I was born Jewish; both my mother and father are Jewish. But when I was a teenager I rebelled and I went and was baptized in a Catholic Church. Am I still Jewish? And do I need to convert back to Judaism?


Can one ever extinguish the flame that lies latent in a flint stone? How long does a stone have to soak before the spark that it contains washes away? The spark that a stone creates, as the spark of G‑dliness that you contain inside of you, is always there. It may be hidden, concealed from view. You might not feel it at all times, yet it is there. It waits for the moment of reawaking, when it can burst into a flame once again; when it can express itself and be what it truly is—a Jew.

Instead of focusing on the past, on that time that you didn't feel that spark inside of you, better focus your energy on fanning the flame. Express your Jewish identity. Pick one of the Jewish rituals that seem to tickle your fancy, do it, study it and make it part of you. Get in touch with the Jewish community nearest you and be a part of it. A fire is always stronger when surrounded by fire. You can click here to find the Chabad Center nearest you.

One thing is for certain; you were, are and always will be a Jew.

One note: Though there is no need for you to "convert" back to Judaism, as you never lost your Jewish status, it is recommended that you immerse in a mikvah (ritual pool) in the presence of a rabbinical court—to cleanse yourself of your past and recommit to a Jewish future. The rabbi at your Chabad center will be able to facilitate this for you.

All the best,

Rabbi Shmuel Kogan,