Thursday, August 13, 2009

Self-Converted Ugandan "Jews"

History of Ugandan "Jews" (click this link)

53 comments :

  1. It never ceases to amaze me how people discover Judaism and become so drawn to it that they wish to be Jewish, too.

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  2. How can someone convert without a bais din? Is there such a concept? I've never heard of someone converting themself, themself.

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  3. Is this the same group the Conservatives in America were courting? the problem would seem to be that they would invariably be more frum then people in america, who could do so very easily!!...I like that you call things as you see it in not calling them stam Jews.
    Pierre

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  4. Racheli said...

    How can someone convert without a bais din? Is there such a concept? I've never heard of someone converting themself, themself.
    =============
    You are right - the conversion has no validity.

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  5. Daas Torah said...

    You are right - the conversion has no validity.

    ------------

    Therefore, would these people be over on keeping the Torah as non-Jews?

    Is the conversion invalid because without a bais din one cannot become Jewish, or because there are no witnesses to the geirus?

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  6. Racheli said...

    Therefore, would these people be over on keeping the Torah as non-Jews?
    ===========
    Yes. There is not the slightest doubt that they not Jews

    Is the conversion invalid because without a bais din one cannot become Jewish, or because there are no witnesses to the geirus?
    ===================
    There is no beis din

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  7. But that's straightforward: they are serious conversion candidates.

    They made already their first conversion and were lead into thinking that it was a conversion, now they go for the second (and perhaps third, forth, fifth one).

    A regular conversion process, like every ger goes through, just that they are a group.

    I do not think there will be any problems, since their intentions are sincere.

    It's a bit like this San Nicandro group who wanted to become jewish before/during Word War II in Italy...

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  8. PS: I am quite puzzled by the negative attitude towards groups who want to join judaism that prevails on this blog.

    At the rythm were giurim are nixed in our days, it will not go long till the Giurim of the Kusarim in Russia and of the berber tribes who converted to judaism in the Maghreb states will be annulled. (Not to speak of Erev Rav who participated in Yetziat Mitzraim)

    And then, I think we will have a major problem, spread evenly in the Ashkenasi and in the Sefardi world.

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  9. My concern about their sincerity
    is that statement that they
    are impoverished and see Israel
    as their Eldorado.

    While they do look sincere,if they are converting only to make aliyah, for personal gain,then I have a really big problem with them.

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  10. How can they make aliyah under the right of return if they didn't have a proper conversion? People can't just go around "converting" themselves and then claiming citizenship rights.

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  11. Dear Chava:
    from a halachic perspective, I am sure they deserve more to call themselves jews, as soon as they made the Giur, and to make alia, than any of those Americans who could not care less about halacha but, per chance, were born to a jewish mother.

    And perhaps they will give Judaism less of a bad name than those american turbo-halachists who absolutely want to settle in territories that do not belong to the state of Israel.

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  12. shoshi said...

    Dear Chava:
    from a halachic perspective, I am sure they deserve more to call themselves jews, as soon as they made the Giur, and to make alia, than any of those Americans who could not care less about halacha but, per chance, were born to a jewish mother.
    ===============
    Shoshi you are simply wrong regarding halacha. Their geirus was not valid. Please provide a citation from an accepted halachic work which justifies your strange assertion. You are spouting the view of Reform Judaism where national or cultural identity is more importnat than halacha.

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  13. Recipients and PublicityAugust 14, 2009 at 12:17 PM

    "shoshi said...PS: I am quite puzzled by the negative attitude towards groups who want to join judaism that prevails on this blog."

    RaP: Funny you should feel this, because this is, after all, only a blog, so feel free to join the DISCUSSIONS, without trying to paste "guilt" (in all senses of the word) upon those who do not agree with your views.

    "At the rythm were giurim are nixed in our days,"

    RaP: These are cases that involve modern-day recent events, almost all in the modern state of Israel as the religious status of its citizens is clarified. This is not suprising and to be expected when so many types of people come flooding into Israel claiming they are "Jews" without the foggiest notion of what the definition of a "Jew" is and what the rules of normative Judaism and Jewish law say about that.

    "it will not go long till the Giurim of the Kusarim in Russia"

    RaP: What? The Khazars are long gone. There are no known or provable descendants of them.

    "and of the berber tribes who converted to judaism in the Maghreb states will be annulled."

    RaP: Who are these people? The Sefardim have kept a careful watch over who becomes a Jew over the centuries and if there were any problems with converts from the Berbers there would have been quite a lot of noise about that, as there is in modern Israel over Russians with gentile parentage or American Reform converted gentiles.

    "(Not to speak of Erev Rav who participated in Yetziat Mitzraim)"

    RaP: This a curious/weird line. The Eruv Rav is a notion. Only in the times of Moshe Rabbeinu was it real in any sense. Some rabbinical commentators have claimed that those Jews in modern times who have become secular and left the Jewish people, many having intermarried by now, are the SEED and what is left of the Eruv Rav and is now being cast off before the Acharit HaYamim ("end of times") and the coming of the Jewish Mashiach and thereby leaving the rest of the remaining loyal Torah-true Jewish people free of their contaminating influence.

    "And then, I think we will have a major problem, spread evenly in the Ashkenasi and in the Sefardi world."

    RaP: The major problems have been with us for a while now. Where have YOU been? In the USA the National Jewish Population Survey of the UJA showed a near 90% intermarriage rate among non-Orthodox Jews (which alarmed the UJA so much it had to to doctor to figures), so the end is near!

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  14. You did not understand what I said:

    As soon as they made the (i.e. a valid) Giur, I think they will be more deserving of being called "jewish" than someone who was born to a jewish mother but does not care about halacha.

    I do not think I am spouting the view of Reform Judaism, on the contrary.

    I think that a sincere Ger, shomer Torah u Mitzwoth is a "better Jew" than a born Jew who does not care about torah u Mitzwoth, or who picks and chooses Halachot (for example: Shabbat yes, hin zedek: no - or: Kashrut yes, to the remotest details, lo tirzach: no)

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  15. shoshi said...

    You did not understand what I said:

    As soon as they made the (i.e. a valid) Giur, I think they will be more deserving of being called "jewish" than someone who was born to a jewish mother but does not care about halacha.
    =================
    You are right your sentence is grammatically confusing.

    Your sentence should have said, "As soon as they become valid gerim" As of now they have not been properly converted and are therefore not Jewish.

    You described their geirus in past tense "made" when you meant future

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  16. "RaP: What? The Khazars are long gone. There are no known or provable descendants of them."

    Perhaps you do not know. Not so long ago, I read a book by a holocaust survivor whose father was kusari.

    Not so long ago, I heard from a Tunesion woman that the name "Amsallem" signalises descendence from "des groupes berbères judaisants" i.e. berber tribes who - for some reason - practiced jewish costums, and the lady confirmed this meant they had converted (or not) and were not originally jewish.

    "Some rabbinical commentators have claimed that those Jews in modern times who have become secular and left the Jewish people, many having intermarried by now, are the SEED and what is left of the Eruv Rav and is now being cast off before the Acharit HaYamim"
    This makes no sense in the light of genealogy. If you go only 100, 150 years back, you will note that in many, many cases, the "very frum" and "very frei" of today share exactely the same ancestors.

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  17. "You are right your sentence is grammatically confusing."
    You are right. As I said, english is not my mother tongue.

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  18. "RaP: Funny you should feel this, because this is, after all, only a blog, so feel free to join the DISCUSSIONS, without trying to paste "guilt" (in all senses of the word) upon those who do not agree with your views."

    I just see that your statements in particular seem often quite offending to serious gerim. (From what I read in reactions from people other than myself).

    Perhaps you should do some soul-searching... (Isn't there a line that says you should not offend/oppress Gerim? Or did you pick and choose that this halacha does not apply to you?)

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  19. Recipients and PublicityAugust 17, 2009 at 6:42 AM

    Shoshi says: "Perhaps you should do some soul-searching... (Isn't there a line that says you should not offend/oppress Gerim? Or did you pick and choose that this halacha does not apply to you?)"

    This is the type of red-herring diversionary technique that poster Roni uses to distract from real discussions by trying to make this into personal attacks. Choose your poison, would you rather that we attack each other or debate the issues?

    It seems that you prefer to avoid meaningful, factual and open debate and that you prefer to veer anything that is under the microscope off the road and into the mud pits with your distractions. Grow up and get real.

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  20. No, you really did offend serious Gerim, I think one was called "Isaak" from South America, and I think he was not the only one.

    So I really do beg you to be less general in your attacks.

    Because from what I read here until now, I got the impression that your main claim about all those organisations who help all kinds of Gerim is that you do not want those Gerim.

    Correct if I am wrong.

    For example, I cannot understand why you criticise the amounts of money spent by Rav Tropper. If he has the capacity of collecting money for this cause, why should he not spend it?

    I cannot understand why you or DT criticise Rav Freund for proposing valid Giurim to people who think they are of jewish ancestry and want to come back to their jewish roots. (As I told you: I am critical of Rav Freund because of his Zionist agenda, that risks to make cannon fodder of those well-meaning Gerim, but this is a wholly different problem).

    I cannot understand why you and DT deny any Anussim (even if they could prove their matrilineal jewish ancestry) the right to go back to their jewish roots.

    Perhaps our positions are not that far away from each other.

    I do believe that Gerim should do a serious Giur, I believe that they should know what they sign up for when they take this step, I also believe that a Giur should be without ulterior motives and not pushed upon the Ger because of his family situation.

    I also think that it is a good idea for persons who are jewish by birth because of a grand-mother or great-grand mother should do a Giur le chumra in a process where they learn more or less like Gerim.

    But I think that your basic attitude should be welcoming towards those persons. And from what you say, I get the impression that you want to push them away, because they will never be "good enough for you".

    I also get the impression that you under-estimate how difficult it is to get hold of everything you need to lead a jewish life when you are not in one of the big centers (New York, US, Israel).

    The Anussim of Spain and Portugal typically live in very remote villages. So they would really need help if they wanted to come back to judaism.

    I suppose of all the eligible candidates, a maximum of 10% would be ready to choose a life of Torah and Mitzwoth, because it really demands a radical change of the lifestyle.

    But the problem is: of all people the really "serious candidates" are those who are most likely to read this blog.

    So be more careful and precise with what you say, so that the casual reader of this blog does not get the impression that you disqualify all the Anussim, all the Ugandan conversion candidates, etc.

    Because the serious among them, who might read this blog, might get offended.

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  21. http://www.thejewsofuganda.org/history7.php

    As far as I learned from the link above, the Ugandan community split into to factions, one is near to the conservative movement, the other one yearns for an orthodox Giur.

    (This reminds me of this joke about the jew who strands on a lonely island and builds two synagogues: they are converting,and yet there is already divisiveness about "orthodox" or "conservative".)

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  22. Shoshi wrote:

    But I think that your basic attitude should be welcoming towards those persons. And from what you say, I get the impression that you want to push them away, because they will never be "good enough for you".
    ======================
    Shoshi where have you been? Perhaps it is time to wake up. Aren't you aware that the standard procedure - at least since Talmudic times - is to dissuade a person from converting. Your post has a lot of I think and it seems to me assertions. In these issues where the halacha is clear - your personal opinion is irrelevant. What does the halacha say? what has been the traditional view of Judaism towards converts. That is the basis of this blog - not the transient intuitions of the blog readership.

    If you are interested in creating a new religion then this blog is simply the wrong place to missionize. On the other hand if you have questions as to what Judaism holds on these issues - then this is the forum to discuss these matters.

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  23. 1) I think you misunderstand the concept of "pushing away"

    Pushing away means to show them the difficulties linked to judaism. During Inquisition, you would tell them "you will be killed by your fellow christians if you convert to judaism".

    Now, you could push away women by telling them about the problems when a man refuses a get. You could push Gerim away by showing them examples of how Gerim will be rejected for Shidduchim/schools etc. just because they are Gerim. You could show them examples petty political strife between hechscherim to push them away.

    But "pushing them away" does not mean to be rude to them. It does not mean to accuse them of being insincere. And it does not mean to convey the feeling "we are better than you, and whatever you will do, you will always remain inferior in our eyes".

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  24. "In these issues where the halacha is clear"
    Where does halacha say that you have to push away jews turning back to jewish roots?

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  25. shoshi said...

    "In these issues where the halacha is clear"
    Where does halacha say that you have to push away jews turning back to jewish roots?
    ==================
    You keep repeating that these are Jews - but not according to halacha. These people are not Jews!

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  26. You are dodging my question: where does it say that you have to push away jews turning back to jewish roots.


    But, for argument's sake, let's look at some cases.

    Let's first take the "deathbed" confession RaP took up in an earlier post:

    A woman born before or during the shoah is given away to a gentile family who saves them through the war and raises her as her own. She was old enough to know she was jewish, but she does not remember enough to bring proof of her jewish origins, and anyway, she does not want to be jewish (in light of what this meant during the shoah). She never talks about her original family.

    On her deathbed, she reveals to her children that she is really jewish, but there is no evidence.

    Now: the fact that there is no evidence does not mean that her children are not jewish.

    It means that they could have difficulties in being accepted, etc. perhaps they will have to pass a "Giur le chumra".

    Now: if they do not want to be shomer torah and mitzwoth, why bother with a Giur le chumra? This will remain an anecdote of minor relevance in their lifes.

    However, if they decide to embrace their jewish heritage, and there is no reason to doubt their sincerity (as well as their mother's), the lack of evidence is not a reason to push them away.

    Of course, it is a good idea that they should learn gradually, in a similiar process to a Giur, they can take the Giur le chumra as a reference when it "really counts".

    But fundamentally, you can not just chase them away.

    Then let's take the case of the Anussim:

    If someone can prove through 500 years of matrilinear descent that he is jewish, he is jewish. Perhaps he should also do a Giur le chumra, to remove all doubt, but the principle is that he is jewish.

    Now the problem is with those people who cannot prove it. This would mean that you have a problem with people who claim to be Anussim but are not or people who claim to be Anussim in a paternal line, but you should not have any problem accepting someone who can prove his jewish descent.

    But you always lash out against "Anussim". Lash out against "pseudo-Anussim", and I will agree with you.

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  27. Shoshi wrote…
    However, if they decide to embrace their jewish heritage, and there is no reason to doubt their sincerity (as well as their mother's), the lack of evidence is not a reason to push them away.

    -------------------------------

    You can’t always assume in these situations that they actually have Jewish ancestry. A woman I met recently in Israel decided that she might be Jewish because someone in her family tree was named Shnieder. That's no reason to just let her become frum and do a "giur" as some formality.

    This is a generation where people are searching for belonging, being Jewish sometimes appeals to people because it gives a sense of belonging. Now, if someone truly, sincerely wants to keep Torah and mizvos, then fine. However, you can’t assume that all of these people truly have Jewish ancestry and thereby somehow should circumvent the traditional, halachically defined geirus process which includes being pushed away.

    You can’t just decide for yourself what constitutes a giur l’chumra – that is something left up to Rabbis to decide. Some people will search for anything to try and claim Jewish ancestry.

    Shoshi wrote….
    If someone can prove through 500 years of matrilinear descent that he is Jewish, he is Jewish. Perhaps he should also do a Giur le chumra, to remove all doubt, but the principle is that he is Jewish.

    -----------------------------------

    Good luck proving 500 years of matrilinear descent. Maybe a person can prove a few generations, at best, but 500 years is nearly impossible without halachically verifiable evidence, i.e. ketubas.

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  28. Recipients and PublicityAugust 17, 2009 at 6:31 PM

    shoshi says: "You are dodging my question: where does it say that you have to push away jews turning back to jewish roots."

    RaP: No one is afraid of your questions here as far as anyone can tell. The premise in your question is wrong. Your statement is faulty and you speak as if it's as an outside "narrator" or "editor" since if "you" assume that someone is "Jewish" then that "is" the "operating" axiom when it's obviously not. The point is that in the case of doubt one is not pushing away "jews", rather, one is pushinhg away PEOPLE of unknown status who for all intents and purposes are GENTILES and the onus is upon them to prove that they are truly Jews according to Jewish Law at all because at no point would a bais din or anyone assume that someone who cannot prove that they are Jewish should be called as such. Being Jewish is a metzius ("phyiscal reality") as much as a kosher piece of meat. One does not say that a kosher piece of meat is kosher because a person that we did not know and who is a gentile claims it's "kosher" (in fact the assumption in Halacha is that the gentile may have switched the kosher with treif meat!) but rather it must be an establishged fact that we know the reality that piece of meat was always under the watchful eye of a reliable Jewish authorized halachically valid mashgiach and at all times, from shechita to consumption can and must be proven to be 100% kosher in actuality, not as a theoretical or emotional assumption that you or anyone says that it's "kosher".

    "A woman born before or during the shoah is given away to a gentile family who saves them through the war and raises her as her own. She was old enough to know she was jewish, but she does not remember enough to bring proof of her jewish origins, and anyway, she does not want to be jewish (in light of what this meant during the shoah). She never talks about her original family. On her deathbed, she reveals to her children that she is really jewish, but there is no evidence."

    RaP: The way Halacha and classical Judaism works is that FACTS are established by testimony from, or the provable existence of, known kosher JEWISH witnesses that can be seen, summoned and heard from if need be. If she lost all her proof and was raised like a gentile she is in a tough spot with no escape to become "Jewish" overnight. She must at least bring reliable documentation, both secular and Jewish, to a bais din, otherwise no Jew familiar with Halacha or bais din would regard her as Jewish or marry her or any of her children regardless of your "editorial/documenatry" style of viewing this situation. Since she has lived and acted like a gentile her entire life, her actions and life are testimony that she is a gentile and her words can be disregarded. If she or her children would wish to convert properly, giur lechumra does not help, they are regarded as 100% gentiles and must undergo a full stringent conversion. Find an Orthodox rabbi who thinks otherwise and quote them here please. ...

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  29. Recipients and PublicityAugust 17, 2009 at 6:33 PM

    shoshi: "the fact that there is no evidence does not mean that her children are not jewish."

    RaP: Don't you see how from the way you speak (and think) that you are setting yourself up for an incorrect conclusion. If there is no evidence she and and her children are not Jewish even if the next day Eliyahu Hanavi will come and reveal that she is actually Jewish yet Halacha and the Torah system that is in place today regards such a woman and her offspring as 100% gentiles no matter how mush your reporter-style birds-eyeview may have "discovered" that on some level she has a Jewish ancestry. Torah is not the Discovery or the Natioanl Geographic channel that speculate on the flimsiest and silliest of asumptions unlike Halacha and the dayanim of bais din who will require concrete proof from either reliable official records (just think of the mess Obama is in simply because he cannot produce a coherent reliable birth certificate, and the issue will not die down until he finally provides it) and/or proper witnesses, such as family members or others familiar with the case can come forth and give acceptable and truthful testimony. That is how ALL law works in any legal and court system, not just Jewish Law. You need hard-core proof from reliable JEWISH witnessses is the best in bais din, the more the better, and your ethereal "awareness" of such "Jewishness" does not count in the least.

    "It means that they could have difficulties in being accepted, etc."

    RaP: They will NOT be accepted by the vast majority of rabbonim and batei din. No Torah Jew will date or marry them if they knew their circumstances.

    "perhaps they will have to pass a "Giur le chumra"."

    RaP: No, the vast majority of poskim and batei din require reqquire full conversion in cases where nothing can be conclusively proven. Cite one notable Orthodox rabbi who would let such a flimsy case pass with only giur lechumra.

    "Now: if they do not want to be shomer torah and mitzwoth, why bother with a Giur le chumra? This will remain an anecdote of minor relevance in their lifes."

    RaP: So why bring this up?, it's simply not relevant.

    "However, if they decide to embrace their jewish heritage,"

    RaP: They are NOT provably Jewish so it's NOT "their" heritage until such time as they can conclusivley prove they are Jewish or they undergo a full conversion lechatchila.

    "and there is no reason to doubt their sincerity (as well as their mother's),"

    RaP: Sincereity and sentimentalism has NOTHING to do with law, be it Jewish or secular. You are obviously not familair with any form of real law and how it works. Try thinking like a lawyer, would you win a case of inheritence simply saying that someone feels "sincerely" and "emotionally" connected to a rich person whose estate they are trying to get? You need hard core proof, human testimony and documentation, preferably all. ...

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  30. Recipients and PublicityAugust 17, 2009 at 6:34 PM

    Shoshi: "the lack of evidence is not a reason to push them away."

    RaP: Yes it is. This is just clear proof that you don't get it.

    "Of course, it is a good idea that they should learn gradually,"

    RaP: No, it is not a "mitzva" to teach gentiles Torah. If they want they can study the Seven Noahide Laws. That's about the max.

    "in a similiar process to a Giur, they can take the Giur le chumra as a reference when it "really counts"."

    RaP: Nonsense. You make it sound like any perosn who has the remotest notion or sentiment that they may have a link to the Jews or Judaism (you can include two BILLION Christians in that one) can wake one day and take courses in Judaism (it's easy nowadays online) and whenever they feel like it and the opportunity presents itself they will be easily welcomed as full "converts" when in truth they are duping themselves since no such avenue is open to them and it would a violation of Jewish Law as well of simple intellectual honesty.

    "But fundamentally, you can not just chase them away."

    RaP: Yes you can. In a nice way of course. The Halacha requires it, that ANY convert, even one who will be a righteous convert MUST be discouarged with words of warning multiple times! ...

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  31. Recipients and PublicityAugust 17, 2009 at 6:35 PM

    shoshi said: "Then let's take the case of the Anussim:"

    RaP: The so-called term "Anusim" is a latter-day politically correct slogan that has been foisted by groups that wish to allow gentiles in Hispanic countries a free pass into mainstrean Judaism and into Israel, which they will never get. Get real.

    "If someone can prove through 500 years of matrilinear descent that he is jewish, he is jewish."

    RaP: Like who? When was the last time you heard of anyone proving their descent going back more than three generations? (besides for the "aristocracy" of Europe). While the Jewish People as a corporate entity can claim to have a national ancestry thousands of years old, the average individual can only rely upon the realities of his parents and grandparents. That's it for most living people today. So who will take seriously someone who was raised a Christian, lived as a Christian, married a Christian, has Christian kids and relatives, and this has gone on in his community for 500+ years, and then one day has a dream that his name is "Spinoza" or somthing like that and "therefore" he is "Jewish" and expects the world to jump to attention and buy it. Only a journalist or activists with an agenda to promote the sad-sack "Anusim" industry, as a kind of ancilarry to the Shoah shows, and ask for a free pass into the Jewish nation, which is not going to happen in any case.

    "Perhaps he should also do a Giur le chumra, to remove all doubt, but the principle is that he is jewish."

    RaP: Nope, he is a gentile, only Eliyahu Hanavi, and you, will be able to know the Jewishness of people who lived, acted and functioned like 100% gentiles and Christians. Jewish Law does not work like you, and yes even though when Eliyahu HaNavi comes before Mashich he will reveal those who are Jews (perhaps) among the gentiles (as the RAMBAM says about the End of Days) for now we go with the way Jewish Law works and in that case, the people you call the so-called "Anusim" are 100% goyim.

    "Now the problem is with those people who cannot prove it."

    RaP: Which is about 99.999999999999999999999999999999% of them

    "This would mean that you have a problem with people who claim to be Anussim but are not"

    RaP: If they claim to be so-called "Anusim" then why disbelieve them? It is not your job and certainly not the job of a bais din to put words into people's mouths. That is not allowed and Halacha believes the admissions of the ba'al din (hoda'as ba'al din kemei'am eidim dami --"the self-admission of a defendent is equal to the testimony of a hundred witnesses"!)

    "or people who claim to be Anussim in a paternal line, but you should not have any problem accepting someone who can prove his jewish descent."

    RaP: If it's only from a paternal line they are gentiles 100%, and only Reform, as of merely thirty years ago, has decided that someone can be "Jewish" patrilineally only. You are way off the mark Halachically here.

    "But you always lash out against "Anussim". Lash out against "pseudo-Anussim", and I will agree with you."

    RaP: No "lashing out" -- only debate and discussions so that we can learn something new.

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  32. Shoshi: "the lack of evidence is not a reason to push them away."

    RaP: Yes it is. This is just clear proof that you don't get it.


    No, you did not get it.

    The lack of evidence is a reason to have the person have a giur lechumra before giving him an aliyah, etc.

    But the Giur lechumra procedure does not include "pushing the person away" as you and DT seem to think is your mitzwah.

    If a person is sincerely and credibly convinced that his/her mother or mother's mother is jewish, but cannot prove it, you have her have a Giur lechumra.

    Of course, if the person is not really enclined to be mekabel Ol Torah u Mitzwoth, it would make no sense to have a Giur lechumra, it is preferable to leave the doubt about the person's jewish status.

    Therefore I see no real problem.

    That's the case of the deathbed confession.

    Now for the case of the anussim: some of them claim jewish patrilinear descend. You tell them that according to jewish law, it goes through the mother. They insist they want to become jewish, you start a regular Giur process.

    The problem with your eructations is that I have the impression that you did not check on each individual situation thouroughly, and still make judgements.

    You see the thing from afar and just state: "We" (whoever this is) do not want "them".

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  33. "Nonsense. You make it sound like any perosn who has the remotest notion or sentiment that they may have a link to the Jews or Judaism"

    1) I spoke of a person who was really jewish and had reasons to sincerely believe the were but had no evidence to prove it.

    I did not speak of "just anybody".

    You should know that after the shoah there were enough jews who had always been jewish and had no evidence to prove they were. They also had to do a Giur le chumra.

    2) "(you can include two BILLION Christians in that one) can wake one day and take courses in Judaism (it's easy nowadays online) and whenever they feel like it and the opportunity presents itself they will be easily welcomed as full "converts" when in truth they are duping themselves since no such avenue is open to them and it would a violation of Jewish Law as well of simple intellectual honesty."

    If two billion christians wake up tomorrow and find that judaism is THE TRUE religion and want to convert, we will have to take them (with a valid giur, of course).

    Halachically speaking, there is no limit in numbers for Giurim.

    The condition for a Giur is that the Ger takes up Ol Torah u Mitzwoth sincerely, that he testifies to it before a beith din, Mila and Tevila.
    There is no condition that you cannot have a giur if 2 billion people simultanously want to do the same.

    ReplyDelete
  34. OK. let's aks the question of the "deathbed confession" the other way round, based on a real story.

    You need a "Shabbesgoy" to care for a sick, elderly relative (I don't know why, but this really happened). A young student badly wants the job and would suit your demands. You ask "Are you jewish?" The young girl answers: "No, I am not, but my mother confessed on her death bed that she is really jewish and was in DAchau concentration camp".

    Will you hire her as a Shabbesgoy, based on this answer?

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  35. Recipients and PublicityAugust 18, 2009 at 1:27 AM

    shoshi said..."The lack of evidence is a reason to have the person have a giur lechumra before giving him an aliyah, etc."

    RaP: Nope. The lack of evidence is that they are not Jews in any way until it can be FORMALLY and LEGALLY proven and affirmed that they even have a claim to begin with. Not just from your "voice-over" narrator's very magnanimous humane perspective, but in reality, since were this person to come before a bais din they would have absolutely no proof of being Jewish, hence they and their offspring are to be classed as gentiles and no religious Jew would date or marry their children if they knew what was going on.

    "But the Giur lechumra procedure does not include "pushing the person away" as you and DT seem to think is your mitzwah."

    RaP: You seem to deploy the "giur lechumrah" notion as if it was a cure-all magic formula that could be marketed to solve all problematic and disputed claims to Jewish descent, which is just not so. There may be one in a hundred thousand cases where giur lechumra may be deployed, but the honest and most frequent approach by any bais din is that once there are ANY serious questions about Jewish ancestry added to ABSOLUTELY no proof from witnesses or documentation, the person is just a plain goy that must go through a regular full conversion. This solution is best both for the goy in question and for any Jews who may wish to marry him/her.

    "If a person is sincerely and credibly convinced that his/her mother or mother's mother is jewish, but cannot prove it, you have her have a Giur lechumra."

    RaP: No-one says this but you! Or maybe some Reform rabbis some place who know zero about Halacha but base their views on "feelings" of "sincerity" and the like. Very unprofessional, extra-legal and un-Halachic.

    "Of course, if the person is not really enclined to be mekabel Ol Torah u Mitzwoth, it would make no sense to have a Giur lechumra, it is preferable to leave the doubt about the person's jewish status."

    EaP: There is no "doubt" and the person is and was a total gentile. This case is moot, so why mention it even?

    "Therefore I see no real problem."

    RaP: Your views are the real problem and your inability to alter your focus.

    "That's the case of the deathbed confession."

    RaP: Such things are dramatic, but again they have no real Halachic validity without corroborating witnesses and documentation. The person dying could be hallucinating. Many wills are changed based on the warped and unreliable state of mind of dying people. A goses (person in death throes), or one close to that stage, is best left alone and not even breathed on to according to the Halacha, let them die in peace. They are often not compus mentus. ...

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  36. Recipients and PublicityAugust 18, 2009 at 1:44 AM

    Shoshi says: "Now for the case of the anussim: some of them claim jewish patrilinear descend."

    RaP: This makes them 101% goyim! No ifs ands or buts.

    "You tell them that according to jewish law, it goes through the mother."

    RaP: Which it does. Who argues except Reform rabbis?

    "They insist they want to become jewish,"

    RaP: Let them stand on their heads and shout as loud as they want, it will not change the rules of Jewish Law that they are 101% gentiles!

    "you start a regular Giur process."

    RaP: Nope! If they wish to convert they must go through the regular process of conversion that any other gentile must go through. It will not be easy and the Halacha is that they must be discouraged and sent away a few times.

    "The problem with your eructations is that I have the impression that you did not check on each individual situation thouroughly, and still make judgements."

    RaP: This is a blog not a bais din. It is you who wishes to have wholesale numbers of people who may wake up one day and claim to be so-called "Anusim" be admited into conversion programs if they were of patrilineal descent as if they were all going to go to Starbucks Coffee Shops and get an easy cup of espresso and a donut. Sorry, it does not work that way and such an approach is pretty much passive missionizing and open-door proselytizing that runs counter to the last 2000 years of Jewish Law and Lore.

    "You see the thing from afar and just state: "We" (whoever this is) do not want "them"."

    RaP: This is exactly what you keep on doing when you want to twist the words and arguments here to suit your ends, but your efforts are very shallow so far. There is no "we" and "them" here. You are making that up. There are Jews (being both an ethnicity AND a religious group, both rooted in Torah and Halacha) as defined by Jewish Law and there are gentiles. Just like there are USA citizens and those who are not are called "aliens" when they are in the USA but do not have USA citizenship and if they come without permission to be in the USA they are termed "illegals" -- now you may not like the terms "aliens" and "illegals" who after all are people no worse than USA citizens but as far as USA law is concerned that is just how it terms those who are not its citizens while under its jurisdiction. That is not a "we" vs. "them" situation, it's a reflection of how USA and all countries' citizenship, immigration and naturalization laws work. And Judaism with its Halachic rules and regulations about conversion, meaning becoming a legal Jew or legally Jewish, follows similar rules of Jewish law in this case which is often lost on people who wish to romanticize or obscure the very clear and specific underlying legal nature of Judaism as it's based on Halacha and not on imagination or emotions. ...

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  37. Recipients and PublicityAugust 18, 2009 at 2:04 AM

    shoshi said... "1) I spoke of a person who was really jewish and had reasons to sincerely believe the were but had no evidence to prove it."

    RaP: To be regarded as "really Jewish" in Jewish Law she must have proof from either witnesses, even remote ones from the same village or shtetle who may have known the families, or some documentation, otherwise one is skating on thin ice that would allow anyone to do this at any time so that any gentile close to death at age 85 can decide to mumble some cute Yiddishism words like "oy vey, I ate gefilte fish on shabbos" and "presto" the world should jump to attention and "accept" them as "Jewish"? If as you alllege that YOU know and YOU are able to easily prove to a bais din that the person dying was in fact Jewish, then do so and why bother with further discussions?, but you cannot expect that just because someone has a burst of imagination and is impelled to uttter a few shocking uncharacteristic words that it would "automatically" be enough to create the legal reality and imperative to warrant its acceptance, and no amount of falling back on "giur lechumra" talk helps because in this case there is absolutely nothing to PROVE in a bais din or even in any established secular court of law that this person was in fact a Jew from birth.

    "I did not speak of "just anybody"."

    RaP: If you can PROVE that a person is Jewish then what is the problem? Jewish Law does not deal with hypotheticals.

    "You should know that after the shoah there were enough jews who had always been jewish and had no evidence to prove they were."

    RaP: I am well aware of this and I am also well aware of what they did, they gathered up remaining surviving relatives or Jews that knew them or knew of them or of their families, or contacted long lost relatives in countries outside of Europe that had escaped to provde written testimony and documentation for their previous identities. In the case of young children, especially those given over to Catholic clergy, it was more complex and most were lost to the gentiles who held them after the war. Th Catholic Church does NOT surrender its members once they have been baptised. They are very tough unto this day. Infants were entirely lost to the Jewish people.

    "They also had to do a Giur le chumra."

    RaP: Who are you talking about? Adults or children? Are you talking about adults who apostasized by becoming Christians, then they do not need any sort of "giur" but must come before a bais din or posek who will ascertain if they have truly repented and returned to Torah-true Judaism, otherwise they remain classed as meshumadim (apostates) and are in automatic cherem (excommunication) from Jews and Judaism. It's complex, but you need to be specific. ...

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  38. Recipients and PublicityAugust 18, 2009 at 2:41 AM

    Shoshi claims: "If two billion christians wake up tomorrow and find that judaism is THE TRUE religion and want to convert,"

    RaP: Dream on! This is the dream of every Hebrew Christian and the nightmare of every Torah Jew!

    "we will have to take them (with a valid giur, of course)."

    RaP: Of course.

    "Halachically speaking, there is no limit in numbers for Giurim."

    RaP: Agreed, but it does not mean that passive proselytization is ok either.

    "The condition for a Giur is that the Ger takes up Ol Torah u Mitzwoth sincerely, that he testifies to it before a beith din, Mila and Tevila."

    RaP: Right on.

    "There is no condition that you cannot have a giur if 2 billion people simultanously want to do the same."

    RaP: You should contact the EJF who on their online infomercials have held out the prospect that as they allege that about two billion people (about a third of humanity) may have "Jewish ancestry" of some sort, the implication being that EJF would stand ready to swing into action and help them become fully halachic ejf-style haredi Jews. With the two billion Christians you already have a head's start. Their ideology believes that they are the "true Israel", they have the Torah and Tanach in their Old Testamentm and they perform many rites taken from Judaism, so sure, try them, only problem it smacks of mass proselytization and it's highly unlikely that any rabbonim will go with this scheme.

    shoshi said..."OK. let's aks the question of the "deathbed confession" the other way round, based on a real story."

    RaP: Do you mean "real" the way you project it to be, based on your editorial voice-over assumptions, or based on real world legal requirements where courts and batei din require proof based on testimony from witnesses and also from reliable documents?

    "You need a "Shabbesgoy" to care for a sick, elderly relative (I don't know why, but this really happened). A young student badly wants the job and would suit your demands. You ask "Are you jewish?" The young girl answers: "No, I am not, but my mother confessed on her death bed that she is really jewish and was in DAchau concentration camp"."

    RaP: Firstly, she is telling you that she is NOT Jewish so why do you want to put words and false ideas into her mouth based on double doubts? She may not be truthfull, the mother may have been untruthfull, and the story could be a fabrication or a false memory, as even psychologits know that people make up things in their lives for various reasons.

    "Will you hire her as a Shabbesgoy, based on this answer?"

    RaP: If need be, probably yes. She says she is goy. He mother's deathbed confession was without PROOF of any sort and it does NOT mean that she is "automatically" Jewish. It is in any case best to stay away from using gentiles let alone someone about whom there may be the remotest doubt. But note, that doubt does not "equal" the true facts. And don't say that we can sprinkle "giur lechumra" on her and solve the problem and instead invite her to kiddush and chollent. You have chosen a very weak and poor example.

    ReplyDelete
  39. "You should contact the EJF"
    I thought I was Roni, i.e. Rav Tropper himself??????

    RaP: Firstly, she is telling you that she is NOT Jewish so why do you want to put words and false ideas into her mouth based on double doubts? She may not be truthfull, the mother may have been untruthfull, and the story could be a fabrication or a false memory, as even psychologits know that people make up things in their lives for various reasons.

    well I'll tell you how the story really went: she stopped after "No i'm not" and did not tell the story of the deathbed confession and was employed as a Shabbes Goy.

    The family who employed her learned years later about the deathbed confession of her mother, when she was already married with children and moved into a house where there was a chareidi family.

    The chareidi neighbours considered her and her children jewish and did not use her as a Shabbes-Goy. They gave the children a little challah every Friday, so that they should have "something jewish in their life", but made no effort to "mission them" other than that.

    Therefore, obviously your opinion is not universally approved. Please ask you local rabbi what the psak din is and tell me.

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  40. So to cut the long story short: this person has no interest whatsoever in taking on Ol Torah and Mitzwoth or claiming she is jewish. To her, it is an anecdote in her life. But I doubt any Rabbi would allow you to use her as a Shabbesgoy, knowing about the deathbed confession.

    (this said, I suppose it was not that bad for the family who hired her, because I suppose there are leniencies for sick people and a jew could also have done whatever was necessary).

    ReplyDelete
  41. "Th Catholic Church does NOT surrender its members once they have been baptised. They are very tough unto this day. Infants were entirely lost to the Jewish people."

    I do not understand your logic.

    You just said that if her daughter came back to judaism (after learning that her mother was jewish in a deathbed confession), you would spit on her and throw her out.

    So why are those people "lost to the jewish people"? Because they did not want to/could not be adopted back right after the war or because you spit on their descendents?

    ReplyDelete
  42. Recipients and PublicityAugust 18, 2009 at 7:41 PM

    shoshi said..."So to cut the long story short:"

    RaP: By now, it is already a long story. But you know, a "story" is just that, it's merely a STORY, and like all stories one can never know for sure what is fact and was is fiction in a story. That is why there is a huge difference in the way literature, the imgination and POETIC license work, UNLIKE LAW and Halacha which are based on proof that is attainable primaraily from reliable historical records, witnesses, or other available documentation, and in this case, your "story" lacks any legal or Halachic basis, it's just fodder for a soap opera script.

    "this person has no interest whatsoever in taking on Ol Torah and Mitzwoth or claiming she is jewish."

    RaP: So take her word for it and rely on HER conviction, not on your imagination of what is "real" when it's not, and not on your projection of your desire to save anyone who just utters any words that trigger a light in your head that goes on and then you automitically run to declare people to be "Jews" sprinklin "giur lechumra" on them as if you were "baptising" lehavdil them with magical "holy water" when it won't help you and both they and the facts declare that they are not Jews, period.

    "To her, it is an anecdote in her life."

    RaP: And for you it's an opening to clutch at more straws yet for a pre-desired goal (to bring in as many certifiable gentiles into the body of Klal Yisroel using chicanery, it seems), and to make mountains not just out of molehills but out of invisible grains of sand, creating Jews out of thin air "ex-nihilo" befitting a Discovery channel voice-over narrator's "voice of God" attitude style where none exist in truch and reality. ...

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  43. Recipients and PublicityAugust 18, 2009 at 8:02 PM

    Shoshi claims: "But I doubt any Rabbi would allow you to use her as a Shabbesgoy, knowing about the deathbed confession."

    RaP: Many facts would have to be established in this presumably long chain of events to ascertian this person's Jewishness and that she is not what she herself says she is, which is goya/shiksa. Such as for example: Who was the person who made the deathbed confession? What events from her life can prove she was ever Jewish? Was she an honest person or a liar? Was she a mentally stable person or prone to ditortions or even perhaps to hallucinations sometimes (especially as she is claiming that she was a survivor of World War II)? Was the person she supposedly recanted to her real biological offspring? And more like this. It is a serious matter that require serious investigation, and no rabbi would jump to conclusions and declare her to be definitively a "Jew" before completing a thorough interrogation befitting a serios scholar and not act as if he were treating innocent "babes in the woods" and as if he was out to dispense chocolate and goodies to make them "feel better" by declaring spiritual vagrants and admitted apostates to be "Jewish" simply based on a fuzzy hazy story without a provable basis in reality or law, Jewish or secular.

    "(this said, I suppose it was not that bad for the family who hired her,"

    RaP: There are many things that a gentile and Jew can do on Shabbos without breaking ANY of the laws of Shabbos. Many wealthy homes of rum Jews have gentile help on Shabbos to help serve and clean up and take care of children. Are you sure you know what you are talking about when you use the term "Shabbos goy" by the way? In Jewish Law it refers to a gentile who is hired to do melachos (forbidden categories of work) that Jews may not do, otherwise, there is nothing wrong with hiring a gentile to help around the house on and off the week, as long as you do NOT order them on Shabbos or before Shabbos to do things that would be forbidden for a Jew to do. So what is the problem here?

    "because I suppose there are leniencies for sick people"

    RaP: It does not seem that this was the case here. Stick to one "story" at least and don't let your imagination run off with you as you type along. They just wanted extra help for Shabbos which does not automatically make her into a "Shabbos goy", even a Jew can do many things on Shabbos as long as it's not the 39 melachos and their derivative rabbinical laws (toldos and shvusim).

    "and a jew could also have done whatever was necessary)."

    RaP: Right. And if there were no prohibitions involved concerning what she is asked to do, then she is NOT being asked to be nor is she functioning as a "shabbos goy". ...

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  44. Recipients and PublicityAugust 18, 2009 at 8:23 PM

    shoshi said... "Th Catholic Church does NOT surrender its members once they have been baptised. They are very tough unto this day. Infants were entirely lost to the Jewish people."

    I do not understand your logic.

    You just said that if her daughter came back to judaism (after learning that her mother was jewish in a deathbed confession), you would spit on her and throw her out."

    RaP: Nowhere and at no time did I say anything of the sort! Where did I say that anyone "would spit" on anyone and "throw her out"? Golly, but you are obtuse! When did you say that she "came back to Judaism"? On the contrary YOU said that this person has no interest in Judaism and says that she is a gentile and considers herself as such! It is YOU, with your run-away imagination, who creates false "realities" and who upon hearing of the vaguest of "stories" based on the flimsiest of sources, with absolutely no proof, nor corroboration from anyone, without any proof from reliable documents, jumps up and says, "hurry, bring the miracle 'giur lechumra' magical 'holy waters' to 'baptise' lehavdil this new recruit and declare her to be as 'Jewish' as the Chofetz Chaim". So you are confusing my objections to your projections of your rather florid imagination, with what I really am pointing out, which is quite simple, that if a person says they are gentile, and if there is no proof, from witnesses or documents that can be presented in either a Jewish bais din or a secular court of law, then that person is 100% gentile, inspite of recourse to melodramatics about the Holocaust and other tear-jerk scenarios that have nothing to do with establishing legal and Halachic facts and realities.

    "So why are those people "lost to the jewish people"? Because they did not want to/could not be adopted back right after the war"

    RaP: It's a catastrophe of huge proportions and part of why Jews mourn on Tisha Be'Av, but this has been going on since the dawn of history (Pharaoh tried to kidnap Sarah wife of Abraham, the brothers sold Joseph off into slavery, the Assyrinas lost the Ten Tribes, the Babylonians and Romans sent millions of Jews into slavery to be lost forever, Stalin sent Jews to the Gulags etc) whereby many Jewish people have been taken captive by gentiles that causes subsequent challenges. While no one is denying the catastrophies, the solution must follow Halachic and legal procedures to create harmony. While what happened is emotionally gut-wrenching, the solutions require cool legal and Halachic minds big enough to solve the problems that are brought before them.

    "or because you spit on their descendents?"

    RaP: Excuse me? Who's "spitting? right now? You are outright sputtering and hissing because you are not getting your way and refuse to see the logic of the counter-argument before you as you cling to emotionalism, tendenciousness, and miscontruing what's being said and implied.

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  45. Recipients and PublicityAugust 18, 2009 at 9:10 PM

    shoshi said... "You should contact the EJF"

    I thought I was Roni, i.e. Rav Tropper himself??????"

    RaP: So now it's "Rav" Tropper according to you! Great! Are you confirming for us that poster Roni is indeed Tropper himself? But even if you are not Roni/Tropper, from your assumptions and hopes it seems that you share Tropper's and EJF's dreams and aspirations, and that is to proselytize to billions of gentiles and pave the way for them to become "Jews" -- you with your deployment and application of "baptising" lehavdil with "giur lechumra" anyone who mumbles the words "Me 'Jew', me want 'Jewish'. Me like kugel and pita, oy vey mazel tov" and Tropper who runs around the world opening all previously shut gates to gentiles hitched to Jews and hiding his clear-cut proselytization agenda, which Roni has already "explained" (rammed down our throats is more like it) to us is 100% "kosher" the way you see no problem with deploying "giur lechumra" as if it was a magical baptism lehavdil.

    "well I'll tell you how the story really went:"

    RaP: Wait, let me get my violin out (like R. Goldstein of Toiras jesed) as this bed-time for bonzo tale unfolds.

    "she stopped after "No i'm not" and did not tell the story of the deathbed confession and was employed as a Shabbes Goy."

    RaP: She said she was a goy, so what are you going to do? Put any Polish or Puerto Rican or Mexican maid who applies for a job with an Orthodox family on the virtual torture rack first to extract a "confession" from her that she is really "Jewish" (kind of like manufucaturing so-called new-fangled "Anusim") and not a Polish/Puerto Rican/Mexican Roman Catholic possible closet antisemite and missionary?

    "The family who employed her learned years later about the deathbed confession of her mother, when she was already married with children and moved into a house where there was a chareidi family."

    RaP: This is truly a tale for the birds. Perhaps ArtScroll would like it for another thriller about tales from beyond the crypt realting to the Holocaust in the remotest way. If they found out years later the whole thing is moot, what are you carrying on about? If the maid had a chezkas goya/shiksa and is long gone, none of this is relevant to anything, except to your fanciful "stories" of course, which you seem addicted to as if they were "gospel truth" which they are not. The whole "New Testament" is also a long drawn out "story" about a misunderstood Jew and his cohorts that is basically a long false tale! ...

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  46. Recipients and PublicityAugust 18, 2009 at 9:11 PM

    shoshi: "T"he chareidi neighbours considered her and her children jewish and did not use her as a Shabbes-Goy."

    RaP: None of this is making any sense at all! Who cares what the "neighbors" thought? The "neighbors" wanted to be nice, good for them, but they are not the dayanim of a bais din nor are they poskim, nor are they even a secular court of law and all of those would require proof from witnesses and reliable documentation, so the neighbors' acts of good "neighborliness" is just an act of prudent human kindness and chesed (righteousness) but it's not "proof" of anyone's Jewishness, let alone someone who wants to be called, lives like and acts like, and wants to be a gentile. And what is the nonsense about "shabbos goy" again? You fail to realize that Shabbos goys are basically not used in modern times. They were utilized in pre-war Europe, but in modern times with technology and electrical clocks there is almost NO need for anyone to use a Shabbos goy. Get with the program please!

    "They gave the children a little challah every Friday, so that they should have "something jewish in their life", but made no effort to "mission them" other than that."

    RaP: Whatever. You have now crossed the line from "stories" into bobbe-maises, (old-wives tales) "fairy tales" as your imagination weaves tales for the blind and dumb.

    "Therefore, obviously your opinion is not universally approved."

    RaP: That Jews, and most people, are nice to their neighbors is not news, nor is it a "pesak" or a "directive" that these people "must" be Jewish because some nice Jewish neighborly people gave some kids a few pieces of chalah on Fridays. Get real. I do find your usage of the word "universally approved" interesting because it's just the kind of cover-up lingo used by EJF that deploys it for its own marketing of falsehoods (they preach "higher" and "universal" standards while they aim at proselytizing millions of gentiles hitched to Jews who are happy being secular and living like gentiles). Are you sure you're not linked up with EJF?, you sure do seem like you share not just their agenda but also their language instinctively.

    "Please ask you local rabbi what the psak din is and tell me."

    RaP: If I ask someone if they are Jewish and they say absolutely NO, then why would I think or assume that they are "Jewish". Your so-called shoot from the hip "story" came out weird. First you presented it as if the "deathbed confession" was known right away to the prospective Jewish employer, then you say they only "found out" years later after the woman married. You then say that both as a single woman and as a married woman she would be working as a "shababos goy" and you reveal that you know nothing about the Halachic concept of Shabbos goy, which falls under the area of asking or hiring gentiles to work for Jews on Shabbos, something that may have been done in pre-Holocaust Europe, but today thanks to technology, automation and electrical appliances with time switches, basically NO ONE in the Orthodox world uses gentiles to do anything on Shabbos except some minor serving of meals and clearing of catering and baby sitting that is something a Jew can do as well on Shabbos and the gentile is not being hired to do anything forbidden. Personally I have no need to ask any questions of a rabbi regarding such things because I do not use a Shabbos goy for anything and presumably never will have to as technology advances and thereby human help and intervention is cut to a minimum.

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  47. "from your assumptions and hopes it seems that you share Tropper's and EJF's dreams and aspirations, and that is to proselytize to billions of gentiles and pave the way for them to become "Jews" --"

    I do not want to proselytise any one. On the contrary. If someone came to ask me, I would draw his attention on certain details in oder to explain that jewish life is hard and doing a Giur or coming back to jewish roots is even harder.

    I would like the person to take an informed decision and I would try to provide as much information as I can about things that are not obvious to the newcomer.

    I would also advise people who discover that their mother or her mother or her mother etc. was jewish to think it over twice before they "reclaim their jewish heritage" and would try to draw their attention to the pitfalls that might expect them.

    However, I think that one has to be careful not to offend people.

    "It is a serious matter that require serious investigation"

    This is exactely my point: you should not call someone Goya/shikse without serious investigation (but perhaps you should refrain generally from using those derogatory terms, just to be on the safe side.)

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  48. As far as the story goes:
    The chareidi familiy decided to recruit explicitely a non-jew in order to care for an elderly and sick relative, especially on Shabbes.

    I do not know why, but it is a fact.

    So apperently, you should not be so absolute in judging what is possible or impossible in today's chareidi world. (I mentionned right from the beginning that it was to care for a sick person).

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  49. "Since she has lived and acted like a gentile her entire life, her actions and life are testimony that she is a gentile and her words can be disregarded. If she or her children would wish to convert properly, giur lechumra does not help, they are regarded as 100% gentiles"


    You know, what you say is interesting:

    A person went to a recognised halachic authority with this question:
    My great-grand-mother (the mother of the mother of the mother of my mother) was jewish, am I jewish?

    The Rav answered: IF what you say is true, you are fully jewish.

    However it seems that if the person had gone to another Rabbi in the same town, he might have answered as you say: I consider you 100% gentile.

    And I think this is where the discrepancy lies between our views. I think you are thinking along those lines: I am Gabbai in Schul, a guy comes up to me and tells me "My great-grand-mother in the maternal line was jewish", will I count him for Minyan, give him an Aliyah, etc?

    So your answer is no, and I think rightly so, because before you give him an Aliya or count him for a Minyan, you will want to remove all doubt.

    However my question is different. If someone knows - independently of evidence - that he/she is jewish through origins (i.e. matrilinear descent) - is this person obliged to be shomer torah u Mitzwoth?

    According to the first Rabbi, the answer seems to be yes.

    According to what you said above, your answer seems to be "no", and it might be that there are Rabbis out there who hold like you.

    I think it is all the better that those two opinions exist, because the majority of persons who learn in one point of their life that they are "really jewish" will not want to change their whole lifestyle. They will go on living their life as they used to, and it is good that there is apparently a rabbinical opinion that covers up for this decision.

    However, there are few - I estimate that it is less than 10% - who will want to take up their jewish heritage, even if this means that they have to put their whole life upside down.

    And I think that you should not insult those persons, even on a blog that is not very frequented, because the minority who will reclaim their jewish roots is more likely to read this blog than the majority who will not care.

    Therefore I completely agree with you: "It is a serious matter that require serious investigation" and you should not pronounce a judgement one way or the other without being a rabbinic authority and knowing the facts.

    I think people should refrain from "hobby-" and "distance-diagnosis" about cases they did not study thouroughly.

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  50. So if I understand your position right, according to you, the status of a person depends on the evidence available.

    This would mean, in the case of the "deathbed confession":
    As long as the mother just says she was jewish, the children are not jewish.
    But as soon as there is valid proof that the mother was jewish, the children are jewish.
    So in this case, the "jewishness" of the children would not depend on the "jewishness of the mother", but rather on the "evidence of jewishness of the mother".

    The children would become jewish as soon as the two kosher witnesses testify that their mother was jewish.

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  51. Recipients and PublicityAugust 20, 2009 at 10:10 AM

    Shoshi, you spin bobba-maisa yarns and make up "facts" as you go along as if everyone should regard your story as "gospel truth" that when you reveal anything about this story that exists only in your head and imagination, one is supposed to connect all the parts even though they were uttered ten posts apart by you yourself.

    Please make up your ever-imaginative mind if you wish to act like a person who's aware of the serious side of Torah Law and Thought or just wishes to spin far-fteched moralistic sounding yarns that sound like a Reform rabbi humanist.

    It just seems you will do anything, talk either frum or sound frei as long as it gets you to score points, but burning the candle at both ends by trying to sound both a naive ignoramus and also a hard core scholar AT THE SAME TIME is rather silly and very tiring to put up with. Make up what role you wish to play on this blog and stick with that, otherwise you risk coming across as an incurably split personality not worthy of responing to.

    Stop moralizing as you accuse others of not being on the level or having the right to counter your atrociously simplistic "stories" that you take and wish others to swaloow as "gospel truth" when it's just bobba-meises you are throwing up like pebbles into the ocean that have no effect.

    I know you like the word "spitting" but what you are doing has an expression that describes it: "Spiiting into the wind" or "Spitting into the ocean" -- both denoting acts and words that backfire or that have no effect whatsoever!

    Try instead focusing rationally and logically on the points you wish to discuss and focus on. It is tiresome to have to repeat the known and obvious to you time and again.

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  52. It's not bobbe-maisses. It's just anonymous.

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  53. Recipients and PublicityAugust 21, 2009 at 2:14 AM

    Being "anonymous" does not mean that you should play the "naive fool" and the "enlightened scholar" at the same time.

    Stick to one role and stay with it, this way you do not come across as a confused and split personality.

    Simpletons tell bobba-meises, whereas serious people present events properly, truthfully, without contrived situations and tendencious objectives.

    ReplyDelete

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