Thursday, January 1, 2009

EJF - Convert for family happiness


Article Source :
http://www.articlearchive.co.uk/

Building United Jewish Homes Through Intermarriage Conversion - By: Art Gib

Description :
Marriage involves more than living in the same house with another person. In addition to the companionship, laughter, love and joy that they share, couples usually face trials like financial responsibilities, raising children, managing time and moving to new areas for employment opportunities. This is why even the happiest couples admit that building a successful marriage requires a lot of work.

The foundation for a successful marriage begins with dating. In addition to generating entertainment, dating should help couples learn what they need from a marriage partner, test their compatibility, and strengthen the relationship they will need to weather life's storms. In most cases, for two people to find happiness together, they need to share common beliefs, values, interests and goals. Sometimes, it requires a lot of love, service, sacrifice, and compromise to reach that point though.

For example, love may bring two people with different religious backgrounds together because they have fun together, are attracted to each other and they have common interests, but tension will probably be generated as they raise children and conduct their lives unless their religious backgrounds are blended together or one is adopted over the other. Consequently, if one spouse in the marriage is very serious about religion, the other partner can eliminate a lot of tension and stress by investigating that faith and deciding whether or not they can adopt the values and beliefs that it preaches. Unfortunately, even willing candidates could run into trouble if they are dealing with stringent religious groups like Orthodox Jews.

In the Jewish religion, following the law with exactness is of paramount importance. Some of those laws can be confusing for a newcomer though. That's why independent organizations exist to provide couples with the information, guidance and support that they need. With some of the most respected and revered teachers leading these organizations, couples can rest assured that they are in competent and loving hands. The goal of these groups is to help intermarriage couples complete a legitimate conversion process that will last and strengthen the faith of parents and children in Jewish homes.

The leaders of this organization understand that when parents are united in what they believe and teach, their posterity is much more likely to stay loyal to the faith and create their own eternal Jewish family. If you don't understand the importance of family and traditions to the Jewish people, a few hours of watching Fiddler on the Roof should give you a glimpse into the matter

Author Resource :
Eternal Jewish Family only works with couples at a Rabbi's recommendation. Since conversion is a highly personal matter, they do not guarantee conversion either. They can provide the things you need to be legitimate. The author, Art Gib, is a freelance writer.

4 comments :

  1. Recipients and PublicityJanuary 1, 2009 at 11:57 AM

    Yet another example of the by now generic and homogenized EJF thrust into "mainstream media" all over the world and the web.

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  2. Recipients and PublicityJanuary 1, 2009 at 2:00 PM

    Shavei Israel VI: Going after the Subbotniks of Russia

    So far, this blog has had 5 posts ("see below) on the controversial activities of the "Shavei Israel" organization that claims in its mission statement: "Our Activities: Shavei Israel opens the door to all who have decided that Judaism and a return to the Jewish people are central to their fate and their identity...Dispatch of Emissaries: Shavei Israel sponsors rabbis and teachers to work with various groups of “lost Jews” in places as far afield as India and the Iberian peninsula. Shavei Israel rabbis are currently posted in Palma de Majorca in Spain, Oporto in northern Portugal, Recife in Brazil, and Krakow and Wroclaw in Poland...Shavei Israel does not proselytize nor does it support any form of missionary activity. Shavei Israel responds to personal expressions of desire to return to Judaism. We believe the Jewish People is a family with links that never vanish completely; our endeavor is to strengthen the links wherever they may have been weakened by history, distance or social parameters. Our work is in complete accordance with Jewish Law and under the ongoing supervision of the Chief Rabbinate of the State of Israel."

    In last week's edition of The Jewish Press, there was another press release/article about a new effort by Shavie Israel. See the full article and then the analysis of it that follows with my comments starting as "RaP":

    "The Jewish Press
    Friday, December 26, 2008.
    Page 36

    Russia’a Subbotnik Jews Get a Rabbi

    [Photo: Rabbi Dr. David Vinitz]

    Rabbi Dr. David Vinitz has been appointed as the new emissary of the Shavei Israel organization to the Subbotnik Jews of Russia. His mission will focus primarily on the community of Vysoky in Southern Russia and will include teaching Hebrew and Judaism, organizing prayer services and conducting a range of diverse educational activities for Subbotnik Jewish youth.

    Rabbi Vinitz, lives in Jerusalem. He speaks Hebrew, Russian and English and holds a Ph.D. in History from Irkutsk State University. In the past he served as rabbi of Irkutsk and East Siberia in Russia, and taught at the Institute for Jewish Studies.

    The saga of the Subbotnik Jews began over two centuries ago, when a group of Russian peasants converted to Judaism. They were forced to pay an extremely heavy price for their choice, including their forced expulsion by Czar Alexander I to the far reaches of the empire.

    Starting with the period of the First Aliyah more than a century ago, thousands of them moved to Israel and quickly found their niche in the heart of the pioneering efforts to settle the land.

    The current Subbotnik Jewish community is estimated to number 20,000 people throughout the former Soviet Union.

    “The dispatch of Rabbi Dr. David Vinitz as Shavei Israel’s new emissary is a result of our expansion of our activities aimed at assisting the Subbotnik Jews of Russia,” said Shavei Israel chairman and founder Michael Freund. “Over the last two centuries, the Subbotnik Jews have been an inseparable part of the history of the Jewish people and Zionism. We cannot and must not turn our backs on the remnants of this very special community, particularly after all that they have endured,” said Freund. “Otherwise, they will assimilate and disappear as Jews, and for that, history would never forgive us"."

    For more information visit www.shavei.org"

    ~~~~~

    "The Jewish Press
    Friday, December 26, 2008.
    Page 36

    Russia’a Subbotnik Jews Get a Rabbi

    RaP: Right off the bat starts the problem with word games. If they are truly (meaning Halachik) "Jews" then "Subbotniks" is supefluous, if not insulting, because Subbotniks do not regard themselves as full Jews nor have they ever been classed or regarded as full or legitimate Halachik Jews by any known cross section of Halachik or rabbinic authorities.

    Just calling them "Jews" does not make them into Jews, and by using the word "Jews" for them in a press release posing as an "article" is already meant to both pre-judge and cast them in a clear-cut light as "Jews" when they are most definitely not.

    For starters, all one needs to do is read up on the Subbotniks and the Wikipedia article about them is as good a place as any to learn a little about this mysterious group. This is what Wikipedia says about the Subbotniks, mainly derived from the Jewish Encyclopedia article about the Subbotniki but it's also evident that pro-Shavei Israel editors have been working on the Sobbotniks article.

    Nevertheless just form the opening paragraph there is obviously a lot to worry about from a Halachik point of view:

    "Subbotnics: "Subbotniks (Russian: Субботники, lit. "Sabbatarians" [Sabbath in Christianity]) are one of the Russian religious bodies known under the general name of "Judaizing Christian sects". On the whole, the Subbotniks originally differed probably very little from other Judaizing societies. They first appeared during the reign of Catherine II, toward the end of the eighteenth century. According to official reports of the Imperial Russian government, most of the sect's followers kept brit milah, believed in absolute monotheism rather than the Christian Trinity, accepted only the Jewish Bible, and observed the Sabbath on Saturday instead of on Sunday. According to the same source, however, some of them, as, for instance, the Subbotniks of Moscow, did not circumcise and believed in Jesus, regarding him as a saint and prophet rather than as God the Son. Other groups reportedly awaited the coming of the Messiah as king of the earth, in line with Judaism's view. Some reportedly revered the New Testament, while others placed it on a lower level than the Old Testament."

    And here's a real scary closing paragraph from the Jewish Encyclopedia's Subbotniki article (also part of the Wikipedia article):

    "Statistics.

    It is impossible at present to determine the exact number of Subbotniki in Russia, the discrepancy between the government statistics and the actual numbers of this sect being so very wide. The official data represent the membership of the sect as numbering several thousand, while the traveler and writer Dinard, who has been in personal contact with the Subbotniki, states that there are 2,500,000. It may be that Dinard included in his figures all of the Judaizing sects. As regards dress, and mode of life apart from their religious rites, the Subbotniki do not in any way differ from the Greek-Orthodox Russians."

    "[Photo: Rabbi Dr. David Vinitz]

    Rabbi Dr. David Vinitz has been appointed as the new emissary of the Shavei Israel organization to the Subbotnik Jews of Russia. His mission will focus primarily on the community of Vysoky in Southern Russia and will include teaching Hebrew and Judaism, organizing prayer services and conducting a range of diverse educational activities for Subbotnik Jewish youth."

    RaP: The significance of the people in "Vyosky" is also to be found inserted into the Wikipedia article that shows the efforts by pro-Shavei editors to advertise, further and legitimate their message on the web to gain acceptance and create "normalcy" when there is none Halachically for them without clearer guidelines and mandates and not relying on vague allowances from the Israeli Chief rabbinate.

    "Rabbi Vinitz, lives in Jerusalem. He speaks Hebrew, Russian and English and holds a Ph.D. in History from Irkutsk State University. In the past he served as rabbi of Irkutsk and East Siberia in Russia, and taught at the Institute for Jewish Studies."

    RaP: Well qaulified, but judging by the photo of him he looks like he may be a convert himself and one questions whether he should be doing this kind of proselytizing work.

    "The saga of the Subbotnik Jews began over two centuries ago, when a group of Russian peasants converted to Judaism."

    raP: Peasants? Not exactly a tribe of scholars and saints. The who, what, when, how and why of all this is lost in time. If the true Halachik Jews lost their identity as a result of enforced atheism and secularization by the Bolsheviks and the Communist totalitarian regimes in the USSR, how much more so is there the greatest of doubt about gentiles, descended from Russian "peasants" yet, who already centuries ago were under a huge cloud of doubt about their motives, beliefs, practices, and status, so that to know who they are today is essentially a near-impossible task.

    At "best" they may be like the Falashas of Ethiopia, but at least the Falashas, like the Hispanic and Iberian Maranos/Anusim started out as Halachic Jews which the Subbotniks did not.

    "They were forced to pay an extremely heavy price for their choice, including their forced expulsion by Czar Alexander I to the far reaches of the empire."

    RaP: So? This is not unusual because antisemites always punish those they deem to be friends or allies of the Jews. The ancient Romans killed out the early Christians, whom they deemed to be a "Judaizing" sect as well, so does that mean that Shavei Israel will be reaching out to 2 billion Christians next (you never know, some people are very ambitious!)

    "Starting with the period of the First Aliyah more than a century ago, thousands of them moved to Israel and quickly found their niche in the heart of the pioneering efforts to settle the land."

    RaP: This is very problematic and what does it say about the personal status of the early pioneers from Russia to Palestine? It may be total hokum too. This is not taught in the classical Zionist history, that "idealistic Subbotniks" (who are after all, people of faith) went hand in hand with the pioneering socialistic secular youth associated with the extreme left of the Labor Zionist movement of Eastern Europe to fight Bedouins and clear the swamps of the Galilee. Are there more accurate books about this, does anyone really know for sure?

    "The current Subbotnik Jewish community is estimated to number 20,000 people throughout the former Soviet Union."

    RaP: But the Wikipedia article and the Jewish Encyclopedia article it's mostly based on quote a researacher who says that there may still be 2,500,000 of them in Russia today -- that makes it equivalant to the same number of half the Halachik Jews living in Israel today, so one cannot imagine the nightmare if they all say they want to come to Israel soon. Yet these are exactly the flames that Shavei Israel is stoking on with the kind of work they now plan to do. Mitzva goreres mitzva, aveira goreres aveira...

    “The dispatch of Rabbi Dr. David Vinitz as Shavei Israel’s new emissary is a result of our expansion of our activities aimed at assisting the Subbotnik Jews of Russia,” said Shavei Israel chairman and founder Michael Freund."

    RaP: This Michaal Freund is a clear and present danger to the Jewish People and to Israel and it is a big wonder that if Rabbi Drukman was dealt with so severely by the Israeli Chief rabbinate for his conversionary work, why is Michael Freund getting away with murder and noone raises a murmur?

    “Over the last two centuries, the Subbotnik Jews have been an inseparable part of the history of the Jewish people and Zionism."

    RaP: Balony. this is Freund sounding like Tropper and displaying his own messianic complex. "Jewish history" has had little to say about the Subbotniks and they have not counted for a bag beans..until now that is... that Shavei Israel and Michael Freund want to bring these CHRISTIANIZED people (who may have had some vaguely ill-defined marginal connection to the Jews of Russia, in some long-lost past) and put them on planes to Isreal. This is as crazy an "outreach mission" if there ever was one!

    "We cannot and must not turn our backs on the remnants of this very special community, particularly after all that they have endured,” said Freund."

    RaP: What? So if a group "endures" bad treatment for good relations with Jews or with Israel for that matter, they deserve to be treated like potential olim? What kind of logic is that? If individuals from a group wish to convert then let them go through the process of legitimate conversion via a Bais Din, but undertaking and allowing mass efforts to misguidedly "help" these unproven people that Michael Freund thinks are "Jews" is nothing less than anti-Halachik proselytization to gentiles.

    “Otherwise, they will assimilate and disappear as Jews,"

    RaP: They are already in a natural-born state of "assimilation" because they are (guess what?) GENTILES, and they never "appeared" as anything serious because they were never regarded as Halachik Jews by any known group of reliable rabbinic authorities or poskim in their time or in ours.

    "and for that, history would never forgive us.”

    RaP: "History" is not God, and Jews don't care how history will judge them or anyone, ever, but how God and the Day of Judgment will judge them. Freund displays such a basic lack of understanding of elementary Hashkofa that it is frightening. This is just generel humanism and liberal do-ggodismwith a Judaic veneer, typical Modern Orthodoxy veering out of control to the far left and gone stark crazy about to crash over the clif and let's pray that it doesn't take too many people overboard with its crazy false messianic agenda!

    "For more information visit www.shavei.org"

    RaP: Yeah, it will scare you!

    ~~~~~

    *The five previous posts relating to Shavei Israel's controversial actvities:

    1) Shavei Israel - Proselytizing or discovering Jews? (September 7, 2008) ("Jewish Press: Children of Hidden Jews Come to Israel September 5, 2008. Twenty-two young Poles who recently discovered their Jewish roots completed a special seminar – the first of its kind – organized on their behalf by Shavei Israel in Jerusalem...")

    2) Shavei Israel II - Exploiting Law of Return Loophole (September 8, 2008) ("Exploiting the loophole in Israel's Law of Return for not having "giyur kehalacha" in it. It was interesting that in the article about the Polish "hidden Jews" published in the latest Jewish Press, which is really just a press release from Shavei Israel that the JP, as is their style, has published, there is not a single word about Halacha and geirus. Not even the broader generalized terminology of "Jewish law" and "conversions" yet when one clicks on to the Shavei Israel website there are many links about that all the work they do is in accordance with the Israeli Chief Rabbinate and that they facilitate real conversions...")

    3) Shavei Israel III - Proselytizing not kiruv/Finding Jews that don't exist (September 9, 2008) ("For once I agree with Jersey Girl's attitude here. [See JPost article she forwarded] But Bartley, while I admit that my post was somewhat far-reaching, it does make a very good point, that in spite of Shavei Israel's posturing and to be blunt, MANIPULATION of the Israeli Chief Rabbinate's requirements for conversions, if you just take a hard cold look at what Shavei Israel is up to, and the JP article was a good example, they are searching high and low for ANY people with the remotest connections to the Jewish people, and they will work with people that halacha is clear are pure gentiles, meshumadim and outright Christians who do not have have a Jewish mother, for a few generations, and may even have been Catholics for a long time and in fact don't even want to "come back" to the Jewish people and Zion so that to get involved in "kiruv-like" activities to haul these people in that is a very controversial, and probably Halachically forbidden, activity...")

    4) Shavei Israel IV - Targets non-Jews for conversion (September 9, 2008) ("Shavei Israel's proselytizes those who are not halachic Jews but are non-Jews of either patrilinear descent or are interested in Judaism (not in conversion) or have a vague sense of belonging to the Jewish people. The halachic sources they rely on (Rav Kalisher & Rav Uzeil) are far from the overwhelmingly accepted mainstream positions. The following is taken from their website FAQ...")

    5) Shavei Israel V - Proselytization as kiruv (September 9, 2008) ("Analysing the words of the Shavei Israel article in the Jewish Press ("...Anyhow, the Jewish Press article about "hidden Jews" in Poland described and hence revealed some very disturbing aspects and activities of Shavei Israel. Reading plain English, just look at the terminology and what it said:..."

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  3. Tropper belongs inJanuary 1, 2009 at 5:13 PM

    The Jew who intermarries is NOT serious about his religion. Maybe EJF can convince the Jew to dress up like a frummie, but the Jew who is living with a Gentile is certainly NOT serious about being Jewish.

    What does "love" have to do with marriage??

    If you love heroin, kinky sex or doughnuts does that make any of these "good". A Jewish marriage is based upon Torah values, "love" of someone fun who makes you feel good is not the foundation of a Torah home and never can be.

    There is no such thing as a marriage between a Jew and a person forbidden to him.

    EJF is trying to destroy the Torah min Sinai. It is heresy and Rabbis other than Rav Sternbuch will have to take a strong stand against this or Judaism and the Jewish people as we know both will be destroyed and gone forever.

    EJF denies the entire concept of Torah Imecha and such thinking reduces Jewish women to nothing more than "consecrated wombs".

    Only a Jewish woman can build a Jewish home. To reduce the role of Jewish women in Jewish family life to nothing more than incubation is to deny our heritage and the legacy of Sara Imecha and three thousand years of her descendants.
    [...]

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  4. It is ironic to hear this mussar about family happiness from someone who broke his own home by divorcing his wife in order to marry a younger prettier woman of whom he wanted to mekarev.

    Tropper's path is filled with broken families and personal tragedies caused by him (see Gideon Busch) . His talmidim are expected to cut off any connection with their family if the family does not become observant. When couples have observance differences as it is common with BT couples Tropper tell the more observant spouse to divorce the less observant spouse.

    Even among the couples who got converted by the EJF there are divorces, partly because Tropper and henchman interfered in their marriage.

    The EJF set for each convert family a teacher/chavrusa/elder where they have to report (by phone) daily or few times a week. The elder then report to Tropper and if he hears something which does not please him (which usually has something to do with Modern Orthodox practices) he threatens to revoke the conversion and sometimes he does.

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