purim afternoon, so that one’s obligation to read on Adar 14 is debated, and then goes to Jerusalem (the city that is indubitably obligated to celebrate Shushan Purim Adar 15) might be subject to special rules.
OC 689, 692: OBLIGATION TO READ THE MEGILLAH
A convert is obligated to read Megillat Esther with its blessings just as one is obligated in all mitzvot that commemorate national historical events. See earlier entries OC 47 and OC 60.
OC 496: NO OBSERVANCE OF A SECOND DAY OF YOM TOV BY A FOREIGNER WHO CONVERTS IN ISRAEL
A person from abroad who converts in Israel and is still residing in Israel observes only one day of Yom Tov holiday instead of the two days observed by the Jews of the diaspora. This is true even if he will be returning to live in the Diaspora.
OC 529: THE OBLIGATION OF FELLOW JEWS TO HELP THE CONVERT REJOICE ON YOM TOV
Fellow Jews have a special obligation to feast with converts on Yom Tov since holidays are a time when a convert is likely to feel most alone.
OC 566: CONVERSION ON A FAST DAY
One who converts on a fast day should start fasting from the beginning, even before the conversion, so that one can fulfill the obligation to be fasting to the appropriate degree at the time that one emerges from the mikva. This suggests to some authorities that one who ate before conversion need not bother fasting. However, inasmuch as eating and drinking on a fast day are sinful in and of themselves each time one does so even if one has already eaten or drunk, some rule that even the convert who ate earlier must join the fast after conversion. In any case, wine clearly should not be used when the convert is named on a fast day – unless it will be given to someone who is permitted to drink wine that day.
CONVERSION ON A POSTPONED FAST DAY (TAANIT NIDCHE)
There is some discussion whether one who converts on a minor fast day that due to Shabbat was postponed from its official date (“taanit nidche”) is required to fast with everyone else. This is because one could argue that a person that wasn’t Jewish on the official date of the fast never became obligated to fast. However, even if we put the complicated discussion of the status of a taanit nidche aside as beyond the scope of this work, the mitzva of “you shall love the convert” suggests that a convert should fast with everyone else. Since allowing the convert to observe as all do is generally what the convert wishes, it manifests love.
CONVERSION ON SUNDAY THE 10TH AV (TISHA B’AV NIDCHE)
When one converts on Sunday the 10th of Av (a Sunday on which the fast of 9th Av is observed instead of on Shabbat), there is even more reason to fast. This is because that Sunday the 10th of Av more than being a mere fast postponed (from its original date on which the convert had not yet been Jewish and obligated) might have the status of an actual fast date inasmuch as the 10th of Av was one of the days during which the Temple had been destroyed (and so the convert is undoubtedly obligated).
OC 261: CONVERSION AFTER SHABBAT COMMENCES
Conversions may not be done on a Day of Rest (Shabbat or festivals). Nonetheless, if one did convert on Shabbat, the consensus of the authorities in this after-the-fact case is that the convert is fully obligated to observe the remainder of Shabbat in spite of not having been obligated at its commencement.
OC 294: HAVDALA AFTER CONVERTING ON SATURDAY NIGHT
Even if one converted immediately after Shabbat, one is not obligated to bless over ending Shabbat (havdala) since one did not observe a Shabbat so as to need to end it.
OC 370: THE EFFECT ON AN ERUV OF A SHABBAT CONVERSION
The Jerusalem Talmud notes that one who improperly converted on Shabbat morning after dawn “acquires a residency” that then interferes with the shared neighborhood (eruv) of permitted carrying that was set up before Shabbat. Thus, the convert would have to cancel their right to carry in the area in order to allow everyone else to carry in the area in the case of such an eruv.
Readings from A Concise Code of Jewish Law for Converts 24
If necessary, any Jew, including one converted, may recite Shema, pray, or bless in their vernacular.
A convert recites all parts of the prayer service that relate to our ancestors’ Exodus from Egypt. Although a convert’s biological ancestors did not take part in the Exodus, a convert has become a part of the history of the Jewish people whom God has saved miraculously.
OC 113: BLESSING GOD AS GOD OF OUR FOREFATHERS
A convert blesses God as eloheinu ve’elohei avoteinu. Although some early authorities discourage this as inaccurate, Rambam rules that a convert should say all such wordings and that is the common custom. See entry OC 47.
OC 116: PRAYING FOR ONE’S GENTILE PARENTS’ HEALTH
A convert may pray for the recovery of their Gentile parents, one’s father and mother who brought them into this world. (Indeed, Jews may pray for the recovery of any Gentile. )
OC 135: A CONVERT CANNOT BE A KOHEN OR LEVI
A biological son of a kohen or Levi who converts is never classified as a kohen or Levi and does not receive their honors since he never inherits or receives his biological father’s status. Related to this is the rule that a convert does not inherit his father regardless of whether his father is Gentile or Jewish. See entry CM 283.
OC 6: VARIANT PRAYER CUSTOMS
Since there are communal variations in prayer texts (nusach) and in other prayer- related customs, a convert may theoretically adopt those of any community that they wish as long as they remain loyal and consistent within this choice. However, if one converts in a place with a well-established, prayer text (nusach) and collective set of customs (minhagim), then the convert must adhere to those. (Generally a convert should have thought about this issue prior to conversion and should have a community in mind to join with its customs.)
OC 25: DONNING TEFILLIN AFTER CONVERSION
When a person becomes Jewish, the convert is subject only to those commandments which are in effect at the time of the conversion. However, even if the convert has already performed such a commandment that day as a Gentile, the convert must repeat it in order to fulfill their obligation as a Jew. Therefore: inasmuch as the time frame for donning tefillin is the entire day, a ger who converts in the afternoon must don tefillin (again, if done already prior to the conversion).
OC 39: THE VALIDITY OF TEFILLIN WRITTEN BY SOMEONE WHO REVERTS TO THEIR OLD FAITH OUT OF FEAR
A convert can work as a sofer stam (religious scribe), and all their work is valid to the same degree as those of a born-Jew. There are those who claim that a convert who apostatizes out of fear of governmental authorities can write a valid sefer torah, tefillin, and mezuzot. Since the convert is rejecting the faith only in order to save their life, the convert is viewed as a full-fledged Jew. (Furthermore: there are many who claim that the rules regarding a convert who had reverted to their faith of birth are more lenient than for a born-Jew who had converted out of fear of death.)