I am a single Orthodox convert in a country with a few hundred Jews. Because of this, and because my conversion is not accepted elsewhere, I will probably never get married. I have trouble finding a job because of Shabbat. I know prostitution is frowned upon but how bad would it be if I gained some money through prostitution?
First of all, welcome. From the description you shared, it is obvious that yours is a profound embrace of Judaism. There was no imperative to convert, and every reason to avoid conversion precisely because of all the hardships you knew you would face, yet it did not stop you from moving forward as you did.
I hope that, in spite of your doubts, you will find someone who deserves you. Please never give up.
Somehow, the question you ask does not seem to be consistent with the principled, even courageous decision you made to become Jewish.
Whatever money you might gain from prostitution is not worth how you would feel about yourself. Aside from the dangers inherent in such activity, and knowing, as you say, that it is "frowned upon," to put it mildly, it is pretty clear that you will feel de-valued through resorting to that.
For all the valiant effort you have gone through to become a member of the holy people of Israel, why do anything that is wholly incompatible with the holiness of Israel?
One question for you. Have you thought of going back to the Rabbinical Court that endorsed your conversion, to ask them to actively seek out a potential life partner for you?
It is worth a try.
My best wishes to you for a blessed life of Ruth-ian proportions.
Thank you for your honest and thoughtful question. I'm sorry for the very difficult situation you find yourself in.
If you are truly in such financial straits that you would consider turning to prostitution to survive, then you must work on Shabbat. Our Tradition teaches that protection of life (pikuach nefesh) is a mitzvah that overrides even the most serious prohibitions from the Torah, including the prohibition on working on Shabbat (see Leviticus 18:5, Talmud Bavli Yoma 85b, Shulchan Aruch OH 328:2).
I've started and stopped my response to this request a number of times. Your question fills me with tremendous sadness. I cannot imagine your loneliness and the desperation you must feel if you are contemplating such a move. I would urge you not to take this course of action. As Jews we value human life, and the possibility of extreme violence and degradation is far too high. Please seek counseling including career counseling, and please don't give up on the possibility of finding companionship and support in your life and in your community! Answered by: Rabbi Yair Robinson
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