Thursday, June 19, 2008

Conversion crisis - what are world wide consequences?

Bartley Kulp has left a new comment on your post "Conversion crisis - because Modern Orthodox are w...":

This is a request to Daas Torah. There should be a post on how the findings of Rav Sherman's committee will effect converts globally. Particularly in North America. I mean his usage as to what pasul's a dayan or beit din. Can these issues be used to torpedo any agreement between the RCA and the Israeli rabbinate? Also will there be a lot of controversy regarding passed conversions(I mean where the convert is observant) by Rabbanim and betei dinim that Rav Sherman's criterea would pasul the individuals and institutions thereof.

Also the fact that Rav Sherman has applied a precedent in which a beit din can look over another beit din's shoulder even when no new information has come to light on the issue or when there is not a question on the latter beit din's experties? Does this not turn the whole concept of chazaka on its head? Also will any converts or their descendants be able to feel safe from Judicial review even to the point of post mortem of the individuals who converted them?

This is the truly big story out of all of this. I am truly suprised that the RCA has not delt with this issue comprehensively outside of posting a letter of protest filled with rhetoric. These issues need to be discussed and nobody is talking about them. This is not just about the thousand or so conversions that are under question here. These psakim have global ramifications both for past, present and future issues of personal status. The Jewish community today is global by nature and Israel is its most significant location.


  1. >>>Daas Torah said: You can't have a major conversion program in Israel based on views that are rejected and then cry - but I am also a posek. If you are dealing with a single case then it might be relevant to pull out these views. But a massive in your face program which has been protested against from the beginning? Rav Druckman can not claim that he was unaware of the opposition to his program. He is saying - I already created the facts on the ground. I knew from the beginning what I am doing is not acceptable to most poskim. But I figured if I created enough of these gerim they would have to be accepted because of their sheer numbers.

    DT, I really don't think you get it at all!

    Yes, you can have such a program (it has been around for a long time). And the opposition was always well known to all of us and to Rav Druckman shlit"a and to the dozens of fine dayanim involved.

    Nobody is "crying" that "I am also a posek." Rather, we at Tzohar are stating this truth with dignity and kavod hatorah.

    Nobody is saying that our gerim SHOULD be accepted because they are "facts on the ground" in "massive numbers." Nobody is saying that our gerim SHOULD be accepted at all, because we don't expect the charedim to accept them. Ever. Nor do we care all that much. The numbers of charedim who would want to "intermarry" with the poeple we convert are next to zero anyhow.

    Rather, we are saying that these gerim WILL be accepted, period. Because our Torah outlook and our Torah scholars and our poskei halacha all confirm that we are doing what is right according to the Torah. WE WILL accept our gerim and we WILL perform their weddings, period. We will marry them ourselves when be'ezrat hashem the zug works out, period. It WILL happen, period.

    If it takes fighting within the Rabbanut to achieve this, then so be it. If it takes abolishing the rabbanut and setting up our own independent beis din to achieve this, then so be it. It WILL happen.

    Nobody here is "crying" for your recognition. What is really happening is Torah people fighting for their rights to live and apply Torah truth as they see it in Israel. They WILL achieve those rights, period, whether you recognize it or not.

    Shmuel Leibovitz, Lod (Garin Torani near Tel-Aviv), Israel

  2. "I am truly suprised that the RCA has not delt with this issue comprehensively outside of posting a letter of protest filled with rhetoric. These issues need to be discussed and nobody is talking about them."

    You could not be more correct.

    "Da-Nile" isn't only a river in Egypt!

    From Wiki:

    "Denial is a defense mechanism' in which a person is faced with a fact that is too uncomfortable to accept.

    The subject may deny the reality of the unpleasant fact altogether (simple denial), admit the fact but deny its seriousness (minimization) or admit both the fact and seriousness but deny responsibility (transference).

    Unlike some other defense mechanisms postulated by psychoanalytic theory (for instance, repression), the general existence of denial is fairly easy to verify, even for non-specialists. "


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