Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Kiruv for descendants of Anusim - permitted?

This issue has been discussed many times on this blog. I will simply renew my request for a single teshuva from a recognized gadol that explicity permits kiruv of the decendants of anusim.

West Coast wrote:

There is an orthodox shul in San Jose, CA, led by a YU musmach Rabbi Simcha Aaron Green.

The shul advertises they are open to Bnei Anusim. Is it permitted to do outreach to this group even though they require giyur?

The Jewish Press.
Friday, August 1, 2008. Page 47.
West Coast Happenings.
Jeanne Litvin, West Coast Editor.

Shul News: Recently Rabbi Simcha Green, formerly of Young Israel of Santa Barbara, became the spiritual leader of Congregation Ahavat Torah in San Jose, California, which became a Sephardic shul two years ago. Congregants come from Morocco, Syria, Iran, Romania and other communities – including Israel. This shul is an outreach center for Anusim (Conversos), previously referred to by Ashkenazim as Marranos. They are interested in hearing from people who include themselves in this category. On August 12- 18, they are hosting a Sephardic Heristage Week. Events are planned for both kids and adults. They include a Shabbos dinner for college students and singles, a Sephardic Food Cookoff, a talk on Jewish pirates during the Revolutionary War, and a symposium on the history of Conversos (to be held at San Jose State University)."

18 comments :

  1. Whether they are permitted to do it or not, the only Orthodox shuls I have been to in the past 20 years who are not proselytizing to "anusim" are in the Syrian community.

    And recently, I discovered (via shidduchim) that there are Rabbis within the Syrian community who are inviting "anusim" (read Hispanic goyim) to their outreach projects.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention this. Thanks to the influx of Hispanic Gentiles repackaged and labeled as "Sephardic" Jews, those of us whose parents and grandparents came from Arab countries (and who often CAN trace their Jewish lineage back pre Expulsion from Spain) are no longer considered "Sephardic".

    We now fall into a Zionist "garbage" heap known as "Mizrachim" (the Jews from Arab lands), having been replaced by
    tens of thousands of Spanish speaking Gentiles who are obviously more culturally palatable to our Ashk. brethren who wish to erase any vestige of Levantine culture from the Jewish people in the name of the "Arab is the enemy" Crusade.

    So those of us who were raised on Arab food, Arab music, Arabic language and Arabic culture need to be relegated to the "development" towns of Judaism in order to justify the millions of outreach dollars being spent Hispanic Gentiles.

    I wish I could just send a tenth of the money (usually provided by Christians) that is being spent on proselytizing Hispanic goyim instead to hungry Sephardic Jewish (the real ones) families in Israel, 60% of whom live in poverty.

    ARRGGGHHHHHH!!!

    ReplyDelete
  3. On the other hand, if there is any chance the person is Jewish lehalakhah (mother's to-the-n-th mother), isn't is a matter of hatzalas nefashos? Piquach nefesh would overturn issurim on proselytization, even if it's only one in dozens, no?

    -micha

    ReplyDelete
  4. Poor Jersey Girl.
    I think we should start a tzdakah project for you...

    "We now fall into a Zionist "garbage" heap known as "Mizrachim""

    Well, the Iraqi Jews I know are so proud not to be Moroccan, the Tunisians think they are the best of all Maghrebine jews, the Iranians have the longuest tradition of them all (or was it Iraqi? Or the Egyptians?)

    Why does one part of the tribe always have to despise the other, the way you do, *Jersey Girl".

    In my opinion, it's stupid. Each can be proud of his particular heritage and hand down his culture, but without looking down on the others.

    Do we really need this?

    ReplyDelete
  5. Micha: Mother's to-the-n-th mother is an isufficien standard to establish Jewishness - such people aren't Jewish l'halacha. If i recall the gemara and relevant poskim correctly, there needs to ba an accepted tradition of Jewishness by the maternal great-grand-mother. Just like we don't "out" mamzerim etc. many generations after that fact has been lost from communal memory, we don't "resurect" Jewishness generations later, either, without giyur.

    ReplyDelete
  6. "we don't "resurect" Jewishness generations later, either, without giyur."

    I do not think that what you say is correct. At least, it should read "without Giyur or Giyur le chumra".

    ReplyDelete
  7. "We now fall into a Zionist "garbage" heap known as "Mizrachim" (the Jews from Arab lands)",

    PS: I do not think that the "Zionist 'garbage' heap", as you like to put it, containing "the jews from Arab lands" has changed as far as the contents are concerned. Just that before, it was called "Sefardi", and then the Temanim, Iraqis, Iranis, Egyptians started to complain that they were not "Sefardi" because they never had been in Spain, but "Edot ha mizrach", and now the politically correct term shifted to mizrahim.

    But it is by no way the Anussim's fault that you proud and superior "Sefaradim" of untainted spanish lineage (do you also count the Portugues Sefaradim amongst you, or are the under par?) get now thrown in the same category as those Temanim, Iraqim, whatever.

    ReplyDelete
  8. proud and superior "Sefaradim" of untainted spanish lineage

    I have 40+ cousins who are married to all kind of Jews (and unfortunately all kind of
    gentiles as well), one is married to a Syrian Jew, she is the only one (at least that we know of ) who is getting beaten up on regular basis.

    ReplyDelete
  9. "I think we should start a tzdakah project for you..."

    We don't have to start a tzedakah project to feed hungry JEWISH children in Israel. There are already plenty of organizations that are trying to do just that. But they are critically short of funds, especially now.

    We should be protesting that tzedakkah dollars are being spent proselytizing Gentiles to convert to Judaism while Jewish people are going hungry because there are not enough tzedaka funds to help them.

    According to Bituach Leumi (National Insurance Institute) statistics, some 800,000 Israeli children live under the poverty line.

    I like a tzedaka that puts its financials online like hazon yeshaya does:

    http://www.hazonyeshaya.org/index.html

    I believe that Meir Panim is a credible tzedakkah:

    http://www.meirpanim.org/index_e.php

    Then there is MASBIA:

    http://www.masbia.org/webpage.asp?id=19

    If you want to feed hungry Jewish children in the US, every Jewish community has a Tomche Shabbos.

    Additionally, every Rabbi I have ever met has a discretionary fund which helps families in the local community.

    The Ministry of Religious Affairs supports Ashkenazic synagogues of all stripes; different nusachs and mihagim. But for those who are non Ashkenazic, there is only one nusach and that is Edot Hamizrach.

    Once upon a time there was Spanish and Portuguese, Judeo Spanish, Several Moroccan nusachim, Temani, Aram Soba, Iraqi to name a few, for example. The minhagim and nusachim for each of these communities is as different as that of a Yekke to a Gerrer Hassid; a Litvack to a Lubavitcher.

    Why is it that in Israel, there are many different European communities, each supported by the government, while the non Ashk. communities are put into one single tradition, Edot Hamizrach?

    Maybe see above.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Have no halacha teshuvos been written on this question or are Marranos no different than stam goyim?

    ReplyDelete
  11. Lakewooder said...

    Have no halacha teshuvos been written on this question or are Marranos no different than stam goyim?
    =============
    This is has been repeated discussed on the blog. It is clear that anusim are not Jews and without chazaka they are considered non-Jews.

    Rav Sternbuch has written a teshuva which I posted here less than a month ago

    http://daattorah.blogspot.com/2009/10/rav-sternbuch-brazilian-anusim-mamzerus.html

    ReplyDelete
  12. Why is it that in Israel, there are many different European communities, each supported by the government, while the non Ashk. communities are put into one single tradition, Edot Hamizrach?

    Because R' Ovadiah Yosef Shlit"a has ardently opposed a pluralist Sephardi community. He has insisted in his writings, his speeches, and his actions that there be only one Nusach. Others such as R' Mordechai Eliyahu have agreed. Thus there is only one Nusach.

    If you feel you are in a position to argue on such Gedolim, feel free.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Levantine culture from the Jewish people in the name of the "Arab is the enemy" Crusade.

    They are. You can read R' Yaakov Hillel's account of the suffering that the Ben Ish Hai faced which left him impoverished, and with his health irrevocably broken. He and his brothers owned a bank. The Caliphate in Baghdad divested the bank of its wealth, that charged and convicted him for fraud, as there were not assets within the bank(as they had been seized) to cover the accounts of the depositors. He was jailed for seven years, before finally the Turkish goverment exonerated him. However, he was not receive his wealth back, as it is unlawful to take from a Muslim and give to a Kafir.

    You can also get a first hand look at the hate spewing out of Riyadh and polluting other nations

    ReplyDelete
  14. Recipients and PublicityNovember 26, 2009 at 1:56 PM

    Please everyone, stop focusing on Jersey Girl's idiosyncracies and DO focus on the centarl point she is making which is 100% vaild and that is that all this mumbo-jumbo about "Anusim" is a 100% manufactured topic of the last decade or so, whereby ANY Hispanic can come forth and claim, hey senor, "I ees Chewish".

    Just read the way the ad mentioned in the post of the YI in San Jose: "They are interested in hearing from people who include themselves in this category." -- now imagine if that was applied to "anyone who thinks they are Jewish" you could get half of humanity according to some folks to come forth and claim they are "Jews" when they 100% not.

    This is a catastrophe if it is allowed to continue. Since the enactment of edict of expulsion of the Jews from Spain in 1492, OVER FIVE HUNDRED YEARS AGO, basically no one can claim with any certainty that they are from Marranos or their new politically correct name of "Anusim" simply because the Marranos were classed as meshumadim/apostates and were cut off from the Jews, and who on Earth among the gentiles can know who their real female progenitors were going back over 500 years?

    Even the English nobility with its supposed known lines of ancestry is filled with known bastards and illegimate births of all sorts. Queen Elizabeth's Mum was a bastard(ess), it's known to writers, so what are latter day Hispanics going to say?

    If they wish to convert, they are not better than any gentiles wishing to convert, and if so there should not be ANY proselytizing to bring them in.

    Here is an active link to the article mentioned by Rabbi Eidensohn, and there are more like this:

    daattorah.blogspot.com/2009/10/rav-sternbuch-brazilian-anusim-mamzerus.html

    ReplyDelete
  15. At no time have I said that Arab Gentiles love us! They just do not hate us any more than any other Gentiles.

    The seemingly prevalent perception among Orthodox Jews that Christians are our best friends and Muslims are our worst enemies is insane!!

    Our history does not support this!

    ALL Gentiles hate us, this is galut.

    We need to remember 108 expulsions from Christian countries, the Spanish Inquisition courtesy of the Catholic Church and the Shoah devised and executed by the followers of Martin Luther.

    It is a historical fact that Muslims have also suffered Christian genocides. It is also a historical fact that when Christians go after Muslims, they tend to follow with Jews and vice versa.

    It is a historical fact that Muslims rescued hundreds of thousands of Jews from both the Expulsion from Spain and the Shoah. This is very well documented but not taught to Jewish students.

    I believe that Jews are CRAZY to jump on the anti Muslim Christian bandwagon as we did in Spain. History has shown that this will only exacerbate our own expulsion or worse from the United States.

    I have not met a religious from birth Sephardic or Chassidic person who does not share this viewpoint because it is taught to us by our parents!

    Those who do not learn history are destined to repeat it.

    Thank you RaP for the nice post. I appreciate the mechilla for my idiosyncracies which I well aware of (I do have a husband, LOL).

    There are many Gedolim who have criticized Rabbi Yosef regarding the nusach issue.

    It is permissible to follow the opinion of a Gadol who is dedicated to preserving the rites which are very beautiful and very dear to those of us who were raised with them.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Troppenstein's monsterNovember 26, 2009 at 4:56 PM

    It's surprising that Tropper hasn't started a Hispanic outreach division yet.

    ReplyDelete
  17. "We should be protesting that tzedakkah dollars are being spent proselytizing Gentiles to convert to Judaism while Jewish people are going hungry because there are not enough tzedaka funds to help them.

    According to Bituach Leumi (National Insurance Institute) statistics, some 800,000 Israeli children live under the poverty line."

    1) If you want to protest, so do it, who keeps you from doing it?

    2) no one keeps you from helping these 800000 children. Why do you want to tell other people how to spend their money?

    3) How do you know that there would be a possibility to reallocate the funds? Chabad also spends money on very beautiful brochures, concerts and mikvaot, do you think that same money could just be reallocated for starving children?

    4) Did you ever try to make the calculations, i.e. how much you would need to bring your 800'000 children over the poverty line in comparison to how much is spent on this "evil" kiruv of Anussim?


    5) As we could read in an article recently published on this blog or on "failed messiah" much of the poverty is self made: i.e. it happens to be that exactely those persons who cannot feed many children have many children, give them an education that will not allow to break the circle, etc...

    ReplyDelete
  18. http://daattorah.blogspot.com/2009/10/rav-sternbuch-brazilian-anusim-mamzerus.html

    In this tshuvah, someona asks Rav Sternbuch if there could be a possibility of Mamzerut. And Rav Sternbuch answers: Yes, indeed, there could be a possibility of Mamzerut, we would have to investigate further in order to know more about it, so it is safer and easier to consider this ben Anussim a Ger, all the more so since he already did a Giur (le chumra or not).

    I want to emphazise that Rav Sternbuch did NOT BRING UP the mamzerut question, but since it was brought up by someone else, he answers the question.

    On this blog, people tend to give an other signification to this t'shuvah, which is a bit intellectually dishonest in my eyes.

    ReplyDelete

ANONYMOUS COMMENTS WILL NOT BE POSTED!
please use either your real name or a pseudonym.