Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Non-chareidi rabbis also invalidate conversions


The dispute over the degree of leniency that Jewish law affords the conversion process is not one of halachic stringency, but one of nationalistic ideology, a prominent national religious educator said Monday.

“The State Conversion Authority has also annulled conversions,” said Rabbi Neria Gutel, speaking at a conference on religious educational attitudes toward Israeli non-Jews at the Rehovot campus of Orot Teachers’ College, which he heads. “The question of whether to annul a conversion is not one that divides national religious and haredi rabbis.”

Gutel focused his address on the estimated 320,000 Israelis who made aliya under the Law of Return, but are not Jewish according to Halacha. National religious rabbis and lawmakers are seeking ways to help these people – who speak Hebrew, serve in the IDF and consider themselves Israeli in every way – to undergo conversion according to Jewish law. [...]

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