Friday, September 19, 2008

Ger as dayan for geirus

The above page is the first of a 7 page article discussing the question. Shana b'Shana 5752. It is from the Cotar Database of Bar Ilan. I could not post the whole article due to the restrictions of the use of the program. Bli Neder I will gather more sources after Shabbos. I just wanted to post this to show that it is a serious question in the literature.
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  1. Is not a ger allowed to be on a Bes Din of momonos for a ger? I am not convinced a priori that this article is the last word and everyone agrees. We need to present ALL opinions.

    I will also look it up.

  2. As I said I am not in front of seforim. But, look at the last line in the page you displayed. The word used is "Lodun leyisrae".

    So, let us look it up. I could be wrong. But, maybe that is the issue. The principle is a goy who wants to become a ger.

  3. I asked Rav Sternbuch last night and he said that a ger should not be part of the beis din for conversion. I also asked another posek and he also said it was obvious that a ger should not be part of a beis din for conversion.

    Both said that this was because there are questions and uncertainty regarding this issue - exactly the same view that Rav Schacter presented.

  4. Why do we need a beis din for geirus? Does it have an actual effect, or is it simply to ensure that the conversion is publicised? If the latter, would it be adequate for two men to testify that the ger converted, if they give their testimony to a regular beis din?

  5. Joe in Australia said...

    Why do we need a beis din for geirus?
    Yevamos46b): It once happened at beis din ….that a candidate for conversion came who had been circumcised but not immersed in mikveh. He was told, “Wait here until tomorrow and then we will immerse you in mikveh.” We learn three things from this incident. 1) Conversion requires three men, 2) there is no conversion without circumcision and immersion, 3) a ger should not be immersed at night. But why don’t we learn also learn that the members of beis din must be talmidei chachomim? Because perhaps their presence was just a coincidence. R’ Chiya said in the name of R’ Yochanon that conversion requires the presence of three men because conversion is associated with the word mishpat (law) in Bamidbar (15:16).

    Shulchan Aruch( Y.D. 268:3): All issues concerning conversion whether it is to tell him about the mitzvos that he is to accept or whether it is mila or tevila (immersion) – must be done before three Jews who are fit to judge and it must be done in the daytime. Nevertheless all of this is lechatchila (merely desirable) however if the circumcision or the immersion was done only before two people or it was done at night and even if the tevila was not for the sake of conversion but rather a man immersed because of seminal emission or a woman immersed because of nidah – the conversion is still valid and can marry a Jew. However regarding the acceptance of mitzvos which is never valid unless done before three and during the daytime. Furthermore according to the Rif and Rambam the immersion and circumcision are not valid if done in the presence of only two people or if the procedure is done at night and therefore they would prohibit such a person to marry a Jew. However if such a convert married a Jewish woman and they had a son he is not invalidated.

  6. Rabbi Vinas defended the ability of a ger to be the rav of a shul and also to serve on a beis din for geirus by saying the following:[Rav Sternbuch and Rav Schacter disagree however with Rabbi Vinas' conclusion regarding being a dayan for geirus]Rabbi Vinas' analysis only supports the view that a ger can be a dayan for other geirim - it doesn't say he can be a dayan to convert a non-Jew into a ger.

    "And by the way a ger may also serve as a dayan in cases of giur. This is clear from Rava in Yevamot 102a. He says that the pasuk you cite proves that a ger may serve other gerim since he is their brother. Rava says that if he has a Jewish Mother he may serve in cases where dinei mamonot are also involved. Rashi says that Rava must have been excluding gerim only in cases of dinei nefashot he cites Sanhedrin 32 a as proof of this. There the mishnah says that “all” are qualifies to serve as dayan in dinei mamonot the gemara Sanhedrin 36 b uses the word “all” to include gerim. Tosafot brings up a contradiction however, Yevamot 45b Rava allowed Rav Mari bar Rachel the son of a male convert to be appointed to a position of leadership only because his mother was a born Jewish, Tosafot resolves the conflict by saying that the gemara must be allowing gerim to be dayanim over other gerim in dinei mamonot as well. Tosafot disagrees with Rashi that gerim cannot be dayanim in dinei mamonot for born Jews but all agree according to him that he may serve other gerim. Nimukei Yosef holds the same way that a ger may only serve as a dayan in cases involving other gerim but he arrives at this conclusion based on the halachot of dayanut in halitza. Where the dayan must have both parents being born Jewish. The Tur in Yoreh Deah (269) holds that a ger may serve as a dayan if all concerned accept him as a dayan."


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