Monday, July 20, 2009

Latin American conversion issues


Moshe commented to "RaP: Proselytization in Latin America":

I read this blog and was in shock by the tenore of the entire story. Without a doubt there is a sense in RaP that the Askenazic community are more "blue blood" than the Sephardic community. I will admit,that they have been more prone to deal with conversions in an overwhelming level in the Askenazic community. In Latin America, many Rabbi have prohibited conversions there for various reasons, but have always been open to recieve great sums of money for would be converts. One such family who came out of colombia, had to pay $20,000 and still was not properly converted until they arrived in the US without being converted, and financially weighing less than their non-hispanic counter part. After some direction, they did achieve their conversion in the US under a Beit Din that is recognized by Israel.

The attitude of those wanting to convert to Judaism from hispanic or Latin American Countries has always been skewed with suspicion from the certain groups inside the halls of Jewry (as so beautifully demonstrated in this blog by RaP). Had I known Mr Torres before he changed his last name to one that would be more acceptable to the Ashkenazic community, I would have told him to not even waste your time. You will alway be looked at as the "spic" that you are.Be proud of your surname, which may have more Yichus than some in the ashkenazic community. But one thing is cleare having a Sephardic Surname, as an Askenazic Surname does not make one a Jew. This who have been force to live in a culture which underminded the legacy of the Jews of Spanish is a part of history which has been purposely slighted in the history of a post holocaust world. Unlike the holocaust where millions of Jews died (Kiddush Hashem), hundreds of thousands of Jews took upon themselves to live outwardly as Christians and inside had to live as secretive Jews. And to their children on a word, a customs and practise remain as a string to remind them where they came from. Why this "fad", as you put it, is sweeping the Hispanic World? Simply because it was always there. But the information was not at there reach to connect the dotts. And know the Jewish world is about to experience of Hispanics who are lining up for convesion when in fact they should be directed to check their geneological tree, so if they can show 3-4 generations of unbroken linage back to the Jews, there may not even be a need to under go conversion. A conversion which throughout Jewish History was always possible, except in countries where our fellow tribesmen decided to market the female elements for business purposes. And in those country, such conversion where prohibited because, we could not have Jews marrying into lo zenut nashim, and in fact that is what began to happen. Horrified, many Rabbis placed takkanots to prohibit such actions with threats of cherem. This all swept under the rug. I do applaude Rabbi Goldenstein (Torres) effort. If he is in fact of Jewish descendants, and went through the conversion process,then your argument about a ger is not authorized to be involved in conversion is a mute issue. And what remains is raw discrimination and fear that those you may call hispanic goy have in fact a Sephardic Yiddishe Neshama which have been surpressed all these years. Sephardic Rabbis of the Spanish Portugese traditions should read this blog which sends an alarm, it is the Sephardic community responsability to deal with this issue, not a Beit Din who by and large is Askenazic and poskim accordingly. A Sephardic renewal is on it ways, and it is sending a wave of concern in the Jewish Community. Let them practice Judaism, and follow Judaism and be recognized as Jews, as long as it is done by halakhah. And alway keep in mind, that among the blue blood Syrian lavi community, even the Askenazic community is considered from the khazar, or descendants of converts.

13 comments :

  1. Charles Kirsh. Chabad LubavichJuly 20, 2009 at 10:40 AM

    Few Items for the record:
    [...]

    "A" had a brainstorm for Parnosah, so many want or dream to convert, why not? they all get benefits like Jews! In Panama, Argentina basically no conversion are allowed, many others dont recognize the liars... so: "A" send a so called religious visa to the US, with the support of the Nikolsburgh Institution... Charges USD $3500.00 plus expenses, he get "X" of Emes Lane, Monsey NY to do the procedure, pays "X" $2000.00 keeps $1500.00 cash, get an average of 40 to 50 goyeem a year, and he makes $60k - $75k off the books, and they continue on his path.....IRS its time to wake up! These converts know very little, like the lady that had in mind that you can eat erev Yom Kippur up to 72 minutes past sundown, or the one that used her husband's T-shirt to do bedikos, or even the male working in M... Glatt, that its meat and milk together, because its not liquid milk, yes a milk munch while eating a salami sandwich while in the counter.....Or the other one that abuses his wife, because thats how he saw it fit. Religion becomes fitted for their need.

    That why the Mayaguez Community basically fell apart, that how some converts returned with a "X" certificate to their country of origin, and are not keeping anything Jewish, this is the same "X", that refuses to come to a Din Torah, because he will go to a great bais din, with demands that be 70, all older then him, and besides no ones knows like him....Then his friend Yudel Stein, Bomzer, for something in Mexico basically all converts are not accepted, Chacham Tawil, and other have seen the future and the damage.

    In Argentina no conversions take place.

    Plenty people speak Spanish in Monsey, I know that Rabbi Shia Teitelbaum helped with converts and he stopped, Rabbi Eli Libersohn went got wind of A's monkey business he refused to get involved, and so others.

    [...]

    Mishpacha lacks any daas torah.

    The best is approach is to keep the toheivah, of unkosher papers and magazines away from our environs.

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  2. yehudah, lima peru.July 20, 2009 at 8:28 PM

    Rabbi Eidensohn, Im a young man from Peru that had the honor of finding Rabbi Goldstein at the time SOME TWO YEARS AGO Rabbi Goldstein inform me that it was difficult to be a jew and that it will be preferable if I became a friend of the jewish people and a ben Noach.

    Off course my soul was looking for more than that I learn Hebrew to write it and speak it all by myself.
    I`m the mockery of my family and friends because I have chosen a life of Torah. I live in a world alien to the reality of Torah. You live in a cozy Torah atmosphere that has no idea what it means to dwell in a soul that has this longing with no one to help you.

    since I met rabbi Goldstein he has become my father my rabbi my mentor a refreshing air conditioner in a world of idolatry and inmorality. I hope that i will live to be a Torah giant and with it elevate the name of converts as Rabbi Goldstein has. So rabbi, maybe is not for you to help people like me.... but do not dare interfire with those that have.
    after all Rabbi, the jewish people are supposed to be a light to the nations... not a self centered religion ,maybe that is the reasons why we are still in Egypt.

    I want a halachic conversion because I want to live as a halachic jew
    I have done everithing in my power to become a Jew and a good one too.so....let it be and respect those that care to notice people like meª.

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  3. yehuda - I didn't write the article about R' Goldstein.

    I do find it interesting though that you condemn me for not understanding where you are coming from - and yet you obviously don't know anything about me and yet feel competent to criticize me.

    Furthermore you are not a Jew, yet you presume to know more about Judaism then I do.

    As you ponder these points you might begin to understand why converts are an issue - especially in Latin America and Israel

    BTW nobody is saying that R' Goldstein isn't a nice person and focused on helping other. That is not really the issue.

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  4. Recipients and PublicityJuly 21, 2009 at 7:01 AM

    To Moshe 1: One central part of Moshe's comment needs closer scrutiny.

    Firstly, it is dangerous to make false claims. Mr. Goldtsein was converted because he was a gentile and NOT because he may have had personal fanatsies about a connection with long gone Marranos/Conversos.

    "Unlike the holocaust where millions of Jews died (Kiddush Hashem), hundreds of thousands of Jews took upon themselves to live outwardly as Christians and inside had to live as secretive Jews."

    RaP: Moshe is contriving a great fallacy as well as distorting history. While it is TRUE to compare the SPANISH Inquistion of the 1400s to the Nazis' Holocaust of the mid 1900s, with the events of the 1400s of mass expulsions, forced conversions, the barbarism of the auto da fe and cruel antisemitism by the Spanish royalty aided by the Spanish Catholic Church were a historical forerunner to the events of mass genocide and ihumanity against Jews by the German Nazis and their allies in the 1900s, YET there is NO connection between the Marranos who went on to live as Christians in the 1400s and 1500s with the events of the Holocaust.

    Marranos/Conversos of 500 or 400 years ago, are almost all APOSTATES to Judaism because they were people who abandoned Judaism and became Christians and whose Jewish identity CANNOT be known 400 or 500 years later, and they CANNOT be compared to modern-day victims of the Nazis whose Jewish identity is KNOWN. Survivors of the Mazi camps and the gas chambers and the Soviet gulags were NOT apostates and they mostly kept their Jewish identity in spite of the Holocaust.

    "And to their children on a word, a customs and practise remain as a string to remind them where they came from."

    RaP: Christianity as a whole has many many connections that it still keeps with its "mother religion" even after 2000 years, the Hebrew Bible being the biggest one. This absuridty that anyone who eats some form of "gefilte fish" or "humus" "must" be "Jewish" is pure poppycock and would never make it as "proof" in a court of law or a beth din!

    "Why this "fad", as you put it, is sweeping the Hispanic World? Simply because it was always there."

    RaP: Pure nonsense. What was always there is a strong Catholicism. People who have been practicing Catholics in South America since the arrival of the Conquistadors and the Catholic Church 600 or 500 years ago, and practiced a devout Catholicism all that time, cannot turn around 500 years or 400 years later and say "I'm Jewish" as if they were saying a hail Mary and expect the Jewish world to take them seriously. ...

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  5. Recipients and PublicityJuly 21, 2009 at 7:02 AM

    To Moshe 2:

    "But the information was not at there reach to connect the dotts."

    RaP: The so-called "dotts" are being planted into people's minds by people with a proselytizing or commercial agenda that has nothing to do with classical normative Judaism.

    "And know the Jewish world is about to experience of Hispanics who are lining up for convesion"

    RaP: It's not just Hispanics who want to convert, it is now a fashionable fad to be "Jewish" like the pop singers Maddona and Brittany Spears who put on star of David necklaces, take a few course at the Kabbalah Centre that takes anyone who can pay, and presto everyone can be "Jewish" today. But this does not fool or sway Jews who practice authentic Torah Judaism.

    "when in fact they should be directed to check their geneological tree, so if they can show 3-4 generations of unbroken linage back to the Jews, there may not even be a need to under go conversion."

    RaP: Sure. If they can do this, and one of our posters here, Jersey Girl tells us that in her genuine Sefardic community they have done done this even when they know they are 100% Jewish, the dry climate of Spain has preserved many official state records from the olden days, but it is certain that they will NOT help the hundreds of millions of the world's Hispanics to get them "connected" with Jews when no such connections exist except in the imaginations of some people and in the hopes of the misled proselytizers who are going aginst Judaism by their misguided efforts to enroll gentiles as "Jews" when they are provably not!

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  6. Well said, Yehuda.

    I also tend to feel insulted by the Anti-Ger-Roundups on daas torah.

    That's why I stopped reading anything about conversion on this blog.

    ReplyDelete
  7. RaP- Laurence Abensur-Hazan and her husband Phillip Abensur are professional genealogists. They have traced maternal ancestry back to pre Expulsion Spain Jewish communities for a number of people of Hispanic heritage who were interested in Judaism.

    Anyone interested in returning to Judaism can contact them:

    laurphil@wanadoo.fr

    (I believe that this email is still good, it is the only one I have).

    I have never encountered anyone who could not prove their Jewishness. Christian countries have kept records back hundreds of years. Phillip Abensur traced one man's maternal ancestry back to a baptism certificate from Spain in the 1300s which showed that the maternal ancestor was Jewish.

    The gentleman in question was able to take these documents as proof of his maternal Jewish ancestry to the Beit Din.

    Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Recipients and PublicityJuly 22, 2009 at 6:54 AM

    "shoshi said...I also tend to feel insulted by the Anti-Ger-Roundups on daas torah."

    RaP: This blog is very fair. It allows for the widest discussion of views, including many Orthodox and Haredi ones that you will not come across most of the time with such a fair blog owner. It is preferbale to debate the issues rather than get emotional and shut down all discussions from which we could all learn.

    "That's why I stopped reading anything about conversion on this blog."

    RaP: That is like the proverbial ostrich that places its head into a hole when it sees stuff that it does not like rather than taking it on or putting up a struggle. By this attitude you may be admitting defeat and that you are wrong and that you have no answers rather than proving your points with rational, logical and sensible arguments prferably supporting what you have to say with reliable and provable sources. You may not like this, but it has been said that "Ignorance is bliss, 'tis folly to be wise" and you surely do not want to fulfil that distorted dictum!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Recipients and PublicityJuly 22, 2009 at 6:55 AM

    "Jersey Girl said... RaP- Laurence Abensur-Hazan and her husband Phillip Abensur are professional genealogists. They have traced maternal ancestry back to pre Expulsion Spain Jewish communities for a number of people of Hispanic heritage who were interested in Judaism."

    RaP: Not just Sefardim. There are many Chasidim who have an irrational obsession with "yichus" (in spite of knowing that they are Jewish) who need to know which Rebbe they are descended from (preferably it should be the Ba'al Shem tov himself), which of the great Rishonim and Acharonim they may be from (somehow it's often Rav Moshe Isserles author of the Ashkenazi Shulchan Oruch, or RASHI the greatest of the commentators), and which royal dynasty (invarioubly they are all from King David's family) so that they are in line for the messianic aristocracy when it comes, and they pay tens of thousands of dollars for this service of researching and creating a "yichus book" and if they can't afford that, they write up their own "Yichus briefs" [genealagical letters] in Michael Jackson-style genealogical plastic surgery to make sure that they are not viewed as having "bad" yichus. So sure, anyone with money and time to burn, can hire any number of so-called "experts" to dig up all sorts of arcane records from hard-to-access dusty and musty libraries.

    "Anyone interested in returning to Judaism can contact them: laurphil@wanadoo.fr (I believe that this email is still good, it is the only one I have)."

    RaP: Are you too now into proselytization?

    "I have never encountered anyone who could not prove their Jewishness."

    RaP: You mean "anyone" can now "prove" they are "Jewish"? Wow! Please be more specific and careful with your words when making such sweeping statements. Thank you.

    "Christian countries have kept records back hundreds of years."

    RaP: Indeed, but so what? Not every single person has come from marriages that were recorded by Christians. Jews who lived in tens of thousands of towns, shtetlach and villages did not all record their marriages and births with the Christian local churches. Not all towns remained under the same kind of rulership, and many other such variable factors.

    "Phillip Abensur traced one man's maternal ancestry back to a baptism certificate from Spain in the 1300s which showed that the maternal ancestor was Jewish."

    RaP: If someone baptised they apostasized by oFFICIALLY becoming Christians and are no longer regarded as Jews. Certainly if all subsequent marraiges were done in Churches and the people were Christians for SEVEN HUNDRED YEARS, how can they be assumed to be "Jewish" today?

    "The gentleman in question was able to take these documents as proof of his maternal Jewish ancestry to the Beit Din."

    RaP: Can you name the Beth Din in question and on what basis they accepted such flimsy and dangerous "evidence" (like Church records)? (Now I am beginning to sound like Roni!)

    "Good luck!"

    RaP: Shmad (apostasy) is neither "good" nor is it of any "luck" to anyone, certainly not to Klal Yisrael who do not depend on "luck".

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  10. ""A" had a brainstorm for Parnosah, so many want or dream to convert, why not?"

    Charles, Rabbi Goldstein never charged anyone even a penny for what he does you are saying motse shem rah. As a mater of fact he finances his own expenses for him and his organization.
    Never Has Nikolsburg or any other organization provided papers for conversions or a visa to come to the USA or any other place in conection with Rabbi Goldstein or people he recommended for conversion may I remind you Puertorricans are American citizens. About the other rabbis or converts you mention I don´t know them neither those converts that you mention. But you should suggest to this rabbis to stay away from conversions since they have no experience on this issue. However reffer those converts to rabbi Goldstein to help them grow in judaism. It a shame that they have been accepted with such small knowleage of judaism but that may not be their fault. About a better life, I FEEL SORRY FOR THIS GERIM! the are hated by their friends and family and they are face with people like you in judaism. Their reward is a great one indeed!The rest of your posting is yellow journalism.

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  11. "do find it interesting though that you condemn me for not understanding where you are coming from - and yet you obviously don't know anything about me and yet feel competent to criticize me."

    What will you do for Yehuda Rabbi? I ask since I did not see any proposal on your part.

    "Furthermore you are not a Jew, yet you presume to know more about Judaism then I do."

    Don't be surprised or insulted by that rabbi. I have seen this blog for a while and I must say I preffer to be in Peru with Yehuda LEARNING about his incredible longing and mesiras nefesh let him rescue me from a world of books and religious machinery but no undestranding.
    Yehuda I hope you become the next air conditioner it is getting very stuffy in here.

    "BTW nobody is saying that R' Goldstein isn't a nice person and focused on helping other. That is not really the issue."

    first time I heard something positive Bravo!.

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  12. With due respect..if the writer of this blog would take off the black hat, he would look like any other Anglo-Saxon.
    Everyone wants to be a Jew. Pathetic....
    Especially the Anglo-Saxon.
    God tells us in the Bible where the Jews are and he describes their curses.
    If you can find a suffering tormented stiff-necked wandering blind people you have found the Jews.
    I have studied their history and the Bible and I know that my King was a Jew.
    He told them he would take the kingdom from them and give it to a nation bringing forth the fruits, which nation is the church. Though God will deal with national Israel again, only God knows who the natural Descendants of Issac are.
    Personally I think the Jews have to be a dark Hispanic looking people and they must look just like Abraham's other son Ishmael.
    The Arabs.
    Dark and Mediterranean looking...and not all have high IQ's.
    Let's be honest here.
    Anyway....Paul said he is not a Jew who is one outwardly.

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  13. "Anyway....Paul said he is not a Jew who is one outwardly."
    and someone that changed his Hebrew name for a Roman one is in possition to tell us who is a jew.....
    How did this idiot sneaked in here?

    ReplyDelete

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