Monday, January 16, 2012

RaP's discussion of the scheduled Anusim Conference


Guest Post by Recipients and Publicity:

The following appeared in the latest The Jewish Press. The article and comments and questions follow:  The Jewish Press Page 44 Friday, January 13, 2012 South Florida

Anusim/Crypto Jewish Conference Scheduled

On January 2, 1492 the queen and king of Spain, Isabella of Castile and Ferdinand of Aragon, signed the Edict of Expulsion of the Jews. It is estimated that 300,000 Jews lived in the country and only one third managed to get out and continue practicing their faith.

One hundred crossed the border to Portugal, where they considered to be being safe, but only five years later they were forcibly converted to Christianity. One hundred thousand were unable to leave Spain either took their faith underground or adopted the Catholic faith. The Church called them New Christians, but many of those New Christians were not so observant of their forced new faith, practicing their true Jewish beliefs secretly and within their homes.

Caminos de Israel is organizing its second annual Anusim and Crypt-Jewish Conference, with experts in the filed and Orthodox rabbis participating, on Sunday, February 12, from 7 to 10 p.m. at the Marriot Dadeland in Miami. This year’s special speaker is a woman from Cuba who has traced her family’s Jewish ancestry all the way back to the 1400.

Due to limited seating, organizers ask that reservations be made in advance. Reservation in advance is $20 per person (at the door it’s $25 per person).

You can e-mail your reservation request to Loscaminosdeisrael@yahoo.com and you will receive a Pay Pal-secured link to make your reservation. If you wish to make your reservation over the phone call 786-306-8211.

For more information, or to schedule this type of event in your synagogue or community, call Rabbi Moshe Otero at 786 306-8211."
----------
RaP: Who is Rabbi Mariano Moshe Otero? A little Googling gives some answers. According to a 2003 article in The Miami Herald on the website of  "The Jews of Cuba" http://www.jewishcuba.org/descendants.html  : "Hundreds of Hispanics return to Jewish roots...Hundreds of Christian Hispanics in South Florida are discovering they are descendants of Jews who hid their faith...
Dozens of Cubans in exile, and even on the island where they were born and raised with different beliefs and identities, are discovering what their subconscious mind has suggested to them for years: their Jewish roots. Through identity papers, records and genealogical studies, many have confirmed their Jewish origins and are returning to the religion, usually through conversion...
This group of Cubans is not alone in its discovery. In South Florida and the rest of the Americas, hundreds of Christian Hispanic families are turning to Judaism in the belief that they are descendants of the marranos, the Jews who converted to Catholicism during the 15th Century Spanish Inquisition to avoid being burned at the stake, said Nathan Katz, head of Florida International University's Department of Religious Studies...
Mariano Moshe Otero, a 42-year-old Cuban American and a former evangelical minister, knew he was a Jew but had no proof. His mother told stories about his grandparents' home in Cuba, when they would cover the mirrors when someone died, a practice among some Jews.
One day, Otero, who is Orthodox, received a document that confirmed what he had always known. It was the birth certificate of his maternal grandmother, Dolores Caraza Levi, stating that she was a Jew. According to Rabbinic law, Judaism is passed down from the maternal side, which made Otero a member of the faith.
''I always felt I had a special connection,'' said Otero, who is taking Rabbinic studies and helping a dozen Cuban families in Miami track their religious roots through his organization Los Caminos de Israel -- The Roads to Israel...
Los Caminos de Israel -- The Roads to Israel -- helps Cuban families in Miami trace their religious heritage. For more information, call 786-306-8211."
The problems are glaring. What are the bona fides of "Rabbi Mariano Moshe Otero"? And given that the article states that he's "a former evangelical minister" who were and are his own rabbis and teachers that can support his claim that he renounced his Christian beliefs and which reliable posek and rov and rabbis, presumably a Bais Din, that can vouch for him and his claims that his proofs are 100% Halachically valid when he claims that he (in his own words:) "received a document that confirmed what he had always known. It was the birth certificate of his maternal grandmother, Dolores Caraza Levi, stating that she was a Jew. According to Rabbinic law, Judaism is passed down from the maternal side, which made Otero a member of the faith."?
The JP article and a number of sites of "Rabbi Mariano Moshe Otero" indicate that he is actively encouraging Hispanics to dig into their ancestry to find if they have any Jewish roots. This process could be applied in most lands where Jews lived for centuries and assimilated, not just Anusim.
There is a red line that is crossed, and NOT OFTEN GRASPED as well as OFTEN DELIBERATELY IGNORED, from doing acceptable normative outreach or Kiruv when the chances are fairly certain that the targeted students are Jewish, but to run around looking for potential converts and returnees with VERY shaky and doubtful connections to the Jewish people amounts to  PROSELYTIZATION and is thus very dangerous to Judaism and the future of the Jewish people faced with ongoing assimilation, intermarriage and apostasy in the here and now, without having to dig up what may or may not have happened 500 years ago!
Since the Jewish Press is promoting this event in its paper it needs to act responsibly and  provide the bona fides and more background about this organization and its Cuban American rabbi who also seems to be commercializing and making great efforts to raise huge funds as he advertizes on his own websites. This and more information about his goals, associations and activities can be traced from his Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/mariano.otero page there are a number of links to his work:

Contact Information

So there is more information about him if one searches.. For example, see http://roshpinaproject.com/2010/03/17/introducing-mariano-moshe-otero-converting-to-hasten-moshiach-and-redemption/
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Introducing Mariano (Moshe) Otero – Converting to hasten Moshiach and Redemption

 Mariano (Moshe) Otero is a Cuban-American ex-Pentecostal minister in his late forties who promotes Noahide evangelism amongst Gentile Christians and kiruv evangelism amongst what he calls wayward and lost Jews. In his own words he states. “I am a former ordained Christian minister who has returned to (Orthodox) Judaism, the faith of my forefathers.” Otero says he always knew [he had no evidence, just a feeling] he was Jewish and had a special connection with the Jewish people. One day he got documents showing his maternal grandmother was Jewish, then he decided to convert to Judaism.
Otero is Founder and Director of the Spanish speaking Los Caminos De Israel (The Roads to Israel) in Hollywood, Florida, initially helping Cuban families in Miami track their religious roots. He leads the Ways of Israel and Noah’s House. He is a member of the First Covenant Rainbow Foundation.  Otero has Chabad connections as we also see with the YouTube clip at the end of this post which is festooned with references to the rebbe. Chabad Hollywood also partner with one of Otero’s prjoects.
Otero  runs a radio show in Costa Rica aimed to convert Gentiles to keep Noahide laws. “The goal of TSHUVAfm is to be a means of communication for the Remnant of Israel in the Diaspora to have a real chance to reconnect with their true identity, and for non-Jewish people to discover the Seven Noahide Laws, as a precursor to the coming of the Messiah and the Redemption (Geula)“    
Otero’s eschatological excitement is tangible in his comment here: “ The Christian world seems to be moving into a new direction. And I pray it will be one which will bring them closer to their first century roots: in which non-jews were Noahide observers–Yirat Shamayim. This fact alone herald the imminent coming of the Moshiach.”  
Converting lost Jews to Judaism is seen as a trigger for the coming of Moshiach as we read in his comment here: “No one can doubt that Jewish Community is experiencing a wave of converts, and I expect this trend to grow with more intensity as we move closer to the time of the advent of the Mashiach.”
It seems that Otero has not changed much of his Pentecostal missionary zeal or beliefs about the imminent coming of Moshiach, only who that Moshiach will actually be!
[See YouTube video, 9 minutes:]
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=iJiKG6oh6fs "
RaP: The poster of that ends with a big worrisome implied question. As Bugs Bunny used to ask: "What's Up Doc?" :
"Gev on said:

He sounds so much like a fundamentalist Christian when he talks about Jews and Gentiles converting is a precursor to the coming of Moshiach/Christ!"  

55 comments :

  1. Rap, what is "acceptable normative outreach or Kiruv "? , considering many groups even shun contact with secular Jews, and that kiruv is a relatively new concept.
    R' S.R. Hirsch for example, separated completely from the reform of his day.

    Next, I don't care whether you are rabbinically trained or not, but who exactly are you to question someone's decision to search their own roots, and/or convert to Judaism? In fact, even the Rabbis cannot prevent people from converting to Judaism. The Torah itself permits conversion, hence someone who opposes this is themselves an enemy of Torah.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Troppenstein's monsterJanuary 16, 2012 at 3:05 PM

    Otero is part of this organization that was criticized yesterday on Rabbi Yudel Shain's blog:

    A new international hashgocho out of Florida is not for bnei Torah

    http://wikibin.org/articles/abraham-deleon-cohen.html

    DeLeon Cohen is an executive of both Conservative rabbinical groups and IRF (the not frum alternative to RCA started by Avi Weiss & Marc Angel).

    http://www.abarbanelfoundation.org/news/first-meeting-of-brazilian-crypto-judaism

    He has been involved in making Marranos Jewish without gerus which the gedolei haposkim say is assur. ("Conversion or return" of "bnei anussim" at the secular Shalom Aleichem Institute).

    http://www.abarbanelfoundation.org/rabbi-frank-was-not-chief-rabbi-of-jerusalem

    One organization he heads is attacking Charedim that they have no right to call R' Tzvi Pesach Frank ztl the Rov of Yerushalayim.

    How is Rav Kolakowski, a Biala chossid who wears a shtreimel, involved with this hashgocho? Someone should speak to him.

    Samech K - Sephardic Kosher Supervision Inc

    Rabbi Abraham Rabah Bitton - President
    Rabbi Dr. Abraham DeLeon Cohen - VP
    *** Rabbi Moshe Otero - Secretary ***
    16300 NE 19th Ave, #224
    North Miami Beach, FL

    Rabbi Shmuel Haber
    4 Algonquin Circle
    Monsey, NY

    Rabbi Joseph Kolakowski
    Young Israel of Richmond
    4811 Patterson Ave
    Richmond, VA, 23226
    917-435-1091
    josephkolakowski@gmail.com

    Rabbi Yehuda Benhamon
    Sephardic Synagogue of Ft Lauderdale
    3600 N Ocean Blvd
    Fort Lauderdale, FL

    Rabbi Shane Goldsmith
    South Africa

    certifies:

    7-Eleven

    Albertson’s

    Chevron

    Fort Lauderdale Airport

    Jackson’s Memorial Hospital

    Kosher Point

    Levi’s Kosher Meals on Wheels

    Miami Int’l Airport

    Mt Sinai Hospital

    Nitro Yogurt

    Pita Plus Aventura

    Publix

    Starbucks

    The Point Cafe

    Walmart

    Bristol Hotel Panama - Pesach 2012

    ReplyDelete
  3. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/11/world/europe/11iht-conversos11.html

    Majorcan Descendants of Spanish Jews Who Converted Are Recognized as Jews

    By DOREEN CARVAJAL

    PARIS — Centuries after the Spanish Inquisition led to the forced conversion of Jews to Catholicism, an ultra-orthodox rabbinical court in Israel has issued a religious ruling that recognizes descendants from the insular island of Majorca as Jews.

    The opinion focused narrowly on the Majorcan community of about 20,000 people known as chuetas and did not apply to descendants of Sephardic Jewish converts in mainland Spain or the broader diaspora of thousands of others who scattered to the Ottoman Empire and the Spanish colonies in South and North America.

    The island, isolated until a tourist boom that began in the late 1960s, is a sociological preserve for descendants of Jews who formed an insular community of Catholic converts that intermarried through the centuries because of religious persecution and discrimination that barred them from holding certain positions in the Roman Catholic Church through the 20th century. Most carry the names of 15 families with ancestors who were tried and executed during the 17th century for practicing Judaism.

    The religious court in Israel, led for more than 40 years by Rabbi Nissim Karelitz, sent another rabbi to the island in May to explore its warren of streets where a synagogue once stood and to examine the family trees of some of the chuetas who trace lineage back 500 years.

    In a two-paragraph opinion — typical of the private rabbinical court that deals with matters of conversions, marriage conflicts and financial disputes — Rabbi Karelitz issued a statement that said because of the intermarriage patterns of the chuetas, “all those who are related to the former generations are Jews.”

    “The decision is a headline ruling,” said Rabbi Israel Wiesel, a judge from Israel who explored the community in Palma, roaming the street where, for generations, many chueta families have operated jewelry stores. “Unlike other Marranos in Spain and Portugal, who lost their line of history,” he said, “this particular community is unique and kept the pure line of history for the last 700 years, which means they are Jewish.”

    In May, the regional government of the Balearic Islands became the first to create a memorial ceremony for Jewish descendants, marking the deaths of 37 people who were executed in 1691 by the Inquisition, and expressing regrets for persecution that chueta families suffered through the centuries.

    Bernat Aguiló Siquier, an amateur local historian who is descended from one of the 15 chueta families, said most of them stopped practicing Judaism altogether in the 18th century. But he said he still found the decision significant because it is “a recognition of a fact, as much as an act of justice.”

    Shavei Israel, a private group that offers support and religious training for Jewish descendants in Spain and Portugal, had been pressing for the recognition for years. The result, according to its founder, Michael Freund, is that now “they no longer need to live in between worlds. We have succeeded in opening the door for them to come home.”

    What that means in actual practice is still evolving. Mr. Aguiló said he hoped that it would inspire the state of Israel to grant citizenship to the chuetas.

    For now, Rabbi Wiesel said, the next steps for the Spanish island were more modest.

    “Rabbis will come and teach whoever is interested in learning,” he said, “and offer every assistance to those who want to come back to the Jewish fold.”

    ReplyDelete
  4. Troppenstein's monsterJanuary 16, 2012 at 3:15 PM

    What escaped notice yesterday on Rabbi Shain's blog is that the Biala chossid who is the Young Israel rabbi in Virginia is married to a Mormon convert from Idaho. He said once in a newspaper interview that he met her on the internet and guided her conversion to Judaism. That much of his account I believe but I find it hard to believe when he says he was encouraged to do so by the Biala Rebbe.

    ReplyDelete
  5. http://www.radiojai.com.ar/online/notiDetalle.asp?id_Noticia=58359

    DeLeon Cohen had a Brooklyn sofer write a sefer Torah for a community of conversos in Columbia.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Eddie, don't you see that Otero and Cohen are actively doing kiruv on non-Jews?

    ReplyDelete
  7. Not Sarah SchenirerJanuary 16, 2012 at 4:00 PM

    There is a very offbeat seminary in Israel that incorporates Yoga and other New Age practices into the seder hayom. The lead rebbitzen goes on US tours promoting her school and alternative brand of Judaism with a michtav haskama from the Biala Rebbe. Does the Biala Rebbe really know what she is doing? When the Lubavitcher Rebbe looked into Yoga he called it avak avodah zara and assered it for his followers. A Litvishe posek has called it assur min Hatorah because of kosem kesamim.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Recipients and PublicityJanuary 16, 2012 at 4:38 PM

    "Eddie said...what is "acceptable normative outreach or Kiruv "?"

    RaP: In the USA and Israel, from an Orthodox perspective, it's not that hard to answer. Kiruv/Outreach in the USA has been going on as a more or less new and independent field since the 1950s as exemplified by the work of the OU's successful NCSY youth movement; Chabad outreach; influence of Torah Umesorah day schools and rabbis; and various programs and efforts by YU programs for a long time. In Israel, the rise of the American-inspired baal teshuva yeshivas and seminaries like Ohr Sameach; Aish HaTorah; Neve Yerushalayim and a number of similar efforts as well as the Yad LeAchim and Lev LeAchim efforts, lately augmented by the Amnon Yitzchak types of Israelis doing outreach to other secular Jewish Israelis. If one "aggregates" that up it comes to the "norm" of Orthodox and Charedi outreach efforts, none of which would dare to do the kind of PROSELYTIZATION and the pro-active reaching out to gentiles that Mariano Moshe Otero does. This should be self-explanatory, unless you want to be argumentative just for the sake of being difficult.

    "considering many groups even shun contact with secular Jews,"

    RaP: True. Besides Chabad, most Chasidic groups oppose active outreach. The Modern Orthodox world have been pioneers. The Litvish yeshiva world was also once opposed to outreach to secular Jews, but they changed their attitudes and came around starting from the 1960s onwards. They used to only mock Chabad now they try to out-do them in outreach to secular Jews through out of town kollelim and various kiruv programs. Today they encourage graduates to get involved in various kiruv work and in the USA and Israel the Litvish yeshiva people predominate in Orthodox kiruv.

    "and that kiruv is a relatively new concept."

    RaP: True. To be precise, it's a post-World War Two phenomenon (actually, mostly from the 1950s onwards) and there are good reasons for that beyond the scope of this post, but i have discussed in past years in other posts on this blog.

    "R' S.R. Hirsch for example, separated completely from the reform of his day."

    RaP: The term kiruv would not describe that era because those were different times. But the translated WRITINGS of Rav Samson Raphael Hirsch were, are, and have remained, the core intellectual foundations and pillars of almost all non-Chabad (they have Tanya and Chasidus) outreach because he provides a modern rationalist explanation for all of Judaism, its' beliefs and the Mitzvot.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Recipients and PublicityJanuary 16, 2012 at 4:39 PM

    "Next, I don't care whether you are rabbinically trained or not,"

    RaP: It doesn't matter. This is not a "personal" matter of me or you or him. Let's use our brains, intelligence, logic, and whatever we have learned! This is about something that is happening in the here and now and about someone in the present who is claiming he can, having almost a "mission" from up on high to go out and seek out gentiles to convert them into Jews and even make a very nice business out of it thank you very much.

    "but who exactly are you to question someone's decision to search their own roots, and/or convert to Judaism?"

    RaP: That is NOT what is being discussed at all and you miss the point. Anyone can make PERSONAL decisions for themselves, that is all part of bein adam lamakom and bein adam lachaveiro. But when someone takes it upon himself to perform "missions" on behalf of none other than God and the Jewish people and decides that he must go out and toot his horn to gather up converts for Judaism, this is a serious matter of bein adam lachaveiro -- meaning all caring and concerned Jews -- that we must all sit up and take notice. When Mariano Moshe Otero decides to put PR pieces in the Jewish Press etc and go online etc to promote his views and his organizations then we are all entitled, in fact obligated to sit up, and say, hello, and like Bugs Bunny asked: "What's Up Doc?"

    "In fact, even the Rabbis cannot prevent people from converting to Judaism."

    RaP: Not sure what you mean by this. While the rabbis, in fact any responsible Torah Jews, cannot "police" private individuals, they most certainly CAN and MUST take note of serious matters that concerns themselves, the fate of the Jewish people and if this is right according to normative Jewish Law today. The rabbis, especially via Batei Din, can accept or reject converts on a large or small scale. If you had been following the subject of conversions on this blog alone the last few years you would have been overwhelmed by the amount of say and input serious rabbis and poskim have about policies regarding the acceptance or rejection of converts on a large or small scale by various groups and even of other rabbis' conversion policies whom they negated.

    "The Torah itself permits conversion,"

    RaP: Correct. But normative Judaism today has rejected and opposes mass or even private proselytization of gentiles. Unless you are Reform of Conservative or Mariano Moshe Otero and his cohorts

    "hence someone who opposes this is themselves an enemy of Torah."

    RaP: Obviously the Torah accepts TRUE and RIGHTEOUS converts. There are some great posts with sources about all this on the early years of this blog if you care to look. But the Torah, also includes the Oral Torah and that includes the Shulchan Aruch and the various codes of Jewish law that essentially oppose ANY type of proselytization of gentiles to become Jews, so the ball is in Mariano Moshe Otero's court. While Reform and Conservative have self-destructed a long time ago in this minefield.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Recipients and PublicityJanuary 16, 2012 at 4:46 PM

    Typo in the Jewish Press article:

    "One hundred thousand crossed the border to Portugal,..."

    ReplyDelete
  11. Recipients and PublicityJanuary 16, 2012 at 5:19 PM

    In 2009, on Rabbi Yitzchok Adlerstein's Cross-Currents blog, Mariano Moshe Otero had this to say then. It would seem Otero is now putting his "vision" into high gear and practice:

    "Moshe Otero
    June 19, 2009 at 3:50 pm

    Yitchol Alderstein presents a good argument in the discussion of where do we set the bar of observance regarding converts. In the back lash of invalidating Rabbi Chaim Druckman’s convert, which can be seen as a means to cool off and warn Orthodox Rabbis of their conversionary activity, or rather the quality of the convert themselves, has in fact been a good thing for the convert who know wait in line to measure up to the new standard. However, it is unfortunate that the issue of Anusim and Jews of Spanish land by the Sephardic Rabbinate has yet to establish a process of welcoming back into the fold those who have documented evidence of matrilineal Jewish descent but have lived a life forced by their cultural environment. This will be the next issue which eventually the Halakhic world will have to in practicallity resolve. As communities of Anusim are being established where they are not welcomed in countries where Takkanots exist prohibiting conversion or a formal return process ( Argentina, Mexico, Colombia, Venezuela, Spain, Central America, and many others). Many of these indiidual when entering the United States are treated as regular converts, or needing to under go a “doubtful” conversion thus causing more harm then good. Some Rabbis are encouraging that they create their own Jewish Communities apart from the other existing Communities.

    No one can doubt that Jewish Community is experiencing a wave of converts, and I expect this trend to grow with more intensity as we move closer to the time of the advent of the Mashiach. Some wish to apply this to the post six day war success. I would say that it is due to the fact we are be rushed toward the advent of the Messiah.

    We have an obligation towards all Jews to bring them back to observance, how much more in the context of a time where antisemitism is at an all time high, assist those altruistic converts complete their journey, as they come requesting to be part of our people,

    Shabbat Shalom,

    R. Moshe Otero
    Los Caminos De Israel"

    ReplyDelete
  12. I think Eddie is right. Even if his views are a little weird, they seem well within the bounds of normative Judaism. Recall the wording of Aleinu, and the following quote (and perhaps even the prophecies about the lost tribes returning) and it's easy to see why conversion and balei teshuvah would be seen as bringing about moshiach.

    "The only reason god exiled the Jews among the nations was so that converts could be added." (Pesachim 87b).

    In a case in which one has a government document saying one's maternal grandmother is Jewish but that's all you have, it makes sense to convert anyway, because it is a matter of doubt. Perhaps he has.

    Personally I have no problem with organizations like Shavei Israel, as long as they are not actively trying to convince people to convert. If people know they are descended from Jews and want to learn more about Judaism, then why not teach them? They are the seed of Israel, and if they want to bring their family back under the wings of the Shechinah, that is their choice. And they should have that choice. And when it happens (halachically, of course) it is a beautiful thing, as with all conversion. After all, if the purpose of the exile is to gain converts, then the more converts there are, the more the purpose of the exile is fulfilled, thus potentially bringing about the end of the exile.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I am not shocked if the Rebbe would have encouraged him to go after a Mormon girl which would be mutter bedieved. There is something about Kolakowski's background besides being a BT which chassidishe have a very low opinion of and probably consider it somewhere between leprosy & mamzerus. If the Rebbe did give such a psak it would be misguided due to being spooked, stemming from a meshugass.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Rap,

    my point about the Rabbis was twofold:

    a) If someone can prove that going back x generations, he was fully Jewish, then there is no Rabbi on earth that can say this fellow is a non Jew becasue he wears denim jeans or whatever else.

    b) If a person wishes to convert to TorahJudaism, for genuine reasons, then it doesnt matter whether he was inspired by any number of crazies. What if the candidate was inspired by tropper or some maniac in beit shemesh? It doesnt matter why he chose, the ikkar is that he chose!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My application towards conversion into Judaism began when I was 13 or 14. Instead of going to movies and buying clothes, I would buy books on Jewish studies and Hebrew from a purveyor on the Lower East Side and in Brooklyn, on Henry St. When my daughters were being pushed into late baptisms by their father's side of family, I rebelled and refused, to point of ostracism and eventual divorce. I have fought all my life to become what I knew I was deep down and meeting Eli was for me a sign that I would be carried, as I could no longer alone. Any severe reactions to others fly-by-night conversions can be expected with my history.

      I have been sickened by what I have seen in So. Fla this past decade, on various trips. Chillul H-shem . . . Torah touching by maybe converts, on way up too Judaism by force of new relationship. These women would have gone to Islam, had the benefits been same ... then actual Jews and righteous converts are forced to honor the stream of converts-via-relationships, fix them into Yom Kipper forgiveness maybe, allow for the Jewish spouse that brought them in to be held in equal view, as if nothing happened, while they were the mechanism and means by which the new status was acquired, if not forced! No one will say boo to the ie cantor's new wife, who would just as well read a magazine as pick up the Siddur, upside down, to quiet the gaze of on-lookers, or the Cuban from So. Miami, sleeping with one, dating another, marrying another, all in 2 years, while saying she's Jewish, wearing Magen David jewelry in any available orifice, all over and not wise to fact that conversion students saw her drop out and are willing to tell.

      Meanwhile, Messianic Jewess upon which these women rely for protection, comfort and major group-wide credibility advises me that my views are too strict and this is what happens with the coming of Moshiach. Sister, please! Shavu aTov. MIB786

      Delete
  15. It seems some of RaP's objection here is based on paranoia. Quoting an anonymous youtube comment called "Gev" erodes the credibility of this person? Hardly.

    It is fair to ask to see the proof of his Jewishness, including the birth certificate he claims to have. But to say that since he wants xtians to become noahides and he talks a lot about moshiach, this means he's secretly xtian? That claim doesn't even make logical sense. Why would a xtian tell other xtians to adopt noahidism? If anything this act proves he's not secretly xtian because xtians think you go to hell if you promote belief in anything other than their idol/messiah.

    "And I pray it will be one which will bring them closer to their first century roots: in which non-jews were Noahide observers–Yirat Shamayim. This fact alone herald the imminent coming of the Moshiach.” "

    Please tell me what is the objection to this comment?

    ReplyDelete
  16. Recipients and PublicityJanuary 17, 2012 at 11:11 AM

    "Eddie said...my point about the Rabbis was twofold:
    a) If someone can prove that going back x generations, he was fully Jewish, then there is no Rabbi on earth that can say this fellow is a non Jew becasue he wears denim jeans or whatever else."

    RaP: Even Mariano Moshe Otero admits that he had to undergo a formal conversion. That implies that whatever "papers" he found were not good enough proofs. No one knows what the papers he found are because in any case, papers need VERIFIED since they can be forgeries.

    Leib Tropper was infamous for forging and altering even "signed" papers by rabbis to "prove" his own crooked points of view and further his own selfish agendas.

    In modern times, many gentiles from the former USSR outright forged all sorts of papers to "prove" they had "Jewish" ancestry but were found to be liars and forgers, so how much more so for someone who comes with a claim to "validate" something that happened 500 years ago during the Spanish expulsion.

    Another complication is that for centuries the Marranos stated that they were Christians and practiced as Christians and married Christians along the way, so it is impossible to believe ANYONE today who comes along and "demands" to be "recognized" as "Jewish" in spite of 5 centuries of Christian practice and intermarriage and no known way of proving their Halachic Jewishness from outside sources. No reliable Bais Din would accept such weak "claims" and they would all require a formal conversion no matter what romantic ideas were in the heads of these latter day so-called "anusim/conversos"!

    "b) If a person wishes to convert to TorahJudaism, for genuine reasons, then it doesnt matter whether he was inspired by any number of crazies. What if the candidate was inspired by tropper or some maniac in beit shemesh? It doesnt matter why he chose, the ikkar is that he chose!"

    RaP: Okay, but you miss the point entirely here, and that is that this discussion is not about one individual's choice to do as he wants, that's fine. But what's happening here is someone is organizing a mass movement to go out and blow their horns using PR and methods that evangelical christian pastors use to sell a message to many gentiles out their to come on board and join the Jewish people. That is called "proselytization" and it is discouraged by normative Halachic Judaism that does not go out and look for converts and that in fact teaches that even potential converts, when they are motivated ON THEIR OWN, should be DISCOURAGED from wanting to convert to Judaism, but that is not what Mariano Moshe Otero is doing when it comes to Hispanics who he is running after in various countries to urge them to somehow or other run and look for any shred of connection based on their hunches as to there connections to Judaism.

    Otero further openly states that he has a MESSIANIC goal and not merely to bring them to Jewish observance. And when he talks like that he certainly comes across more like the evangelical christian minister he supposedly once was rather than any normal Orthodox rabbis anybody else knows.

    Furthermore, if you pay close attention to some of his videos as he supposedly "interviews" rabbis (who frequently of course love to speak first and ask questions later when they get an opportunity to be filmed) and it's obvious that Otero is leading them on and has his own Messianic-type agenda in mind as he moves the discussions to topics that he wants aired and not to what the rabbis might actually want to say if they had a chance.

    So about Mariano Moshe Otero it's still as Bugs Bunny says "What's Up Doc?"

    ReplyDelete
  17. Recipients and PublicityJanuary 17, 2012 at 11:47 AM

    "Student V said...It seems some of RaP's objection here is based on paranoia. Quoting an anonymous youtube comment called "Gev" erodes the credibility of this person? Hardly."

    RaP: You are deliberately acting dumb. The purpose of the various citations was to open the discussion about this subject. Space is limited and there was even more to post. Mass proselytization to GENTILES or seeking out people who only have "hunches" that they MAY be "Jewish" for whatever silly "reasons" by anyone or any group, not just by Mariano Moshe Otero, is a HUGE problem and basically goes against anything that any Orthodox rabbis or movements do today or have done.

    It is basically an un-Jewish if not an anti-Jewish thing to do to try and recruit gentiles to join the Jews in any way shape size or form. It waters down the Jewish people and creates whole new classes of VERY doubtfully people with UNPROVEN "Jewish" connections that even if they had a tiny shred of Jewishness in them are so far gone assimilated and apostatized and have become outright gentiles that they are best left alone.

    It is not just unwise to "reach out" to them, it is outright dangerous and destructive to the body of the Jewish people today that are hemorrhaging hugely from losses to Reformism, Conservatism, secularism, assimilation, intermarriage and apostasy in the here and now without digging up shreds from 500 years ago.

    "It is fair to ask to see the proof of his Jewishness, including the birth certificate he claims to have."

    RaP: Agreed. Thank you.

    "But to say that since he wants xtians to become noahides and he talks a lot about moshiach, this means he's secretly xtian?"

    RaP: You skip the main point, he's running after all the Hispanics in the world to ask them to dig up and come up with their feelings and anything else they may have in their hidden skeleton closets in order to start "bringing them back" to Judaism. The jury is still out why he wants to do this.

    Otero's bona fides are still not well-enough established and he does not have the right kind of rabbinic support to undertake such a huge vast proselytization mission to people that as of today Halachic Judaism views as gentiles.

    Who knows what Otero is REALLY up to? Do you? Does anyone? For all we know he wants to "bust the bank" by flooding the Jews with waves of tens of millions of shaky and shady "converts" that will overturn the identity of what is known today as normative Judaism from a Halachic perspective.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Did anyone notice Mr. Otero's Education? On Facebook: Studied Paralegal Studies at Fulerton College
      Past: Miami Central Sr. High School

      Delete
  18. Recipients and PublicityJanuary 17, 2012 at 11:47 AM

    "That claim doesn't even make logical sense. Why would a xtian tell other xtians to adopt noahidism?"

    RaP: Again, this is not the main objection. Otero is welcome to turn all the goyim into Bnai Noach! But he is NOT welcome to bring in people to Judaism who are known to be gentiles today and try to slip them into the fold of the Jewish people with shaky "proofs" and "feelings" that they may somehow magically come from the Marranos of 500 years ago

    "If anything this act proves he's not secretly xtian because xtians think you go to hell if you promote belief in anything other than their idol/messiah."

    RaP: You harp on the wrong points and avoid the single main point which makes it seem you have your own agenda here and are not interested in good faith discussions. So, read the above responses again, or are you either learning disabled or just dissembling to create smokescreens and red herrings to protect Otero and his types?

    "And I pray it will be one which will bring them closer to their first century roots: in which non-jews were Noahide observers–Yirat Shamayim. This fact alone herald the imminent coming of the Moshiach.” " Please tell me what is the objection to this comment?"

    RaP: Again and again you harp on that point and it's not the main point in any way. To repeat, the articles cited in the post were meant to show an overall fair reflection of what Mariano Moshe Otero is up to. And to repeat, he is free to convince ALL the gentiles of the world, not just Christians, who are no more special than Muslims, to become true Noahides. Good luck to him on that. But Otero wades into dangerous ground, and you know it, when he goes into the field of going all out to dig up every last Hispanic who may have had the vaguest "hunch" of some vague "Jewish" connection to encourage them to become full "converts" to Judaism and it is that that is so problematic and dangerous about Otero's missionary efforts.

    Making gentiles into Noahides is kosher while even trying to make them into Jews is not just NOT kosher it's forbidden and discouraged because Judaism does not proselytize even to folks who MAY have had a shred of connection to the Jews going back 500 years but that became washed out over the centuries that they practiced Christianity and married gentile Christians over many generations!

    ReplyDelete
  19. People seem to forget that many of these 'lost Jews' are actually much better off being considered non-Jews so they don't have the stigma of mamzerus hanging over them.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Seems like a real money-making operation:

    >If you wish to open a Noah’s House in your Neighborhood, or State. Or if you are a former Church leader who have found the “faith” they taught you to be lacking, we invite you and your congregation to be part of this National and Global Movement by emailing us today at noahshouse@ymail.com, caminosdeisrael@aol.com or contacting us at 786-306-8211. You may also write to us at Noah’s House PO BOX 813506 Hollywood, Fl 33081

    As a subsidy organization of Los Caminos de Israel, we are sustained by contributors and philanthropers who understand the mission to reach out to the entire world. You can be a partner with us in developing new congregations and sending out Noah House Emissaries both in America and Latin America.

    Support one of our emissary as a Gold Member for $10,000.00

    Support our outreach efforts as a Silver Member $5, 000.oo

    Support our organization as a Copper Member $2,500.00

    Be part of Constructing an Ark where HaShem’s message is deseminated:

    Ark Builder $1200.00

    Rainbow Founder $700.00

    Children of Noah worker $300.00

    Noah’s House supporter: $180.00, $76.00, $36.00, $18.00

    New World Contributor: $8, $7, $5, $2

    DONATE TODAY

    http://www.loscaminosdeisrael<

    ReplyDelete
  21. "RaP: Again, this is not the main objection. Otero is welcome to turn all the goyim into Bnai Noach! But he is NOT welcome to bring in people to Judaism who are known to be gentiles today and try to slip them into the fold of the Jewish people with shaky "proofs" and "feelings" that they may somehow magically come from the Marranos of 500 years ago"


    Student V reply:
    Ok, fair enough.

    Student V quote:""If anything this act proves he's not secretly xtian because xtians think you go to hell if you promote belief in anything other than their idol/messiah."

    RaP answer: You harp on the wrong points and avoid the single main point "


    Student V reply: I harped on the points which I objected to, lol.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Recipients and PublicityJanuary 18, 2012 at 1:53 PM

    "Dovy said...Seems like a real money-making operation:"

    RaP: Indeed, and I did not want to get into that right away, but it just so happens to be when one Googles for "Mariano Moshe Otero" that right on the top come up a couple of serious allegations. Anyone claiming to be an honest "rabbi" should not only avoid wrongdoing but even the appearance of wrongdoing, especially if it's all done in the public limelight that then turns it into a chillul Hashem, and the following is worrying and only reinforces the alarm bells and danger signals from ringing even louder about Otero and his motives and modus operandi.

    Please note, the following allegations have been made online and while no one can know for sure what's going on, the fact that these complaints exist should raise further questions because "where there is smoke there is almost always fire":

    "Ripoff Report: Complaint Review: Rabbi Mariano Moshe Otero: Submitted: Monday, January 02, 2012 Last Posting: Tuesday, January 03, 2012 Reported By: Avitov Oz — Vineland New Jersey United States of America Rabbi Mariano Moshe Otero Miami Florida 09470 United States of America Phone: Web: www.loscaminosdeisrael.com Category: Cult Organizations: One that has ripped me off big shame time is this guy "Rabbi Mariano Otero" He clame to be Jewish and is giving us jews a very very bad name you can call him if you like 1-786-306-8211 if this number is still in use...this guy is nothing more than a SCAM ARTIST that gets money for telling lies, and the world and the public needs to be warned ...he uses facebook, skype,Google plus ,youtub ,any and every way he can using the internet to cheat people this SCAM ARTIST NEED AND MUST BE STOPPED!!!!"

    and

    "Complaints.com: R. Moshe Otero Messianic: R. Moshe Otero www.loscaminosdeisrael.com 786-306-8211
    US www.loscaminosdeisrael.com
    Moshe Otero www.loscaminosdeisrael.com

    Otero calls himself a "Rabbi"
    But he used to be an evangelic minister!!!
    He has a lot of messianic mingling including bringing messianics on to his failed TV show where he acknowledged them as legitimate members of the Jewish people. In my synagogue, if you have converted with Otero, you would be welcome and to clean the floor after Oneg. Go find a real Rabbi. I also remember when he used the name of a Chabad Rabbi in his site and the rabbi ask him to remove his name.

    He also has a non valid smicha.

    Stay away from him!!!!!!!!!!!!!!...

    Comment On This

    I must say that Mr. Otero takes money for his so called conversion classes. He does a little conversion class and then drops it, leaving any potential ger left with being ripped off. That is Chillul Hashem!

    Fake conversion class = scam artist!...

    Comment On This

    I also know pastor Otero and He is messianic ,chabad Rabbis dont consider him a Rabbi and he is a thief..."

    ReplyDelete
  23. I have a question for Recipients and Publicity. What's wrong with bringing more converts to Judaism if that was done before the Romans came up with a crazy law of not proselytizing back in the days ( Although I personally do not support proselytizing because being Jewish is a job full of responsibilities, but if you educate someone about Judaism and this person wants to explore, I would help them but not force them on whatever decision they make) Read some excerpt of the article below and learn from history. If this Rabbi Motero wants to do it, leave him alone man, relax. You cannot control everything that happens in the world. Leave it to Hashem, if He the Holy One wills it, this Rabbi will be successful, if not fine. Let Go Let G-d.

    "Jewish proselytizing was so successful, it's estimated that by the first century C.E. fully 10 percent of the Roman Empire was Jewish, close to 8 million people.
    "It's an incredible number, and it means that the Jewish community was not meant to be this tiny, minuscule group," notes Rabbi Lawrence Epstein, founder and president of the Conversion to Judaism Resource Center in Commack, N.Y.
    Jews only stopped open proselytism because of pressure from Christian and then Muslim rulers, beginning in 407 C.E. when the Roman Empire outlawed conversion to Judaism under penalty of death. But the internal, theological impetus to be "a light unto the nations" (Isaiah 42:6) persisted through the centuries, albeit undercover, advancing and retreating along with Jewish fortunes in the Diaspora.


    Read more: http://www.beliefnet.com/Faiths/Judaism/2002/07/The-More-Jews-The-Better.aspx#ixzz1jqlZT17o

    ReplyDelete
  24. Right on Noah!! However, this rabbi just like Rabbi Vinas from Yonkers want to bring hispanics to judaism based on the idea that they have jewish blood or are anusim. That's not a good reason to convert to Judaism and it should not be the reason to convert to Judaism. You convert to connect to Hashem and to be part of our family, the Jewish people. So I would not follow him or Rabbi Vinas because their views have nothing to do with halacha. People should convert if they want through Kosher Beit Din, that's approved by the Israeli Rabbanut because you want to be accepted as a Jew everywhere.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Recipients and PublicityJanuary 19, 2012 at 3:51 AM

    Part 1:

    "Noah said...I have a question for Recipients and Publicity. What's wrong with bringing more converts to Judaism"

    RaP: Hi. this subject has been dealt with in depth on this blog. In particular, please read thoroughly the following posts on this blog at:

    *Proselytizing is problematic I - Aruch HaShulchan [January 8, 2008]: "Aruch HaShulchan (Yoreh Deah 268:6) One should not try to actively encourage any non-Jew to convert. In fact we should discourage conversion as we see in Yevamos (47a): When a non-Jew comes to us and requests that he be converted we say to him, “What is the reason that you want to convert? Don’t you know that the Jews in our times are persecuted and oppressed, despised, harassed and overcome by afflictions?”..."

    *Proselytizing is problematic II - Yevamos 109b [January 11, 2008]: "Yevamos (109b): R’ Yitzchok said what is the meaning of Mishlei (11:15): He that is a surety for a stranger will suffer for it? That means evil upon evil comes to those who accept converts... That those who accept converts bring evil upon themselves is learned from R’ Chelbo who said: Converts are as difficult for Israel as a sore on the skin...Tosfos (Yevamos 109b): Evil upon evil comes to those who accept converts – The Ri explained that that is only when the non‑Jews are proselytized to convert or they are accepted prematurely before they are ready. However if they themselves strongly want to convert we should accept them..."

    *Proselytizing is problematic III - Obligation to convert is on ger - not beis din [January 17, 2008]: "Yevamos (48b): R’ Chanaiah son of Rabban Gamliel said: Why are converts in the present time oppressed and suffering?...Other’s say because they delayed their conversion. R’ Abahu or R’ Chanina said what verse supports this understanding? Ruth (2:12) praised Ruth, “You came [quickly and didn’t delay - Rashi] to take refuge under His wings.”...Maharal (Yevamos 48b): Why are converts in the present time oppressed and suffering?… Because they delay their conversion...Mishneh Halachos (16:92): Is it a mitzva to accept converts?… In the sefer Knesses Yechezkeil (#59) the question is raised whether beis din has a mitzva to accept converts? A certain talmid chachom is quoted as citing Yevamos (47b): “If the non-Jew accepts all the obligations he is immediately circumcised because mitzvos are not to be delayed.” He asks what is this mitzva? Where are we commanded to accept converts? The author of Knesses Yechezkeil brings a dispute amongst poskim was to whether beis din has a mitzva to convert gerim..."

    *Why didn't Ezra convert intermarried couples? [February 21, 2008]: "Mishna Halachos (7:250): Concerning Ezra (chapter 9 and 10) where we see that he insisted on the sending away of all the non‑Jewish wives and their non‑Jewish children. It seem surprising that we don’t find that they converted them – either the wives or the children… It is unreasonable to say this absence of conversion was because not a single one of the wives or children wanted to convert. I saw that the Ibn Ezra addressed this question. Ibn Ezra (Ezra 10:3) writes, “We don’t find that any of them were brought close. Perhaps they were sent away because they weren’t converts like Ruth the Moabite..."

    ReplyDelete
  26. Recipients and PublicityJanuary 19, 2012 at 4:05 AM

    Part 2:

    "Noah said...I have a question for Recipients and Publicity. What's wrong with bringing more converts to Judaism"

    RaP: Hi. this subject has been dealt with in depth on this blog. In particular, please read thoroughly the following posts on this blog at:

    *HaRav Aaron Soloveichik zt"l - descendants of Marranos are treated as Jews [March 3, 2008]: I just received this letter. Does anyone know if it is authentic and the context in which it was written?..."

    *Descendants of Marranos (Anousim) - should they be encouraged to convert? [March 3, 2008]: The problems of conversion are not limited to the question of intermarriage or the Russian and Ethiopian immigration to Israel. There is apparently a world wide effort to bring the descendants of the Jews of Spain and Portugal who were forced to convert - back to Judaism. What follows is an excerpt of an article that appears on the Aish HaTorah website [link below] which originally appeared in the Jerusalem Post. See also my previous post..."

    *Descendants of Marranos (Anousim) - should they be encouraged to convert? II [March 3, 2008]: "...From: Yated Neeman USA (Wed, 29 Dec 1999) Rav Elyashiv: "Independent Registry an Urgent Necessity" by Moshe Schapiro. As hundreds of thousands of gentile immigrants continue to pour into Israel from the former Soviet Union, the Torah leadership of Eretz Yisroel has reached a momentous decision: to set up an independent registry to keep track of who is Jewish. Rav Yosef Shalom Eliyashiv and Rav Aharon Leib Shteinman strongly support the plan. "There is no longer any doubt that the majority of immigrants coming to this country are not Jewish," says Rav Yosef Efrati, Rav Eliyashiv's closest disciple. "The Jewish Agency itself admits this, and yet many immigrants are [falsely] given documents stating that they are Jewish..."

    *Valid conversions are not always good for the Jewish people - Rabbeinu Bachye [March 20, 2008]: "Rabbeinu Bachye (Devarim 21:14):...our sages in Yevamot 47 that converts are as serious a plague for our sages in Yevamot 47 that converts are as serious a plague for the Jewih people as is the dreaded skin disease tzoraaat. The reason for this attitude is that experience has shown that the majority of converts abandoned their former religion only because of material advantages to be attained by becoming Jewish. Not only that, these converts have a habit of leading natural born Jews astray. Once these people have become legal converts. The first time such converts led the natural born Jews astray was during the episode of the golden calf, whereas a short time later the same thing occurred in Numbers 11,4 when.a group of peop\e described by Ihe Torah as asafsaf instigated the craving for meat which resulted in misearble death. Sifri Behaalotcha 86 attributes all this to these converts. Time and again such fair-weather converts have become the bane of our people..."

    ReplyDelete
  27. Recipients and PublicityJanuary 19, 2012 at 4:36 AM

    Part 3:

    "Noah said...I have a question for Recipients and Publicity. What's wrong with bringing more converts to Judaism"

    RaP: Hi. this subject has been dealt with in depth on this blog. In particular, please read thoroughly the following posts on this blog at:

    *Proselytizing by Reform Conservative & Orthodox [April 10, 2008].

    *Rabbi Vinas denies proselyzing - he just encourages non-Jews to explore Judaism [April 13, 2008].

    *Christian missionaries' new tactic - blur the distinction between Jews and Christians & Rabbi Vinas [April 13, 2008]: One of the issues connected to conversion is the tactic used by missionaries to try and convince a Jew that he can remain a Jew and still accept Jesus. This is done by trying to minimize the differences between Jews and Christians. See the Jews for Judaism site. Of interest that Jewish missionaries such as Rabbi Vinas use the tactic in reverse when he tells Christians that Christianity is not that different from Judaism..."

    *Rabbi Manny Vinas - part of movement that encourages converts [April 13, 2008]: "In Rabbi Vinas' biographical sketch on their website it mentions "Rabbi Manny Viñas is a first generation Cuban American. He was born and raised in Miami, Florida after his parents had emigrated to the United States as part of the large Cuban exile in 1960 following Castro's revolution. Manny's family was of converso background, practicing in Cuba many of the Jewish traditions that had been "secretly" handed down from generation to generation. In Miami, the family rediscovered its Jewish roots and formally returned to Judaism [i.e, they converted]."...(sound familiar?)

    *Proselytizing the Hispanic community I - The halachic paradox of the non-Jewish descendants of anousim (marranos) [April 25, 2008]: "It is well known that people who claim to be Jewish because they might be descended from the Jews who were forced to convert in Spain and Portugal - are not Jewish. However not only are they welcomed when they convert - but there are a number of organizations which encourage them i.e., proselytize them. We have mentioned Rabbi Manny Vinas in a number of posts. However there seems to be other - more well known rabbis involved. Look at the following letters. In addition there is a puzzling letter from R' Aaron Soloveitchik which accords them the assumption of being Jewish - but at the same time requires them to convert for marriage..."

    *Judaism as a missionary religion? [May 12, 2008]: "While there is heated debate within Orthodox circles regarding the standards of conversion - there are others who would accept anyone who wants to be Jewish or thinks they are Jewish. In addition they want to actively proselytize..."

    ReplyDelete
  28. Recipients and PublicityJanuary 19, 2012 at 4:52 AM

    Part 4:

    *Descendants of Marranos (Anusim) II - should they be encouraged to convert? [August 5, 2008]: ""The Jewish Press...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...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..."

    *Descendants of Marranos (Anusim) III - A personal story [August 12, 2008].

    *Aish HaTorah & Anusim [July 26, 2009].

    *Anusim & Chabad - Latin American Jews [September 24, 2009].

    *Kiruv for descendants of Anusim - permitted? [November 25, 2009]: "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..."

    *Yated publishes ban against Mishpacha [May 6, 2011]: "One of the great problems with the "Mishpacha" magazine, especially the English-language one, has been its blatant gung-ho support of any and all forms of proselytizations of gentiles, publicizing the seeking out of all sorts of dubious "lost 'Jews'" and the glorification of controversial sects and groups such as the Conversos-Marranos, Russian sects, giving PR to Michale Freund's Shavie Israel agenda, and promoting in articles of converts and the descendants of long very mixed-up marriages of people who had long apostacised in places like Poland a Germany and hyping up conversions and covertees as latter-day "heroes" when it should have stayed far away from such controversial and dubious topics. For that alone, it deserves a put-down..."

    *RaP: Proselytization in Latin America [July 1, 2007]: "MISHPACHA Jewish Family Weekly 2 Tammuz 5769 Pages 38 – 45...Puerto Rico to Pupa: Rabbi Avraham Goldstein’s Journey from Delivery Boy to Ger Tzedek By Barbara Bensoussan. With his Monsey residence; Chassidic ensemble of shtreimel, beard, and peyos; and juicy Yiddish, it’s hard to believe that Rabbi Avraham Goldstein’s roots lie in Puerto Rico. But that’s precisely where his unusual journey to Judaism began. Goldstein proceeded through a Williamsburg delivery route to an Orthodox conversion, to yeshivos in Baltimore and Brooklyn and the Pupa Chassidus. Now a violin dealer who’s made it his mission to advocate for South American geirim, he approaches all his diverse roles with an unbounded sense of joy in Judaism...In Mexico City, he claims Rabbi Jabra’s shul is the only one that allows geirim to belong. “Rav Pinchas Rabinowitz and Rav Tropper, who do conversions in Monsey, are really trying to stir things up in Mexico to make life easier for geirim,” Goldstein says…..."

    and many more posts on this highly controversial topic!!

    ReplyDelete
  29. Noah said...

    I have a question for Recipients and Publicity. What's wrong with bringing more converts to Judaism if that was done before the Romans came up with a crazy law of not proselytizing back in the days ( Although I personally do not support proselytizing because being Jewish is a job full of responsibilities, but if you educate someone about Judaism and this person wants to explore, I would help them but not force them on whatever decision they make) Read some excerpt of the article below and learn from history. If this Rabbi Motero wants to do it, leave him alone man, relax. You cannot control everything that happens in the world. Leave it to Hashem, if He the Holy One wills it, this Rabbi will be successful, if not fine. Let Go Let G-d.

    ==================
    Noah you ask a good question based on serious misinformation. The assertion that there was proselytization in Roman times is simply conjecture. There are no documents or Jewish texts which support it.

    Encouraging conversion is not a neutral act but one that seriously and negatively impacts the Jewish community. Figures such as Rav Moshe Feinstein and Rav Chaim Ozer reported that most conversions - even for apparently good motivations don't succeed. Rav Moshe said the he personally was not involved in conversions because of this.

    This problem exists in Israel regarding the Russian immigrants and the Ethiopian communities. It exists in America regarding the Conservative and Reform conversions as well as some Orthodox ones.

    As RaP has shown this issue has been a major concern of this blog. Don't dismiss this problem so readily.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Rav Eidensohn,

    Where did R' Chaim Ozer & R' Moshe write that and what was the exact wording?

    I am afraid the context is going to be taken the wrong way by sincere converts and by born Jews who will use it as an excuse to discriminate.

    A rov who works with gerim told me that virtually every case of chozer lesuro comes from being badly mistreated by born Jews.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Ombudsman said...

    Rav Eidensohn,

    Where did R' Chaim Ozer & R' Moshe write that and what was the exact wording?
    =======================

    Regarding Rav Chaim Ozer.

    http://daattorah.blogspot.com/2007/12/rav-chaim-ozer-grodinski-ztl-conversion.html

    Rav Moshe Feinstein

    אגרות משה (יורה דעה ב:קכה): הנה בעצם כל עניני הגרות אף אלו שעושין רבנים כשרים אין דעתי נוחה מהם וכן ודאי רוח כל חכמים אינה נוחה מהם דהרי גרותן הוא לשם אישות, ואף שבדיעבד הם גרים הוא דוקא כשקבלו לקיים כל המצות והרי כמעט שידוע שרובן אף שאומרין שמקבלין מצות הוא רק לרמות את הב"ד וכדחזינן שסופן מוכיח שאינם מקיימים המצות, וכ"ש הגרות שעושים הקאנסערוואטיוון שאין בודקים כלל בזה וגם הא הרבה דיני התורה שאף הם בעצמם אין מקיימים ולא ידרשו מהגרים שיקיימו יותר מכפי שהם עצמם מקיימים,


    אגרות משה (יורה דעה א:קנט): אך בכלל עיקר הגרות לא נוחה דעתי מזה ואני נמנע מזה לא רק מצד הדין שאין מקבלין לכתחלה בשביל אישות אלא גם מטעם שהוא כמעט ברור כאנן סהדי שלא מקבלת המצות ורק בפיה אומרת שמקבלת ובלא קבלת מצות אף רק פרט אחד הא מפורש בבכורות דף ל' שאין מקבלין אותו. ול"ד להא דשבת דף ס"ח דגר שנתגייר לבין העכו"ם ולא ידע משבת ואף לא מע"ז ומ"מ הוי גר משום דהתם קבל כל מה שחייבין בני ישראל הויא קבלה טובה על כל התורה אף שלא ידע הדינים כלל וכמו שבכל גר א"צ שיודיעוהו כל המצות ובדיעבד סגי בלא הודעה כלל כמפורש ברמב"ם וש"ע /יו"ד רס"ח/ סעי' י"ב אבל כשלא קבל אין מקבלין דזהו עיקר הגרות וברוב הגרות שבמדינה זו שבשביל אישות אין מקבלין המצות אף כשאומרין בפיהן שמקבלין דהוא כנודע שמרמין דהא לא תהיה עדיפא מבעלה שהוא מופקר ועובר על כל דיני התורה. אך מ"מ אולי גיורת זו תקבל המצות ולכן איני אומר בזה כלום לכתר"ה כי יש הרבה רבנים בנוא יארק מקבלין גרים כאלו וממילא אין לי לומר בזה איסורין אבל אני אין דעתי נוחה וגם דעת אבא אמרי /מארי/ הגאון זצ"ל לא היה נוחה מזה אבל לא אמינא איסורים בזה וכתר"ה יעשה כפי הבנתו ודעתו וכפי הדוחק. וספר אחיעזר שהביא כתר"ה לא ראיתיו עדין.

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  32. So in other words:

    "Figures such as Rav Moshe Feinstein and Rav Chaim Ozer reported that most conversions - even for apparently good motivations don't succeed" in cases where the gerim met a Jew and plan on marrying them because the kabolas mitzvos is not sincere.

    But that does not apply in cases without romantic involvement.

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  33. Once someone spoke horribly of a convert and this person lost everything, job, spouse, place and friends. Be careful with words because they can either elevate you or destroy you. And they will destroy if u keep doing what ur doing. Do tshuva and never post horrible links like that again. You're so insecure and full of envy and hatred. I PITY YOU MAN. Learn from History and the ban to convert during the Roman empire is accurate. Are you delusional or what? Another thing, Rabbis can have their opinions but that does not mean they are right. Does it make it right when they abuse children publicly? Is that a kiddush Hashem? Oh, converts are supposed to be perfect and is it OK for rabbis or born Jews to dismember a innocent child from their own community? Oh yeah Great. That's what Hashem wants from us. And that's because of the converts influence? Come on Give me a break. People jewish or not are responsible for their own actions that's how the world works. A person who speaks about others without knowing them speaks lashon hara. Whether converts are good or bad for the Jewish people, they are welcome and accepted by Jewish Law and no rabbi will change that. Dont play with Hashem especially since converts are more loved by Him than born Jews. As I said before you need to relax and enjoy life and not be such a hater man. When you go to Heaven you are going to have a lot of explaining to do for spreading evil speech and hatred towards converts. Focus on your life and family and let go let G-d.

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  34. Rav Moshe said that he has nothing to do with conversions - which apparently meant even those which did not have romantic involvement. He also says that most conversions in America are done for romantic reasons and don't succeed.

    I don't know the per cent of converts who clearly don't have ulterior benefits. I would assume that even the minority which seem to be purely motivated have some failure rate even though it is probably less than the first group.

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  35. Noah you obviously feel superior to the rest of us as well as the rabbinical authorities that I quote. I rarely say anything of my own. What you obviously don't like is Orthodox Judaism.

    The basic operating framework for this blog is an acceptance of Orthodox Judaism and rabbinical authority.

    If you can show me that I misunderstood something within halacha - I welcome your comments. But you are just shooting your mouth off about things you don't seem to understand.

    I agree without you that converts need to be respected- but so do rabbis and other people - Jews as well as non-Jews. It really isn't helpful to ignore the reality about conversion - both the positive and negative facts.

    Why don't you climb down from your tree and join the rest of us. If that is too much for you - then I would suggest you find another forum to express your views.

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  36. Rav Eidensohn,

    If R' Moishe is saying דהרי גרותן הוא לשם אישות then he clearly means davka in cases where there is romantic involvement.

    Of course the altruistic gerim have a higher success rate. Do you have any idea what many of these people sacrifice? Sometimes they convert as entire families who are ostracized by their extended family. They deserve a lot more sympathy & admiration.

    People have to be extremely careful when discussing gerus because gerei tzedek are very sensitive and easy to hurt. That's why the Torah goes out of it's way to assign dozens of lavin to a single act of being metzayer them.

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  37. Incidentally, I know first hand that there were people who were trying to make similar diyukim against gerim who approached the Mirrer rosh yeshiva R' Shmuel Berenbaum obm. There probably aren't too many people in this dor who know the sugyos better than him. He also spent hours every week on the phone handling in learning with R' Moishe. He was absolutely against reading these translations about gerim into Chazal & poskim. He said gerim are the same as you & I and no one should hesitate to marry one who converted genuinely.

    Then there was a Flatbush askan who thought he was the big mann d'omar on everything who was mouthing off against gerim whenever he could. He was coming with all sorts of Rishonim & Achronim to back up his position. The only problem however according to a rosh yeshiva who spoke out against him is that the poskim cited by the askan do not say the things said in their name out of context.

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  38. I love Orthodox Judaism, how dare you say something like that? Indeed I do not have respect for some rabbis like you whose tongues are full of venom and negativity. I do not feel superior but I do know my rights as a Jew and human being and I have the right to defend myself and do what is right. FYI my rabbis love me and I love them too. They are truly teachers of the truth something which you and many others need to learn. I have amazing Jewish friends from my community both converts and born Jews and I love being Jewish. Life is too short hence I choose to be around positive people and stay away from those who speak lashon hara and want to create labels to bring people down. Learn something my friend, human beings are emotional, and you hurt my feelings and hurt other converts' feelings by quoting rabbis whose opinions are negative and untrue since NOONE can know what's in people's hearts only Hashem. Those rabbis should be ashamed of themselves for saying such negative things. We are not here to judge a convert or anyone who later decides to break halacha for whatever reason. Instead of passing judgment, we should help them come back to Hashem and try to make them feel welcomed and loved. DOES YETZER HARA RING A BELL? ITS NOT EASY BEING JEWISH THAT'S WHY WE HAVE TO BE SUPPORTIVE AND LOVING TO OTHERS. If you say that converts are not going to be a success, only a failure, what does that say about your credentials as a rabbi? A good teacher wants his students to succeed not to be a failure. It's like a doctor who wants their patients to die even before they are sick, who would want to go to this doctor? Nobody. So please stop playing G-d. He is more compassionate and loving than any human being, that's what I believe in Him and I love Him. Our mission in life is to serve Him and bring holiness to the world. If you and others rabbis feel that we are troublemakers and that conversions should not be performed why don't you simply get together and ban conversions forever and then you born jews will be in peace. Why don't you do it? It'd be an amazing idea don't you think? Tell me why don't you do it? It'd be a simple solution to your problems. You should feel bad for the wrong you do to other people by spreading negative views that lack spirituality and goodness. Shame on you!!

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  39. Recipients and PublicityJanuary 20, 2012 at 10:09 AM

    RaP to Noah 1:

    "Noah responded said...Do tshuva and never post horrible links like that again."

    RaP: They were only links to other serious posts on this blog to show you that the subject matter is taken very seriously. They are not "horrible" and you are free to comment, you could even compose a guest post and submit it to the blog owner who often publishes rebuttals and other points of view.

    "Learn from History and the ban to convert during the Roman empire is accurate."

    RaP: It is utter nonsense to put the modern day discussion about conversion in terms of ancient Rome 2,000 years ago. No doubt what you mean to say is that to go out and proselytize to gentiles and convince them to become Jews should be "kosher" because had not the Romans stopped it, then Jews would still be trying to convert the whole world to Judaism. These premises are false from a historical and religious point of view. Historically, once the Jewish people, the Bnai Yisrael were settled in Eretz Yisrael, they did not run around looking for converts. Yes, Judaism became popular among the intellectuals and sensitive people, just as gentile celebrities today seem to be drawn to "Judaism light" etc. But even in the First Exile, over 2,500 years ago Ezra instructed the intermarried men to divorce their gentile wives, he did not ask them to become converts. During the times of the Four Exiles, the Israelites/Jews were NOT proselytizers to gentiles. Genuine converts, geirei tzedek were always welcome to apply for geirus ON AN INDIVIDUAL LEVEL, but at no time in Jewish history was there ever any attempt by the Jewish leadership of any generation to create mass movements to convert gentiles to Judaism. You are speaking like someone who fails to grasp this fundamental of Jewish history and of the Jewish faith.

    "Another thing, Rabbis can have their opinions but that does not mean they are right."

    RaP: Now just what is that allegation supposed to mean? Having cited sources from the most authoritative rabbis from all ages and eras, the Halachic consensus is clear that Judaism OPPOSES mass proselytization to persuade masses of gentiles in any way to become full Jews. Sure gentiles are welcome to become good Noahides and Jews must always try to act like a Light Unto The Nations so that the gentiles will RESPECT them, but no serious rabbis in any age held that Jews must put recruiting gentiles to become Jews at the top of their national agenda, either before or after the Romans or any other time.

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  40. Recipients and PublicityJanuary 20, 2012 at 10:10 AM

    RaP to Noah 2:

    "OK for rabbis or born Jews to dismember a innocent child from their own community? Oh yeah Great."

    RaP: Are you now accusing "rabbis" of being part of the recent Leiby Kletsky murder? That sounds like a classical blood libel and you should retract and apologize!

    "A person who speaks about others without knowing them speaks lashon hara."

    RaP: Wait, the subject here begins with an infomercial placed by Rabbi Mariano Moshe Otero in The Jewish Press for people to pay and come to an event about modern day Anusim. It is not hard to learn more about Otero in today's Internet age, just Google Mariano Moshe Otero and see for yourself, he is a VERY busy documented public person! He runs a radio show, there are are videos of him on YouTube, there are articles about him in various online media sources, one can hear his voice, see him in action, read his ideas, he is a PUBLIC PERSON doing things PUBLICLY in the Jewish world, media, and communities internationally. This is not a private person, but a very public person and therefore anyone is free to make sense of what he is saying, and yes, even disagree with him, especially if he is getting into controversial activities. He seems to favor "casting curses" and accusing critics of "lashon hara" even when his OWN words are examined. To be so thin-skinned and counter-attack meanly is troubling.

    "Whether converts are good or bad for the Jewish people, they are welcome and accepted by Jewish Law and no rabbi will change that.

    RaP: That is true, as long as the converts are geirei tsedek and PASS the requirements of a recognized BEIT DIN. I have spent time defending converts in this blog more than you, and I have even taken heat for defending ORTHODOX rabbis and batei din that have had less stringent requirements. But those have been in the context of Jewish law which is the only final arbiter of who is or is not a kosher convert. See examples at: Recipients and Publicity - questions the integrity of the Syrian community as well as my own [May 2, 2008], "Recipients and Publicity's" fantasy about the awesome power and ambition of the Bedatz [May 4, 2008], A more realistic understanding of the conversion crisis [Bright Eyes responds to RaP] [May 4, 2008, and quite a few more that prove that I have been willing to stick my neck out to view the subject of conversion in a much broader framework. You really must do your homework on this blog because this subject has been one of it's most serious concerns and discussed in great length.

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  41. Recipients and PublicityJanuary 20, 2012 at 10:11 AM

    RaP to Noah 3:

    "Dont play with Hashem especially since converts are more loved by Him than born Jews."

    RaP: That is an absurd statement and it's false. You seem to think that *you* can "speak" for God, and only *you* know what God desires when it comes to conversions and whatnot. Funny! Tell that to the Marines!

    "As I said before you need to relax and enjoy life..."

    RaP: Just to remind you what the subject of this post is all about, even though you are trying to psychoanalyze others while not responding in any substantive way to either post or the discussion: This is about the problems of mostly Latino people today who are coming forth and "claiming" that they are the "descendants" of the lost Marrano Jews, today called "Anusim" which is also a sign of how political correctness is at work to re-make a national tragedy when tens of thousands, probably hundreds of thousands, of Jews starting in the notorious Catholic Spanish and Portuguese Inquisitions were either forcibly baptized to become Christians or chose to outwardly baptize (itself a serious breach of Judaism that requires a special repentance) and that for hundreds of years TRIED to cling to Judaism in secret, but now, 500 years later, essentially NO such person claiming this can prove beyond a doubt that they are of Halachically approved Jewish ancestry and therefor if they wish to become sincere converts/geirim must do so under a recognized Orthodox Beis Din! There is absolutely no posek or rabbinic leader today who approves proselytizing en masse to such people and what Rabbi Mariano Moshe Otero, and others with similar goals, are doing is simply wrong. This has nothing to do with Otero's own personal story or with his supposed conversion to Judaism. If he is truly a righteous convert to Judaism then he needs to be able to produce his "shtar geirus" to any serious interested party to show who the rabbis were on the Bais Din that converted him, no doubt they would not be happy to hear some of the things that you said about rabbis, such as that they somehow are complicit in "dismembering" kids in your own words above that you need to retract ASAP.

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  42. Ombudsman said...

    Incidentally, I know first hand that there were people who were trying to make similar diyukim against gerim who approached the Mirrer rosh yeshiva R' Shmuel Berenbaum obm. There probably aren't too many people in this dor who know the sugyos better than him. He also spent hours every week on the phone handling in learning with R' Moishe. He was absolutely against reading these translations about gerim into Chazal & poskim. He said gerim are the same as you & I and no one should hesitate to marry one who converted genuinely.
    ===============

    this applies also to Noah's statements.


    Not sure that we are on the same topic. Rav Moshe said he had nothing to do with geirus - that means all geirus. Your comments about what various authorities said and meant lack credibility since they are at best your interpretation of them - and you are simply an anonymous source at this point.

    To bring us on the same page, it is important to note - that as invidivduals gerim require to be treated with great respect and love. But that is not the point of this guest post nor has it been the issue that I raised against assertions that proslytizing is fine. The impact of insincere geirim is an old issue. One can not simply ignore it or repress it by saying that you are hurting the feelings of genuine converts. Chazal deal with the issue explicitly - contrary to what you seem to be implying.

    To say like that one should ignore the statement of chazal and gedolim which mention negative things about gerim is totally absurd and wrong for an Orthodox Jew.

    Noah - since you act as if you are an authority on this topic - I would like to know who your rabbis are and whether they approve of your criticism of chazal and gedolim as well as ordinary rabbis?

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  43. Rav Eidensohn,

    I was not able to devote time to properly responding responding for the last few days.

    I apologize if I conflated the teshuvah with R' Moishe's verbal pronouncements. Do you happen to know why he preferred not to get involved in gerus where there was no romantic factor?

    As far as: "To say like that one should ignore the statement of chazal and gedolim which mention negative things about gerim is totally absurd"

    I once saw a teshuvah, I think maybe from Rav Bleich on the Upper East Side, that brought from Rishonim & Achronim to farentfer all the negative statements as not applying except to insincere gerim.

    And what about all the positive statements like that we are in galus to increase the numbers of (proper) gerim?

    As far as R' Shmuel Berenbaum ztl, I am quoting verbatim. I was there when people approached him, thinking he would agree with their inclination that someone should be talked out of marrying a giyores. They were using various arguments like how can someone extricate from themselves the sinah of Esav and that they knew of one or two gerim in Flatbush who had a bad ending. The woman converted sincerely and did not even start dating anyone until a year or two after her gerus. The chosson is a ben Torah. R' Shmuel was adamant that there should be no hesitation. (as far as the two male gerim who had a bad ending, I understand both of them were always strange)

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  44. Ombudsman said...

    I once saw a teshuvah, I think maybe from Rav Bleich on the Upper East Side, that brought from Rishonim & Achronim to farentfer all the negative statements as not applying except to insincere gerim.
    ================
    Yes there are definitely terutzim to the negative statments. But there clearly are Rishonim and Achronim who take them at face value.

    Rambam (Hilchos Issurei Bi’ah 13:18): Because of this [that even if they relapse they are still Jews] our Sages have said that converts are as difficult for Israel as a skin disease because the majority of them relapse and they lead Israel astray. It is difficult to avoid their influence after they have converted. Look what happened in the Wilderness concerning the Golden Calf as well Kivros HaTaavah. In addition concerning the majority of the trials the Mixed Multitude were involved at the start.

    Tosfos (Kiddushin 70b): Converts are as deleterious—Rashi explains because they are ignorant of the mitzvos and thus cause misfortune by their lack of observing the Jewish laws and that they set a bad example for other Jews. … Others explain that they are a source of trouble to the Jewish people because G d repeated the prohibition of not upsetting converts 24 times and it is impossible not to transgress this serious prohibition. … Another explanation is that converts are in fact more knowledgeable in mitzvos and are more scrupulous in observing them than Jews from birth. This contrast causes G d to punish the Jews from birth when they are not properly observant… Another explanation is that they cause problems by being assimilated amongst the Jewish people and the Divine presence only rests on families that have a pedigree…

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  45. Ombudsman said...

    And what about all the positive statements like that we are in galus to increase the numbers of (proper) gerim?
    ==================
    Rav Tzadok (Pri Tzadik – Parshas Parah #3): … This that it says in Pesachim (87b) that G d exiled Israel only in order to have converts join them.. This is explained [Arizal] that it doesn’t mean actual converts but rather the gathering of sparks of kedusha and vitality which are found amongst the nations. These sparks are extracted from the nations by means of Jewish exile….


    Rav Tzadok (Pri Tzadik – Prashas Metzora #6): The purpose of exile is in order to extract the holy sparks from the nations as it says in Pesachim (87b) that G d only exile the Jews in order that converts would join them. The holy books state that this doesn’t mean for the purpose of non Jews converting but rather that the Jews will acquire the holiness that exists amongst the nations. This is similar to the statement describing the Egyptian exile that the Jews despoiled Egypt and made it like a trap that had no corn for bait or like a pond that had no fish (Pesachim 119a). The term “fish” alludes to the basis and source of life as Bereishis (1:20) described them was “living soul”. Thus this describes the spoils which they took from the nations of the world as it says in Tehilim (119:161): “I rejoice at your word, like one who finds great booty.”

    Rav Tzadok (Pri Tzadik – Parshas Eschanon #1):… The purpose of exile is to extract from the nations the source of life which is that Oral Torah which they have. However in relationship to them this life is in exile within them because they take this life force and reverse it. This idea is found in Pesachim (87b) that G d only exiled the Jews in order that the converts join them. That is referring to the sparks of holiness which they extract. When the Jews extract all the Oral Torah then that will be the end of the kingship of Moshiach…And Shabbos which corresponds to the attriubte of kingship there is also a revelation of the Oral Torah as I have explained many times.

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  46. Ombudsman said...

    As far as R' Shmuel Berenbaum ztl, I am quoting verbatim. I was there when people approached him, thinking he would agree with their inclination that someone should be talked out of marrying a giyores. They were using various arguments like how can someone extricate from themselves the sinah of Esav and that they knew of one or two gerim in Flatbush who had a bad ending. The woman converted sincerely and did not even start dating anyone until a year or two after her gerus. The chosson is a ben Torah. R' Shmuel was adamant that there should be no hesitation. (as far as the two male gerim who had a bad ending, I understand both of them were always strange)

    If the only issue was her status of a convert - then I would fully agree with what you say R' Shmuel said. I am talking, however, about the problems that come about when encouraging people to convert who might have Jewish ancestry or for political reasons such as the Russians and Ethiopians in Israel. In such cases the reality of the results of these conversions can not be ignored - even if the conversions are valid.

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  47. Ombudsman, I am presently writing Daas Torah dealing with conversion and Jewish identity. You need to delve more into the sources and rely less on what seems unfair at first glance.

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  48. Rav Eidensohn,

    I agree there is a problem with the wholesale approach to Russians, Falashas, Tropper's outreach, modern orthodox and money grubber charedim closing a blind eye to romantic involvement, and every cockamamie group that Shavei scrapes around for.

    It should be made very clear that there are gerei tzedek however who are not in any of the above categories and we have to make sure to clearly differentiate for them.

    You bring the Tosafos which is fine and which obviously describes gerei tzedek but it is not a tayna on gerei tzedek, it is a tayna on us for not being more zahir.

    The Rambam is based on the Gemara referencing leprous lesions which enough Kadmonim say refers only to insincere gerim. And then the Rambam shtells tzu the Erev Rav which I have never seen any understanding of them as gerei tzedek. They were a bunch of opportunists, many of them even jailed convicts in the Mitzri penal system. They are the classic example in all the seforim of gerim that are not sincere which is why they are sonei Torah a defacto psul yichus. See the Rishonim on Nach and the modern application of this concept by the Chofetz Chaim and R' Elchonon.

    You bring the Choizeh miLublin in Pri Tzadik that gerim in the golus in not literal. I believe the Shomrei Emunim is cholek that it is literal.

    And don't forget that Mosheean shel Yisroel comes from gerim.

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  49. If the gerim felt truly welcome- they would probably have more of an incentive to stay observant. If the failure rate is high (is it?) - isn't it the community's responsibility to ask itself why?

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  50. When a student fails- is it the student's or the teacher's fault? If gerim start to drop out, ask yourselves what the community is or isn't doing!

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  51. I have a question for the Rabbi or others that is serious, although perhaps a bit off topic. In places where there are takanos against gerim (e.g., Mexico), what happens l'maaseh, if a long time yeshivish ger (+20 years) from the United States comes to a shul while on a business trip to daven, hear the megillah, etc.? If he keeps a low profile and davens, will he be quizzed about his background and summarily be thrown out of the shul? Or are these takanos primarily aimed at the local population?

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    Replies
    1. good question - am making it a post since this is an post which doesn't get attention anymore

      Delete
  52. AshkenaziWarriorMay 12, 2014 at 12:13 AM

    There is a difference between wanting to be Jewish and able to be Jewish. There are plenty of true righteous gerim who did conversion because they felt that it was the only way to get close to Hashem, by following the mitzvot. But if a non-Jew "wants" to be Jewish- but is not willing to follow the Orthodox giyur process, to be modest or niddah, Shabbat etc.. then just because they want to does not mean they should. And I have seen converts of all folds. I have seen righteous gerim who love Hashem and live a true Torah life. I have seen gerim finish giyur and go back to acting like goyim. It's the people who are not willing to live a Torah life who make up the masses of reform, conservative and the NOT Chief Rabbanut approved conversions.
    But until now I have not seen so many Hispanics fall into the trick that they somehow have some Jewish ancestors in the 1400's and suddenly, they are now magically Jewish. To people like Otero, "Rav Yosef Garcia" and Vinas etc it's all about the false notion that these people have some Jewish connection and have a "right" to be Jewish. These fake rabbis perform "returns" or "conversions" that are 100% NOT valid in any RCA, OU shul. These gullible people hear a pastor in a "shul" who preaches to them "you're born Jews" and the people fall into it and believe it. Now, you are going to have generations of NON-JEWS wearing tzitzit. Dressing like Jews, giving people a false impression that they're Jewish. And the fact that Judaism is not going to accept them into shuls, Yeshivot, true mikvaot etc.. is going to turn these people and their children into angry anti-Orthodox people crying discrimination.
    People like Otero, Vinas and Garcia are doing a major damage. If you look at Garcia, his "Halachic Return" is signed by his beis din composed of him and a reform and conservative rabbi. Otero's "ways of Israel" offers mass conversions where you show up and take a dunk in the ocean or river and are magically Jewish.
    If Hispanics want to be Jewish, then let it be because they want to accept to Yoke of heaven. Accept the Miztvot from a deep desire to be close to Hashem. Giyur should NOT be for any ulterior motives, including claiming to have Jewish ancestry 500 years ago and seeing that as an entitled right and wanting the easy (halachic return) way. Grandmother lit candles on Friday nights? Sure, that accounts for 500/400 years of catholic intermarriage right? No ketubot, no grandparents buried in Jewish cemeteries. No, they should do an easy "halachic return" because they feel Jewish and their grandmother lit candles. These people are completely self-entitled. When we tell them the reality that they're not Jewish, they whine about their hundreds of years of suffering. While their maybe-Jewish ancestors intermarried with catholics all over Latin America and were content going to churches in the 1700, 1800, 1900's my ancestors in Eastern Europe were victims of progroms. Cossak attacks, Russian imperialist, anti-Semitism, Holocaust. These wannabe Jews have no place whining about 400 years of suffering of "Crypto-Jews" when in reality 30 years ago, none of them had any clue about it. Fortunately, these people will never be accepted into Judaism. They live in their own bubble accepted only by themselves, their anusim groups, and by secular Jews, conservative, reform Jews etc. Those are the only groups that can accept these people as Jewish. If any of them figure it out and want to really be Jewish then they should drop the ulterior motives and contact a real Beis Din. Let go of the "born Jewish" delusion and accept the reality. There is absolutely no shame in being a righteous convert! It's not an easy way but it's the true way. If they really feel that they should not have to convert and feel it an insult to be a ben/bat Avraham Avinu and want to form their own cults then that tells you something about their character

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