Male converts to Judaism are traditionally required to undergo circumcision or, if already circumcised, a ritual removal of a single drop of blood.
Kabbalat ol ha-mitzvot (acceptance of the commandments) combines faith and action with an intent to evolve as a practicing Jew.
Plan ahead to enhance the spirituality of the immersion experience; a mikveh or mikvah, a ritual bath, tends more toward the functional than the spiritual.
Immersion in the mikveh actualizes the transition between the convert's old identity and his or her new one as a Jew.
As with a literal newborn, the convert as a spiritual newborn selects a Hebrew name and adopts Abraham and Sarah as spiritual parents.
The different layers of the rabbinic discussion of conversion reveal the beginnings of a transformation from a citizenship ritual to a theological initiation rite.
Final authority for conversion rests with the three-person beit din, which rules on a candidate's sincerity, knowledge, and potential for success as a Jew.