Sunday, February 20, 2011

Rav Ovadia Yosef backs down on Army conversions


In order to prevent haredi protests, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef says convert who did not intend on observing mitzvot while undergoing conversion process will not be recognized as a Jew

Shas spiritual leader, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, authorized a number of senior rabbis on Sunday to add clarifications on his behalf to his controversial ruling which legitimized conversions performed in the Israel Defense Forces.

 The addition is said to be accepted by leaders of the Eda Haredit movement, including head of the Lithuanian Orthodox faction Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv, who are expected to call off the mass protest against Rabbi Yosef planned for Wednesday.

According to the compromise – brokered by former Shas Chairman Aryeh Deri – Rabbi Yosef added a restriction to his ruling, stating that a convert who did not really intend on adopting a religious lifestyle while undergoing the conversion process would not be recognized as a Jew. [...]


  1. Is this the end of kashrut as we know it?

    Check out this link;

  2. There is no backing down, both sides reached a compromise. The conversions are valid, unless they are obviously phoney, and the convert had no intention to observe torah at any stage.

    To have a split and machloket, and to insult Torah scholars is a very serious cost for standing firm. It is better that the Libya style demonstrations were averted, and kavod is given to the Torah.

  3. Eddie.Libya style demonstrations?!are you mad?There was to be no violence.Oh yes there was open talk of threats of violence from angry sephardim,besides countless threats.

  4. And one more thing, eddie.Graffiti was painted in jerusalem in the course of this.Not against chacham ovidah,but against rav sternbuch and rav elyashiv.

  5. TRUTHFULLY,EDDIE,you know that the only protst was against phony ones.And rav elashiv has no problems with real ones.Provong he has no problem with a chief rabbiniate one ,if it's a real one.Despite the fact he doesn't control them.

  6. C, the reference to current middle east affairs was partly in jest, it is called exaggeration! Remember, last time there were haredi riots, they set on fire dustbins and public property, as well as attacking workers and police. Is that befitting behaviour ?

    This article tells the inside story of how the "compromise" was reached:


    In this fascinating story, we learn how Israeli spies married Arab women, whilst undercover. The IDF Rabbanut ruled the children of these unions as being Jewish.
    I haven't seen the the rulings, I presume they are secret, but my assuption is they would be based on the union being a shifha or concubine, which would render the child ot be Yisrael.

  8. Eddie,please ,there was no talk of any protest type of gathering in the usual term ,but rather a m'amad kriah.There was to be no march on the streets either.And it doesn't slightly resemble libya at all.I won't go into the nittygritty details of those protests years ago.A modern orthodox person told me first hand testimony what sheds a lot of light on those.

  9. C, what planet are you on? Maybe planet D for Denial:

    this was the headline, taken from Ynet, and posted on this blog:

    Tuesday, February 15, 2011
    Rav Eliashiv calls for demonstrations against the army conversions הרב אלישיב: לצאת להפגין נגד גיורי צה"ל

    These haredi demos usually end in violence. They also entail mocking Talmidei Hachamim, and this causes counter demos.

    Anyway, how do you know what the demos would have been like? And do you think the sefardi world would stand still and allow their Maran to be mocked? Such a demo would have had serious repercussions.

  10. Recipients and PublicityFebruary 22, 2011 at 10:32 AM

    Tropper's "כבוד התורה" blog tries to spin recent events into what they are not.

    What is Tropper trying to do by speaking out of both sides of his mouth when he posts as follows?:

    "Monday, February 21, 2011

    The Geirus Problem

    "As the Eidah Hacharedis prepared to organize protests against the acceptance of conversions of the military which are absent of "Kabalat mitzvos", things have changed."

    RaP: It was mainly Rav Eliashiv that stated that protests should go forth, and the Eidah similarly agreed.

    "Meor Yisroel, Maran Harav Ovadia Yosef Shlita released a new statement where he states that a Geirus can only be valid if there is full Kabbalat Mitzvot."

    RaP: But everyone who has been following this closely and knows that Rav Yosef backed off and blinked first in this showdown with Rav Eliashiv when his shluchim headed by Deri told him he was up against a tough wall of opposition.

    "This is in contrast to rumors that were circulated that he said otherwise."

    RaP: What "rumors"? Rav Yosef explicitly signed on to and issued letters supporting Rav Amar's too lenient position that would have accepted converts taught by Reform and secular teachers in the IDF.

    "Maran Harav A.L. Steinman Shlit"a was not prepared to be involved in a protest that was understood to be against Maran Harav Ovadia Shlit"a."

    RaP: Where does he get this from? Would Rav Shteinman not go with ALL the Ashkenazi gedolim? Where does Tropper come up with this kind of spin that nobody has ever heard of?


    RaP: Without Emes there is no Torah, there is nothing.

  11. Rap, how do you know it is tropper's blog?

    I see no ID on it.

  12. I am confused. There is a PROCESS. The process involves a Beis Din being convinced or otherwise that the potential Ger is sincere in wanting to become a Jew, Shomer Torah uMitzvos.

    Are the Edah Charedis now accepting the current PROCESS as sufficient after R' Yosef's clarification?

    Was R' Yosef's ruling just to elaborate that he wasn't following the ruling of the R' Uziel wherein one would seemingly not have to drill down to specific intention for Torah uMitzvos but have a more 'to become a Jew' focus in order to qualify for gerus?

    Isaac Balbin

  13. IMHO, it is a good compromise, because it means that each convert will need to be looked at individually, rather than a wholesale approach. Neither side can say wholesale, that the converts did or did not accept the Torah.

  14. Eddie, do you have any evidence to suggest that in army conversions each potential convert wasn't being looked at individually?

    Isaac Balbin

  15. Recipients and PublicityFebruary 24, 2011 at 2:22 AM

    Part One: "Eddie in UK said...Rap, how do you know it is tropper's blog? I see no ID on it."

    From the very outset of that blog anyone who knows Tropper and his style, as well as his terrible spelling, butchering of English syntax, disregard for grammar, obsessive “yeshivishkeit” and confused thinking has avowed that it's Tropper 100%

    If you are familiar with Tropper and his recent downfall you can see for yourself how he dwells on what could only be said by, and important to, Tropper as he commenced his new blog soon after his downfall from EJF, his resignation from the yeshiva Kol Yaakov, and his required exile from Monsey which he has yet to fulfil, as well as the shutdown of his other old blogs and the old EJF site:

    Starting with his opening "Welcome" December 16, 2009 diatribe. His second post was an attack on an un-named rabbi "Annulling Marriages Retroactively in the United States" December 16, 2009 (he loves this "un-named" game), his third post was attacking the ehrliche Monsey Rabbis who forced his ouster: "R'Dovid Ribiat, R' Pinchas Rabinowitz and R' ben tzion Kokis Of monsey, NY Ignore the Psak of Maran Harav Steinman shlita" February 7, 2010 (he's always invoking poor old Rav Shteinman who is not around for any confirmations).

    Naturally, praises himself directly: "Teshuvot Harav Zalman of Vilna" ("The Torah world greatly appreciates this Wonderful undertaking of Harav Leib Tropper.") August 24, 2010.

    He attacks the rabbi who took over his job "A tumult of Kol Yaakov" August 26, 2010 and then he praises his backer and enabler in Monsey: "Hagaon Harav Yisroel D Schlesinger shlita, Rav of Beis haknesses Shaarei Tefila, Monsey. Is going to Europe for Yomim Noraim." Sunday, August 29, 2010. Then he goes back to his old fatal-attraction hobby-horse: "The conversion situation in Eretz Yisroel has deteriorated..." August 30, 2010.

  16. I really wonder what eddie's reaction would be if the chareidi rabbinim would isssue a secret ruling.


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