Halacha states that one must turn away a ger or giyores a few times before we finally open up our arms and embrace them in the loving embrace the frum community is so famous for; after the geirus they get the top shidduchim, their kids get into the best yeshivos and no one ever questions the sincerity of their conversion.
The reason potential geirim have to be rebuffed is obvious: the Jewish people are an ethnic community, they only take care of their own, so in order to ensure they don’t get stuck with schleppers and nebech cases they have to screen applicants very strictly.
The frum community of Milwaukee learned that lesson when, after running their “Think Milwaukee” ad in the Yated for a year, all they got were single mothers and others discarded from Brooklyn and Lakewood, their only interest in Milwaukee was the free tuition.
Well I think it’s time the OTD community did the same: with its limited resources and its need to fight the reputation it now has as the default fallback for every yeshiva/seminary dropout it needs to put up some barriers to entry. I propose that Footsteps have a list of criteria it adheres to before giving anyone an OTD ID card, and all the benefits that come along with it. Here are my suggestions:
- If you’re going OTD because you fell in love with an already-OTD girl with a nose ring: you’re automatically disqualified.
- The Footsteps counselor should make it a point to remind the applicant that the OTD are the historical victims of persecution and ask them why they’re out of their mind enough to want to go OTD?
- You have to memorize the OTD aseres hadibros.
- You have to study OTDness with a chavrusah for 10 years and be mechalel shabbos b’farhesya for a year leading up to your geirus, otherwise you’ll be deemed to be insincere.
- You have to throw out your milchig, fleishig and pesach dishes (or donate them to kupas ezrah) and get a new set for treif.
- If you’re a kohen then you can’t go OTD. Sorry, a rule’s a rule.
- If you’re male you have to undergo foreskin restoration, and it has to be done in the Footsteps lobby followed by a meal – midah k’neged midah.
- If you’re female you have to wash off all that mikvah by swimming from Brooklyn to Manhattan while naked. Three men have to inspect you to make sure you’re fully naked and that you swam every inch.
- You have to get a GED and get accepted into an Ivy League school and be on the dean’s list to prove your sincerity in undoing your entire childhood and starting in on a new life.
What are your suggestions?