Thursday, February 14, 2008

Bedatz Letter regarding EJF signed by Gaavad

amicusEJF wrote:

b) This letter [of the Bedatz] was not signed by the Gaavad.
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There was a second letter sent out with the additional signature of the Gaavad. A copy of most of the letter follows. (part was cropped out of the original)




Distinguished Rabbi shlita, I am requesting from you - with every expression of entreaty - to stop and break off association with this organization (Eternal Jewish Family) which is a danger to the future of the Jewish people. Even isolated cases of this type of conversion (of intermarried couples) are extremely problematic. This is explicitly stated by the Achiezer (3:28) that “no kosher beis din should deal with this (the conversion of intermarried couples).” Also look in the Igros Moshe (E.H. 1:27) where he states “this whole issue of conversion of intermarried couples is personally totally distasteful even in isolated cases.” It is simply not acceptable to deal with the issue of intermarried couples in this manner and to openly reinforce their activities with public announcements and notices in newspapers and internet and other such means. They are in effect inviting non‑Jews to participate in a program of conversion through this publicity. It is a really damaging approach which unfortunately will bring about even more intermarriages and invalid conversions. Distinguished Rabbi shlita, please act according to your understanding and wisdom and desist from participating in this program (of the Eternal Jewish Family). It is a public danger. G‑d should assist you.

17 comments:

  1. Thank you. I had heard that a second letter, with the Gaavad's signature, was sent to individuals but not publicized. I had not seen it. I presume you have been authorized to publish it.

    It should be noted that the second letter is not merely a repeat of the first one, for whatever that is worth.

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  2. Recipients and publicityFebruary 18, 2008 at 1:44 PM

    Is it possible to know and publicize who the letter was sent to and who the rabbi/s were that received the letter and perhaps even responded to it?

    There is absolutely no need for secrecy because all the prominent rabbis involved with EJF have had not just their names published in poublic but even their photos (in color!) are used in ads by EJF making their names ANF faces known publicly and openly. Such as Rabbis Leib Tropper, Reuven Feinstein, Hillel David, Boruch Ezrachi, Shlomo Amar, Ovadya Yosef and others.

    A very prominent full-color double-paged ad was recently published in the New York area English-language HAMODIAH and The Jewish Press. EJF has lots of money for that, why not redirect it to the heart-rending appeals from genuine Yiddishe nitzrachim, aniyim and mosdos that desperately ask for help in the same papers?

    But it seems the ad was not published in the English YATED NE'EMAN, probably because some gedolim agree with the Badatz, or at least do not wish to go along with the aims of the EJF.

    By the way, by what right has the EJF used photos of deceased rabbis like of Rav Moshe Feinstein zt"l and of Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach zt"l? How could they get reshus to do that and why are they not worried that it may insult the niftarim and those who respect Rav Moshe and Rav Shlomo Zalman but do not accept what EJF is doing in their name and with their photos?

    There should be more of an outcry about that.

    Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Recipients and publicity said...

    "Is it possible to know and publicize who the letter was sent to and who the rabbi/s were that received the letter and perhaps even responded to it?"

    I received this letter from someone who received it. I was told that it was sent to the participants of the EJF conference. Aside from the well publicized names I don't know who else it was sent to nor do I know if any of them responded.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Recipients and PublicityFebruary 19, 2008 at 8:46 AM

    Thank you for responding.

    Is it possible to obtain from the BADATZ a list of the rabbis that they sent this letter to? That should not be difficult nor an issue. It would also encourage a large part of the Charedi tzibbur particularly in America who may feel intimated by EJF's strong-arm media tactics and fear reprisals of some sort, but if they knew that the BADATZ has openly and fearlessly sent this letter to "the following distinguished rabbis" it will strengthen the position of those mostly in the English-speaking Charedi camp in America who feel that EJF has crossed all red lines and the rabbis supposedly backing it have been put on notice by the BADATZ that they are playing with fire.

    Also, the recent two-page color ad taken out by the EJF in the HAMODIAH and The Jewish Press mentions, among a number of points, that it will now be going onto college campuses in America, with Rabbi Tropper's Horizons/Kol Yaakov Yeshiva acting as its standard bearer to "educate" Jewish university students about the dangers of intermarriage before it happens. A totally absurd idea because the last thing college students are thinking about is marriage when they are living in co-ed dorms and cohabiting freely with each other under the universities' auspices.

    It's hard enough gathering a handful of students for a seminar on "love and dating" that even Aish HaTorah avoids on campuses because it's so hard to get students seriously involved, so how on Earth will students be stopped from marrying goyim ten years down the line yet when the whole ethos is that "all people are equal" and that it's "hateful" and "racist" or worse to preach that Jews are special or different in any way, as can be seen from the uproar that came during the recent "Dr. Noah Feldamn affair" -- a distinguished Modern Orthodox Jew from Boston who married a Korean fellow lawyer without bothering to convert her and wrote a horrible near-antisemitic article to defend his intermarriage in the New York Times' sunday magazine.

    It's hard to see how EJF can do anything serious when even the best and brightest Modern Orthodox, Chabad and Aish people find it to be near impossible.

    So it must be concluded that this last EJF scheme to "educate kids on campus about the evils of intermarriage" is both a smokescreen and deliberate confusion of the borders between kiruv and geirus that EJF is exploiting for its own agenda.

    Additionally, EJF is now positioning itself as just another "kiruv organization" in order to deflect the serious blows to its public image it has suffered among Charedim in America and hence to its prestige because of the BADATZ's initial open letter against its activities and goals to manipulate Halachic outcomes to assit want-to-be-geirim.

    Yet, the letters coming from the BADATZ are not yet sinking into the consciouness of the Charedi public. They are not known to most people! However the PR people behind the EJF, such as professionaly paid Menachem Lubinsky of Lubicom and Rabbi Tropper's sister-in-law Susan Blond the owner of "5W PUBLIC RELATIONS" http://www.susanblondpr.com/index.cfm are trying to distract and blind the Charedi public from what the BADATZ in far-off secluded and "extremist" Yerushlayim are saying. In short, EJF is taking on the BADATZ and attempting to marginalize it and will no doubt make it look like the BADATZ are some of sort "Taliban-type" (lehavidl elef havdolas) "religious council" out of touch with reality in the Jewish world and hence not qualified to rule on issues pertaining to intermarriage.

    So it is no surprise that EJF's reply to the BADATZ's recent open rulings and letters to rabbis has been to counter it with modern-looking stylish and eye-catching larger and more distracting colorful "center-fold" expensive advertising that conveys a totally different message ("I feel your pain" hokum) to that of the BADATZ and that also dilutes and camouflages EJF's true goals of "halachicly-approved" factory-like MASS conversions of gentile spouses of Jews by saying that it now wishes to be a nice heimishe "kiruv operation" -- and how could anyone not like kiruv?

    Talking about kiruv and "saving neshomas" is one the best ways to distract frum people from their own failings and tzores of various "youth-at-risk/singles-at-risk/families-at-risk" etc crises!

    That is why the BADATZ needs to be persistant and very open and clear with what it is doing.

    They are up against American-style PR and political operatives that do not functions in the spirit of "eilu ve'eilu" but rather the EJF is working like a "Clinton political machine" and wishes to cover-up, distract, steam-roller, pay-off and manipulate the Charedi world with their master political plan. They plan to do it "their way" and they have the Kaplan multi-multi-millions to bankroll and pay for this for as long as it takes.

    Only firm and clear action will work! The BADATZ must act as it does in all such situations. They must issue a serious, and even a series of KOL KOREHs against the EJF and have the notices posted all over Yerushalyim and do this a few times for a few months until the right ehrliche people start taking notice, something that has not happened so far and the EJF knows this so they resort to their pre-emptive counter-propaganda wars in the HAMODIAH and The Jewish Press meant to manipulate Charedi public opinion.

    There are tens of thousands of Charedi Americans in Israeli Yeshivos and Seminaries. Every frum family in America has mishpocheh and friends in Eretz Yisroel. When they will read the KOL KOREH's and hear about this they will then start to get the message, they will then communicate this back to their families, friends and brethren in America and ONLY then will the Englis-speaking Charedi public in America sit up and take notice and the EJF will be shut down once and for all.

    LET KIRUV BE DONE BY KIRUV WORKERS AND PROFESSIONALS AS IT HAS ALWAYS BEEN DONE !!!

    &

    LET GEIRUS BE DONE BY QUALIFIED BATEI DIN AS IT HAS ALWAYS BEEN DONE !!!

    EJF should not mix the two because the experts see through this and are not fooled!

    Just like the calls for a recent "Sanhedrin" were relegated to the dust-bin in the Charedi world, so must the EJF's delusional goals for a "ubber-beis din" for geirus be totally rejected because Klal Yisroel has enough functioning batei din and does not need geirus to be commercialized.

    In any case, almost all secular Jews who bother to want a conversion can go to their local Refom or Conservative clergy-person or log on to the Internet and find a "rabbi"-for-hire who will issue a useless and worthless "certificate" and EJF can stand on their heads and scream from every rooftop as that will not change in our lifetimes!!!

    Orthodoxy does not need to resort to such tactics.

    The Beis Din LeInyonei Giur set up by Rav Kreiswerth zt"l and guided by Rav Nochum Eisenstein shlita is a good start. It is quite capable of dealing with the over-all cases and it does so. Rav Eisenstein has made a grievous error and huge strategic mistake by associating himself with the EJF. He is being taken for a huge ride. EJF is a manipulative and predatory primarily secular organization with aims to change Orthodox Judaism's structure in accepting geirim whereas Rav Eisenstein's Beis Din LeInyonei Giur is a davar shebekedushah and should not dirty itslef with EJF's shallow but dangerous ploys.

    Rav Nochum Eisentsein and the Beis Din LeInyonei Giur should clarify where they stand, and by implication where HaRav HaGaon Rav Eliashiv shlita stands now in light of the BADATZ's rulings and requests of rabbis to quit their involvement with the EJF.

    Can Rav Eisentsein tell the Charedi world if Rav Eliashiv is in line with the BADATZ or with EJF because Charedim cannot rely on what Rabbi Tropper alleges about if this or that gadol has or has not told him. Rabbi Tropper's response and strategy is one of avoidance and that can only be confronted and ended by clear statements from the BADATZ that will in turn create clarity in the minds of the Charedi public! Thus the BADATZ will be mezakeh es horabbim and be mekadesh shem shomayim.

    Incidently, Rabbi Eisentein has already insulted all the Modern Orthodox rabbis by telling them that if a rabbi does not believe in the literal Six Days of Creation or if he wears colored clothing then he cannot be a dayan on a beis din for giur, and they have already written him, EJF and Rabbi Tropper off altogether, even though Rabbi Tropper tried to fudge as usual but nobody bought it because (a) Charedim basically agree with Rav Eisentsein and (b) that is why Modern Orthodx rabbis are not Charedi rabbis and they do things the "Torah Umada" way! So in effect Rabbi Tropper has lost that crowd 101%

    The Chasidim don't know about and would never be goires some narishkeiten like an "EJF" and the names of Kiruv rabbis and Litvishe and Sefardishe rabbonim are meaningless to them.

    So that leaves mostly the Yeshivishe/Livishe oilem whom Rabbi Tropper and EJF wish to hoodwink into their "army" -- all with nice stays in hotels for "conventions", grants, and various payments for airfares and whatnot from the Lillian Kaplan Foundation of course!

    As opposed to this massive exercise in geneivas da'as and sheker, frumme Yidden are looking to the BADATZ to lead it towards emes on this issue and they need to grasp that very clearly, as no doubt they do, but they need to be mefarsem their pesakim and dei'os much more strongly because:

    Ki MiTzion Teitzei Torah Udvar H-shem MiYerushalayim!!!

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  5. It does seem to be true as "recipients and publicity said"

    "the letters coming from the BADATZ are not yet sinking into the consciouness of the Charedi public. They are not known to most people!"

    And I have also heard a number of Orthodox Rabbis in the US say:

    "BADATZ in far-off secluded and "extremist" Yerushlayim are saying. In short, EJF is taking on the BADATZ and attempting to marginalize it and will no doubt make it look like the BADATZ are some of sort "Taliban-type" (lehavidl elef havdolas) "religious council" out of touch with reality in the Jewish world and hence not qualified to rule on issues pertaining to intermarriage. "

    Non Halachic conversions to permit intermarriage is the one issue that threatens world Jewry more than anything in our generation.

    I heard recently that a school under the Syrian Edict accepted a boy who was known to be the product of an intermarriage because "they did not want to ruin his life".

    The families involved (coincidentally??) were fantastically wealthy and had given generously to the yeshiva.

    What about the girl who UNKNOWINGLY marries this boy because he attended the prestigious yeshiva that admitted him? Why don't we worry about "ruining her life?"

    After this boy is educated in Syrian yeshivot, attends a Syrian summer camp and then goes off to learn in a prestigious yeshiva in EY (my daughter WAS set up with a Gentile who learned at Porat Yosef!! He was recommended by a Rabbi "under the Takana"), who is he is going to try to marry?

    A Rabbi we know recently found out that his daughter married a Gentile; the boy's mother's mother is not Jewish, no conversion of any sort. Because the boy had been educated in prestigious yeshivas both in the US and EY the Rabbi said that it did not occur to him to question the yichus. Now this poor girl's life is a disaster.

    It is definitely a problem when the litigants in a court of law pay the judges, each litigant according to his/her means. I believe this is the whole problem. American Rabbis depend upon their supporters for their parnassa and as long as this is true, halacha will be decided by the highest bidder.

    My cousin who owns a jewelry store in a Jewish neighborhood tells me that the majority of engagement rings she is selling lately are to older Jewish men marrying younger Gentile women.

    Many of these women openly share the fact that they are marrying a Jewish man because "Jews have all the money". (I have heard this said quite shamelessly myself).

    These are the families who are funding our shuls, schools, community organizations and supporting our Rabbis.

    As "recipients and publicity said"

    "That is why the BADATZ needs to be persistant and very open and clear with what it is doing."

    It is pekuach nefesh for world Jewry.

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  6. Do you follow the Bedaz in all they say?Are you an extreme anti-zionist? Do you think that people who vote in israeli elections are doing a terrible sin?
    If you don't follow the Badatz in the above things what do you want?Some rabbis hold it's a mitzva to vote in israeli elections , some don't.Why should i suddenly be overwhelmed by their disagreement with other very worthy rabbis.

    I also honestly think that they are not in touch with what is happening in the dispora.

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  7. Bedatz Needs to Relax!February 20, 2008 at 12:11 AM

    Hershel Tzig said:

    ~Do you follow the Bedatz in all they say? Are you an extreme anti-zionist? Do you think that people who vote in israeli elections are doing a terrible sin?
    If you don't follow the Bedatz in the above things what do you want? Some rabbis hold it's a mitzva to vote in israeli elections , some don't. Why should i suddenly be overwhelmed by their disagreement with other very worthy rabbis.

    I also honestly think that they are not in touch with what is happening in the dispora.~

    Extremely well said.
    It seems to me that the Bedatz side is Beis Shammai and the EJF side is Beis Hillel.

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  8. Hershel Tzig said:
    "I also honestly think that they are not in touch with what is happening in the dispora"

    I don't know how your impressions or gut feelings or intuitions are relevant to discussion of issues. Do you have anything substantive to say? There are major issues of halacha and sociology involved. Dismissing the views of major talmidei chachomim because you view them as primitive, narrow minded or out of touch is not helpful - unless you can bring evidence to support these contentions. The mere fact that someone is not a zionist is not proof that someone is out of touch with reality.

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  9. Bedatz Needs to Relax! said...

    "It seems to me that the Bedatz side is Beis Shammai and the EJF side is Beis Hillel."

    Please cut out the simplistic condescending comments. Trying to summarize the major legitimate concerns of both the Bedatz and EJF by forcing them in to a Shammai Hillel paradigm does violence to both sides. EJF doesn't claim to be lenient but in fact wants to increase the stringency of conversion. The Bedatz is simply questioning EJF's procedure since it is apparently unprecedented. To raise the standards and at the same time proselytizing intermarried couples is strange. Furthermore Beis Hillel had no problem explaining their views as well as the views of Beis Shammai and presented their views in a transparent manner. EJF refuses to explain the halachic basis for what they are doing and has not published halachic analyses defending their procedure. They don't have a handbook which explains their halachic views nor have they presented any evidence that their approach is actually more succesful.

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  10. I am told by a family friend who is in kiruv that kiruv on American college campuses is difficult these days because 75% of those who show up for programs are not Jewish k'halacha.

    I have heard the same from people involved with Birthright trips.

    The ideas expressed above (Herschel Tzig and "Bedatz needs to relax") that "things are different today", "different in the Diaspora", "Judaism has to change with the times" are not new. It all began with the French Revolution and the birth of Reform Judaism.

    Even with all of the innovations of the Reform which led to Reform synagogues having seemingly more in common with Protestant Churches than with traditional Judaism, the Reform Movement still issued several edicts against intermarriage (in 1909, 1947 and 1973) throughout its history, stating that sanctifying intermarriage is:``contrary to the traditions of the Jewish religion". The CCAR ... declared its opposition to participation by its members ``in any ceremony which solemnizes a mixed marriage.''

    Both the Reform and Conservative movements issued strong statements in 1986 that the sole criteria for determination of Jewish lineage was matrilineal descent.

    It is an interesting sociological study in that statements issued by the Reform and Conservative movements twenty years ago, which are now being issued by Bedatz are considered "Taliban" and "extremist" by much of the American Charedi public. Even the Reform did not suggest "conversion" for the sake of sanctifying an intermarriage thirty years ago.

    I know this firsthand!! I was taught in a Reform Hebrew school 27 years ago (my Orthodox Rabbi "permitted" it for kiruv). A Jewish man had made an appointment with the Reform Rabbi to discuss the marriage of him and his girlfriend. The Rabbi asked questions and a few minutes later was SCREAMING at them. How DARE you bring a shiksa to a RABBI to do a wedding!!! I will NEVER perform an intermarriage!! What Hitler could not accomplish you are doing to yourself!!! The whole building shook and I honestly thought that the Rabbi was going to beat the young man (who did marry the girl with a Judge, they got divorced a year later and then he married a Jewish girl, it was a small town and I was curious so I kept up with him).

    There was no mention of "conversion" by this Reform Rabbi 27 years ago AND this young man could not find ANY Reform Rabbi in the area who would agree to marry them.

    Fast forward to 2001 and I am dropping a donation off in the office of the Orthodox shul where we belong. A man I know from the neighborhood who had very recently left his Jewish wife and young children is there asking the Rabbi to marry him and his VERY pregnant Hispanic girlfriend. She is wearing a cross which is tucked into her blouse but is still visible in the sunlight.

    I can hear the Rabbi tell them that he will convene a Beis Din next week and marry them after her "conversion". The wedding happened just like that. I know his family in NY and Israel; they all sat shiva for him. I ran into both the couple and the Rabbi a few weeks later. The Rabbi wiahed them "mazal tov" and asked how their married life was going.

    Times sure have changed but our Torah has not. Perhaps it is time to take a step back and think about that.

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  11. Recipients and PublicityFebruary 20, 2008 at 12:46 PM

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Recipients and PublicityFebruary 20, 2008 at 1:23 PM

    To Hirshel Tzig:

    Your blog at
    http://theantitzemach.blogspot.com/

    shows that you are strongly Lubavitch and since Chabad is heavily into Kiruv and has been dealing much longer and on a much larger scale with the problems EJF and the BADATZ are disputing could you please let us know what the official policies of Lubavitch shluchim and batei din are to geirim and to Jews who marry goyim and then want to get a beis din to convert them as easily and quickly as possible?

    It is known in kiruv circles that quite often Chabad rabbis have standards and policies not much different to the BADATZ.

    For example, in Brazil which has a strong Chabad presence but also a huge rate of intermarriage, the official policy of Chabad there is NOT to accept ANY converts so that if someone wants to be megayer in Brazil they have to leave the country and go to Israel or America.

    Or, it is known that in California, where Chabad has a huge presence they discourage geirim actively. In many cities and states Chabad rabbis try to push off the problem by telling potential geirim to go to non-Chabad batei din, even at the risk of insulting these people or losing support.

    So in general it can safely be said that it is yaduah that the last Lubavitcher Rebbe discouraged mass geirus and instructed his sh'luchim to discouarage geirus and not to get involved in such situations at all costs with very few exceptions.

    After all, the last Lubavitcher Rebbe was the main one who almost got the "mihu Yehudi" clause of "giur kehalacha" put into Israeli law which was narrowly rejected by the Knesset!!! It caused an international scandal too all over the media but the Rebbe pushed his views and plan as hard as he could.

    The Rebbe was even willing to lose the support of some big givers (married to shiksas or with intermarried kids) and for the first time many people realized that Chabad was as Charedi as anyone else in the Charedi world and that while Lubavaitchers may have spouted the talk of "ahavas Yisroel" they were not willing to walk in the way of helping every Tom, Dick or Jane become a Jew just because they gave Chabad a big donation.

    Also it is poor logic that when someone wishes to discuss a subject you say, well do you do everything like him or them? Because in that case no-one could talk about anything with another person unless they agreed with them and did like them 100% all the time!

    You are thinking too much like a Chosid and not everything is black and white. For example, if a person likes Lubavitch's kiruv work ONLY but criticizes the Meshichistim, does that mean that only if one accepts everything else about Lubavitch then it gives the person a right to be selective and like its kiruv but dislike its meshichistishkeit? Obviously not if you are reasonable.

    The BADATZ does not expect all the people who eat foods based on its hechsher to agree with its hashkofas either. The BADATZ is not the Communist party, it is the beis din representing most of the Charedim of Eretz Yisroel.

    Finally, Chabad is as anti-Zionist as anyone on the BADATZ. No-one in Chabad says Hallel on Yom Ha'atzmaut and Chabad houses do not fly the Israeli flag either. But they still welcome Zionist Israelis and people with knitted yarmulkes in their shulls and it would be nuts to say to these people that you cannot join our Chabad house or shull unless you drop all your views about Israel and Zionism because at Chabad we are anti-Zionists big time, just that you don't know that and we don't advertize it.

    ReplyDelete
  13. "As Eretz Yisroel now holds almost half the world's Jews and is probably now the center of frum life, its power increases inside Eretz Yisroel ........ the Israeli chief rabbinate cannot control any of the RCA or Mizrachi rabbis. "

    When Moshiach comes (it should be speedily and in our days) he will abide by the rulings of the local Beit Din as our Sages tell us that any prophet who does not follow halacha is a false prophet.

    The local Beit Din for our Holy City is the Batei Din Tzedek of Jerusalem.

    Jews believe in Techiyat HaMetim and the re-establishment of our Holy City under Moshiach. THIS IS NOT A FAIRY TALE1!!! It is a cornerstone fundamental of our faith.

    If a person is not a JEW in Jerusalem, they will not participate in the Resurrection of the Dead!!

    What is the point of marrying a "Jew" in the Diaspora if one's spouse or children will not join the Jewish people in the Resurrection of the Dead due to a "conversion" that is not accepted in Israel?

    Diaspora Judaism MUST conform to the rulings of the Israeli Rabbinute, Jerusalem Beit Din and Bedatz.

    We must not forget that Jerusalem is our Holy City and not Brooklyn, Lakewood or Baltimore.

    ReplyDelete
  14. "It is known in kiruv circles that quite often Chabad rabbis have standards and policies not much different to the BADATZ. "

    ALEVAI!!!! Perhaps this was true 20 or 30 years ago, but NOT today.

    We were open to Chabad shidduchim for our children and were recommended both Baalei Teshuva and Bnai Baalei Teshuva. MOST of the recommendations we got were the offspring of intermarriages.

    I have lived all over the US for business reasons and have spent Shabbat in many many different Chabad houses. Often I am the only woman in the shul who could be considered Jewish in Israel and this also includes the shlucha, many of whom are the products of intermarriages "kashered" with the help of Chabad.

    Chabad did plenty of conversions to permit intermarriage under Rabbi Dworkin in Crown Hts. This went on for years and women came from the far corners of the world to appear before the Beis Din and immerse in the mikveh.

    In Miami there is a Dayyan on the Rabbinute's list who has converted dozens of women for intermarriage who were brought by Chabad shluchim.

    A few of the shluchim are themselves married to women they had converted for marriage.

    But please don't think I am Chabad bashing.

    I do not want to give the impression that Chabad Rabbis are not the only Rabbis in South Florida who themselves are or who are married to women who are the products of Jewish men and Gentile women. It's an epidemic all over.

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  15. There is a Chabad article on intermarriage and conversion

    http://www.chabad.org/
    library/article_cdo/
    aid/148995/jewish/
    On-Intermarriage.htm

    ReplyDelete
  16. The article from Chabad states the following:

    "The Conversion Option

    One of the solutions that are proposed to solve the problem of intermarriage is to convert the non-Jewish partner to Judaism. "Why lose two souls, when we can gain one?…"

    Is conversion a valid option?

    We find that Judaism does recognize the possibility of a non-Jew converting to Judaism. The proper conversion process, known as Giyur, is very simple. It consists of three steps: 1) Circumcision (in the case of a male); 2) Immersion in the Mikve (ritual bath); 3) Acceptance of the 613 precepts in their totality. These three steps must take place in the presence of a valid Rabbinic tribunal. (A valid Rabbinic tribunal consists of three Rabbis that accept the Torah as the word of G-d and their fulfilling the 613 precepts in their personal day-to-day life.)"


    That's exactly what I have seen:

    1. A Jewish man brings his Gentile girlfriend to the Chabad Rabbi.

    2. The Chabad Rabbi brings them to the Dayyan that was on the Rabbinut's list of previously accepted conversions.

    3. The Dayyan makes an appointment for the Chabad Rabbi and another local Rabbi to sit on a Beis Din along with him and the Chabad Rabbi to convert the woman (its always women,intermarried Jewish women are shunned).

    4. The Gentile woman appears before the Beis Din dressed modestly and promises to keep the mitzvos.

    5. The woman is dipped in the mikveh. (The regular mikveh lady will not participate in conversions so a different shomeret is brought in).

    6. An interfaith marriage is sanctified.

    I agree that the lack of a proper Jewish education leads to assimilation and intermarriage. In our community, the bulk of the tuition aid for the local yeshivas goes to the Gentile children of Jewish men.

    When I question local Rabbis about this, I am told that it is quite simple, my children will still be Jewish with or without a yeshiva education but for the children of Gentile women who were converted to marry a Jew, their future as members of the Jewish people relies upon their making a conscious choice to convert or remain part of the community.

    I have been told that the decision to give first access to seats in the yeshivas is based upon a ruling of Rav Moshe Feinstein ztl. I have asked for a copy of that ruling and have never been provided with it.

    The majority of Shomer Shabbat families in my community must choose between homeschooling and public school while the local day schools are 30-50% full of Gentiles "learning" for conversion. (It's a small community, everyone knows who is who).

    ReplyDelete
  17. My web site for Divrei Torah criticizes insincere converts who convert because they want to marry a rich Jew:

    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/DerechEmet/

    I send 6 quick easy Divrei Torah each month.

    ReplyDelete

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