Thursday, June 7, 2007

EJF - proselytizing intermarried couples/ RaP

RaP: For quite a long time now, the Agudist politically correct American YATED NEEMAN has avoided any mention of EJF and Tropper and has not published any infomercials obviously designed by paid EJF publicists.

"Eternal Jewish Family Addresses Conversion Crisis" "The Jewish Press Friday, June 5, 2009 Page 61

RaP: Only EJF is addressing this crisis? Every last Orthodox rabbi in Israel, Europe and America is grappling with it! The articles reads as a paternalistic and infantilizing event for those who were paid to show up. Who they were and the numbers are not given in the article.

"By Rochel Weinstein

Understanding the crisis in Jewish conversions, Israel's Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar convened an emergency meeting last week to halt what many see as the continued erosion of the nation's policies regarding conversion that are threatening the spiritual existence of the Jewish people."

RaP: What is the purpose of juxtaposing Rav Amar's meetings with this EJF event? It makes no sense that Amar who is an Israeli Zionist rabbi and should and does work with the RCA Zionist rabbis in America should be used a prop for the goings on at a very Agudist non-Zionist gathering.

"On the same day, in Morristown, New Jersey, Eternal Jewish Family began a two-day interactive seminar for educators and professionals from leading kiruv organizations as part of its ongoing effort to address the fallout from improper conversions."

RaP: May as well have quoted a Chabad rabbi at nearby Morristown itself where they have a huge rabbinical college and they will and do realistically be dealing with conversions.

"At the seminar Rabbi Dovid Jacobs, executive director of EJF, clarified that a basic tenet of EJF's work is to ensure that potential sincere converts wishing to build true Torah homes are directed towards proper halachic conversions."

RaP: Of which EJF seeks to have the controlling monopoly with rabbis answering to Tropper.

"Rabbi Leib Tropper, chairman of EJF's rabbinic committee, stressed that, while inyonei geirus can be controversial, Klal Yisroel has an obligation to meet the challenges presented."

RaP: Much of everything in Judaism is controversial. Kashrus, gittin, chinuch, sexual abuse, machlokes abounds etc, but in this case Tropper is deflecting preemptively the well-known criticism that has been leveled at him by the BADATS for example and made him a controversial lightning rod as this Blog has recorded for over two years.

"Rabbi Tropper dispelled the belief that our mainstream yeshiva and Bais Yaakov systems have been spared any fallout from improper conversions."

RaP: Nothing is perfect, this is his typical sensationalism and looking for that moment to play with a captive audience's heads. Tropper's Kol Yaakov yeshiva is also less than perfect as many know.

"Through his "straight talk" session, Rabbi Tropper conveyed the importance in the conversion process of determining if a prospective convert "is willing to not just change what he does, but also change the very essence of who he is."

RaP: To admit that Tropper gave a "straight talk" session" is startling and worrisome. Did anyone challenge his bullying and intimidating ways? Or were they too afraid since they were all paid off to come there by Tropper's banker Tom Kaplan to eat drink and pontificate?

"Harav Reuven Feinstein, shlita, expressed that "All Jews count. Klal Yisroel is obligated to utilize all its resources to be mekarev ba'alei teshuva and ensure the proper lineage of every Jew."

RaP: One does not "mekarev ba'alei teshuva" since if they are ba'alei teshuva they have already been mekareved. Pure condescension. Highly unlikely if any baalei teshuva or geirim could be inspired from all the talk here. This conference is probably one of the best weapons to keep rabbis from being effective in conversions and kiruv with all the condescension, infantalization and paternalism flying around in the grandiose statements from "Mount Olympus" style pep-talks.

"He noted that EJF has filled a need in the world of kiruv which regularly confronts issues regarding the yichus of baalei teshuva.

RaP: How so? EJF worries about conversions and in fact makes the problems of confused yichus even worse by advertising to recruit limitless amounts of gentiles, whether hitched to Jews or not, and make them into super-duper Halachic Jews. This is something Klal Yisroel surely does not need.

"Harav Feinstein and others mentioned the psak that permits one to be mekarev the non-Jew in intermarriage for the sake of simultaneously being mekarev the Jewish spouse."

RaP: Have any of them ever written a formal thorough universally agreed upon and recognized teshuva validating or explaining this so-called "psak"? Seems the phrase "universal standards" does not apply to this cockamamie "psak".

"Harav Shmuel Kaminetsky, shlita mentioned the "vast problem we are dealing with here in America because of intermarriage and conversion."

RaP: Platitudes. This is obvious. The question is why he now comes to EJF events? [...]

"Rabbi Nota Schiller compared geirus to any other field in medicine that requires expertise. "We must protect the Jewish people - we are all bonded with a shared destiny. We have the obligation to know, like a specialized surgeon knows, how to handle these situations."

RaP: He forgets he is not lecturing at Ohr Somyach and is preaching to the convert, as it were. So now all kiruv workers must become like "surgeons"? When will they have time to do actual kiruv after 20 years in rabbinical/surgery/conversion school?

"Rabbi Peretz Eichler presented a captivating video with case histories of intermarried couple who, through the assistance of EJF, went on to build true Torah homes. It demonstrated how EJF has helped raise conversion standards across the globe."

RaP: Soon Spielberg will be invited to explain his marriage to a "converted"shiksa with his great videos.

"The conference also addressed the emotional havoc and fallout of an invalid geirus."

RaP: The greatest havoc in the last year concerning conversions was when Rav Sherman took the plunge and annulled thousands of conversions of Rav Druckman summarily without Druckman being given a chance to put his side of the case. So now this has dragged in the Israeli Supreme Court who want to know what was going on. Next time, Rav Sherman, look before you leap, even
if you are 99.99% right and doing it leshem shomayim.

"We have to do what we can so that there can be an end to the emotional pain
caused by improper conversion,"

RaP: Sure.

"said Rabbi Senderovic, Rosh Kollel and Rosh Bais Din of Milwaukee. He stressed however, that "Of course we must have sympathy for those tragedies - but it must be based in Torah."

RaP: What "sympathy".. who here has true sympathy or empathy? This was a meeting where the knives were out. Tropper was yelling his straight talk and Rav Eisenstein was issuing yet more ultimatums. No sympathy here.

"Rabbi Nachum Eisenstein, yoshev rosh Vaad L'Inyonei Giyur in Jerusalem, referred to the historical controversies involving geirus that have led to a vast decay in 's standards in conversion and insisted that, by definition, there can be "no compromises whatsoever in the conversion process."

RaP: He's back with Tropper again. It's in the open now that in Brooklyn they have guy going around the shulls and yeshivas trying to paste up the English fraudulent anti-Bomzer letter. It is known that all Rav Eisenstein cares about is creating Armageddon with the RCA and knocking them out of Orthodoxy once and for all. Bomzer is just another chapter in his war on the RCA. It is surprising that they take it all so quietly. It might be too late for them if they stay quiet for much longer.

"Rabbi Yonasan Rosenblum, columnist and noted speaker, said that proper geirus is not a detail; rather, "It's the very definition of who we are." He quoted Rabbi Mendel Weinbach that, "Defining how a person becomes Jewish also defines the very essence of being a Jew," stressing that "If we don't have standards for geirus, it will disappear."

RaP: Platitudes, somewhere between the amiable banter of Nota Schiller and Rav Kaminetsky.
"Rabbi Dovid Schochet, senior member of Toronto's beis din, took on the crucial task of delineating the extent to which batei din can rely on the input of rabbanim who sponsor prospective converts."

RaP: If rabbanim won't sponsor converts then who will? This is a delicate balance because many rabbanim are able talmidei chachamim too.

"Rabbi Mordechai Fishberg, a recognized expert in the field, shared curriculum designed to educate intermarried couple who are committed to halachic proper conversion and described the high standards of learning that must be in place in order for them to build true Torah homes."

RaP: A Ger is not required to know the Shulchan Oruch nor to go to daf yomi. It's the kabbolas ol mitzvas in PRINCIPLE and the commitment to actualize it as required, but full knowledge of every last bit of Torah never was and is not required for a valid conversion. How much was Ruth the Moabite required to know to be accepted as a convert? She is the prototype for converts basically. A valid bais din can go lechumra or lekula in accepting converts, there is leeway, and that is just what Rav Eisenstein and Tropper want to destroy.

"Rabbi Dovid Gottlieb, senior faculty member of Ohr Somayach in Jerusalem, underscored the importance for geirim to be trained to understand the importance of consulting gedolei Yisroel regarding every aspect of their lives."

RaP: Where does it say there is such a "requirement"? Another person who thinks he is talking in the Ohr Somayach auditorium. Next he will say that male converts must agree to wear hats and jackets during the week and kappotes on Shabbos and the females should wear their hair in pony tails or shave their heads, not go to college, and not drive cars like the ladies in Bnai Brak or Williamsburg. None of these things are required foir a valid conversion.

"Rabbi Doron Kornbluth, noted lecturer and author of Why Marry Jewish, used statistics and facts to describe the reality of the devastation of intermarriage as "a huge problem that has been ignored."

RaP: All this is known already for decades.

"He appealed to the rabbanim as the only hope for college students to ultimately marry Jewish, explaining that"

RaP:Are these the same rabbanim who are being asked to save the kids but who will be given the boot if they sponsor a convert in front of a bais din? Can't have it both ways. Either the rabbanim are needed and can be trusted and enabled or they cannot.

"we are dealing with a massive population of kids coming through intermarried homes. In another generation, the Jewish population will only consist of Orthodox and intermarried - that's literally where we're headed."

RaP: This too is all very well know for a long time now.

"Rabbi Mordechai Neugroschel, who lectures around the world regarding kiruv and regularly serves as a tour guide through concentration camps in Europe,"

RaP: As all kiruv workers know lumping kiruv with the Holocaust is not always the best mix. Is this man an entrepeneur or does he want to help deal with conversions? Not quite clear from this last confusing bit.

"pointed out that tempering standards in conversion not only sets up others for emotional havoc,"

RaP: The people he was talking to are NOT the ones creating the havoc so why is he giving a guilt trip speech?

"but also negates the struggles of those in the past who suffered tremendous mesiras nefesh to remain Jewish."

RaP: Again, as any kiruv worker knows appealing to past Jewish suffering is not a good selling point. NCSY, Chabad and Aish HaTorah know that and that is why they succeed terrifically at kiruv, and they have no need for EJF events and stayed away from this one for good reasons.