Sunday, June 22, 2008

MK Gafni demands ombudsman retract attack on Dayan Sherman

De'ah veDeibur reports [helpfully referred by Recipients and Publicity

In a harsh letter to the Commission for Public Grievances Against Judges MK Rabbi Moshe Gafni demanded retired Judge Tova Strasberg-Cohen retract her recommendation to remove from his post Dayan Avrohom Sherman, who headed a ruling by the Rabbinate Beis Din Godol annulling a fictitious conversion performed by Rabbi Chaim Druckman, and expressed his astonishment over the absurd arguments she presents in her recommendation.

The letter opens with Rabbi Druckman's grievance against HaRav Sherman, who serves as a dayan at the Beis Din Godol in Jerusalem, and her conclusion that extreme measures be taken to fire HaRav Sherman. "HaRav Sherman is a prominent talmid chochom and a skilled expert in his field who has been serving as a dayan for 29 years," writes Rabbi Gafni. "He is renowned for his fabulous judicial temperament, listening to the litigants patiently and not rushing them, sitting for long periods beyond the regular hours and writing carefully explicated rulings. My feeling is that the complaints made by Rabbi Druckman, which represent grave acts bordering on criminal conduct calling for such an extreme decision, cannot possibly be correct.

"I read your points and I couldn't believe my eyes. HaRav Sherman's reputation has been spotless throughout the years and never has his character been called into question chas vesholom, and his rulings, like those of his two colleagues on the bench, have been relied on implicitly. The Attorney General, the legal advisor to the rabbinical courts and even the president of the Beis Din Godol all agree that Rabbi Druckman signed conversion certificates in cases where he was not present, and these claims have not been refuted.

"A public debate over conversion is raging in Israel, the fiercest debate since our formation as a people, and it grew more heated in recent years when hundreds of thousands of non-Jews immigrated to Israel, including some from mixed families, creating pressure on the political and judicial systems to alter or "alleviate the burden" of conversion proceedings (I am not referring to the red tape and internal disputes at the Conversion Authority run by the Prime Minister's Office, which needlessly complicates conversion with matters that have nothing to do with halachic issues). The vast majority of dayanim at the regional botei din as well as the Beis Din Godol, including its president, concur that the halachic view of conversion should not be altered, otherwise we lose our uniqueness as the Jewish people, which has preserved itself throughout the annals of our history, which are filled with the blood of our people being spilled, while other larger and mightier have vanished, cast off into the dustbins of history.

"HaRav Sherman and his colleagues faithfully carry out the duty they were charged to perform by the legislature — to hand down halachic rulings based on halacha — particularly in a case of a conversion certificate signed by somebody who was not even on hand. Had this occurred in another judicial framework the individual committing such an act would have been removed from his post, as was the case with the judge at the Haifa Magistrate Court, Hila Cohen."


1 comment :

  1. Thank you doc for improving the size of the fonts on your blog, this is so much more readable and easy on the eyes with no squinting (hence avoidance) required, and I am absolutely certain that your readership will increase as a result thereof. Thanks again for listening to your "customers" and Yasher Koach!


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