Thursday, December 24, 2009

Rabbinical courts can annul conversion


Rabbinical courts have the legal authority to retroactively annul conversions to Judaism years and even decades after they were performed, even if the conversion was performed under the aegis of the Chief Rabbinate, according to a legal opinion by attorney Rabbi Shimon Ya'acobi, the legal adviser to the Rabbinical Court Administration, that was released to the press Wednesday.

Ya'acobi also argues that city rabbis have the right to question the Jewishness of converts to Judaism who come before them to be registered for marriage.

Ya'acobi's legal opinion is nothing short of a bombshell in the ongoing battle over the Jewishness of thousands of converts who converted under the aegis of the state-funded National Conversion Authority and conversion courts in the IDF.


  1. The only problem here is the headline wording "ANNUL". No opinion whatsoever maintains that a conversion can be annulled. Rather the issue simply is, whether a valid halachic conversion ever took place, if in fact, the integral, essential elements of the giur were missing.

    Suppose an attorney was found to have practiced law for twenty years based upon a forged diploma and Bar results. Would you call that "revoking" his license to practice?

    The headline, taken from the Jerusalem Post, is another typical exhibit of an attempt to distort the halachicly uniformed public, as to the "insensitivity" of the those "fringe right wing" Rabbis.

  2. I like the analogy of citizenship by naturalization. It is not revocable (if properly executed) even if one can be tried and executed for treason. But if there was fraud at the time of granting of citizenship (e.g., significant fraudulent statements at the time of naturalization/citizenship) then it never happens.

    However, I feel there is not enough acknowledgement that any legitimate beit din is required to accept the conversions of any other legitimate beit din as long as the conversion is acceptable bidieved. The fake kannoi Tropper established his career by riding on the wings of some kannoim who were not personally corrupt but nevertheless went too far in their inter-communal fights.

  3. According to Halacha once a convert has gone to the Mikveh he/she is a Jew forever and so are their children. Unlike Israeli Bet Dins Hashem established and follows Halacha. If a person truly converted but crisis in life, or a lapsed phase meant they fell short in their observance (should not but does happen), no matter what a Bet Din says, the person will still be Jewish. Also true vice versa. Our rabbis try to follow and represent Hashem, but what the Bet Din in Israel did (annul thousand of conversions without Judging each convert on their own merit), is nothing short of Hillul Hashem whivh makes a mockery of the Israeli Bet Din so that no Bet Din outside Israel truly accepts our converts in practise.


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