Friday, October 23, 2009

Michael Freund starts Chinese immigration

Arutz Sheva

(IsraelNN.com) For the first time, a group of seven descendants of the Jewish community of Kaifeng, China has moved to Israel.The new arrivals, who were brought here by the Shavei Israel organization, arrived at Ben-Gurion airport late Tuesday night. [...]

70 comments :

  1. There seems to be a lot of negative comments on this blog concerning "proselytizing" among non Jewish decedents of Jews. I have no strong opinions either way, but I wonder, how would the deceased Jewish ancestors of these people look at it? Surely they would want as many Jewish descendants as possible? Wouldn't it be a zchus for their neshoma for these wayward soles to come back to their roots?

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  2. In short: No!

    A convert according to halacha and kabbalh has no connection with his ancestors, he is a new soul, detached from his roots.

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  3. Stam curious said...

    There seems to be a lot of negative comments on this blog concerning "proselytizing" among non Jewish decedents of Jews. I have no strong opinions either way, but I wonder, how would the deceased Jewish ancestors of these people look at it? Surely they would want as many Jewish descendants as possible? Wouldn't it be a zchus for their neshoma for these wayward soles to come back to their roots?
    ===============
    You are taking a very secular humanist view as opposed to a religious view.

    Why would a neshoma want something which is against the will of G-d i.e., halacha.
    Halacha says that these are not Jews even though they share genetic material with Jews.
    The process to conversion requires more than shared DNA - there needs to be a genuine desire to be Jewish and to accept the mitzvos. Why would the neshoma want goyim - who have no genuine interest in keeping mitzvos - appear to become Jews because of some nostalgia for a biologic ancestor? That would not be a zechus but a liabity for the neshama.

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  4. Eternal Jewish Fraud WatchOctober 23, 2009 at 3:06 PM

    Have any rabbonim spoken out against Shavei Israel as they have against Tropper?

    I do not know the background of Rav Uziel but I find it disturbing that various troublemakers invoke his name to actively seek out shiksas to marry. However, R' Tzvi Hirsch Kalischer was a musmach of both the Nesivos and R' Akiva Eiger. The sefer Kol Mevaser also chronicles an expedition of choshuve rabbonim who went in search of the Aseres Hashvotim. (They could not proceed further upon reaching the impassible Harei Choshech).

    I think Shavei Israel is the group that is active in South America and Portugal. They even give hashgocho to a Portugese cheese company owned by bnei anusim.

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  5. "Why would the neshoma want goyim - who have no genuine interest in keeping mitzvos"

    There seems to be a basic assumption that those persons (Chinese Olim, in the case at hand) are not sincere in wanting to keep torah u mitzwoth.

    On which evidence do you base this assumption? Do you know something about this group of persons we do not know? Have you met them? Have you seen them being Mechalel Shabbat?

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  6. Mi? said...

    "Why would the neshoma want goyim - who have no genuine interest in keeping mitzvos"

    There seems to be a basic assumption that those persons (Chinese Olim, in the case at hand) are not sincere in wanting to keep torah u mitzwoth.
    ==============
    You are saying that they have a presumption of sincerity to be Jews because they have think they have some sort of biological ancestry or at least be given the benefit of doubt.

    I am saying the opposite - a non-Jew who comes to convert needs to prove their sincerity. There is no presumptive sincerity.

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  7. "a non-Jew who comes to convert needs to prove their sincerity. There is no presumptive sincerity."

    So you seem to have a presumption that the beit din who did the Giur or the Giur lechumra did not do it's work as it should (since a Beit Din should not accept any insincere Ger).

    What is this presumption based upon?

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  8. I found this same assumption when I was going through the geirus process: that people with a Jewish dad or some Jewish ancestry would make more sincere gerim. But, why? What does genetic material have to do with being mekabel Torah?

    Does the familiarity of someone who has Jewish ancestry make it easier for people to accept them? Maybe they seem less like a “stranger”. Although I have seen people convert successfully in situations where they did have some Jewish ancestry, I don’t understand how it can be taken as a chezkas kashrus to their sincerity.

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  9. Mi? said...

    "a non-Jew who comes to convert needs to prove their sincerity. There is no presumptive sincerity."

    So you seem to have a presumption that the beit din who did the Giur or the Giur lechumra did not do it's work as it should (since a Beit Din should not accept any insincere Ger).

    What is this presumption based upon?
    ===============
    Reality check:
    I am not sure we are talking about the same case.

    Michael Fruend has programs for people who might have Jewish ancestry or would like to think they have Jewish ancestry. He encourages them to think about converting. These Chinese are not Jewish - but they either have or would like to have Jewish ancestry. He seeks them out or advertises programs to raise interesting amongst these populations. This is called proselytizing.

    It is possible 1) that people who have been proselytized will genuinely be interested in converting however it is more likely 2) that the groups that do this proselytizing will find rabbis - such as Rav Druckman - who are not overly concerned with checking how sincere the converts are as long as they say the right words.

    Yes there are rabbis and conversion courts who are not concerned about the sincerity of the converts.

    When you have proselytization i.e., pursuing non-Jews to become interested in converting, I think the problem of sincerity is much greater than when a non-Jew comes on his own initiative. The same is true of pursuing intermarried or mixed couples living together

    Bottom line - my concern is proselytization and organizations which try building up the number of Jews through converting people who may have biological connection to Jews or some form of imagined connection - my concern is not valid conversion for sincere individuals. I am concerned about their candidates and even those converted by rabbis. I would suggest you read the various teshuva that I have posted on this blog in the last two years which indicate that this is the view of most major poskim.

    What is your concern and what is the halachic basis for it? Why do you have a chip on your shoulder?

    These issues have been repeatedly discussed on this blog and I really don't see the need to go through another cycle. If you don't accept the views of the major orthodox poskim then there is nothing more to discuss.

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  10. In this case they say that the Giur candidates will spend about half a year in Kibbutz Sdeh Eliahu (this seems to be an orthodox Kibbutz).

    So to me, this kind of preparation for Giur seems quite serious.

    Do you have statistics about the results of Giurim facilitated by Shavei Israel? Do you know, to take an example, how many of them are still Shomrei Torah u Mitzwoth five years later (or ten years later)?
    How do their results compare with outher Batei Din?

    The Shavei Israel homepage says that they just accompany people who seek a Giur/Giur lechumra out of their own volition. Do you think this is a lie?

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  11. "Why do you have a chip on your shoulder?"

    When I was 17 I found out that my great-great-grandmother in purely maternal line was jewish.

    I started learning to read hebrew and went to see a Rabbi. The Rabbi told me that I would have to prove my descent, and that I was jewish if the story was correct.

    I found the papers four years later, during which I had started to learn and to become shomeret Torah u Mitzwoth.

    The local Rabbi accepted me into the local community and added I should do a Tevilah sometime, best before marriage.

    Marriage did not turn out to happen so quickly, so I did the Tevilah (or Giur lechumra) anyway.

    It was not easy to go against my own family by becoming shomer Torah u Mitzwot. Among others, I had to move out of their home since they did not want "kashrut" to take place under their roof, I had to change profession since the one I had chosen was not really Shabbat-compatible.

    But what hurt me most were all those "pure-bread" jews I met who did not want to take me as jewish.

    That's all.

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  12. But what hurt me most were all those "pure-bred" jews I met who did not want to take me as jewish.
    ================
    I am sorry to hear that you have been hurt. This happens also to genuine gerim and to baalei teshuva.

    However I am dealing with the issue from the halachic point of view. If you want to take the issue from the degree of pain instead of the halacha - I agree with you 100%. I am also upset about a person who spent years studying to become Jewish and then finds a Conservative conversion doesn't count or the person who converted to marry a cohen and then finds out they can't be married. I am upset about the widow who remarries with the permission of a rabbi and then her husband is discovered alive and all her new children are mamzerim.

    However from the halachic point of view you have a valid claim against those who hurt you. You have proof that you are in fact Jewish. This is not the same thing with people who don't have valid proof or they have proof that there great grandfather was Jewish but not their mother or that they are part of a community that had Jews 500 years ago.

    There is also a great deal of hurt dealing with the Ethiopians. Most poskim have serious doubts about the validity of their Jewishness. But a second level is the Falashmura that the Ethiopians themselves don't accept their claims of Jewishness and yet organizations are strongly encouraging them to view themselves as legitimate Jews and make aliyah - despite the fact that most are practicing Christians.

    In sum, halacha doesn't have a concept that if you suffer because of a particular halacha than that halacha will be abrograted for you. I am not, chas v'shalom, denying the reality of the pain.

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  13. The problem is that too many people speak or make up their mind without knowing what the circumstances are.

    And I fear you are among those when you comment on chinese converts.

    To take my example:

    100% of the RAbbis I asked told me that I was jewish (provided my story was true).

    (Half of those Rabbis were Chareidi, the other half the equivalent of RCA).

    So I relied upon them and took it as some kind of obligation to become shomer Torah u Mitzwoth, and to put up with all the difficulties that ensued, and they were numerous.

    Had I been told from the beginning "No, we do not consider you jewish", I suppose I would not have gone on this journey.

    Once I had been through all these difficulties, there are still people saying - to my face or behing my back - that they do not consider me jewish.

    Which halacha allows them to decide that?

    To come back to our chinese Gerim/applicants: I suppose that they also go through considerable trouble in order to become jewish. I suppose the "journey" has more costs than benefits (you think the contrary, that might be open to discussion. Having been through it I can tell you: it is not easy).

    You where not there at their conversion for those who already converted and will not be present at the conversion of those who will do it.
    You did not sit at their shabbes table, you were not in their kitchen to see whether it is kosher.

    Which halacha allows you to make derogatory comments about them?

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  14. To come back to our chinese Gerim/applicants: I suppose that they also go through considerable trouble in order to become jewish. I suppose the "journey" has more costs than benefits (you think the contrary, that might be open to discussion. Having been through it I can tell you: it is not easy).

    You where not there at their conversion for those who already converted and will not be present at the conversion of those who will do it.
    You did not sit at their shabbes table, you were not in their kitchen to see whether it is kosher.

    Which halacha allows you to make derogatory comments about them?
    ==========================
    Let me try one more time - If over the ages it has been found that people who convert because they are intermarried or because Jews are better off then the goyim and that these conversions - despite there apparent sincerity at the time of conversion - the majority go down hill in observance in time or are not observant at all - do I have the right or ability to have severe doubts about the sincerity or usefulness of these type of converts? You are right I am not a witness to these individuals - but I can still talk about the likelihood of these type of conversions working and I have every right from the halachic point of view to question attempts to encourage people who had no particular interest in Judaism until the were invited to a seminar about the "forced conversions of Spanish Jews 500 years ago" or the Chinese community hundreds of years ago etc.

    Again you are viewing this as a personal attack - it is not. I am discussing groups of people that you are not a member of. For whatever reason, however, you identify with these people.

    Thus I am asking the question what is good for the Jewish community based on past experience and you are saying - "if they talk this way about people with questionable Jewiish backgrounds - then they are rejecting me also." I am not doing what you are accusing me of. however since we are dealing with such a sensitive psychological issue I don't think I can convince you and thus it is simply a waste of time to keep repeating the arguments again and again. I hope you succeed in finding a Jewish community that fully accepts you and that eventually you will come to see my point of view.

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  15. To be clear. You can't proselytize. It is against Jewish law.

    Secondly one of Freund's point men in China was a person with the family name "Lerner." He is known to be a J4J missionary. Do you think that perhaps that might have factored in at all?

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  16. Take a look at statistics.

    In a slightly simplified model, you could calculate the number of descendents in purely maternal line after G Genarations according to this formula:

    D = F^G/2^G
    D = number of descendents in purely maternal line
    F = Number of children who will have children of their own per woman

    G = Number of generations elapsed.

    According to this formula, there is a watershed at F = 2 (i.e. every woman has two children who in turn will have children).

    If F is smaller than two, the maternal line will go extinct over the generations.
    If F = 2, the maternal line will remain constant (i.e. the population jewish according to the halachic criteria will remain the same)
    If F is only slightly bigger than two, the halachically jewish population will increase over the generations.

    For example, if you take F = 2.2 every woman will have 5 descendents in purely maternal line after 17 generations (around 500 years).

    If you take F = 3, there will be 985 jewish descendents per jewess after 500 years.

    So if you take the example of Girush Sefarad: History books say that 100'000 to 250'000 jews converted to catholicism in order to remain.
    Let's say half of them were female. If they had F=2,2 there would be around 250'000 jewish descendents of crypto jews now in Spain and spanish territories.
    If F = 3, there would be 49 Million of them, more than all the rest of Am Israel.

    So it is not as self-evident as you seem to claim that a majoritiy of those claiming that they are jewish are really not.

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  17. Mi?,

    If you have solid documentation that your matrilineal ancestors are Jewish and, on top of that, you've even gone through giur l'chumra, the people who cast aspersions on the validity of your Jewish status are going to have a lot to answer for when they get to Olam Ha'Emes.

    I would imagine that the way in which "pure-bred" Jews relate to BTs and gerim would show large differences between individuals within a community and, more importantly, between communities. I've spent time in a community that is largely made up of BT's, with a significant subset of the community made up of gerim and their families. The "pure-bred" FFB's are for sure the minority there. Perhaps you would find such communities more accepting?

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  18. MI? wrote:
    So it is not as self-evident as you seem to claim that a majoritiy of those claiming that they are jewish are really not.
    =============
    Again I am living in the world of halacha. Can you cite one major posek who takes your approach. Actually using a similar analysis, it is likely that the average Arab is Jewish. In fact it is conceivable that that the average European is also Jewish.

    So if I can show statistically that it is likely that if you randomly select a person from the world population that it is possible that he is Jew - does that have any significance in halacha?

    Put it another way, we have teshuvos from the Shagas Aryeh and Chasam Sofer and others which would indicate that the Sefer Torah and tefilin we have today probably have at least one letter different than Moshe Rabbeinu had - does that mean that they are all posul? But we have a statement of the Rambam that we must believe that the Torah we have today is that which Moshe received on Sinai? The Ginas Veradeim answers that on the level of metzius our Torah's and tefillin deviate from that of Moshe - but on the level of halacha they are valid.

    In sum, halacha and physical reality do not necessarily coincide.

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  19. @ Yad LeAchim:
    You have a point if you can prove that the work Shavei Israel does is not serious. This would obviously be the case if they send christian missionaries.

    @Daas torah:

    Yes, indeed it might be that every single arab in Israel and around it is really jewish.

    If you take 58 generations from the Churban beit Sheni, and F = 2.2 you would have 251 matrinlinear offspring per woman. So if you suppose that there was an original group of 100'000 jewish women in fertility age, you would have 25,1 Million jewish offspring by today.

    However, I think the only practical consequence this would have is that you cannot use them as Shabbes-Goyim.

    As far as the Halacha goes, we do not seem to agree on a fundamental point:

    I understood, that a child born by a jewish woman is jewish. Full stop. As far as I understood, "Jewishness" does not simply fade away through the generations.

    This is what all the Rabbis I went to see with my question confirmed.

    I have the impression that you do not follow this opinion. Am I right?

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  20. Technically you are right that Jewishness doesn't fade away - but the poskim act as if it does. This is a simple fact which is very easy to verify and is possibly the basis of our disagreement

    With the Ethiopian as well as the Marranos - we are faced with Judaism being a two edge sword.

    If they are in fact Jewish then we have a problem of whether they are mamzerim. If they are assumed to be goyim then there is no problem of mamzerim.

    Rav Sternbuch has a teshuva where he says that because the particular ger claimed he was decended from Marranos he insisted that he was really Jewish - though he can't prove it - therefore he has a problem of proving that he is not a mamzer. Without this claim he is simply a valid ger. He in essence is prohibiting himself to all Jews by his insistence on his Jewish indentity which creates the question of mamzerim.

    This is similar to Rav Moshe's dealing with the Reform. He says simply that their marriage is not a marriage. If you insist that it is - then you are faced with a major problem of mamzerim because there divorce is no good.

    To get back to the original case,it is simpler therefore in most cases to say that they are goyim. However this presents a major problem if a giyorus wants to marry a cohen. Which was a case I was recently involved with.

    So what would you prefer - being acknowledged as a genuine Jew but also a possible mamzer or as a genuine ger without concern for mamzerus?

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  21. So why didn't the Badatz asser Shavei Israel like they did to EJF?

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  22. "So what would you prefer - being acknowledged as a genuine Jew but also a possible mamzer or as a genuine ger without concern for mamzerus?"

    well if you ask me personally:

    I do not think that I have a Safek of Mamzerut:

    My great-grand-mother was born from a legitimate marriage and registered with the jewish community of her Polish home-town, along with her brothers, sisters, cousins (some of which were deported and killed during the Shoah).

    Since in subsequent generations, the fathers were all non-jews (and therefore cannot bring mamzerut into the family), I suppose I am safe to assume that I am not a Mamzer.

    Or do you think otherwise?

    This said, I am quite astonished that Rav STernbuch brings the issue of Mamzerut with regards to anussim.

    1) Mamzerut can arise through some forms of inbreeding or through extramarital affairs of the woman. To have an extramarital affair, you have to be married in the first place. If you are married to a non-jew, the marriage is considered null and void, so it is impossible to have an extramarital affair...

    2) As far as I heard, it is a costum not to check on mamzerut. So there might be actually many "unidentified mamzerim" running around with the blessings of our rabbis. So why should it suddenly become an issue with "lost children of Israel"?

    Could you please check back with Rav Sternbuch and give me his answer?

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  23. Mi? wrote

    2) As far as I heard, it is a costum not to check on mamzerut. So there might be actually many "unidentified mamzerim" running around with the blessings of our rabbis. So why should it suddenly become an issue with "lost children of Israel"?

    Could you please check back with Rav Sternbuch and give me his answer?
    ================
    no I am not asking Rav sternbuch but I would suggest you ask him.

    The issue of mamzerus is that we don't check if it is not likely to become an issue. However if we hear that there was a divorce or parents who remarry than it is a good idea to check to make sure no one gets stuck.

    Rav Moshe was once asked by a young lady about the problem of mamzerus since she was born when her mother was on a second marriage. Rav Moshe replied that since the first marriage was a Reform ceremony you can assume that the Rabbi wasn't shomer mitzvos and thus didn't create a doreissa marriage and thus there was no need for a divorce.
    A week later the young lady called back and said she had checked it out and in fact the rabbi had been shomer mitzvos and was careful to create a proper marriage. Rav Moshe asked her, "Why did you check? I can't help you now."

    In contrast if a person proclaims that he is Jewish because he is descended by Marranos and Ethiopians and people assume that these groups did not have proper gittin - the question arises because of his membership in the group.[There are those who say there is no problem of mamzerus in Ethiopians] It is a bit more complicated than this - see the original teshuva

    I am making a separate posting of the teshuva of Rav Sternbuch vol 3 #408 page 468 A descendant of the anusaim from Brazil who wants to marry a Jewish woman.

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  24. Well, I will read the original Tshuvah with pleasure once you have posted it.

    If the issue is "Gittin", I should suppose that the "risk of Mamzerut" depends on the culture you live in: In catholic culture, the concept of divorce is unknown, so I should suppose that unavailable Gittin and Mamzerut is a minor problem with Benei Anussim who lived in Spain or spanish culture countries.

    I am familiar, however, with the concept of anulling Giurim in order to circumvent Get problems. Actually I know someone who did more or less exactely this...

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  25. "To get back to the original case,it is simpler therefore in most cases to say that they are goyim."

    Well, I would agree with you on those point:

    1) There is not that much difference, practically speaking, between a Giur process and a Giur le Chumra process with a person who, like me, grew up without any jewish education.

    2) If the person, even if theoratically jewish, is not interested in keeping Torah u Mitzwoth, considering them non-jewish might be preferable, in addition to the potential "mamzerut" problems you mentionned.

    However, there seems to remain one point on which we disagree:

    If someone finds out he is jewish through remote matrilinear descent and is ready to go the whole way to becoming shomer torah mitzwot, you should not hurt him by casting wholesale doubts upon his sincerity.

    It remains to be seen whether the Chinese Olim/Gerim will become Shomrei Torah u Mitzwoth. If they do, I should think in my humble opinion that you would owe them an excuse.

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  26. Mi?

    What you are not understanding is that they cannot prove that there is unbroken matrilinear descent. No proof whatsoever. what they think they can prove is some people amongst some of these populations are somehow descended from Jews, or some lost tribe or something like that.

    So what you have, which is the real problem, is people seeking out Gentiles trying to convince them to convert.

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  27. You would have to look into individual cases in order to prove your point.

    You cannot see too much from the outside.

    Honestly: I saw a report on the "Benei Menashe" in Mitzoram, I read a book on the Falasha culture. In both cases, the links to jewish heritage look very questionnable to me.

    However, some Rabbanim (I think mainly the Sefardi ones)seem to have paskened that they considered the falasha jewish... So who am I to doubt their word?

    I think it is quite difficult to picture what "jewish culture" that has been separated for 2000 years or so from the rest of diaspora might look like...

    I'm not sure I would recognise Davidic Israel as jewish, so many things changed...

    So I suppose it is a tricky question all in all.

    Statistically speaking, there might be tremendous numbers of jewish descendents of the lost ten tribes around in the world.

    If you still take our factor of F=2,2 over let's say 79 generations that separate us from churban beit rishon, you would have 1862 jewish descendents per woman. Multiply it with an assumed figure of 100'000 fertile women in the original group, you get 186 Million. Not bad, ain't it?

    But the contrary might be true. The rate might be 1.8 and they might have died out...

    You cannot tell.

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  28. "So what you have, which is the real problem, is people seeking out Gentiles trying to convince them to convert."

    If this is really the case, I agree that it is a problem.

    However, if you are not able to stop them before they start out, you should not make those gentiles/Gerim suffer, just because you do not agree with Mr. Freund's methods.

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  29. .. they are the wrong target for your wrath.

    I can tell you from personal experience that it is very tiresome to be always under "general suspicion", to be considered a "shikse" every time you meet a new jew, even if you have been shomer torah u mitzwoth for more than 15 years.

    So I can put myself in those Chinese's shoes. It's not nice, believe me, and it's not a Mitzwah to say that you think they are not sincere.

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  30. Many frum from birth Jews are as you write "always under "general suspicion", to be considered a "shikse" every time you meet a new jew, even if you have been shomer torah u mitzwoth for more than 15 years."

    Maybe you grew up "out of town".
    Maybe you are Sephardic living in an Ashk. community.
    Maybe you are Ashk. living in a Sephardic community.
    Maybe you are an American living among all Israelis.
    Maybe you are a bit avant garde in your style of tzniut dress.
    Maybe you have an advanced secular education.
    Maybe you eat sushi Friday night instead of gefilte fish or use a colored tablecloth on Shabbat.
    Maybe your husband wears blue shirts instead of white.

    and on and on and on.

    Jews are a stiff necked people. It's usually a good thing, but not always. Just let it roll off and keep doing what you know and believe is right.

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  31. Thanks for your wonderful etzot, although they come a bit late.

    If you want to know my coping strategy: I don't give a damn if anyone thinks I am jewish or not.

    Interestingly enough, I found out that "not knowing whether I am jewish or not" turned out be quite disturbing for my new jewish aquaintances. The frummer the person, the more it disturbs them.

    Seems to be some kind of dual world view: "One of us" or "Not one of us"

    I suppose it's a bit like the Japanese having to exchange business cards before being able to speak to each other.

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  32. Actually it comes from various halachot as to what are and are not appropriate inter-relations between Jews and non-Jews.

    For example according to Sephardic Halacha it is forbidden to have a non-Jew eating at your table. A non-Jew cannot handle certain types of wine ect.

    You need to understand that for people with a world view based in Halacha and who are struggling for any level of piety, gray zone areas of uncertainty are uncomfortable places.

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  33. Yes, I understand.

    So I decided to play "undercover agent" have the others being uncomfortable rather than being uncomfortable myself about their "tactful" way of asking without asking.

    I can live with not handling the wine or not being invited by Sefaradim who are not allowed to host non-jews. (or by anyone else, for that matter).

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  34. (Poor Daas torah was also a bit uncomfortable when I did not identify as jewish while posting under another name...)

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  35. question said...

    So why didn't the Badatz asser Shavei Israel like they did to EJF?
    ===================
    The answer to this is that he never tried to receive authorization from "our" haredi rabbis, EJF came to all rabbis that are accepted by the haredi community from israel, therefore a clarification was necessary

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  36. Mi? said...

    (Poor Daas torah was also a bit uncomfortable when I did not identify as jewish while posting under another name...)
    ====================
    At this junction I think it is appropriate to ask you - What is your point? What are trying to accomplish? Are you simply trying to get some sort of revenge for the way you think you have been treated and therefore you should be treated as a troll? Or are you trying to demonstrate the obvious reaction to people whose status is ambigious in a particular society?

    Put another way - are you with us in trying to understand the nature of Judaism or against us - i.e., you want to show us what you think are our shortcomings?

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  37. Mi? said...

    (Poor Daas torah was also a bit uncomfortable when I did not identify as jewish while posting under another name...)
    ====================
    At this junction I think it is appropriate to ask you - What is your point? What are trying to accomplish? Are you simply trying to get some sort of revenge for the way you think you have been treated and therefore you should be treated as a troll? Or are you trying to demonstrate the obvious reaction to people whose status is ambigious in a particular society?

    Put another way - are you with us in trying to understand the nature of Judaism or against us - i.e., you want to show us what you think are our shortcomings?

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  38. I spoke honesty about my experience, how I came to judaism, how I relate to judaism. It's all in this thread.

    So where is your problem?

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  39. I should not have thought that "showing shortcomings" means "being against you".

    This concept is new to me...

    Where did you take it from?

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  40. Mi? said...

    Yes, I understand.

    So I decided to play "undercover agent" have the others being uncomfortable rather than being uncomfortable myself about their "tactful" way of asking without asking.

    I can live with not handling the wine or not being invited by Sefaradim who are not allowed to host non-jews. (or by anyone else, for that matter).

    I should not have thought that "showing shortcomings" means "being against you".

    This concept is new to me...

    Where did you take it from?

    (Poor Daas torah was also a bit uncomfortable when I did not identify as jewish while posting under another name...)
    ========
    Your above comments elicited my suspicions and my questions. Is English your native tongue? We went through this with Shoshi.

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  41. I do not quite understand your suspicions and questions. Honestly.
    Could you make them plain to me?

    No, english is not my mother tongue.

    ReplyDelete
  42. Mi? said...

    I do not quite understand your suspicions and questions. Honestly.
    Could you make them plain to me?
    =============
    O.K. mystery solved. For a non-native speaker it is understandable that you would not understand why you were misunderstood. I am someone who spends most of the day looking for subtlties and hidden meaning in speech or text in English. As a non-native English speaker those clues are likely simply artifacts and simply have no meaning.

    Let's erase the previous questions and concerns and start fresh.

    ReplyDelete
  43. As someone interested in the english language:

    Could you explain?

    is "poor Daas Torah" derogative?
    In this case it is really a misunderstanding, because I meant it literally.

    ReplyDelete
  44. Mi? said...

    As someone interested in the english language:

    Could you explain?

    is "poor Daas Torah" derogative?
    In this case it is really a misunderstanding, because I meant it literally.
    =============
    Poor Daas Torah could be understood as sympathizing with my misfortunate of being caught off guard. Thus it is being said as empathizing with the discomfort of a friend and that is not derogatory. However it can also mean that you view me as nebach who is to be pitied because he didn't understand what was going on - thus in the context of the discussion it comes across as negative, derorgatory i.e., a put down. Especially since you hadn't indicated that you viewed me as a friend but rather as an adversary.

    Thus from the context it is likely to be viewed as a sarcastic, mocking comment.

    I am confused by "I meant it literatally" - which means that I am lacking money? What does the literal meaning of poor have to do with the discussion.

    Perhaps you meant that you were not being sarcastic and condescending but were genuinely sorry that I misunderstood your view and thus were sorry that you had made me feel uncomfortable (BTW this is an inaccurate reading of my feelings). In other words you didn't mean "literally" but "sincere".

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  45. Let's sum up:

    For more than 15 years, I have been shomer(et) torah u mitzwoth as best I could.

    However, a few years ago, I have given up on wanting to be identified as jewish by jews who meet me for the first time.

    I am aware that this ambiguity might cause discomfort in my interlocutors.

    However, my discomfort in meeting open or hidden sceptisism would be bigger than the actual discomfort caused by an ambiguity.

    So if people see me (or read what I write) and think "This Shikse", I will not try to convince them of the contrary. This is what I meant by "Undercover Agent".

    I am ready to put up with the consequences like not being invited, not handling wine, spending Shabbat alone in a hotel room, not being served at a kosher bakery, not being proposed shidduchim, whatever.

    As far as the meaning of "poor" is concerned, I meant it in true empathy and not in a condescendent way.

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  46. Mi? said...

    Let's sum up:
    ===============
    o.k. I think I got it straight. Thank you for your patience in dealing with my misunderstanding. Since you took the initiative to post your personal history - I assume that you would like us to know it and perhaps respond to it.

    So let us go back to the beginning. You are officially a giyorus and also a Jew (by your own estimation). And yet you say you are not accepted as a Jew.

    What does that mean - that you are accepted as a giyorus but not as an born Jew?

    What is the point of contention about your evidence?

    Also what does it mean that you keep Torah and mitzvos to the best of your ability?

    What would you like help with?

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  47. Sorry. These questions are too confusing for me.

    For example:

    How can one be a Gioret and a born jew?

    I thought those two conditions were mutually exclusive.

    or

    "Also what does it mean that you keep Torah and mitzvos to the best of your ability?"
    I do not understant the question.
    It means just that: I keep Torah and Mitzwos to the best of my ability...

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  48. But there is one question that I did understant and that I can answer:

    What would you like help with?

    I would like you to help me by not speaking in a derogatory manner (and not allowing derogatory speech) about people who are in a "Safek" condition about their jewish status.

    It hurts me.

    I read through the links posted earlier in this thread. There was one article about people in Poland discovering their jewish heritage. Many comments made were mostly mocking, derogatory about those people and did not provide any detailed information about the cases in question.

    Now I am more or less exactely in the same situation, and therefore it hurts me when people mock persons who discover jewish heritage and decide to act upon it.

    To be precise, one important reason for me to take up my jewish heritage was that I felt that Am Israel needed every neshama after the shoah.

    So when, 25 years later, you read "Stay where you are, we do not need you" it is not nice.

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  49. Mi?

    To give you my own view, I see the Shoah(and thus those in Poland) in a very different light than those in China or Spain. Here is the difference:

    1) The Jews of Poland, especially those put into hiding by their parents, essentially had their Judaism involuntarily robbed from them. Neither those people, nor their parents made a conscious choice to actively "convert" to another religion(for the most part). Most of what they were doing was an emergency measure for a limited time, that inadvertently became long term because those entrusted with their children, were not worthy of that trust.

    2)The Spanish situtation on the other hand was a voluntary and conscious choice to convert to another religion, and to undergo its rites, forsaking for the most part one's Judaism in order to not need to leave one's home. For the most part in Spain people's lives were not at risk(even then one should sacrifice one's life rather than convert). Their wealth was at stake, and they actively chose to violate Halacha, without teshuva for 500 yrs.

    3) The people in Poland, just now are finding out the truth of their stolen heritage and seeking to reclaim what was stolen from them.

    4) The Spainish have known for 500yrs what went on, and only now when life is gettng bad in Spain and someone is asking them to come back are they deciding that maybe they can make a better life in Israel.(note none of these "converts" and "returning Jews" are doing so simply to be Jewish, they are doing it to immigrate to Israel in search of a better life.

    5) In Poland we can determine with a fair amount of certainty who is halachically Jewish, and who is a valid Jewish descendant, who is only not Jewish because of a person's dishonesty.

    6) In Spain no one knows who is and isn't Jewish or a Jewish descendant after 500+ yrs.

    You see there are some very stark differences.

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  50. Can a person be a Giyoret/Geir and a born Jew?

    Yes absolutely!!!

    With the exceptionally machmir standards that are being applied to Yichus and geirus today anything can happen.

    I was approached for help with a certain case where, on account of lacking paperwork, three of a couples' children were forced to undergo geirus when they came to Israel for their "year".

    Now their fourth child is here, but in the meantime the missing paperwork has been found. There are no problems with the child. However, because their earlier children underwent geirus, they are now registered as geirim, which impacts their shidduch prospects immensely.

    For instance their oldest(a girl) made shidduch with a Kohen, but was refused the ability to marry on account of her status as a giyoret.

    Now the B"D who did this entire thing refuses to withdraw their geirus and re-establish their status as natural born Jews on account of some strange sfaik sfaika that makes no sense, and so the family has to fight for their Yichus through the rabbinical court system, and is facing the varying politics going on there.

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  51. Vaahavtem es haGerOctober 27, 2009 at 4:29 AM

    Mi,

    I am sorry that you feel the way you do. I know that people can be mean sometimes and that certain types do not show love to converts the way they should.

    There are some communities that are special and make gerim feel comfortable. Maybe you should consider being part of such a community.

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  52. Vaahavta es haGer:

    I live in Europe. In my country, there is not such an abundance of different types of communities like in the US or in Israel.

    I did not say either that the communities I went to treated me badly. On the contrary: By some individuals, I was welcomed with open arms, with true hachnassat orchim, they went even to great trouble to help me in every way they could. I will always be very grateful to them.

    The problem lies more with day-to-day encounters with people I do not know. They will refuse to relate to me because of the way I look (like a goye) or dress, or whatever.

    In the beginning, this was really hard on me. Meanwhile, I learned to cope with it the way I described above, and I am quite happy with my lot, all in all.

    I just want to warn people who say on this blog "who needs those anussim" or "who needs those Poles who discovered in a deathbed confession of their mother that they were jewish" or "who needs those chinese" that this could be very hurtful for people who went through considerable sacrifice to claim their jewish heritage and now find out that they are indesirable.

    It might be an Aveira to hurt them (without being aquainted with the details of their case), but - more important - it is just not nice on the very basic level of human relationships.

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  53. @Mekubal

    I made an intersting discovery:

    If you divide Am Israel into two equal parts, one part assimilates and intermarries systematically, the other one respects jewish law and marries only jewish partners (excluding members/descendents of the first group which intermarries).

    Both groups have the same F.

    the number of jewish (matrilinear) offspring would be exactely the same for both groups.

    (The only difference would be the Giorot who join the second group)

    Why?

    Because every jewish man of the second group would have to find a jewish woman who also belongs to this same group.
    So it is true that each individual in the second group would have more jewish offspring (F^n instead of F^n/2^n), but to generate this jewish offspring, they would have to take a woman from the same group. So the members of the original group at the moment t would be counted several times as ancestors of later generations, which is not the case in the first group.

    This could mean, in other words, if, as the history books said, the group who left Spain in 1492 had about the same size as the group who stayed and converted, there would be approximately as many anussim as there are "Sefaradim" in the litteral sense (i.e. people who left Spain, taken in matrilinear descent).

    The only factor that would allow the Sefaradim to be more numerous are the jewish, but not Sefardi women the Sefaradim married since then (and, of course, differences in Fertility and mortality rates).

    Interesting, no?

    I would never have thought of it...

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  54. @Mekubal:

    If what you say really is the predominant attitude of Sefardim towards Anussim (who needs them, they are traitors anyway), it makes me really sad.

    I knew an Israeli who went to find Anussim in remote mountain villages of Northern Spain and Portugal during the 60ies. He said that many groups he went to see had believed Judaism had died out - until they met him. They were very astonished at the concept of an Israeli speaking hebrew.

    As far as proof is concerned, you cannot generalise that it is impossible to bring about. Some people I know brag that they have a genealogical tree going all the way back to David Hamelech. 500 years is difficult, but possible, especially when they stayed put in the same country or even the same village over all this time. Many hobby genealogists go back to the middle ages.

    Your assumption that life in Israel is better than in Spain shows your pride for the country you chose to live in, but a lack of knowledge about Spain.

    Spain has a higher GDP per capita than Israel (Spain: 35'116$, Israel: 29'671 $).
    It is part of the European Union, so if a Spaniard would seek a "better living", as you claim, he could easily emigrate to countries with still higher per capita GDP.

    Climate seems to be about the same, Terrorism and war risk is considerably lower in Spain...

    So your hypothesis that Anussim would claim jewish descent to rob the riches of Israel does not have much of a basis, at least as far as Spanish Anussim are concerned.

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  55. Mi? Who I believe is Shoshi,

    Your Euro-Centric view shows your arrogance. We are not simply talking anusim in Spain, but Mexico, and South America.

    Furthermore the problem with statistics that they give you a mean... an average. For instance if the average person in Spain makes $35000, for every Spanish multi-millionare who has wisely banked his money, there are at least 4people who make absolutely nothing.

    Knowing people in both Chabad's new outreach to anusim, and in Shaavei, I have come to know that their "target audience" is not the well educated, well adjusted, individual. Chabad seeks people looking for something spiritually enriching. Shaavei, a nationalist organization, seeks people that will happily leave their life behind to serve in the IDF.

    That is what these Kibbutzim they take them to for their quickie conversions are known for. You learn Hebrew, and only spend 6mos in a conversion program(which normally takes 2yrs) provided that you join the IDF.

    All of this despite that proselytizing is generally forbidden in Judaism. Yes Jews can trace their ancestory back to David HaMelech, or has several of us who are Kohanim, back to Aaron HaKohen... however I still cannot eat trumah and maaseh.

    Here you have people who actually tried to hide their Judaism and Jewish ancestory, as Jewish Christians, being accused of Judaizing, were a primary target of the inquisition, and as much as you might want to, halacha is simply not done according to algebraic formulae.

    Please actually bother to learn all of the facts before you make your pronouncements.

    ReplyDelete
  56. "Knowing people in both Chabad's new outreach to anusim, and in Shaavei, I have come to know that their "target audience" is not the well educated, well adjusted, individual. Chabad seeks people looking for something spiritually enriching. Shaavei, a nationalist organization, seeks people that will happily leave their life behind to serve in the IDF."

    You see, this is a valuable piece of information and a good reason to denounce "Shavei".

    I asked earlier in this thread whether there were any statistics available on the "success rate" of Shavei Giurim.

    But I never received an answer. If it were the case that a significant part of those Giurim do not last, this would also be a valid argument against the organisation.

    However, the issue of "proselytising", in my experience, is not as clear cut as you seem to say.

    I personally would have been very happy if I had had an organisation that caters to people like me to help me on my path back to Judaism.

    "Here you have people who actually tried to hide their Judaism and Jewish ancestory, as Jewish Christians, being accused of Judaizing, were a primary target of the inquisition, and as much as you might want to, halacha is simply not done according to algebraic formulae."

    I do not really understand what you mean: If a descendent of the Anussim comes to see your Rabbi, let's say, for argument's sake, with a neatly documented family tree back to 1492 in his hands, the Rabbi will answer: "Go away, traitor, son of traitors. We do not want you. Your forebears committed the inexcusable sin of converting 500 years ago and therefor your are cut off Am Israel"

    (That's not a provocation, it really is a question).

    ReplyDelete
  57. To put this simply none of them, not a single one, has a neat little family tree. 500 years ago these families intentionally attempted to destroy and/or conceal all Jewish connection. At best you have supposition based on last name(patrilineal) that the Church handed out to conversos and penitents. In other words you still can't tell if it was simply a xtian Heretic or a Jew.

    Secondly after the expulsion of the Jews the Catholic Church destroyed the records of the Batei Din and Batei Knesset within Spain. Even today if there is someone who is descended from the those expelled, their family tree typically dead ends at the expulsion... Considering there was a Sephardi Custom to list parents, grandparents and great grandparents on the Ketubah, you may be able to get three generations prior, but that is only if the family stayed Jewish and managed to preserve that paperwork.

    What you are proposing simply does not exist

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  58. There are two different questions at stake here, and you seem to mix them up. That is why I asked my hypthetical question.

    There is on the one hand the question of proof (of matrilinear jewish descendence).

    But you seem to say that Anussim are not welcome, independently of the question of proof.
    If this is indeed the case, I think it is very sad.

    You refused to give a clear answer to my last question pretending that it could not be met in practice. I doubt that what you say is true.

    As far as proof is concerned, it is completely conceivable that someone proves through non-jewish sources that he/she is the matrilinear descendent of one particular person and then proves that this particular person (back in 1492 or earlier) was jewish.

    This is exactely what I did, only that it went back to 1883 and not 1492. And the Rabbis I went to see did not seem to have a problem with the fact that I proved my descendence (from my mother, grandmother, great-grand-mother, great-great-grandmother) through non-jewish sources. Some of them were Baptism certificates, by the way, because some time ago, the religious communities kept the birth registries.

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  59. If someone can can prove with whatever physical documented sources that they are Jewish by unbroken matrilineal descent, then they are 100% beyond a question Jewish.

    To be clear the Anusim CANNOT do this. As the nature of the persecution their ancestors 500+ years ago intentionally destroyed evidence, lied to clergy for whatever cerificates ect. to hide the fact that they were Jewish descendants then. With the advent of two Napoleonic wars, Two World Wars, and at least one revolution, with the added factor of intention to hide such evidence.

    Compound this fact that Christian converts took new surnames to divorce themselves from their Jewish history. These patronymics were based first upon occupation, and if one was not a tradesmen, upon location.

    Any actual Jewish desendancy is at best a family tradition, with all proof buried by the sands of time.

    Even nationalist Rabbis such as R' Mordechai Eliyahu have looked into this situation at great length and found that these people are in need of full geirut(they are NOT Jewish).

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  60. Sorry, my english is not so good, but I still do not understand what your answer is.

    Before, you seemed to say that Anussim are not welcome, even in the (unlikely) event that they can prove jewish matrilinear descendence.

    Is this now refuted by
    "If someone can can prove with whatever physical documented sources that they are Jewish by unbroken matrilineal descent, then they are 100% beyond a question Jewish."
    or not?

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  61. "found that these people are in need of full geirut(they are NOT Jewish)."

    What does "full Geirut" mean?

    Let's say someone knows per family tradition that he is jewish (by matrlinear descent). He draws the conclusion that he is obliged to be shomer shabbat. So he learns and keeps shabbat.

    Now he goes to see R. Eliahu and tells him his story. Will R. Eliahu tell him that he should start being Mechalel Shabbat until his Giur is over?

    (If R. Eliahu is convinced that he is not jewish, he has to tell him to be Mechalel Shabbat)

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  62. Yes absolutely!

    There is a general chazaka that they are not Jewish. There Judaism in undocumentable. 99.9% of the people who are Jews and whose families have lived in Jewish communities without a break, if they are descended from Spanish Jewry cannot prove their descent beyond the inquisition. There are entire corporate entities that do these things here in Israel.

    for instance when I moved to Israel I could prove my lineage for about 700yrs. However, when I wanted to register as a Kohen, and restore my original family patronymic I needed to be checked by one of these companies... they were able to fully document my lineage back to Aaron HaKohen.

    So quite honestly if people that have spent that amount of time researching Jewish geneaology say that it is impossible. It is impossible.

    If a person cannot document that they are Jewish, it doesn't matter what their family tradition is.

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  63. Recipients and PublicityNovember 1, 2009 at 10:26 PM

    The latest Mishpacha magazine for hire couldn't resist its predictable urge to insert a story about the arrival Freund's seven Chinese candidates for conversion recruited b proselytization.

    Note how they are referred to as "Jews" when they are not. They are preparing for conversions, so how can they be callled "Jews" even if hundreds of years ago they may have had Jewish ancestors, so what, it does not help them now.

    In any case, this is dangerous for a few reasons. Can one imagine what would happen in America for example if Freund and Shavei Israel would start labelling as "Jews" or "Jewish" anyone who ever had a Jewish ancestor, half of America might be classified as "Jews" by that standard maybe. Michael Freund is playing with fire and sooner or later he is bound to get burned.

    In addition, how can Israel be sure that these guys are not young spies? The Chinese, like may oriental regimes, know nothing about Jews/Israel and want to learn. These guys are the perfect plant to learn and take back their knowledge of Hebrew, Judaism, Israel and its people to China one day that could harm Israel.

    It is not far fetched. In the news a few days ago, this was reported "US admiral concerned about China military buildup HONG KONG — A U.S. Navy admiral expressed new concern Friday over China's military buildup and urged Beijing to be clearer about its intentions. With China's military growing at an "unprecedented rate," the U.S. wants to ensure that expansion doesn't destabilize the region, Rear Adm. Kevin Donegan told reporters on a visit to the Chinese territory of Hong Kong. Donegan referred to China's expanded weaponry. His remarks echoed the concerns of other U.S. military leaders who have said the growth in China's military spending — up almost 15 percent in the 2009 budget — raises questions about how Beijing plans on deploying its new power. "When we see a military growing at that rate, we're interested in transparency and the understanding of the uses of that military," said Donegan, commander of the USS George Washington aircraft carrier strike group, a key part of the U.S. Pacific Fleet..."

    Yet Michael Freund goes about his merry business oblivious of these kinds of things it seems and works to bring into Israel unproven characters who may just turn out to be the guys inside a modern Chinese Trojan horse that could hurt Israel in more ways than one:

    "Mishpacha
    Jewish Family Weekly
    Issue281
    10 Cheshvan 5770
    October 28, 2009
    Page 16

    Jewish Geography

    [Photo of six young Chinese men wearing kippot at Israel’s airport, some holding balloons. One balloon says “Welcome Home.”]

    FROM KAIFENG TO ISRAEL

    Seven young people who descend from the ancient Jewish kehillah in Kaifeng, China, arrived in Israel on a one-year entrance visa and will live in the religious kibbutz of Sdei Eliyahu in the Jordan River Valley, while preparing for formal conversion to Judaism under the auspices of the Chief Rabbinate.

    Michael Freund , chairman of Shavei Yisrael, who personally funded the move, says Kaifeng today has an estimated 1,000 Jews, even though the vast majority has completely assimilated with the local population over the past 200 years.

    Jewish merchants from Persia or Iraq arrived in Kaifeng – then the capital of china – in the eighth and ninth centuries on the Silk Route. In the Middle ages, the community numbered some 5,000 Jews, but by the mid 1800s, due to assimilation and poverty, the last of the community’s Jews sold the local synagogue and ancient Jewish manuscripts to Christian missionaries. Nevertheless, some of the families preserved their Jewish identities to this day, despite the difficulty of maintaining a Jewish identity under China’s communist regime."

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  64. "Yes absolutely!"

    That remains to be checked. I do not take your word for it.

    "they were able to fully document my lineage back to Aaron HaKohen."

    Well, if you say so...
    (The people I know who brag about tracing their lineage back to David Hamelech really just traced it back to the Maharal of Prague (I think), and since it is known that the Maharal of Prague descends from Hillel (I think) and Hillel descends from David, they descend from David) I suppose your demonstration is of a similar kind.

    "if people that have spent that amount of time researching Jewish geneaology say that it is impossible. It is impossible."

    I have no proof that "people who spent that amont of time researching Jewish genealogy say that it is impossible".

    Remember: One example of the contrary would be proof that such a general statement is wrong.

    But honestly: I will not try and find this example just for a blog-discussion. If I run across it by coincidence, I'll let you know.

    ReplyDelete
  65. PS: you can apply the formula I gave above to calculate offspring in purely paternal line.

    If you say Aharon Ha kohen lived 3115 years ago, take a generous 30 years per generation, he could have 143 million descendents in paternal line with an average reproduction rate of 2.4 per generation.

    There is an interesting article about descendence from remot ancestors, but unfortunately I cannot find it right now.

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  66. "how can Israel be sure that these guys are not young spies?"

    Exactely: how can we know?

    "The Chinese, like may oriental regimes, know nothing about Jews/Israel and want to learn."

    Because with 192 countries in the UN, China has nothing else to do but spying on Israel...

    Chabibi, I'll explain you: if China wants to "spy on Israel", they can just conclude a friendship agreement and set up a student exchange program and send as many chinese as are willing to learn hebrew and study in Israel.

    No need for anyone to convert.

    Again: your insinuations prove that you have a fertile fantasy, (ever tried writing crime stories?) but be careful, it might be hurtful for those you speak about.

    Does this fall under lashon hara? Or Diba?

    ReplyDelete
  67. http://dovbear.blogspot.com/2004/12/royal-we.html

    Here is the link to one of the articles that describes the statistical phenomenon I wanted to show.

    http://www.stat.yale.edu/~jtc5/papers/Ancestors.pdf

    And here is the original Yale article.

    I says, in brief, that probably every (european) jew today stems from Rashi (and therefore from David hamelech).

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  68. Mi?

    Actually there a number of Kohanic families that have very well preserved genealogies. Your lack of knowledge of that fact, amongst others, shows that you really are lacking understanding concerning the overall topic of Jewish Genealogy, and thus what is missing for the Anusim.

    Chabibi, I'll explain you: if China wants to "spy on Israel", they can just conclude a friendship agreement and set up a student exchange program and send as many chinese as are willing to learn hebrew and study in Israel.

    Actually no. A student cannot get a job in Israeli defense sciences or in Aerospace.

    Why would China want to spy on Israel? Most likely reason is that Israel is the world leader in certain defense technologies. Namely missile defense, combat avionics(at least 4 generations ahead of the US in fact), combat situational awareness technologies... just to name a few.

    For an actual exmaple in the world C-130 challenge, Israel managed combat resupply in a matter of seconds, the next nearest competitor nation took over 5mins at the drop point. To spell that out for you, the next fastest nation needs its big, slow moving transport aircraft to stay in a hostile zone, most likely taking enemy fire of all sorts, to effectively resupply combat units. Techonologies that Israel has developed allows it to do the same thing in a matter of seconds.

    Can you not see a reason why a nation such as China, which relies so heavily on its ground forces for its national defense and the spread of the communist revolution would want to spy on Israel?

    Here is the link to one of the articles that describes the statistical phenomenon I wanted to show.

    http://www.stat.yale.edu/~jtc5/papers/Ancestors.pdf

    And here is the original Yale article.

    I says, in brief, that probably every (european) jew today stems from Rashi (and therefore from David hamelech).


    Let me be entirely clear. I don't care about statistical anomalies, I care only about halachic realities.

    ReplyDelete
  69. mekubal, I think you need to read more about the Inquisition before you make your blanket statements about what did or did not happen to Spanish Jewry.

    ReplyDelete

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