Sunday, February 07, 2010

Conversion:Is my nightmare--& worse--coming true?

Rabbi Jeffrey Woolf, of Bar Ilan University and My Obiter Dicta, makes the following complaint in this post of his:

"Consider, once again, the case of concersion. According to information published by Rivka Lubitsch, the Israeli rabbinate now has a policy of not recognizing qualified conversions, and keeping converts on probation forever. Such a policy flies in the face of and [sic] explicit Gemora, which is accepted by EVERY MAJOR POSEQ [religious decisor] ever since, that after the convert emerges from the miqveh [ritual bath], he is a Jew even if he subsequently worships idols (B. Yevamot 47b).

That's not a violation of סוגיא דעלמא. [Er, "sugyah d'almah?" Translation assistance, please.] I'm not sure what it is. Orthodox Judaism, it isn't!"

Here's the introduction to the shocking, in my opinion, story to which Rabbi Woolf linked:

Rivkah Lubitch

The secret code of repealed conversions

If you converted to Judaism and also got divorced, check the divorce documents that you received from the rabbinic courts. If it says 'the son of our forefather Abraham'? You're not in bad shape. If it says 'convert'? You're on your way to a repealed conversion. Rivkah Lubitch studied the opinion paper submitted by the Rabbinic Court to the High Court of Justice and discloses how converts are being marked

Published: 02.03.10, 08:28 / Israel Jewish Scene

I sent the link to this article to my Israeli brother and ex-sister-in-law with the warning that it's possible that she and their children have already been declared non-Jews. I later noticed that one commenter to the article asked whether it's (now) possible that a conversion could be challenged even after a convert's death.

Sadly, this is even worse than what I predicted and feared would happen.


Blogger Larry Lennhoff said...

"Whenever things look at their blackest I always say, "Cheer up, things could be worse." And sure enough, they get worse."

Mon Feb 08, 10:38:00 AM 2010  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

As the old song goes,

"You always hurt the one you love,
the one you shouldn't hurt at all."


"Two Jews, three opinions" is a reason to stop accepting conversions??! This is an outrage against halachah/Jewish religious law, an insult to the sincere, and an unbelievable chillul HaShem (desecration of G-d's name). How can we bring such disgrace upon ourselves and our holy tradition and pretend that our actions are reasonable?!

Enough infighting, already!

Mon Feb 08, 01:40:00 PM 2010  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

From this post by Aliza Hausman re the article to which Larry linked.

Aliza "La Jewminicana" Hausman said...
A comment from a reader: In the spirit of R' Shochet's proposal, I strongly recommend that because of the agunah crisis we halt all Jewish marriages, because of the metziztah b'peh crisis we stop all bris milah, etc., etc. After all, if an ultra-orthodox rabbi anywhere disagrees with a modern orthodox rabbi, the logical result should be the complete paralysis of Judaism and the suffering of thousands of people, no?

12:20 PM

Mon Feb 08, 04:57:00 PM 2010  
Blogger Aliza "La Jewminicana" Hausman said...

Shira, I just want to be clear that Aliza "La Jewminicana" Hausman said... isn't what I said a reader's comment. I know that you noted that but it might sound like I wrote it. That snarky, bold comment pretty much sums things up, doesn't it?

Mon Feb 08, 05:14:00 PM 2010  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Yes, it certainly does. Unfortunately.

Mon Feb 08, 05:21:00 PM 2010  
Anonymous jdub said...

easy solution: remove control of life cycle issues from the chareidim. I'd give them a choice: Control of the beit din for divorce and marriage, or the yeshiva army exemption. Either one would be a victory.

This is a chillul hashem. Plain and simple. It's why I tell my kids that chareidim aren't any more "authentic" jews than us, they just like the color black.

Tue Feb 09, 07:47:00 AM 2010  
Anonymous Miami Al said...

Jdub, and I teach my kids that the Chareidim may keep Kosher and Shabbat, but they are no more "observant" than Conservative Jews that pick and choose Halachot, or Reform Jews that reject them all.

Tue Feb 09, 12:49:00 PM 2010  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

" . . . they just like the color black."

Good one, JDub. :)

Don't forget to take away control of the beit din [Jewish religious court] for conversions , too, along with control over marriage and divorce.

What a trade, though--Israel needs those folks to serve in the armed forces/Tsahal, or at least in "national service" (sherut l'umi?).

Tue Feb 09, 01:12:00 PM 2010  
Blogger Tzipporah said...

Again, I think we just have to start dismissing the charedim as not actually Jewish. Or no more so than Jews for Cheeses.

Tue Feb 09, 02:05:00 PM 2010  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Tzipporah, check out the final link in my post, and keep following the "link trail"--in one of the linked posts, Dr. Marc Shapiro suggests that that the Religious Zionist rabbinate should simply ignore the Chareidi rabbinate just as the Chariedi rabbinate ignores everyone else, and should set up separate Religious Zionist batei din (courts). His basic premise seems to be that if the Chareidim don't accept other Orthodox halachic authorities, then other Orthodox authorities shouldn't accept theirs.

Tue Feb 09, 04:11:00 PM 2010  

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