I am in the thought process of leading up to the conversion process. In other words self researching and making sure that a conversion to Judaism would be what I truly want. I am an 18 year old in college and recently found out that my Hebrew Bible Study Professor is a Rabbi. She taught us in class that, traditionally, Rabbi's will discourage you from converting 3 times. According to an instance with Naomi and her daughter-in-laws in the book of Ruth. If this is true, how long should one wait in between each conversation with a Rabbi......I am assuming that the more you ask the more you understand of what you are willing to do..but I do not know.....if I had and they told me no, I would have been afraid to ask again...well that Rabbi in particular anyways. What would you suggest?
This is a great question.
In order to be up front with you, I want to state that I am answering from an Orthodox Jewish perspective. Also, please check anything that I say with your local Orthodox Rabbi. I like to think that I know my stuff pretty well, but I am NOT an ordained Rabbi, so any answers that I give you will not be "official" in any way.
Judaism in general does not seek converts the way many other religions do. Judaism may be unique in that it does not believe that you must be Jewish in order to enter Heaven or that you are punished if you are not one of us. In fact, it is actually easier for non-Jews to enter Heaven than it is for Jews. Jews are required to follow 613 commandments from G-d listed in the Torah (Pentateuch), whereas non-Jews are only required to follow 7. These 7 are known as the Noachide Laws (the Laws Commanded to Noah), and include:
1) Do no murder
2) Do not steal
3) Do not curse G-d
4) Do not commit adultery or any other sexual sin
5) Do not eat the flesh of a still living animal (kill it first)
6) Do not worship false gods
7) Create/live by a system of laws and judges
If you follow the 10 Commandments, you are pretty much there. If you live in the USA or any other democratic society and haven't committed any crimes, chances are you are there. In fact, MOST people are already there. You already have the key to enter Heaven.
However, if you want more, if you REALLY want to become Jewish, there is a process for it. It takes YEARS to complete the process. During this period, you will learn more and more about Judaism and its laws, and be given greater levels of responsibility for keeping those laws. And you will be CONSTANTLY asked if you still wish to continue and why. You will be sent to quite a few Rabbis, and even quite a few converts, and you will need to justify your desires along the way.
Three times? You are going to be asked OVER AND OVER AGAIN for a period of 5-10 years why it is you want to become Jewish.
During that time, you will at some point have to cut off your relationship with your current family. You will be in a state of being in which you will not be legally Jewish, but you will not be able to connect with your past life or spiritual/religious upbringing. You will be in a veritable limbo.
Conversion to Judaism in the Orthodox (and the only universally accepted) way is NOT an easy thing to accomplish. Before embarking on that path, I would HIGHLY recommend that you be sure it is TRULY what you want.
If it is, great. If not, perhaps learning more about the Noachide Laws would be the right path for you. I have known many people who follow the Noachide laws as a spiritual path who are spiritually fulfilled in ways they would never have dreamed before they began that path.
I hope this answers some of your questions. Feel free to follow up, if you'd like. I am happy to answer any questions you may have.