Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Response to Neshama Saver's defense of EJF II

Neshama Saver wrote:

Rabbi, my views are my own. I cannot reference any sources. I am speaking from the heart, utilizing my life experiences growing up in the extreme frei world.

But that was exactly my point. Judaism is a top down organization based on Torah principles given to Moshe at Sinai and elucidated and developed by Torah scholars throughout the ages. It is not a debating society or a free-for-all. The guiding principles and values already exist. While there are legitimate differences of opinion – the starting point is trying to ascertain what G‑d wants based on a thorough study of relevant sources and a sensitive understanding of the nature of the problem. One can not go over to a computer expert and tell him what to do without knowing what a computer is nor can one legitimately involve oneself in legal or medical issues without study – so to is it necessary to have an immersion in Torah before making pronouncements on what G‑d wants and what the solution to Jewish problems are. The Reform movement speaks from the heart. Socialism speaks from the heart. Democracy speaks from the heart. Christians and Moslems speak from the heart – as do missionaries. Torah Judaism first asks what has G‑d told us to do. The Torah specifically says in Bamidbar (16:39): And it shall be to you for a fringe, that you may look upon it, and remember all the commandments of the Lord, and do them; and that you seek not after your own heart and your own eyes, which incline you to go astray; One of the major episodes in the Torah – the rebellion of Korach – came about because Korach said that his commonsense led him to reject the Torah Moshe gave to the Jews. Study the commentaries to Bamidbar (chapters 16 and 17) and you should experience déjà vu. Korach and his followers were so sure that they knew more than Moshe that they were willing and did in fact bet their lives on this belief. However to have a say in the Torah world – it is not enough to be wise, sensitive and caring. It is necessary to also be knowledgeable about Torah. Your heartfelt view might in fact by correct – but without validation from the Torah as understood by a talmid chachom – it is at most a possibly legitimate Jewish view. Avos (2:5) says a man ignorant of Torah can not be pious. That is because piety itself has to be defined and validated by Torah knowledge.

The criticism of you and those who wish to shut EJF and other kiruv organizations down is not personal. It is all about saving Jews. If organizations like EJF and the other kiruv groups ceased to exist, then Torah Judaism would hemorrhage even worse than it is now.

You keep repeating this assertion that I am trying to shut EJF and other kiruv organizations. That statement is simply and utterly false. Where have I ever said such a thing. I have repeatedly said that I am simply trying to ascertain the halachic basis for what they are doing. Just as I insist on judging what you say based on whether it is consistent with Torah sources – I also insist that rabbis justify what they are doing. The huge collection of responsa literature has been generated by the greatest rabbis providing what they consider the Torah basis for what they are doing. This has always been the Jewish way of doing things. I had an extensive exchange of letters with Rabbi Tropper in which I repeatedly asked him for the Torah basis for what he is doing. The answers he gave were irrelevant to my question – for reasons I still have not been able to discover. If he has said something similar to what you have been saying and cited sources for it that made sense – I would have no problem accepting it. He has not provided a single source to justify his actions.

Let me be more specific. Some of what you have been asserting is dealt with in the literature of conversion “leshem ishus” (for the sake of marriage). A very erudite English discussion of this is found in Rabbi Dovid Bleich’s volume I of “Contemporary Halachic Problems” in a chapter entitled “The conversion crisis.” He cites major rabbis who say that while there is a prohibition of converting someone who says that they are converting just to marry a Jew – if they are already intermarried then it is permitted to convert the non-Jewish spouse as long as that spouse is sincerely interested in keeping the mitzvos and since they are already married we don’t reject the conversion as being “for the sake of marriage.” There are those rabbis who will do the conversion only if the Jewish spouse agrees to be totally observant. So the battle you are fighting has already been fought – but that is not my issue. EJF is has two different programs – which seem to be contradictory. On the one hand they have announced that they want to upgrade – i.e., make conversion more difficult by setting higher standards worldwide. On the other hand they are running after intermarried couples and spending millions of dollars to convince them to convert. I will acknowledge the possibility that they might in fact have an acceptable rationale for the second part – but for some strange reason they have refused to share this rationale with me. Rav Sternbuch an the Bedatz has asked them for their rationale – they have not been given it to them either. I have not been able to obtain a single written defense of this program – despite the fact that some of the greatest rabbis in the world today are associated with his organization. It is not as if this rationale doesn’t exist because Rabbi Tropper himself wrote to me that in 2005 they had a written manual that dealt with these issues. He said the manual was withdrawn 18 months ago because it was “unclear.” Thus my concern has never been to close down EJF. I am just asking them the question every Jew has the right to ask – “please tell me the Torah basis for your actions.”

Sorry you find that statement astounding. I know what hashkafa is. However there are hundreds of diverging paths regarding hashkafa with Torah Judaism. Which is correct? Yeshivish, Satmar, Chabad, Laewood, Monsey, YU, Rabbi Avi Weiss, Modern Machmir, Mosern Liberal, etc. These are all considered Orthodox "Jewish". As long as one stays within boundaries regarding belief, then they are all kosher, correct?…

Hashkofa is not a supermarket. A view that might be well suited to your best friend might be harmful to you. Hashkofa has to be selected to maximize spiritual growth. One should have a rabbi to help guiding in selecting the optimal hashkofa.

But more to the point. You simply don’t understand what I am trying to do. It is ironic you are accusing me of forcing everyone to think the same way. I am well aware of the variety of hashkofic views. I have even published a sefer “Daas Torah” to present the range of hashkofic views. It was cited by Rabbi Tropper in my previous posting concerning “EJF smear campaign.” He even said, “I actually enjoy reading his book.”

The scriptural & halachic references I will need to ask you to ask those involved in kiruv. I do not know… The question is "do we let them die out or do we do whatever it takes to save them?", all within halachic guidelines of course. This is how EJF differs from the Reform & Conservative. Everything is to be done according to halacha.

I am glad we are in agreement – everything is to be done according to halacha. So what is the halachic basis for what they are doing with intermarried couples? As long as we acknowledge that there are limits to what we can do to achieve the desirable goal of saving Jews – we need to know what those limits are?

Regarding proselytizing, I truly do not believe EJF is doing so. If they were, I may be for it as a way to stop the above mentioned hemorrhage. But they are not.

You still haven’t explained why their activities to convince non‑Jewish spouses to convert are not proselytizing – you and Rabbi Tropper just keep repeating “we are not proselytizing.”

Groups like EJF are part of the solution. Instead of trying to shut them down, why not take a look at the non-frum world and see what exactly is going on?

Again you repeat the falsehood that I am trying to close down EJF. I do know what is going on in the non-frum world. We are not differing in understanding the problem. We are disagreeing as to the nature of the process of providing a solution.

No info regarding my family. Privacy issues again.

I can’t conceive of how your anonymity will be compromised by saying whether your kids are converted and whether they are attending a yeshiva. Can you at least confirm or deny whether EJF makes any efforts to get the non-Jewish children of intermarried couples into kiruv organizations or yeshivos in an attempt to convince them and their non-Jewish parent to convert?

I was referred to the EJF via their advertisement.

This is interesting because Rabbi Tropper told me that they only deal with couples that have been referred to them by rabbis. I was puzzled why EJF had an application form (the pdf) on their website which did not make any reference to a referring rabbi [their online form does ask for a rabbi as reference]. Would you agree with the statement that not all couples that EJF deals with were referred to them by a rabbi?

There is a solution to our problem, and EJF has been the only group proactive in dealing with it. Now that all this pressure from you and other Rabbis has made them retreat into a corner, perhaps now it's time to have a sit down with EJF and truly make what they are doing kosher according to your standards? Those Rabbis are no slouches. I'm sure you can hammer something out.

What you write is what I originally thought was obviously true. However after repeated attempts to get them to simply explain what they are doing and why – I have severe doubts that this will ever happen. I never thought a simple request for information would be perceived as a threat and I never imagined that my time honored action of requesting the Torah principles they have used would make me be perceived as a partner with the forces of evil in the world.

… It is my pleasure to help clarify my position. …You have been very respectful. …I'm glad I can provide a window into the insane non-frum Jewish world. Frum Jews need to step up to the plate and mekarev these people, not jettison us into the Jewish dustbin of history.

I have enjoyed your candor and idealism. You have in fact been very helpful. Furthermore you don't seem to have been terrorized by our dialogue. Perhaps you can convince Rabbi Tropper that I am not leading a conspiracy to destroy all his hard work and accomplishments. I am really not a scary person and in fact most people find me very reasonable. Perhaps you can explain to him that I simply want the Torah rationale – with sources and reasoning – which justify his dealings with intermarried couples and their children.


  1. "Neshama Saver" is not correct by saying that Orthodox Judaism abandoned intermarried couples. Orthodox Rabbis (Charedi, Modern Orthodox ,Chabbad and other chisidus) were converting gentile spouses of Jews for years. But it was done with dignity, compassion and discretion. They did not have conferences where people are being dined, fed and entertained. Those rabbis did not have big ads in the newspaper and glossy brochures.

    The process was more difficult than EJF requires.

    BTW, do you have a makor for EJF to drop the halachatic requirement that the couple would separated for three moths before the conversion.

    People in the keiruv business (rabbi Tropper is a rosh yeshiva for BT) say that they run out of the pool of potential baalei teshuva and now they have to reach to the intermarried. I am saying ‘NO, as long as there is one yid outside you did not run out ‘

  2. I second your "Response to Neshama Saver's defense of EJF II" . maybe this time you will get some answers.

  3. You appear to go out on a limb to criticize EJF. YOU criticize them no matter what they do.

    One thing that you are unfair (while you may have reservations as to their proseltyizing) you underestimate the ifference in their approach.While you claim that other rabbis already trie to deal with expost facto intermarries etc.please acknowlege an undeniable truth: most of their comversions does not involve a serious kabbalat hamitzvot! while EJF des advocate and attempts topractice it!

  4. Chabad spends unbelievable amounts of money "reaching out" to intermarried Jews and their non Jewish spouses and children (not to mention Gentiles with no Jewish genetic connection via their "Seven Noahide laws programs).

    Gentile children of intermarried men are not excluded from Modern Orthodox kiruv programs or schools where they are often gives tuition grants in the hopes that they will "convert".

    Oorah, is an example of a "kiruv" organization that goes door to door looking for families with Jewish names to get the children into their programs. What do they do when they encounter the large percentage of Jewish surnames connected to non Jewish women and children?

    Aish spends a fortune on glossy kiruv programs and like Chabad is a presence on many American college campuses. Given a 50% plus intermarriage rate in the US among non Orthodox Jews, how many of the participants in Aish kiruv programs COULD BE Jewish k'halacha?

    Among Jews from the FSU, the intermarriage rate has been 80% for four generations. How many "Jews" from the FSU could possibly be Jewish k'halacha by now? And yet there are many Orthodox "kiruv" programs directed toward "Jews" from the FSU.

    Still other "kiruv" groups focus on proselytizing to Hispanic Gentiles they call "anusim" from Latin and South America. Often these are funded by Fundamental Christians.

    Shalvei Israel, for example which claims not to proselytize holds "seminars" in Latin and South America, Barcelona and Mallorca to
    "attract" Hispanic Gentiles "back to Judaism" and runs a Spanish language conversion institute in Israel. Shalvei Israel pays for Gentiles who are interested in converting to Judaism to go to Israel. A substantial amount of Shalvei's funding comes from Christian organizations.

    It IS unfair to target EJF alone, as many have been doing this for decades.

  5. EJF supporter said:

    ...please acknowlege an undeniable truth: most of their comversions does not involve a serious kabbalat hamitzvot! while EJF des advocate and attempts topractice it!

    Unfortunately this attitude is too typical to EJF, they like to say that most other conversions are not proper and only their are. Do you have any evidence for that assertion ?

  6. Metzger: Only centralized lineage records can prevent forbidden marriages

    Chief Rabbi calls for compliation of computerized database of all Jews to prevent marriages deemed sinful by Jewish law

    Kobi Nahshoni
    Published: 12.19.07, 23:10 / Israel Jewish Scene

    "A strictly observant, learned man who studied at a prestigious yeshiva recently applied for permission to marry. But a rabbinical examination revealed that he was not even Jewish - his father married had a gentile woman after the Holocaust and had been too ashamed to tell his children the truth."

    The above is one of the examples Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger cited as leading him to begin working towards the establishment of a worldwide information center in which information on all Jewish marriages will be stored.

    "There is a need for a computerized center to gather information on all Jews who marry according to Jewish law," Metzger said on Monday at the 'World Conference on Jewish Civil Law' in Jerusalem. In his speech, the rabbi stressed the importance of marriage witnesses' testimony to prevent legal errors.

    Rabbi Metzger said that there is a need to correct stringent rulings on marriage registrations in Israel and abroad so as to avoid situations in which couples come before the rabbinate to marry and are rejected.

    Today, in Jewish communities across the world, anyone who wants to marry is forced to prove their Judaism by submitting to an in-depth investigation by a rabbinical court of Jewish law (Beit Din).

    This year marked the 17th year of the annual conference which was held over the course of three days - in which dozens of speakers took part in varied discussions, among them former chief rabbis of Israel, chief local rabbis, rabbinical judges, yeshiva heads, public figures, Knesset members and legal scholars.

    In his opening remarks, organizer Rabbi Arusi called on the ministers and MK's in attendance to approve of legislation aiming to transfer more powers to rabbinical courts and to bestow the courts with legal authority rather than simply view them as arbiters.

    My comments:
    The database should be searchable by Rabbis, Roshei Yeshiva and parents. It is NEARLY IMPOSSIBLE now for parents to find out if a shiddach recommendation is Jewish in anything but name.

    Community Rabbis and Roshei Yeshiva cannot be relied upon because it is rare for a Rabbi to have even met the mother or maternal grandmother.

    Intermarried men DO lie to the Gentile children who grow up believing they are Jewish. Often the young person first finds out they are not Jewish when they go to marry.

    I have also seen several annulments
    after the truth was discovered,sometimes years later, which have caused unspeakable heartbreak for all involved.

    Many Orthodox Rabbis throughout the world have unknowingly performed intermarriages and for this reason, kettubot are not reliable to attest to Jewish status.

    Intermarried men lie on yeshiva applications stating that Gentile mother was a born Jew. Many mistakenly rely upon the fact that a person attended a fine yeshiva to attest to his/her Jewish status k'halacha.

  7. To Anonymous 3:56,

    Obviously you are one of those Yidden who believe we should all gather behind the ghetto walls and just become very sheltered and have nothing to do with the outside world, or Jews who do not live, believe, look or behave like us.

    Please just admit that you are anti-kiruv. Nothing any of the above mentioned groups can do would satisfy you.

    Thankfully, most frum Yidden do not see things like you do, and thousands upon thousadns of Yidden are returning to Torah, or converting as per the halachot.

  8. Anonymous said...

    "You appear to go out on a limb to criticize EJF. YOU criticize them no matter what they do."
    Instead of making wild generalization - please cite the comment that bothers you. Your statement above is wrong. I have been focusing on their proselytizing of intermarried couples and
    asking for the halachic basis.
    "please acknowlege an undeniable truth: most of their comversions does not involve a serious kabbalat hamitzvot! while EJF des advocate and attempts topractice it!"
    Again you are making an assertion without providing proof. It is not helpful.

  9. "It IS unfair to target EJF alone, as many have been doing this for decades."

    Let me reword your statement. You would like to broaden the focus of concern. But this has nothing to do with fairness. It has to do with noting a problem and trying to correct it.
    EJF is of particular concern in that it was set up with the express goal of correcting the mess. Are they in fact correcting the problem?

    For those who have knowledge of the others who are problematic - I would be willing to post well written discussions which are based on established facts.

  10. Neshama Saver said...

    To Anonymous 3:56,

    "Please just admit that you are anti-kiruv. Nothing any of the above mentioned groups can do would satisfy you.

    Thankfully, most frum Yidden do not see things like you do, and thousands upon thousadns of Yidden are returning to Torah, or converting as per the halachot."

    While you are a nice guy and I admire your courage. But could you please stick with facts instead of giving speeches. Since you have acknowledged you do not know the halacha how can you assert that they are converting as per the halacha?

    BTW you didn't answer my questions from this posting.

  11. "You would like to broaden the focus of concern."

    YES!!! This is correct.

    "But this has nothing to do with fairness. It has to do with noting a problem and trying to correct it."

    Correct again!!!

    In my opinion, EJF is certainly NOT correcting ANY problem but rather legitimizing intermarriage and proselytizing to Gentiles.

    Thank you for clarifying these very important points.

  12. Dear Rabbi Eidensohn

    Chazak ve’hematz and hatzlocha in your effort to stand up for torah even it is not the most popular thing right now and it puts you in minority.

    But you are in good company; Nachshon, Pinchus and Eliyahu were in minority at one point.

    I am not trying to be disrespectful but I have a question, EJF has many rabbonim to support them how come they did not get you ? I am sure that with their seemingly bottomless coffers of money they could offer you paid trips to their conferences, be a speaker in the conferences or pay for a sabbatical for you.

    I am just wondering because you seem to be one of only few people to question their approach.

  13. a poshut yid said...

    "I am not trying to be disrespectful but I have a question, EJF has many rabbonim to support them how come they did not get you ? I am sure that with their seemingly bottomless coffers of money they could offer you paid trips to their conferences, be a speaker in the conferences or pay for a sabbatical for you.

    I am just wondering because you seem to be one of only few people to question their approach."
    Let us get something very clear. I am not - chas v'shalom - questioning the integrity of EJF.

    I am simply asking them for the halachic basis of what they are doing. Apparently those who do not question know the halachic basis and approve of it.

    For some unknown reason EJF - has not wanted to explain the halachic basis to Bedatz or to me. Rabbi Tropper did write to me that at some point Rav Reuven Feinstein would be available to explain it - but as of yet it hasn't happened.

    The Bedatz has in fact questioned the halachic legitimacy of what EJF is doing. I have served only as a messenger to try to persuade the EJF to provide their halachic reasoning. If the Bedatz accepts their halachic reasoning then that would close the matter.

  14. Rabbi, I haven't answered your questions as doing so takes about an hour out of my day, and I've needed all my hours this week, as I already spent considerable time answering your other questions.

    In the meanwhile, I just read this on the Forward's web page.

    This is insane!

    Rural Converts Journey Into Judaism

    By Jennifer Siegel
    Wed. Dec 19, 2007

    PLUGGING IN: Some of the Cairo, Ill., residents who decided to convert to Judaism wait to enter the mikveh, the final step in their lengthy conversion process

    A rural community described as “far away from everywhere,” Cairo, Ill., boasts 40 churches, 40 blocks and fewer than 4,000 people — and as of earlier this month, it also has 55 brand-new Jews.

    Dozens of Cairo’s residents — all African American and ranging from toddler to senior citizen — visited a mikveh in Memphis, Tenn., on December 9 and took the plunge into conversion. It was the culmination of an 18-month spiritual journey that has brought a number of Reform and Conservative Jews into common cause with a group of spiritual seekers from a town that is predominantly black and poor.

    “It was incredible. Who would have thought that rabbis in St. Louis and Memphis would increase the number of Jews of color in America appreciably?” said Rabbi Micah Greenstein, who attended the conversion ceremonies and serves as the spiritual leader of Temple Israel, a Reform congregation in Memphis. “Judaism saved my life,” one of the converts told Greenstein. “That’s the first time in 100 converts that I’ve ever heard that,” the rabbi said.

    The conversion odyssey, which was first reported on by Memphis’s Commercial Appeal newspaper, began in Cairo roughly four or five years ago, when a now 39-year-old computer repairman named Phillip Matthews grew disaffected with the Baptist faith in which he was raised and became interested in Judaism. Described as having a magnetic personality by several rabbis involved in the Cairo conversions, Matthews quickly found himself at the center of a study circle that involved an extended network of friends and family — including, by his estimation, 17 or 18 relatives, among them his mother, siblings, nieces and nephews — who ultimately converted to Judaism along with him.

    “[Judaism is the] oldest and most reliable religion on the planet,” Matthews said in an interview with the Forward, explaining his initial interest. “We were the type of people, we didn’t just want to read what was in the book; we wanted to live out what we were reading.”

    By sometime in 2006, Matthews had begun “teaching Torah study” and decided, along with more than 30 others, that he wanted to study toward conversion, according to Rabbi Lynn Goldstein, a Reform rabbi in St. Louis who mentored the Cairo group extensively.

    “I got a phone call from Phillip, and he basically said, ‘I’d like to study to convert to Judaism,’” Goldstein recalled. “[They] came to this as a group, as a whole group of people who had been meeting for many years, studying the Torah, and observing the Sabbath.”

    Although Cairo is roughly 170 miles south of St. Louis — a trip that takes two-and-a-half to three hours by car — Goldstein was the closest rabbi who volunteered to work with Matthews’s group. And so, the Cairo cohort began a series of arduous weekly journeys to study with her up in St. Louis, where the group members sat on folding chairs filling nearly every available space in her living room. At first, the caravan of adults and children made weekly treks up to St. Louis to study with Goldstein for two to three hours Wednesday evenings. Later, the group switched to meeting every other Sunday, all day.

    “By the grace of the father in heaven, we had no accidents going up and down the highway for 18 months,” Matthews said of the long journeys.

    Ordained at New York’s Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in 1987, Goldstein took the group on a number of field trips as part of the training, including to a kosher butcher and the St. Louis Holocaust museum. During her living room teaching sessions, young and old studied together, with her two young daughters leading separate educational games in the basement for the younger children. In total, the cohort of 55 converts included 11 children under the age of 13.

    In Goldstein’s view, a turning point for the group came last April, when congregants at the synagogue where she maintains a part-time pulpit, Reform Congregation Beth Jacob in Carbondale, Ill., welcomed the members at a community service and the Cairo folks surprised everyone with a gospel-style arrangement of the Shema prayer.

    “[Phillip said,] ‘You’re going to have to trust me,’ and then they started bringing in a keyboard and all sorts of stuff,” Goldstein recalled. “Everybody had their arms on each other and was swaying.”

    Both Goldstein and Matthews said that members of the Cairo group felt genuinely embraced by members of the Carbondale congregation, many of whom are professors and professionals who work at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

    It was the mikveh ceremony itself that became the group’s final hurdle. While Goldstein recruited a number of Reform and Conservative rabbis in St. Louis to serve on the three-member batei din, or religious courts, needed to approve the candidates as ready for conversion, she was not able to arrange for the group to use St. Louis’s community mikveh, for reasons she declined to explain. Ultimately, the conversions were held at the Conservative Beth Sholom Synagogue in Memphis.

    In Matthews’s view, rising to meet challenges is part of the essential message of Judaism.

    “When you read the Bible, when you read the Old Testament, and you see all the things that the ancestors of old endured, you see what it is to have endured,” Matthews said.

    Mordecai Miller, a Conservative St. Louis rabbi who helped authorize a number of the conversations, said he was impressed by the converts’ sincerity. “Did they have a halachic consciousness?” he asked. “The truth is that they do. And sadly, there are many Jews who do not have that sense of being commanded.”

    On the weekends when there are no services or when the group can’t make the hour trek to Carbondale, Matthews said everyone observes the Sabbath together in Cairo. And as time goes on, he is hopeful that more members of his community will turn toward Judaism.

    “Our job as a newly converted Jew is to show the people that there is a better way of life,” Matthews said. “Right now, we’re just taking a simple message to our people: If you’re seeking, what you’re seeking for you’ll find, and if you’re looking for truth, I believe in my heart that Judaism is a better option.”

    If, at times, Matthews’s spiritual rhetoric still seems somewhat borrowed from Christianity, Goldstein argues that it is all part of the journey.

    “Doesn’t everyone who comes to Judaism have their own understanding of what it is?” she said.

  15. "please acknowlege an undeniable truth: most of their comversions does not involve a serious kabbalat hamitzvot! while EJF des advocate and attempts topractice it!"
    Again you are making an assertion without providing proof. It is not helpful.

    I will cite you ne proof: Rav Moshe Feinstein in one of his tEshuvos already cmmented upon his displeasure about MOST conversions in theh USA in *his* times where most do not undergo a serious kabbalat hamitzvot (not ready to keep torah and mitzvot). And this was continued after his passing in a much higher degree...IF you are so sincere and leshem shomayim go out and check the converts of rabbis in usa and ask for the list of their converts in the past 20 years and be honest t find out how many keep torah an mitzvot and how many kept torah and mitzvot RIGHT after the conversions and MOST of the cnversons were done to intermarried couples. IF you are leshem shmayim let us hear you anounce an protest about particularrabbis that did and DO mass cnversions without kabbalat hamitzvot. INsead you attack eJF when their number one gal is to have standard f kabbalat hamitzvot.

  16. "go out and check the converts of rabbis in usa and be honest t find out how many keep torah an mitzvot and how many kept torah and mitzvot RIGHT after the conversions and MOST of the cnversons were done to intermarried couples."

    I have met literally dozens and dozens of "converts" for marriage and strongly believe there is NO SUCH THING!!! I have not yet known ONE who did not live a "double life". And this is also true two or three generations later.

    Our brother married a girl whose maternal grandmother was converted by an Orthodox Rabbi to permit her marriage to a Jew. We did not find this out until right before the wedding and several Rabbis accused my parents of sinning by trying to break the engagement. The girls mother was raised in a "kosher, Shomer Shabbas home" and attended Jewish day school.

    The girl and her siblings were raised in our community, attended Jewish schools and always appeared frum.

    We know now that this girl has been married to our brother for several years, that she grew up spending Xmas in Italy, going to church and eating treif. Her own children also eat treif, go to church and spend Xmas with the mother's family as do her sisters who are each married to men from frum families in Baltimore and NY.

    Anyone who professes to be a sincere convert should go live in Israel ALONE indefinitely to study Judaism. If she still wants to convert after the possibility of being married to the man she caused to sin has been permanently removed, then we can say she is sincere in her commitment to Judaism and there is a kabbalas mitzvas. Otherwise it is a sham that will destroy GENERATIONS of well meaning Jewish families rather than "saving" even a single Jew.


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