Monday, April 7, 2008

What you find sometimes lurking under the rocks!






The following is an example of what I usually reject. However every once in a while it is helpful to be reminded of what lurks out there. It would be nice if we could maintain a high level discussion based solely on facts. Unfortunately social action requires dealing with all types of people.

--------------------

Anti-Hypocrite Heeb has left a new comment on your post "An unintentional intermarriage - Jewish Action Mag...":

The hypocrisy & self-righteousness of Jersey Girls and other arrogant Torah-rejecting so-called frum Jews astounds me.
Since you are all the self-declared watchdogs of Taliban Jewry, do you even accept the geirus of the woman in the Jewish Action article, or even though she now did EVERYTHING correct according to all halacha, is she forever banned from being a Jew because she didn't emerge from a Jewish womb?

Just admit that you hate all goyim and that all converts to Torah Judaism, no matter how sincere and no matter how halachachly correct their conversion was, will NEVER be acceptable Jews in your eyes and the other evil ones who simply HATE!

21 comments :

  1. Recipients and PublicityApril 7, 2008 at 9:36 PM

    To "Anti-Hypocrite Heeb" tone down and don't jump to conclusions. There is no "Taliban" at work here and this is just a blog to discuss things, something the Taliban would never allow.

    "Gila Davids" (*Gila Davids is a pen name) the woman who told her story "An Unintentional Intermarriage" in the "Jewish Action" magazine (SPRING 2008/5768 – Volume 68, No. 3) http://www.ou.org/index.php/jewish_action/article/38176/ describes a tale of personal heroism of epic proportions!

    Have you noted how absolutely totally honest she is and how clearly in touch with the emes (truth) she is all throughout her personal saga? If every person in her situation were to be as honest and forthcoming and willing to seek honest Halachik solutions for that kind of personal religious and existential predicament then the "conversion wars" all around us could be solved relatively quickly and clearly.

    But the Gila Davids story is THE EXCEPTION THAT PROVES THE RULE because most people who have either actively brought themselves into this type of situation (by pretending to have a "valid" conversion) or have found themselves in this type of situation due to no personal fault of their own (like Gila Davids) would unfortunately not react the way she did or seek the kind of solutions that she would.

    Bottom line, "Jersey Girl" likes to drag in the reactions of the Israeli Chief Rabbinate into every discussion, but that is not fair or applicable to every discussion.

    While the Israeli chief rabbinate is powerful and important it is NOT the final or last voice or opinion in Halachah by any means, and not everyone is running to move to Israel. The Israeli chief rabbinate does not speak for every last legitimate posek or Beth Din in the world. It may seek to assert it's authority, much like the secular Israeli government wishes to present itself as the "only" voice for world Jewry, but it is not and likewise the Israeli Chief Rabbinate is not the only or last word in Halachah or its application by any means!

    None of the Hasidic courts nor Haredi yeshivas or establishments in Israel or America accept the sole authity of the Israeli chief rabbinate and in fact they could care less of it went out of business and disappeared tomorrow. On the left of the Orthodox spectrum, the Modern Orthodox Rabbinical Council of America (RCA) is still the dominant Halachic body of all Modern Orthodx and Religious Zionist Jewry in the United States and even for many in Israel and they do not see themselves as being submissive to or under the control of the Israeli chief rabbinate on any issue including issues of conversions. And there are still other Batei Din in the world that function independently of any of the above, quite a few, like the Batei Din in London, Johannesburg, Paris, New York and all over the USA, even such as those affiliated with the EJF that do not see themselves as under the Israeli chief rabbinate in any way even though they may actively work with it. So "Jersey Girl" is off on that point when she keeps on coming up with the mantra of "what will they say in Israel" when in many cases noone cares and it makes no difference.

    Thus, there are definitely Halachik opinions, poskim and Batei Din that would undertake, judge and approve of the conversion of "Gila Davids" as she describes it in the "Jewish Action" story she wrote -- in fact the very fact that her story is published and publicised in the ORTHODOX UNION's "Jewish Action" magazine should tell you that they are in fact giving their tacit approval and blessings to her story and conversion and would approve of it regardless of what anyone else may judge it to be or think of it.

    Furthermore, the OU's rabbinical guidance comes from Modern Orthodoxy's RCA and in a silent partnership with Haredi and even Hasidic rabbis. Such as Rabbi Yisroel Belsky who is a noted Haredi posek in New York and one of the Roshei Yeshiva at Torah Vodaas in Brooklyn and is one of the OU's leading Halachik heads together with Rabbi Menacahem Genack who is a close disciple of Rabbi J.B. Soloveitchik zt"l (who was a former member of Aguda's Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah when it was initially founded but who then switched to found and lead the RCA instead!) and in addition the OU employs and relies upon many Hasidic rabbis and mashgigichim in Kashrut. So there is a de facto cooperation going on behind the scenes in America that may not be so obvious to people like you and the public but that actually works to the benefit of people like "Gila Davids" who if it can be established that they are sincere and seek to go by the truth only, and are not hiding anything nor playing games, will get the Kosher conversions they seek and lead the Torah lives they aspire to after receiving Halachik conversions from rabbis and Batei Din that are willing to work with them, even though other rabbis and Batei Din may disagree but that has always been the way of Halachah because there is still no one single enforcable Halachik standard for conversions, or for anything, no matter how much some may scream and stamp their feet, for better or worse.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Dear Anti Hypocrite Heeb:

    Actually, I love my sister in law, I love her exactly as G-d in His Infinite Wisdom created her to be. She is as an Italian Catholic who mistakenly thought she was Jewish.

    When she and my brother got engaged, my father's solution to the problem was "you are young, good looking and smart, go meet someone else".

    My father's Rabbi would not marry them. My brother went to Chabad Rabbi (where he had learned along with Ohr Sameach)and they convened a Beis Din of three shluchim, two of whom had never met my sister in law. The premarital mikveh was also her conversion tevila.

    My sister in law craves sausage and parma ham and confessed to my sister that she buys it and eats in the car. She must think that all Jews "cheat" since she then told my sister and grandmother that she brings her children to Church.

    I would guess that she does not see anything wrong with this. Her "converted" mother took her and her sisters to church also. (One married to a Baltimore yeshivishe guy, I do not know any others).

    Is there anything WRONG with an Italian Catholic being an Italian Catholic? Why can't we love her as she is, in the way in which G-d created her to be and just accept that?

    Why do some Jews want to recreate Gentiles as Jews instead of having the faith to assume that G-d created Gentiles in the way they were meant to be created?

    My brother accidentally got involved with an Italian Catholic who thought she was Jewish.

    It was a shiddach and they had known each other for 6 weeks before becoming engaged, why not just break it off at that point? Why try to second guess G-d and recreate Creation; to make a nice Gentile girl into a Jew?

    My sister in law is trapped in a life she can never successfully live because this is not the way in which G-d made her. No matter how nicely she is treated or how well she is accepted, SHE knows that she is not keeping her vow to live as a Torah Jew and SHE feels inadequate.

    How much happier she would be if she were married to another Gentile. She could eat what she wants, wear what she wants and do whatever she wants. She would not have to hide when my sister runs in to her in a museum and she is wearing shorts. She would not have to lie about the fact that she is going with her children to spend Christmas with her mothers family and not on some educational tour. Her life would not be the deceit that it has become.

    My brother is not happy either. He is sincerely frum and has never lived any other way. As a 20 year old how could he understand that his clean shaven father who couldn't communicate much in English was right and that the Rabbis with the black hats and the big beards were wrong? He simply trusted the Rabbis who told him that his Shomer Shabbat, Yirat Shamayim father was an "Am Haaretz" who didn't know any halacha and that it was a mitzvah to "love the convert", that he was marrying into the best possible lineage and that this girl was a better Jew than his mother or sisters.

    Now he has a Gentile wife and children who will never be Jewish in Israel the only place where it counts.

    The children are not happy either. They feel very uncomfortable in the Jewish world despite the fact that they have never been told anything except that their mother is Jewish.

    My brother's Bar Mitzvah aged son recently sneaked off to eat the pork sausage being sampled at the supermarket. My brother got mad at him and told me about this. The boy is not Jewish. Why wouldn't pork be appealing to him? What right does my brother have to be angry at him for being exactly as G-d created him to be?

    No Anti Hypocrite Heeb, I do not hate goyim and I do not hate those goyim who mistakenly believe that they are Jewish.

    The people who HATE are those who cannot accept that G-d created Jews and Gentiles to be different and separate.

    It is a CHUTZPAH to try to recruit Gentiles in order to recreate them as Jews. Perhaps this fulfills Zionist goals for a powerful and populous state with an army to support but doing this denies that Hashem is the Master of the World and that the World was created according to Hashem's plan and NOT the plans of Ben Gurion, Herzl or of the German Minister William Hechler, the real father of Modern Zionism.

    If in your opinion, following halacha is, as you say "Taliban" then perhaps you have been inadvertently indoctrinated into a religion other than traditional Judaism.

    We cannot bring Moshiach by deciding to, just as we will not initiate the Messianic era by proselytizing Gentiles to accept our G-d and become "Jews". These are the ideas of another religion, and no matter how many Jews have been indoctrinated to accept them, they will always remain foreign.

    I wish you all the best and hope that you will take the time to sit down with a qualified Orthodox Rabbi who might help you understand the difficult and intricate halachot of Giur and the awesome burden involved in second guessing G-d and forever changing the nature of the Jewish people in making a Gentile a Jew.

    You might also then see that it is the person who REFUSES the Gentile who seeks to convert that is the one who loves him. It is the Rabbis who make it DIFFICULT for a Gentile to become a Jew who the compassionate ones and NOT the other way around as you now believe.

    It is a foreign idea that we perfect a Gentile by making her a Jew.

    ReplyDelete
  3. "Jersey Girl" likes to drag in the reactions of the Israeli Chief Rabbinate into every discussion, but that is not fair or applicable to every discussion."

    RaP - If the children of Gila Davids are not eligible to marry a Jew in Israel, why is this not relevant to every discussion where the question of "who is a Jew?" is relevant.

    It is highly unlikely that Ms. David's children will be accepted as Jews in Israel by either the Rabbinute or Bedatz (Those who do not trust Rabbinute enough, do hold by Bedatz). Ms. Davids' is the non Jewish offspring of an intermarriage. Her conversion was done to permit another intermarriage and her children were converted in order to please their Jewish biological father as they are too young to make such a decision for themselves.

    Would YOU (honestly) marry your only son to Ms. Davids' daughter with the full knowledge and disclosure that your grandchildren will be Gentiles according to the Israeli Rabbinut and that they will not be eligible to marry Jews in Israel?

    If this is something you personally would not accept for your only son (because EVERY child is an only child in the eyes of his parents), then it is not fair for you to accept such a standard for other Jewish families.

    My brother's life has been destroyed both in this world and the next by a Rabbi who applied a standard to our family that he has not and NEVER would accept for his own children (I have kept up with their marriages).

    Rabbi Marc Angel, the former President of the RCA has agreed to Bar Mitzvah my brother's son. Would he also agree to allow his only son to marry my brother's daughter?

    Rabbi Angel knows that my brother's children are not Jewish according to the Israeli Rabbinute and that the offspring of my brothers daughters will be Gentiles in Israel.

    If Rabbi Angel would not accept my brother's daughter for his own son, then it is hypocritical for him to accept those children into the community, to treat them as if they are Jewish enough for SOMEONE ELSE'S precious children.

    Sadly there have always been hypocrites.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Anti-Hypocrite HeebApril 8, 2008 at 2:42 AM

    Jersey Girl,

    Your views are extremely warped and close-minded. As the first poster said, your Bedatz has zero authority in Israel or anywhere else.
    Who cares about where one is accepted as a true Jew, in Israel or in the diaspora? Israel is not the only place it truly counts. That is such crapola!
    It is about halacha, period.
    Just because you have a messed=up psychopathically lying family doesn't mean everyone else is like your wacked out sister in law who goes to church. She is the exception, my friend.

    And the Talmud says that treif, particularly PORK, smells awesome, and that we shouldn't say it's disgusting simply because we're not supposed to eat it. The true battle is smelling the sweet savor of it and rejecting it because Torah says so, period.
    Your nephew didn't fail the "Jew-grossed out by pork" smell test. Whether he is Jew or gentile, he failed the Torah test by tasting it. It has nothing to do with what he is.
    I am a frum Yid who was raised completely frei. When I smell McDonald's, KFC or Boston Market when I am hungry, my mouth waters.
    I also walk to shul with those who are ffb. They tell me that while they never tasted treif that is sure smells good and how wonderful it must taste.
    These are spiritually attuned Jews, NJ Girl, unlike you, who lives in a shtetl of your own mind!

    Deny that you believe that all converts are insincere. You can;t cause your neshama has been poisoned by your own experiences dealing with relatives who are mentally disturbed.

    Thanks to the first poster who gave me chizuk that the Jewish world isn't run by Taliban Jewry and that there are frum options to those who like to utilize the mind Hashem gave us.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I just read the Gila Davids story and am very underwhelmed.

    Clearly a Kiruv organization, such as Aish or Chabad, outreached to her and her husband.

    Are we to believe that this outreach Rabbi got to know the family so well that he convinced them to learn at a Kollel, and yet never bothered to ask a few "getting to know you" questions which would have easily revealed Gila's gentile status? Afterall, she clearly had nothing to hide!

    This is the first problem. Once again, a US based Kiruv Rabbi reaches out to an intermarried man. Somehow I suspect this man earns a good living.

    Then, in her "sincerity", she shopped Rabbis until she found one who would give her the answer she wants. Do you really think this is the Jewish way? If Rabbi 1 says no, keep going to other Rabbis until you get a "yes"?

    Clearly she remained with her husband throughout this time. So, while they were getting more religious and she was preparing for conversion, he was also cohabiting with a gentile, and she (the gentile) was continuing to cause this Jew to sin.

    Gila says she really wanted to follow the Torah....what about the sins of the fathers being visited on the children?

    This whole story is a nauseating. Gila is the product of intermarriage and the cause of an intermarriage. She did not sincerely want to follow the religion. She wanted what she wanted, which was to keep her husband and to keep her self image as a holy person.

    The first Rabbi she went to was right. Because she was NOT sincere, she did not accept his opinion and continued to shop. This typifies exactly the kind of nonsense that American Rabbis allow.

    Gila is not the exception that proves the rule. She is exactly the rule. Most people in her position just shop and shop until they find someone who will convert.

    RAP, if your Jewish neighbor purchased a Purdue Chicken (not kosher), would you consider him sincerely religious if he went to three Rabbis before finding one to permit the chicken? or would you think he was insincere right after the first Rav told him it's unkosher?

    ReplyDelete
  6. Recipients and PublicityApril 8, 2008 at 5:32 AM

    Jersey Girl there you go again, and obviously the OU and the rabbis who edit, support and published the Gila Davids story in their Jewish Action magazine and on the official OU website do not agree with you or with the kind of potential reactions from the Israeli Chief Rabbinate. Indeed that is the view of the RCA that they will not go along with Israeli strictures!

    Are you a Zionist? Because from your reactions you seem to believe that the Zionist Chief Rabbinate of Israel is the "last court of appeal" -- acting as a kind of "posek acharon" and a de facto, if not de jure in some people's eyes, "Sanhedrin" that has the last say in Halachik and conversion matters which it simply does NOT have as far as the totality of world Jewry is concerned.

    And why you cite "mihu yehudi" is incomprehensible bacause the official policy of the Israeli government is that the word "kehalachah" has still not been added to the "mihu yehudi" law, as the late Lubavitcher Rebbe lobbied for it to read for converts as "giyur kehalachah" and as such the case has still not been definitively settled and that the Israeli chief rabbinate is acting ad hoc, meaning they are winging it as they go along because they have still not obtained the final power to be the last authority in this or any Halachik matter.

    So please do not act, as I fear you are now coming across, as "holier than the Pope" as you preach a point of view that not every rov, posek and beth din in the world agrees with, so that while *your* view is that: "Ms. Davids' is the non Jewish offspring of an intermarriage. Her conversion was done to permit another intermarriage and her children were converted in order to please their Jewish biological father as they are too young to make such a decision for themselves." It is obviously NOT the view of the Orthodox rabbi and beth din that converted her and her children and it is not the view of the OU and its official mouthpiece the Jewish Action publication that is putting forth this story and this case PRECISELY because they want to make a statement, in roundabout terms admitedly to avoid open confrontation, that they do not accept the position you keep on espousing in the name of the Israeli chief rabbinate.

    Sorry to disappoint you but some rabbis and batei din do not care what the Israeli chief rabbinate says or does and they simply ignore them and go on living life.

    And one more thing, while citing an example or two from real life may be nice, there are limits to self-disclosusre too but when you keep on mentioning so many personal stories and noone even knows who you are, unlike Rabbi Dr. Eidensohn who does not hide behind aliases, then you basically have very little credibilty especially when Gila Davids writes that she had found Orthodox rabbis to meet *her* conversion challenges.

    We are still not at the point of the full Messianic Age when the door to converts will be shut tight. Perhaps it is, your metaphorical Syrian slip that is showing with all their un-Halachik and anti-Halachik bans against even geirei tzedek which goes against the Torah and which they instituted to save their ethnic Syrian skins but has nothing to do with true Yiddishkeit that is still willing to work with genuine converts and there are valid (albeit minority) Halachik opinions that would allow people like Gila Davids to become geirei tzedek even under the complex situation they live in, it's not impossible Halachically as you make it sound.

    You do not talk like a rabbi, that is for sure, and often one finds that lay people are more strident and strict simply because they do have a framework for seeing how nuanced and flexible Halachah can be no matter what the situation, without compromising the emes and the din. So please cool your stridency and try to give a few less family and personal examples and try to argue on a more theoretical and rational basis.

    As for what anyone would do personally and who they would marry, this is an old question. Would anyone today marry Sarah Imeinu, or Tziporah the wife of Moshe or Ruth the Moabite and many other righteous converts? The situation today is more complex and some rabbonim do see a Halachik solution for some intermarrieds and it is not all bleak. The critique of the EJF is that they wish to make this into a "mass effort" and that is where the danger is that in rather than leaving it up to personal struggle and the guidance of H-shem, potential converts should not be helped in a mass production rubber-stamp manner.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Recipients and PublicityApril 8, 2008 at 5:43 AM

    To Jersey Girl: If you had bothered to CAREFULLY read the Gila Davids story in the Jewish Action article you would see that she is NOT like your "Italian sister-in-law" in any way!!!

    Gila Davids and her husband were both not religious Jews, she was somewhat more "traditional" but neither of them had any connection to Orthodoxy or Halachik Judaism, which only started when they met the Kollel couples in their local community.

    They then started becoming Baal Teshuva, unlike anyone in your family who always seems to be going in the other direction, or after they get entrapped by people who turn out to be gentile spouses, unlike Gila Davids and her husband who are two VERY sincere and truthful people who are not playing any games with anyone and she wants to do ONLY the will of H-shem 100% without any shadow of a doubt. She ain't no Italian two-faced liar eating ham and faking it. Try to keep your examples and answers aligned with the questions please.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Anti-Hypocrite HeebApril 8, 2008 at 4:27 PM

    Recipients,

    Thank you so much for your posts.

    They have restored my faith in this blog, where Taliban-Jewish elements have been trying to take over.

    Baruch Hashem there is no Jewish version of the Pope, l'havdil. If the Bedatz & the Israeli Rabbinate were actually in charge, chas v'shalom, all Jewish women would be wearing burkas.

    New Jersey girl's comments are way off and against halacha.
    What bothers me more than that is that you, Recipients, are the only other poster her who has rebuked her.

    ReplyDelete
  9. to RAPS

    You appear to be getting emotionally unraveled.

    Jersey Girl uses her family's experience as an illustration, and to show that she is not taking the 20,000 foot view, but has been intimately involved with these types of situations.

    In my personal experience, I have been exposed to over 100 people who claim to have been converted. Because most of these are people I got to know rather well, I can tell you that most of them either did not actually convert, or converted under conditions and circumstances that have never been accepted according to Halacha.

    I know an "Orthodox Rabbi" who converted a woman who was pregnant as the result of an adulterous relationship with the Jewish man she was about to marry. Public records show the divorce happening 4 weeks before the new marriage, and then 4 weeks later the baby was born. Would YOU consider that baby girl a born Jew? Fit for your son? Fit for a Kohen?

    You rant a lot about Halachic this-and-that....put your money where your mouth is. Don't pilpul all the different books you own looking for choice sentences you can piece together to reflect your own belief system.

    Instead of cook-booking your own religion, please enlighten us all by pointing to chapter and verse [in any version of the Shulchan Aruch] that permits the conversion of the children of an intermarriage, or permits the conversion of a gentile spouse of a Jewish man who is living in favorable circumstances.

    Assuming you don't produce this, I will then ask you what the difference is between a Conservative "Rabbi" and an Orthodox Rabbi in your view. My perception was always that the Orthodox follow Halacha as expressed by whatever version of the Shulchan Aruch meets their tradition. So, if your so called Orthodox Rabbis are not following the Shulchan Aruch, why exactly do you declare them to be Orthodox?

    ReplyDelete
  10. To Anti-Hypocrite Heeb-

    You are not correct in saying that I have not yet met a sincere convert.

    I have personally learned with several women who were approved to enter a conversion program by a respected Beis Din that has had conversions that were previously accepted by the Israeli Rabbinute.

    I will admit that I was duped as each of the women whom I taught had married a Jewish man within a couple of weeks of completing her conversion. I was supposed to find out if a potential convert was involved with a Jewish man and report back to the Av Beis Din if I had any suspicions.

    I was fooled more than a dozen times.

    There were two notable exceptions in my experiences:

    One was a TRUE Geyores Tzeddekes, a person as I have never before in my life met. She was so moved by her exposure to Judaism that it would have been a sin for the Beis Din to turn her away, so deep was her longing to be a part of the Jewish people.

    She was also terminally ill which I did not know while she was learning with me. The Rabbis on the Beis Din found out before her conversion was completed, when she was already 3 years into the process.

    At that point, she appeared before the Beis Din and begged them that if she does not complete her conversion before she passes away, could they somehow find a way to bury her in a Jewish cemetery even if not in the main section.

    Everyone in the room burst into tears and was speechless. The Beis Din converted her the following week, she went to the mikveh and we made a party that was like a wedding. She passed away Motzai Shabbat after she observed her first Shabbat as a Jew.

    There was one other woman who was not deceptively involved with a Jew during the conversion process. She was a tremendous student who came with a previous knowledge of Hebrew, Jewish law and customs, Chumash and Navi that really impressed me. Learning with this woman was easy and a real pleasure.

    I reported my favorable impressions to the Beis Din Rabbis who also were very impressed. This woman completed her conversion in a little more than a year due to her amazing capacity for learning and obvious eagerness to take on observance.

    Shortly after this woman's conversion was completed, she began to invite ladies from the community to her home. She always had "friends" over from all over the country. These "friends" gave "shiurim" and books as gifts to those who attended. The books were published by Chosen Peoples Ministries.

    This woman lived in the community for a year after her conversion was completed and then made aliyah to Israel where I was told she works in a storefront Church in Bat Yam.
    One of the neighbors snapped a picture of her in the Church and blames me for not knowing that she was a missionary.

    All I can say is that it took many years for me to become as skeptical as I am now.

    I am willing to either post or submit to Rabbi Eidensohn privately the names of converts I have learned with as well as the Rabbis and Beis Dins involved. I would imagine that a few phone calls would verify.

    ReplyDelete
  11. "They then started becoming Baal Teshuva, unlike anyone in your family who always seems to be going in the other direction, or after they get entrapped by people who turn out to be gentile spouses"

    Funny you should say this. We were raised in a Shomer Shabbat, kosher, Modern Orthodox home. My husband and I are like my parents, maybe a bit more to the right, as is another brother. My sister is a young widow with small children and a serious health issue. She is angry at Hashem right now and is keeping nothing. I cannot judge her.

    My youngest brother who accidentally intermarried is the one who became a "Baal Teshuvah", went to a kiruv yeshiva and then learned in Israel for 2 years. He came back a "black hat" and would not eat from his mother's, grandmother's, or siblings' kosher homes.

    Incidentally he was staying at the home of the local Chabad Rabbi for Shabbat when he was introduced to his wife by the Rabbi and Rebbetzin. He was staying and eating there because after he came back from Israel he did not consider any of his family to be kosher or Shomer Shabbat (we were all married by then).

    Between the article in Jewish Action magazine and the story of my sister in law, I guess that we have two verifiable stories of kiruv organizations proselytizing Gentiles and facilitating intermarriages.

    I can either post or provide Rabbi Eidensohn privately with the name of the Rabbi who introduced my brother to a Gentile woman at his Shabbos table.

    RaP, Rabbi Dr. Eidensohn DOES know who I am. I have provided specific details upon request which I assume were verified.

    And I am not Syrian, My father is Moroccan and my mother is Ashkenazic.

    "You do not talk like a rabbi,"

    I am a woman. (Jersey "GIRL" is a chutzpah, I am grandmother aged, but you know there is self image vs. actual.........).

    "The situation today is more complex and some rabbonim do see a Halachik solution for some intermarrieds"

    I think this is the point of this blog. Rabbi Dr. Eidensohn has been trying to find substantive halachic basis for the prevalent practice of conversion of the Gentile partner to permit an intermarriage.

    Maybe I misunderstand what has been published here, but it seems that there is a lack of substantive halachic basis to support this practice. "Everyone is doing it" really doesn't qualify as halachic basis. Halacha differs from American law in that it is NOT decided by the majority of the people or even the majority of the Rabbis.

    Only Gadolei Hador are qualified as halachic decisors. And it is with the Gedolim of our generation that difficult and intricate halachic decisions such as "who is a Jew" for our people and for all of eternity rest.

    I believe that there are Orthodox Rabbis who will do conversions to permit intermarriages knowing full well that these converts and their offspring will not be able to marry a Jew in Israel. I can only hope for the sake of the families involved that they are fully informed that their children and grandchildren will not be eligible to marry a Jew in Israel or in many other Jewish communities around the world BEFORE they find out through heartbreak.

    And THAT is the point of my sharing my family's story.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Recipients and PublicityApril 9, 2008 at 1:52 AM

    To "anonymous April 8, 2008 4:12 AM": By reading some of your comments it is more than obvious that you know nothing about real Kiruv and about human relations in general and that you seem to judge such matters in a harsh black-and-white manner, and as such you should stay out of these kinds of situations and live your life and not get involved in the problems rabbonim and kiruv workers have to face on a daily basis.

    You are also prejudiced and seem to think you know what happened with Gila Brands when all one can know is what is written. For example, you state that "Clearly a Kiruv organization, such as Aish or Chabad, outreached to her and her husband."

    When the article does not say so. Get this straight, there are many (anti-Chabad and anti-Aish) Litvish yeshivish out-of-town Kollelim in all major US towns and cities, at least fifty such institutions all over North America, with zero connection to Chabad or Aish, and they all HAVE to deal with many people like Gila Davids on a daily basis. If they don't like it, they can all move back to Lakewood or Brooklyn or Jerusalem many learned and came from specifically this kind of work of Harbotzas Torah and Kiruv out-of-town.

    You brutally state: "Are we to believe that this outreach Rabbi got to know the family so well that he convinced them to learn at a Kollel, and yet never bothered to ask a few "getting to know you" questions which would have easily revealed Gila's gentile status? Afterall, she clearly had nothing to hide!"

    Which is totally outrageous. Unfortubately many frum people seem to think that a conversation with strangers has to be an interogation conducted on the level of the SS or KGB which is not a style for successful Kiruv. Sorry to disappoint you, but in order to become friendly with people you MUST not ask them personal intrusive questions that will humiliate and banish them. That is called "Richuk" and not "Kiruv".

    Then this statement of yours is also cynical and disgusting, as if only Kiruv rabbis want to know how rich a student's family is: "This is the first problem. Once again, a US based Kiruv Rabbi reaches out to an intermarried man. Somehow I suspect this man earns a good living."

    And it is not the "first" problem either because so far the "first" problem in your post is that you happen to be a highly insensitive person that should be kept away from doing Kiruv because you don't have a clue about how sensistive people really are and that they have feelings that must be tended to as one would try to help them and decide what to do for them as a rabbi or kiruv worker.

    You state: "Then, in her "sincerity", she shopped Rabbis until she found one who would give her the answer she wants. Do you really think this is the Jewish way? If Rabbi 1 says no, keep going to other Rabbis until you get a "yes"?"

    And why not? She is not a "talmid chochem" yet like you and if she knew the "halachah" like you seem to shout it, then she would not be in the boat she is in in the first place.

    The following is wild: "Clearly she remained with her husband throughout this time. So, while they were getting more religious and she was preparing for conversion, he was also cohabiting with a gentile, and she (the gentile) was continuing to cause this Jew to sin."

    Very funny! Now you are talking of "sin" but who are you talking to about "sin"? If they were yeshiva people they would not be doing this in the first place. The whole point of doing Teshuva and becoming a Baal Teshuva and a Ger is that SLOWLY one moves from doing LOTS of sins to doing LESS sins and then even FEWER sins until one does SOME sins and then ONE OR TWO sins and then hopefully a state of pure teshuva can be reached. You just prove that you don't have a clue what this entire process is all about. What do you do in real life? It can't be the "people business" from these cruel responses.

    This one is hysterical "Gila says she really wanted to follow the Torah....what about the sins of the fathers being visited on the children?"

    So you want her to suffer for life? You are acting G-d now which is really nauseating.

    So when you say: "This whole story is a nauseating. Gila is the product of intermarriage and the cause of an intermarriage. She did not sincerely want to follow the religion. She wanted what she wanted, which was to keep her husband and to keep her self image as a holy person."

    You only affirm that you have no business getting involved in these matters. A doctor cannot help a patient that he thinks does not deserve or cannot be cured and you are not understanding these people here, and indeed you are taking it upon yourself to condemn them, which is very sad.

    You say "The first Rabbi she went to was right. Because she was NOT sincere, she did not accept his opinion and continued to shop. This typifies exactly the kind of nonsense that American Rabbis allow."

    And so be it, but the world is still not in your hands. There are other Halachik options as the Gila Brands story shows and it happens all the time, like it or not.

    And this is plain cynical: "Gila is not the exception that proves the rule. She is exactly the rule. Most people in her position just shop and shop until they find someone who will convert."

    So hopefully you are happy with being Satmar or Neturei Karta or whatever it is that you are, but they are not the only Halachic voices or options in Klal Yisroel and that is the way it's going to be until the Messianic Age is in place, and hopefully you can live with that rather than trying to destory sincere human beings who do not share and are devoid of your brashness and cynicism since they seek G-dliness and ways of getting close to H-shem at all costs, even if they have to shop from rabbis to rabbis, that is their option and noone can stop it.

    Oh, and your your "Purdue chicken" comparion is totally off, because
    guess what? conversion is a spiritual proces whereby a gentile who is compared to "water" by the Jewish sages then turns in "wine" when converting and his essnece is changed when he gets a new neshoma, unlike a Purdue chicken that can never be "converted" to be Kosher (unless it's by a devious frum butcher in Monsey, maybe) so your analogy falls flat on its face and has no shaichus to the discussion here.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Recipients and PublicityApril 9, 2008 at 2:11 AM

    To anonymous "April 8, 2008 5:53 PM": The immense problems of conversion today are complex, but Halachah does NOT prohibit GENUINE conversion per, and that is clear, because the Torah even commands each Jew to love the Ger.

    What the Syrian community has done goes against pure Halachah because it prevents even a 100% sincere ger tzedek from becoming a Jew and tht is aaginst Halachah. So this is not part of the discussion. The proof is that even the BADATZ and the Israeli chief rabbinate accpet converts, so are the Syrians "holkier than thou" than the BADATZ of the Rabbanut? Obviously not, they are just scared that all their carefree men will run off with their shiksa mistresses.

    As for dealing with people in the situation of Gila Davids, there are opinions and precedents that Rabbi Dr. Eidensohn himself on this blog has helpfully quoted that allow for the solutions that were found for her, albeit with great trepidation and reservations. See http://daattorah.blogspot.com/2007/12/rav-chaim-ozer-grodinski-ztl-conversion.html "Thursday, December 27, 2007: Rav Chaim Ozer Grodinski zt"l - conversion of intermarried couples is very problematic II":

    "7) I was asked a number of times after the Revolution concerning a non‑Jew who is married to a Jew by civil marriage and now she wants to convert and be married with chupah and kiddushin because they want to raise their children according to Judaism. And they also assert that if the beis din does not convert them the Jewish husband will convert to Christianity. Is it permitted lechatchila to convert her? I saw that Rav Shlomo Kluger permitted conversion in such a case even lechatchila…I found support for this view from the Rambam (Pe’er HaDor #132) concerning a young man who bought a slave and she lives in his house – is the court obligated to take her from his house….The Rambam replied that clearly from the Torah it is necessary to take her from his house… however in actuality she should either be taken out of the house or she should be freed and he should marry her even though this violates the halacha…He says it is better to minimize sin and permit repentance…that in essence this is an emergency situations… However the details of the Rambam’s case are not clear. Nevetheless it is clear that he is saying that in order to allow teshuva sometimes certain laws are ignored. … This seems to support the views of Rav Shlomo Kluger. Nevertheless the Rambam is apparently not dealing with conversion per se but rather with the problem of freeing a slave… In the case of conversion it would require that the beis din sin in order to help someone – which is not permissable. Nevertheless it would appear in this case that if she is not converted she will stay married to him anyway so therefore the conversion is not for the sake of marriage…It would therefore seem based on the evaluation of the beis din that there is a basis to be lenient in this case and to rely on the ruling of Rav Shlomo Kluger."

    And even though Rav Chaim Ozer may have had doubts later, this is the type of Halachik approach that can be found that some poskim have and still do apply.

    Nothing more need be said to question this because it is not a question, that there are ways to find and apply leniencies even within 100% reliable Halachah to solve conversion issues provided there is sincerty and good faith on the part of the converts to follow the Halachah.

    ReplyDelete
  14. RaP:

    When you mention "other halachic options" I assume that you are referring to opinions that support the conversion of the Gentile spouse in an intermarriage. I think that is what Rabbi Dr. Eidensohn is looking for. Can you cite sources? (Sefer, Chapter, page).

    As you have mentioned, Rabbi Dr. Eidensohn has discussed the halachic rulings of the Achiezer on this blog and it is noteworthy that the Acheizer withdrew the opinion supporting conversion to permit intermarriage 22 years later.

    Do you have other halachic sources
    to cite when you say:

    " there are ways to find and apply leniencies even within 100% reliable Halachah to solve conversion issues provided there is sincerity and good faith on the part of the converts to follow the Halachah."

    I am assuming that you have access to Orthodox opinions that refer specifically to intermarriage. All I can find on the topic of conversion to permit a marriage between a Gentile and a Jew comes from JOI and other non halachic sources. I cannot find any citation in the name of a Gadol Hador to support the halachic basis for converting the Gentile spouse in an intermarriage, even with mitzvah observance.

    Thank you in advance for what will most likely be a good deal of time consuming research on your part. I am grateful that you are willing to take your time to educate anyone who is interested via this blog.

    I realize that this is a busy time of year for everyone, so I understand if you might not have time to look into this until after Pesach, but I am hoping that you might be able to cite specific sources offhand. You seem to be a well educated talmid chacham so if you do not mind, I would like to benefit from your knowledge and education.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Recipients and PublicityApril 9, 2008 at 3:40 PM

    Jersey Girl: You will now benefit from MY knowledge and education as I see fit to answer you and not as you wish me to talk:

    The mere fact that Rav Chaim Ozer Grodzinski zt"l found a way to explain conversions of intermarrieds, regardless of the fact that he withdrew it, is enough of a proof that the PROCESS and APPLICATION of Halachah even by the greatest of Halachic minds is a fluid and flexible undertaking that lay people may not understand.

    Thank you for your compliments, but I am not a posek nor am I on the level to decide on matters of Halachah. I do not have to come up with yet more "sources" any more than you have to come up with reasons why you wish to exclude every convert under the Sun (except the one who died on you right after conversion and the one who was a missionary and tricked you.) I am merely a curious, and somewhat learned observer, and I have spent the bulk of my fairly good life in the company of Orthodox, and indeed Haredi rabbis, some who have and still do run Batei Din and I can tell you that the process of dealing with people, as in the cases of conversions under all kinds of situations, is not a one-dimensional take-it-or-leave deal as you would like to suggest.

    Your request for "sources" is great. But what sources do you want? Most Gedolim do not run around issuing statements about the problems of the day, indeed they may deliberately be avoiding it. They may make a Kol Koreh now and again to warn the public, or like Rav Shternbuch they may issue requests and make declrations, but that does not mean that "the sun sets at mid-day" and that the entire world of Orthodoxy and Halachah comes to a halt.

    There are zillions of questions that are not covered in Shulchan Aruch specifically but that get dealt with as ma'aseh rav. What kind of "ruling" or "chapters" do you want when a Bais Din has power to accpet converts based on its understanding of who is standing before it.

    It is nothing new to state that in Halachah there are levels of converts, and the ultimate decison and RESPONSIBILITY rests with the Bais Din that does the conversion where some will be lechumra and some lekula, and some rabbis will agree and others will not.

    Even Rav Chaim Ozer could not make up his mind about this problem and it took him TWENTY TWO years to think about it and that leaves some to follow one of his views and others can follow his opposing views and both will be correct. So don't wave it off. Thank you Rabbi Dr. Eidensohn for providing the very best proof of this complex and contradictory subject!

    Many rabbis have heard OPENLY a few times from Rav Dovid Cohen from Brooklyn, one of the most noted and utilised poskim in America, in PUBLIC Halachic question and answer forums, that when a kiruv worker is confronted with a Gila Brands type of situation then for the sake of the Jewish spouse one MUST work towards the conversion of the non-Jewish partner because in his view they are MARRIED and there is no other way to "save" and mekarev the Jewish spouse than by converting the non-Jewish one, provided they are like Gila Brands. That is not anyone's private view, if anyone wants more backround let them call Rav Dovid Cohen themselves but that is the pesak he gave openly in front of hundreds of people a few times. If he did not do this kindly find out, but it's 100% certain that he did. So welcome to the world of Kiruv that I know drives you crazy, that you keep on cursing out, and that you wish would just go away since it's creating so many problems, but hey, only H-shem runs this world and the Baal Teshuva movement and the problem of problematic geirim will not go away any times soon.

    Likewise a Bais Din, they have to make the judgment based on the person in front of them if that is what they wish to do. Go ask each Bais Din that does this why they do so, it is not my job to come up with the Halachik "responsa" or sources to make you happy because all I deal with and see and report is that there are plenty of Batei Din that will help to convert people like Gila Brands whether you and I like it or not and the job then is to either howl on the sidelines like Rabbi Nochum Eisenstein of Israel does and gets nowhere, or try to see if it is possible to work with those Batei Din that do not think and act as he would wish them too. He needs to avoid falling into the trap of looking like a totalitarian madcap ideologue and if he wishes to act like a Satmar Chosid or Neturei Kartanik then he needs to back off and give the rest of the Orthodox and Haredi world a break. In the case of Rav Shternbuch, it is clear, he is part of the Eidah HaCharedis and they are known for their high standards which people respect, but so far they have not done the foolish thing that Rabbi Eisnstein has done to go to war with the Modern Orthodox rabbinate who must also be respected until Mashiach comes, they will not be brushed off by trickely manipulating Rav Eliashic against them with calls that they don't belive in literalist Ma'asei Breshis and are just like "Reform" or that they are going against Halachah.

    Please don't talk to me like I am a child with homework assignments. Give the assigments to all your relatives who are getting ensnared and entrapped by the fake converts that according to you have no hope and are just dammed.

    My understanding of Rabbi Dr. Eidensohn is that he is against MASS organized proselytizing by SEEKING converts (as Moonies or Jews for J do), which is not the way to go because Jews do not advertize for converts nor does Judaism approve of mass conversion efforts, and I agree with that. But one cannot slam the door completely air-tight shut in the face of those who through "hashgacha pratis" and NOT as part of any organized and sponsored program like EJF, struglle to find their way to Yiddishkeit, like the Gila Brands story, which is NOT a typical story because she was not looking for quick fixes and was tortured and struggled every step of the way and EVENTUALLY with the help of an Orthodox rabbi, a Beit Din, and the support of Kollel families became a giyores. Ask THEM why they did it, don't ask me, I am not a posek and I do not do nor participate in conversions of any kind, but I am willing to be an objective observer, and EDUCATE and BENEFIT you, about what I see out there, that there are so far a few halachik ways that Orthodox and even Haredi rabbis are following, and they don't have to publish books and responsa to justify themselves when it's based on their power as a duly convened and recognized Bais Din that has the power and the choice to accept or reject gila Brands and people who wish to convert coming from any situation, it is for the Bais Din to decide. That is what I know and what I see, now what else would you like to know?

    ReplyDelete
  16. "What the Syrian community has done goes against pure Halachah because it prevents even a 100% sincere ger tzedek from becoming a Jew and tht is aaginst Halachah."

    RaP- Have you ever READ the Syrian Edict? Or spoken to a Syrian Rabbi about this? It is quite a statement to make that an entire Jewish community is practicing outside of halacha?

    Is there a specific ruling on the Syrian community by a Posek that you can cite to support such a declaration?

    The actual text of the Edict reads:

    “No male or female member of our community has the right to intermarry with non-Jews; this law covers conversion, which we consider to be fictitious and valueless.”


    From Rabbi Maurice Lamm "Becoming a Jew"


    "The genuine desire to embrace Judaism for its own sake, "for the sake of Heaven," was considered the sole legitimate ground for conversion permitted by the rabbis.

    Historically, it is the only motivation that "worked" for the Jewish people. The authorities rejected conversion for ulterior motives as unworthy, and indeed harmful, to the religious development of the Jewish people. They cite examples through the ages that amount to a litany of troubles. Those ulterior motives range from materialism to marriage, but they were all rejected as grounds for becoming a Jew. The Torah, even as G-d Himself, was not to be used as a means, only a goal.

    Convenience or Conviction?

    While it is true that many convert out of conviction--more than most people think--they are vastly outnumbered by those who convert for convenience or accommodation. Once the convenience was material: conversion for the sake of more food, a better job, or entering into a higher social class. Today this accommodation is mostly associated with prospective marriage, when conversion serves the purpose of appeasing volatile in-laws and also prevents future children from seeing more conflict in their parents' home than is necessary. Conversion to another faith, in this sense, is a marriage of convenience to facilitate the convenience of marriage."


    The Syrian Edict is one pivotal thing that held that community together- but throughout the duration of this edict the community HAS embraced the convert who has "converted for the right reasons". (I personally know several converts who are fully accepted in the Brooklyn/Deal Syrian community).

    The Syrian community, follows the Rambam on the laws of conversion- where the Rambam says in the time of David no one would be of proper conversion because the Jewish people were looked up to and everyone wanted to be part of the thriving Jewish Empire. In other words if the convert would have any ulterior motive to be Jewish aside for the love of Judaism itself then their conversion would be tainted.

    The Syrian Edict ONLY applies to those who have converted for marriage. It does not apply to one who has converted while single, or one who converted from birth. As such, it is NOT a ban on converts, but only a ban on those who did so for the sake marriage to a Jew.

    The granddaughter of one of the authors of the original edict married a man who was adopted and converted at birth with the approval and blessing of the extended family. I know this firsthand because we grew up together.

    The ban is only against INTERMARRIAGE.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Rap -"It is nothing new to state that in Halachah there are levels of converts,"

    JG- I thought that when a person converts, they become a Jew. Do you mean to say that there are "levels" of Jews? Aren't all Jews the same except for Kohen, Levi and Yisrael?


    RaP- "Your request for "sources" is great. But what sources do you want?

    JG- Seforim. Responsa.

    RaP- Most Gedolim do not run around issuing statements about the problems of the day, indeed they may deliberately be avoiding it."

    JG- I have an entire room in my house that is full of seforim, mostly halacha. Many Rabbis DO publish seforim especially on timely and relevant topics.

    RaP- "Many rabbis have heard OPENLY a few times from Rav Dovid Cohen from Brooklyn, one of the most noted and utilised poskim in America, in PUBLIC Halachic question and answer forums, that when a kiruv worker is confronted with a Gila Brands type of situation then for the sake of the Jewish spouse one MUST work towards the conversion of the non-Jewish partner because in his view they are MARRIED and there is no other way to "save" and mekarev the Jewish spouse than by converting the non-Jewish one, provided they are like Gila Brands."

    JG- Was this Rabbi Dovid Cohen on the RCA's committee on Geirus with Rabbi Barry Freundel and Rabbi Steven Prudzansky? I believe that Rabbi Cohen helped to author the new RCA Geirus Standards which are in line with the Rabbinute's rulings.


    RaP - "welcome to the world of Kiruv that I know drives you crazy, that you keep on cursing out, and that you wish would just go away ........

    JG- My husband was in kiruv for more than 15 years. With the exception of my own brother, the other experiences I have shared are "from the trenches".

    RaP- "Please don't talk to me like I am a child with homework assignments."

    JG- I am sorry to have come off that way, I certainly did not mean you any disrespect, to the contrary, I was hoping to learn from your sources BECAUSE I respect your knowledge. Please accept my apologies.

    RaP- "those who through "hashgacha pratis" and NOT as part of any organized and sponsored program like EJF, struglle to find their way to Yiddishkeit, like the Gila Brands story,"

    JG- Gila Davids says in the very beginning of her story:

    "I discovered I was not a Jew.

    I made this discovery about fifteen years ago at the happy and lively Shabbat table of an engaging kiruv rabbi and his family, "

    Kiruv Rabbi connotes organized and professional outreach program to me.

    "The student wanted his parents to meet his rabbi’s family, and I think we were invited to represent “normal” people"

    It seems that this Rabbi had known Gila Davids for a while and had been "makareving" her family and yet had not bothered to even find out if she were Jewish.

    Believe me, I am not judging this young couple. I am also guilty. I not only inadvertently brought DOZENS of Gentiles to Jewish observance, but also unknowingly made SEVERAL shidduchim between Gentiles who I thought were Jewish (and only recently found out were not) and Jews. I am speaking from personal experience.

    Allen and Gila Davids were members of a CONSERVATIVE synagogue and spoke to their CONSERVATIVE Rabbi about the fact that Gila's mother was not Jewish. The Conservative Rabbi said:

    "But not to worry, he said, he knew of an Orthodox rabbi who was coming to town in a few months who could fix the problem if we wanted."

    Fix the problem???

    So Gila seeks out other Rabbis:

    Rabbi number 1 says "no".
    (We are supposed to turn away the potential convert, that is the halacha). That is the last Rabbi 1 hears from her.

    Rabbi number 2 who is a known halachic scholar gave an answer described as "Allen and I learned a lot, but left him without a viable option that rang true for us."
    (Rabbi 2 followed the halacha also and this is the last that Rabbi 2 hears from Gila Davids).

    Then there is Rabbi D. the winner:

    "Rabbi D. said he would work with me. When I was ready to be shomer mitzvot, he would convert me.

    (Rabbi D. does not follow the halacha to push away the convert).

    (Was there a Beis Din involved? I thought that a Bais Din has to accept a candidate to learn for conversion? How do we know that Ms. Davids has even HAD a halachic conversion at this point?)

    Allen and I were not ready to make the move to an observant community for almost a year.

    (Very sincere?)

    Since our children were also not halachic Jews, Rabbi D. advised the local day school to accept them as potential converts.

    (Gentile children whose parents have not even made a "commitment" to live in a Jewish community get carte blanche entrance to the local day school so that they can be proselytized for conversion).

    I am certainly not a Rav or a Posek but to me this article seems to promote EXACTLY what EJF has been doing (I wonder if the "fix-it" Rabbi might even be Leib Tropper) and what has been forbidden SPECIFICALLY by Bedatz and what has been rejected over and over again by the Israeli Rabbinute.

    The RCA has agreed to accept the Rabbinute's standards for Geirus and I believe that this represents the vast majority of American Orthodox Jewry.

    Please help me to understand differently if you sincerely believe that it is within Orthodox halacha. I DO appreciate your time, knowledge and education.

    Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  18. To RAPS

    I'm "the anonymous" who you skewered in your recent post.

    Contrary to your assumptions, I have Smicha, have worked in Kiruv for many years (quite successfully), have helped people learn for conversion, and am a professional counselor for a living.

    I am quite qualified and properly credentialed to make the statements I have made.

    I have noticed that you use a great deal of rhetoric and state much in the name of Halacha without stating what the Halacha is, and what your sources are.

    I've seen you lambast the Syrian Takana. If you read the original from 1935, you will note that it only refers to those who have converted for marriage. Since this identical position is supported by the Bedatz statement made this past November, am I to assume that you judge that Bedatz has acted totally against Halacha?

    What qualifies you to rule that the Bedatz of Jerusalem do not know Halacha?

    ReplyDelete
  19. Recipients and PublicityApril 10, 2008 at 9:53 AM

    Checked this out. A source very close to the RCA leadership states that the RCA is working closely with the Israeli Chief Rabbinate and that Rabbi Willig and Rabbi Hershel Shachtar of YU, the RCA and their Beth Din are working in close harmony with Rav Amar, Israeli Chief Rabbi and that they are all presently in agreement and alignment in their positions.

    The hypothetical case of Gila Brands was discussed and according to the reliable source in the RCA, that according to the RCA, there is absolutely no problem in the way Gila Brands obtained her conversion and that there is no proof that the Israeli Chief Rabbinate would reject such a conversion done with the hechsher of any other RCA approved Batei Din, that are now also in the process of being strengthened.

    The other points, many quite illogical and (deliberately?) missing the point, raised by Jersey Girl and the anonymous person with semicha will be dealt with soon.

    ReplyDelete
  20. "The hypothetical case of Gila Brands was discussed and according to the reliable source in the RCA,"

    This is rather meaningless.

    Your "source" does not have a name. Even if your source did have a name, anyone can claim anything in the name of anyone. Ie. EJF claiming to have the hashgacha of Rav Elyashiv shlita which seems now not to be the case.

    "that according to the RCA, there is absolutely no problem in the way Gila Brands obtained her conversion"

    The RCA's website states:

    Myth: The Chief Rabbinate will sit in judgment of each American geirus – past, present and future.

    Well, there is a kernel of truth in every bushel of untruths. But this point is nothing new. Certainly, the Rabbanut has no standing (or interest) to review the geirus that occurs outside Israel until and unless there is some Israel nexus, such as when the convert makes aliya. But this has always been the case.

    Any Rabbi – RCA or otherwise – can continue to perform conversions on his own and apply to the rabbanut for acceptance. The considerations the Rabbanut will use are theirs alone, and completely within their purview. I suspect that some conversions will be accepted, and others rejected – as it has always been.

    and that there is no proof that the Israeli Chief Rabbinate would reject such a conversion done with the hechsher of any other RCA approved Batei Din, that are now also in the process of being strengthened."


    There is no proof that the Israeli Rabbinate would reject such a conversion, but so far, in my experience the Rabbinute HAS REJECTED EVERY conversion done kasher an intermarriage.

    Rabbi Tropper was asked if EJF had a letter from the Rabbinute stating that EJF facilitated conversions would be accepted in Israel and it has become apparent that it is unlikely that EJF facilitated converts will ever be accepted as Jews in Israel.

    Certainly this has been the case in my family and also with the dozen or so families I have personally tried to help have their conversions accepted in Israel.

    If you have something to the contrary that has a signature on it on the official letterhead from the Office of the Chief Rabbi to share with us, please do.

    Thank you in advance on behalf of my entire family.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Furthermore from the RCA's website (under conversion)

    "Specifically, it had become more and more difficult for sincere converts, or their offspring, to receive deserved recognition by rabbinic authorities in other communities and countries, including Israel, due to the growing number of outreach and conversion programs, varying standards adopted by individual rabbis in disparate communities, the increasing incidence and complexity attending so-called mixed marriages and their resulting children, and more generally a lack of reliable data and factual information to be made accessible to converts, rabbis, synagogues, schools, and Jewish communities at large."


    It has not been a secret that very few Diaspora converts or their offspring have been accepted as Jews in Israel. The reason for this also has not been a secret.

    ReplyDelete

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