My reading of the NT leads me to believe that, in allowing the Gentiles not to follow the Mosaic Law, there was never any idea that the Jews were similarly "off the hook" as well. Even if our typical convert is a Gentile, I wondered if the Church ever encouraged Jewish converts to Orthodoxy to be both Jewish and Christian, as were the first Jewish converts in the NT. Or does conversion today basically amount to becoming a Gentile, if not in actuality then in practice? Mor,
You are pointing to a very interesting issue that has changed over time. The Messianic movement portrays the earliest Christians as closely following Mosaic rules. However, considering Jesus' overruling of ritual cleanliness rules and Peter's vision of many foods becoming edible, I am doubtful about that. My best guess is that the early Christians of Jewish descent were really finding their way when it came to these questions. Even in the 4th century you can find different attitudes among Christians of Jewish background on this question.
Later in the Middle Ages the Church made some rules that would make it very hard for any Christian to follow important Mosaic rules. In the modern era the Church is much more liberal about this, as there are at least a few converts to Orthodoxy who still keep dietary rules with the approval of their superiors.
My own opinion is that despite the canons from the Middle Ages, the modern amount of permissiveness is fine, and it should be optional how much they want to follow the rules, since we follow the spirit, rather than the letter of law as St. Paul explained. St. Paul himself circumcized Timothy and performed Temple sacrifices. Personally, I think it is nice if Jewish Orthodox want to keep some of the rules. But if it became a serious focus, then it would tend to push people away from eachother, when they are supposed to be in unity.