Sunday, February 2, 2014

Oporto Community of Portugal objects to activities of Michael Freund/Shavei Israel

Dear Rabbi Daniel Eidensohn,


We would like to present the following situation.

1 – Ecumenism is being used by Shavei Israel as a weapon in favour of its proselytizing objectives.

2 – In February, Michael Freund intends to go to London with priest Agostinho Jardim Moreira to speak with "great rabbis", including the Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth. Having no credibility whatsoever amongst Jewish religious circles, Freund will face difficulty in talking to them. However, if he asks us, we ourselves will request those meetings for him.

3 – What does Freund want to speak about with "great rabbis"? Ask if the proselytism is allowed? Ask if the conversions of false Marranos he supported in Portugal are valid? Ask whether the falsification of news and documents is acceptable? NO. He just wants to go to London and abstractly speak of "ecumenism and interreligious dialogue", but in our opinion this is nothing bet a trap for the unwary rabbis who have the misfortune of receiving him, because, in the following days, false news will be published on the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, on the Arutz Sheva, etc., saying "Great London rabbis support the priest’s project", "The Jewish Community of Oporto is isolated", etc.

4 – The Jewish Community of Oporto is not against ecumenism, but rather against Shavei Israel proselytism and against the projects of this organization in Oporto. This organization was expelled from our community by Jews who have lived  in Oporto for over 50 years and by a Religious Committee of shomer mitzvot Jews. Now it is again seeking to have headquarters in this city  for its proselytizing activities, joining the Priest's project.
5 – The Shavei Israel proselytizing philosophy is subversive both to Judaism and to Christianity because there would be no Christians left in Portugal if Shavei Israel converted all Jews’ descendants in the country. Scholars believe that almost all Portuguese citizens are descendants of Jews.

6 – The trip to London is a continuation of a move that Freund tried in Oporto a few weeks ago, to break, by force, the resistance of the Jewish Community of Oporto to the project of a Jewish Memory Interpretation Centre run by a priest and Shavei Israel. Shavei Israel led the priest to arrange an "Interreligious meeting" in order to make the public presentation of the project and the meeting was scheduled for January 14, 2014, with the convening of the Portuguese press and other Jewish communities from Portugal, fact that was immediately reported in the newspapers. Of course the Jewish communities were invited to the "Interreligious meeting" without knowing that the Jewish Community of Oporto opposed the Interpretation Centre project, that is to say, they were deceived and instrumentalized to unwittingly play the role opposing the Jewish Community of Oporto.

7 – It seemed impossible to stop Shavei Israel's plan, but the strong public opposition of the Jewish Community of Oporto made the Church intervene and the "interreligious meeting" to be cancelled. Too bad for Shavei Israel. 

8 – When Shavei Israel saw its plan had failed, at once started pressuring the priest to write letters to the rabbis who are friends of the Pope, complaining about the rabbi of the Jewish Community of Oporto. The priest resisted, as he has already understood something is not right. The priest is a victim of Shavei Israel and he will have many difficulties in setting free in the future.

9 – The Jewish Community of Oporto has given Shavei Israel many proofs of benevolence, handling this issue only within the Jewish institutions. The situation will change if Shavei Israel insists on bringing the issue in the public square. We will have access to the foreign media we want and even if members who do not want protagonism (because they do not like being buffoons) have to speak publicly, they will do it in the press and wherever necessary, dismantling all the scams and demanding legal pursuit of those who have prevaricated. One must put an end to such huge, repeated evils.

10 – The Shamash and security man of the Oporto Synagogue has long written the Rabbi of Shavei Israel explaining in detail what happened with fake Marranos converted with the support of such organization. There was obviously no response. Maybe it will soon be necessary for us to publish these significant explanations and other documents in the Daas Torah. It will be disappointing to unwary benefactors who give Shavei Israel money to find “lost Jews” in Portugal.

We invite Freund, on his journey to London, to visit the Beis Din and say what he wants. We will be there waiting for him and we will use the opportunity to discuss the validity of many of the conversions supported by Shavei Israel (as for as the rabbis believe that people supported by Shavei Israel are "lost Jews", therefore the conversions are done almost automatically), including the conversion one of his converted rabbis, a former evangelic priest.

Rabbi Daniel Litvak
Religious Committee
Board of Directors


  1. @Eddie if anyone else had made your comment I would have approved it. You did it in an ad hominem manner which wasn't appropriate for you. Furthermore your criticism was based on a misreading and ignoring of halachic issues we have discussed before.

    In short it really didn't advance the discussion or reflect well on you.

    1. Well I will try to restate my argument without the alleged ad hominem (which in any case I dispute).

      The author of the letter cites academics who suggest that the genetic offspring of Jews [from Inquisition time] now covers most of the Portuguese population. A reasonable statistic assumption would be that the Jews of the inquisition would reproduce in fairly equal numbers of m/f. Thus they have not died out but actually increased in number. The maternal line is all that matters as far as Orthodoxy is concerned - for who is a Jew (Cohen is a different story). Whether the Jewish females marry jews or non jews is irrelevant to the jewishness of their offspring. This repeats itself in each generation, along the maternal line.
      So all this letter does is to provide evidence that there are a large number of direct descendants of Jews, who are still halachically jewish. The only technical problem is identifying who they are. However, it provides a chazakah that there is ahigh probability of someone being jewish, hence a giur l'chumra should not be out of the question for those who claim to have Jewish descent.

    2. Eddie do you understand that Giur L'Chumra is a very precise halakhic definition in the Sh"A. It applies to someone who we believe to be truly Jewish, but are lacking sufficient trust in the evidence. The classic case is that a Jew arrives in a city with documents from a B"D in another city claiming that he converted under their auspicies. However, the B"D in his new city has never heard of the afore mentioned city or it's B"D. Thus lacking sufficient trust in said B"D they perform a Giyur L'Chumra.

      What we have here in Portugal are people who think(or perhaps even know) that they have some form of Jewish ancestry, however have no clue as to how precisely that worked out in their past. Thus they are not people for whom a Giyur L'Chumra would suffice, they need actual Giyur.

    3. Thank you for defining that term Michael. Does it refer to someone who claims to have previously converted?
      My point is that - according to the author's own citations - a large number of the population are already Jews, and do not require conversion. So perhaps the term here is Safek - since there is a safek as to whom is still technically Jewish and who is not.
      I also would argue that there isn't actual proselytization, but kiruv. The analogy i will give is in the USA. In America, they have a 50% intermarriage rate. So approx 50% of the offspring are Jews (where the mother was the Jewish partner). If you go to places where there may be such jews, eg reform, reconstruction etc , this is kiruv, not proselytization. The fact that conversion may be made is not germane to only this kiruv, but any kiruv. The problem in the Iberian peninsula is the same, except that a) it has gone on for 500 years, whereas in America - maybe the last 10 years. b) It was shmad, whereas in America it was not. c) There are little or no records, whereas in America there are certainly some records as to who married who.

    4. I also would argue that there isn't actual proselytization, but kiruv. The analogy i will give is in the USA. In America, they have a 50% intermarriage rate. So approx 50% of the offspring are Jews (where the mother was the Jewish partner). If you go to places where there may be such jews, eg reform, reconstruction etc , this is kiruv, not proselytization.

      Huge difference. In the US the assimilation happened within the last 50-100yrs and there are very good birth and death records where a person can find out if they truly are Jewish or not.

      In Portugal the assimilation happened over 500yrs ago, and there are no surviving records. No one today can say with anything even approaching certainty that there is an unbroken matrilineal line.

      Those differences make all the difference.

    5. Thanks for your post RAmaTz but you are simply repeating what I said i mine, with the exception of the fact that I also mentioned there was Shmad in Iberia but not in America (although R' Elchanan might consider the openess of American society as being worst than shmad).

      However, you have not addressed the point I made. There is reasonable basis to assume that there is a sizeable Jewish population in Portugal. Perhaps you fail to understand the statistical approach, so i will give a biological approach. Let us say there is a gene that is inherited only matrilineally. This gene creates a characteristic in the offspring, but is only passed on through the female offspring. According to Rabbinic Orthodoxy, the jewishness follows this genetic model. hence, it is irrelevant whether the father of a child is Jewish or not. If the Jews had all remained intra-married, or intermarried, there is still ultimately the same number of jewish offspring, since it only goes by the woman. Just like a genetic trait would go by the woman in the analogy i gave above.
      (This does not take into account the obvious discrepancy in Bamidbar 1:

      מד אֵלֶּה הַפְּקֻדִים אֲשֶׁר פָּקַד מֹשֶׁה וְאַהֲרֹן, וּנְשִׂיאֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל--שְׁנֵים עָשָׂר, אִישׁ: אִישׁ-אֶחָד לְבֵית-אֲבֹתָיו, הָיוּ. 44 These are those that were numbered, which Moses and Aaron numbered, and the princes of Israel, being twelve men; they were each one for his fathers' house.
      מה וַיִּהְיוּ כָּל-פְּקוּדֵי בְנֵי-יִשְׂרָאֵל, לְבֵית אֲבֹתָם, מִבֶּן עֶשְׂרִים שָׁנָה וָמַעְלָה, כָּל-יֹצֵא צָבָא בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל. 45 And all those that were numbered of the children of Israel by their fathers' houses, from twenty years old and upward, all that were able to go forth to war in Israel; )

    6. Eddie,
      The rule of Rov would apply, and if we are to follow simple arithmetic and chances to create the statistic, then unless the original amount of Jews was greater than the amount of non Jews, the Jewish maternal lineages would always remain outnumbered. So since we can't know who is who, it is a Taaruves and the Jews are Bottul, therefore we must treat everyone as Goyim.

    7. Katche,

      firstly, the analogy you bring, is not applicable to this situation. A majority of non jews does not make a minority of jews bottul.
      Next, we do not know the exact numbers or the exact lineages, but we know that statistically there are Jews there - maybe 100,000's maybe millions.
      The complaint by the author of the letter is that the Shavei organisation is engaging in proselytizing. I saw an old post by DT, where he said there is actually no halachic issur in proselytizing, rather that it is just not the done thing. In any case, it is kiruv - and discovering who might have jewish roots. if they so choose, they can return to Judaism. There is not forced conversion. The issue is one of uncertainty - safek- some are still jews some are not, but the method for determining this is not yet clear.

    8. Eddie your description of my views are a gross distortion. You casually dismiss the fact that Jews don't proselytize and haven proselytized by saying it is just kiruv

      My comment was made in reference to the disaster of Tropper and his organized proselytization of mixed marriages through EJF. When I challenged him in an email to justify changing the accepted policy which has guided Judaism for thousands of years - his reply was like yours, "What's the issur?"

      It is not a neutral activity and in fact endanger Jewish life by legitimizing proselytization done by other religions. Additionally Chazal have pointed out the concerns of accepting gerim - and those concerns apply even stronger when conversion is result of salemanship and offering benefits as we have seen in the disaster of the conversion of Russians in Israel.

    9. Regarding your belief in your superior knowledge of math and halacha. The poskim clearly disagree with you. See

      where Rav Sternbuch notes that if your claim is accepted then in fact there is a major concern for mamzerus.

      Eddie these issues have been rehashed over many posts - just search for anousim or marranos

    10. @DT - in regards to your first post, the transition from proselytization to kiruv was not a casual move as you claim, but i presented a logical argument which perhaps you didnt follow. I will give another moshul, it is called Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle. Heisenberg, in treating sub-atomic particles, came up with a very interesting hiddush in quantum physics. He said you can calculate the momentum of a particle , or it's location, but not both at the same time. (There are different peirushim on this by the scientific meforshim, but that is another story).
      Similarly, we can say that there are direct line of matrilineal jews, but we are unable to say which specific people are jewish and which are not.
      Hence, the term kiruv, albeit a quantum kiruv.

      Regarding mamzerut - just like people may or may not be jewish, so they may or may not be mamzerim. If you claim that there may be mamzeirim, then you admit they are Jewish in the first place. In any case, proof of mamzerut is a very difficult matter. And furthermore, the fact that they were anusim, means that the offspring would not have been mamzerim, since it was oness, as per the case of Esther.

      It is also interesting that you cite the view of Poskim, when in fact the EJF and the Vaad were also making such claims of reliance on Poskim - when in fact both those organisations were simply znut factories, where askanim who had the money to bribe poskim were using the fear and hatred of the Tzioni giur together with the standard deception of "higher standards of giur" as camouflage for their own activities of bartering certificates for sexual favors and trafficking of women and children fo rtheir own nefarious ends.

    11. Eddie halacha doesn't accept your Uncertainty Principle. It works on chazaka which says this particular person has no chazaka that he is Jewish and thus he has the status of a convert. Rav Sternbuch points out that only if a person with no chazaka of being Jewish proclaims himself to be Jewish - then we have to be concerned about mamerim.

      Bottom line you are introducing concepts which are irrelevant to halacha.

      Regarding EJF and poskim - I have a recording in this blog from Rav Reuven Feinstein - the posek of EJF - where he denies the validity of what EJF was actually doing. They had no poskim who validated what they were doing.

    12. The Teshuva of r' Shternbuch is not actually as prohibitive re: mamzerut as you suggest. It only says that you have to check carefully if there is mamzerut, eg forbidden marriages, eshet ish etc. You cannot say there is mamzerut without evidence to prove it.
      Also, he makes the chazaka of anousim being akum. My point was that the letter makes the chazaka - or at least implies that statistically there will always be a jewish offspring. This was not my contribution, but his own, by relying on the academic research!

    13. Regarding the EJF - this article , like many others in Yated, describes that alleged adherence of the EJF to the words of Gedolim:

      It is also telling that this particular proapganda machine (Yated) speaks of the Eisenstein Vaad as being under the guidance of R Kreisworth, even though he is in Olam Haba. The Torah forbids consulting the dead. As far as Eisenstein and his cronies were concerned , the Vaad and it's BD was one that involved immoral acts, now better than the EJF, perhaps worse. This is despite the fact that it was sanctioned by RYSE.

    14. Eddie,

      1. Bitul certainly does apply in cases like these, and we say Kol Deporush.. See Mishna Yadayim 4,4 and the Meforshim there, and I can bring many sources which show that is is applied practically Lehalacha, if you will still maintain your erroneous position that bitul doesn't apply.

      2. You claim to be a scientist, so you should be able to work with mathematics and statistics. The fact that there are Zillions is irrelevant to what I said. I clearly explained that if originally the Jews were outnumbered by the Goyim, then the chances are that there will continue to be more maternal lineages which are not Jewish than those that are. If the Jews were only slightly outnumbered, then it is feasible that this could change, but if, as the truth is, the Jews were a relatively small minority, in other words far below 50%, it would be highly unlikely that the Jewish maternal lineage would ever outnumber the non Jewish. Also even if the Jews would eventually outnumber, it doesn't matter, because what matters is the percentage at the time of the Taaruves, which was many generations ago, soon after the assimilation occurred.

    15. Katche, Mishna Yadayim 4,4 is about whether an Ammonite convert can enter into the assembly. The debate is whether the Ammonites were the same ammonites of the Torah. How does this discussion support your claim that a minority of Jews are bittul? I have never heard such nonsense!

      2) This point may have some validity - and could be correct, i.e. even if there was a Jewish population of 5-10%, it would not now be 50-90%. That claim was made by the author of the letter based on academic research, not by myself. However, the laws of mixtures, how do they apply to people?

    16. Eddie,

      My apologies. I mistakenly thought that you know how to understand a Mishna and Meforshim. See the Rambam Issurei Biah 12,25 who explains the Heter of Amonim because they are Batul and Kol Deporush etc as I said, and the Magid Mishna says that this is our Mishna in Yadayim. Also see the Gemara Kesubos 16b That if it is not Rov Yisroel then there is no Mitzva Lhashiv Aveidoso and if it is Rov Akum then there is no Mitzva Lehachyoso, [Ela Manichin Oso Lomus Kegoy] (This last part is my own language which I did not want to publish on the internet in English)

      So here we see the laws of mixtures applying to people.

      I am amazed how a person can speak with such certainty and even ridicule someone else, in a subject that he knows nothing about. I am further amazed that even after being spoon fed a source in Yadayim, and being alerted of the possibility that you might be mistaken, you chose to continue to err rather than to research it. Eddie, you don't cease to amaze me.

    17. Katcheke, I didnt ridicule you , I asked for clarification.
      The rambam is saying that there are hardly any traces left of these nations. But the concept of Rov is not used, for example, if there is a possibility of mamzerut - then as seen in R' Shternbuch's teshuva, he goes to great lengths to determine whether someone is a mamzer or not.

      In the gemara you cite, 16b - where int he text does it say this? or are you referring to another commentary?

    18. In any case, you have to be clear about what is the "mixture" and what is the background. And then show what halacha is today. In the Soviet Union, most of the Gedolim allowed or said it is a mitzvah to send shluchim there to do kiruv. This was despite the very high intermarriage rate, higher than in America, and with very poor records, due to Communism banning religion etc. So the Chabad, the Litvish, and the MO all sent emissaries to Soviet Union to help jews - even though many of them were intermarried etc.
      Next, Rambam in his Iggeret Hashmad does not write off the conversos - although arguably you can say that Islam is not avodah zarah, whereas catholocism is. Nevertheless, he takes issue with the Rabbi who said these conversos are lost forever. He also cites Esther, who was married to a Gentile king. According to your argumentation, you would write off Esther as well. Do you celebrate Purim?

    19. Eddie, I see I mistakenly typed 16b instead of 15b. It actually begins from the Mishna on 14b, but the reference that I made was to a Mishna in Machshirin that is cited there. In the entire Sugya there, you will see that the rules of Rov apply to issues of Yichus.

      As far as comparing this to the Russian Jews, I have a lot to say but I can't get into a complicated Halachic dicourse here. But before anything there is a very blatant distinction which does not allow this comparison to begin. In Russia, Jews who knew of there Jewish background (most of them had/have Yiddish speaking parents) came forth to the Rabbis who were being Marbitz Torah there. It was never a practice to approach someone who does not consider himself Jewish and try to work with them. That is what most people refer to as proselytizing.

      As far as we are concerned in the case of our discussion on this post, however, you are right that you have to be clear, as you do with every question of Halacha, and in this case it is clear that at the time of the Taaruves there was Bitul Berov and therefore Kol Deporish Meruba Koporish and it is Mutar to feed anybody from there Nevailos and Ain Metzuvin Lehachyoso and if they fall into a pit and are in danger of death Lo Maalin.

      As the Halacha is Mutar Lhaachilo Nevailos, that rules out the Mitzva of Kiruv.

      You say "He also cites Esther, who was married to a Gentile king. According to your argumentation, you would write off Esther as well. Do you celebrate Purim?"

      This statement is an outright deliberate lie!

      There is no way you could have come to anything similar to that from my statements. My argumentation has no connection whatsoever to anything of the sort. Are you trying to appeal to someone who only reads the last line of things, and will believe that I probably said something like that, because he would never imagine that you are simple fabricating words in my name?

    20. Katche - the comment on Esther was referenced to Rambam's Iggeret - which he cites to support the issue of shmad/ intermarriage. If you use sarcasm and strong language in discussion (which you make a habit of doing) then expect that in return. I am not a Christian who turns the other cheek.

      It is clear that Esther, was in an illegal marriage, and was taarovet as you say - but this was not done of free will, but of shmad. Halacha is not a cognitive thought system, but as you correctly note, you have to look at the facts of the case. Facts are unfortunate, because they involve secular matters. That is why the Gra - reported by his student - said that however much secular knowledge we lack, we lack 100x that much Torah.
      Now your argument is that a mixture will invalidate a Kosher person. A broader argument - which I assume you adhere to - but is spelled out by RDE shlita, is that intermarried are treif, and we must have nothing to do with them, and no Kiruv.
      In the discussion of the marranos, I have pointed out in most of my posts, that the marranos were under shmad/oness. However this fact, which influences how halacha is applied - is filtered out by my opponents on this issue. it is filtered out becasue it destroys all of their arguments. It is not comparable to intermarriage in free America which is done out of bechira hofshi or tinok sh'nishbaa. There is no comparison, hence the halacha is not the same halacha in the 2 cases.

    21. katche - I looked at the Daf 15b, quickly , so I hold no claim to be expert in it.
      It seems to me to actually be saying what I am saying -

      First they make a statistical /probabilistic statement regarding rov. Which is the discussion we had about the marranos and the probability of them surviving and in what kind of numbers, m/f ratio etc.
      So yes, as far as feeding the child, it depends on their statistical assumptions, ie rov.

      Then they make the repeated statement that "They have taught this only with regard to sustaining it, but not with regard to pure descent."
      If my reading of this is correct - they are saying precisely what I am saying - ie there is an uncertainty principle, statistically they can make a chazaka about whether the average person is Jewish or not, but even so they cannot say this with certainty regarding the lineage of any individual they find.

      Thank you for alerting me to this gemara, since it refutes RDE's assertion that halacha does not agree with my uncertainty principle.

    22. Eddie you keep jumping around from "proof" to "proof" but you are missing the obvious. You want to make assertion based on the uncertainty principle etc and make inferences based on EJF etc. But halacha isn't based on Sherlock Holmes but on the accepted analyses of major poskim.

      Please cite the teshuvos from recognized authority that say what you are saying!

    23. You are quite right that Halacha is not based on Sherlock holmes. And i am not offering a psak either. I am just stating that there is a reasonable probability that some of the people may be technically Jewish. Anything beyond that is for competent poskim to decide,

    24. Eddie, you wrote a lengthy post full of lies and did not respond truthfully to any of my points.
      1. Your comment about Esther was/is irrelevant to the point.
      2. The fact that it was an Oness does not affect the Bitul Berov.
      3. You noticed correctly that thereis an addiional Chumra in connection to Yochsin, but not in the way as you suggest. Your Hisnatzlus that you don't claim expertise in the Gemara is very noble of you, as you are correct in that fact.
      4. I already said we may Lichatchilo go ahead and feed him Nevailos, and that is proof that there is no Mitzve of Kiruv.

      This is my final comment to you on this, simply because you have no integrity to be Modeh Al Haemess and your agenda comes first and at the expense of any real desire to know the truth.

    25. Katche - don't be so arrogant to think that all you say is true, and all i say is lies. I already cited Rambam;s Iggeret who mentions esther, before you even entered the room. so:

      1) The Iggeret hashmad is very relevant , despite your dishonesty in brushing it aside. any fool would know that.

      2) It is Oness. And it is shmad. The case you bring is a different case of a fledgling child . So can you prove that it also applies to Shmad/marranoes?
      3) I made my own suggestion of the what the Humra abotu Yochsin is - and i didnt claim it to be authoratative. So where is the lie? I would accept the correct or a better explanation.

      4) I find it very disingenuous of you to deny the Rambam's Iggeret Hashmad. You claim it is lie. So you claim the Rambam does not mention Esther? You are a fool, and an arrogant one. Why was esther considered Jewish, even though she was taaruves? Do you not see that this is not the same as in the case of a regular jewish woman (eg Barbra streisand) who marries a goy [handsome actor James Brolin). According to your claim and that of RDE, shmad has nothing to do with it. You are mistaken. Why is Esther considered a righteous person, but Streisand a shaigetz? Is it becasue Esther could sing better? No, it is because it was shmad. I suggest you read Iggeret teiman and Igegret shamd, before you bring your satmar arrogance and accuse me of lies.

    26. @DT - "Please cite the teshuvos from recognized authority that say what you are saying!"

      I have already cited Rambam's Iggeret Hashmad. I have also put you on notice on this forum to answer to that, since he says that Esther was under oness and hence is not guilty of intermarriage of arayos. Unfortuantely, your silence on this iggeret suggests one of the following:

      a) You are too busy with the blog and external matters to read what I have said several times, and hence it slipped past you.

      b) You saw this but it is too embarrassing for you to admit that you are wrong - that we do not treat Esther, or others under duress (oness) in the same way as those who wilfully intermarry (eg barbra Streisand).

      c) you do not accept maimonides as a legitimate Posek, but you only follow the Eda .

      Please come clean on Queen Esther and the rambam.

    27. Eddie you don't seem to understand English. I asked for responsa and you give me dikukim and drashos in non-halachic material. The statement "we don't ask questions from Agada" applies to your various posts on the matter.

      Show me clear support for your views in the Mishna Torah, Shulchan Aruch etc etc

    28. I didn't think it possible that you truly misunderstood so simple a matter so I assumed you were deliberately lying. I did not lie but I changed my mind about stopping the discussion because I can't remain silent to such ridiculous points made with such fervor.

      There was no Safek of Esther's identity. She was not an unrecognizable part of a Taaruves, so what question is it why she is considered Jewish since she was a Jewish child with no doubt whatsoever. Ma She'ain Kain a descendant from the Marrano Era who is a member of large mix which has a percentage of Jews less than 50%, and who's identity is unknown. That is why the Esther thing is totally irrelevant to my point. Maybe I'm wrong in assuming that you could have understood if you tried, but my suspicion is that you don't consider what someone else says with enough weight to truly try to understand it. (Or you're lying.) If you are a sincere person, then open your heart to hear and understand the positions and the pain of Mesorti Jews, then you too will join the right side of the discussion.

      You complain of my arrogance. Would you think a person is arrogant if he verbally attacks someone who is trying to destroy his family? This is a case of someone from a Jewish Kehilla writing a letter crying for help that a villain is trying to water down the Jewish community with Goyim. You are defending the villain, and playing or being the devil's advocate. I am wrestling you for dear life. Don't expect a good Jew to be polite above all. That is what the Germans were/are - Polite with no feelings. I care about things that are of utmost importance.

    29. katche, you mix some good points, with some irrelevant ones, so i wonder where the taaroves is..

      e.g. " Don't expect a good Jew to be polite above all. That is what the Germans were/are - Polite with no feelings. I care about things that are of utmost importance."

      There are several strands to my argument so it depends which strand you disagree with or wrestle with.

      1) That victims of shmad are not seen in the same light as those who have willfully assimilated. this is the point made by Rambam - which I assume you can accept - at least in principle. This point alone refutes what the blog owner has said when generalising about proselytisation. To conflate intermarriage in America or Europe with those due to shmad is a fairly serious error.

      2) Furthermore, R' Moshe Feinstein made a very interesting point about the Ethiopian Falashas. There was a machloket about whether they were halachically Jewish or not. R' Yosef held they are, as did Rav Kook, whereas the Hareidi Ashkenazim as well as R Herzog held they are not. Neverthless - and this is an important point. RMF said that although they are not halachically jewish, they have been persectued as jews, and and as such this makes them jewish, and it is a mitzvah for us to save them. So even though he held they may be mixed, the complexity of the matter, and other factors contradict your black and white claim that there is no mitzvah to save them. So automatically, your claims that any activity of
      kiruv and saving mixed communities where there is a safek as to their Jewishness is severely weakened. Now you can follow the Lubavitch and Satmar view that they are all goyim, but there is a legitimate view that we must save those of Jewish descent, even if they are not halachically Jewish.

      3) At no point have i said we should bring in goyim to water down the jewish population. This is again your bad heart projecting falsehood onto what I said, and then attempting to label me as a rasha in the process (which is not surprising since this is how Satmar would attack the saintly Rav Kook)

      4) Playing the devil's advocate is a legitimate form of debate -whether or not that is my tactic. Chazal said that in order to be a member of the sanhedrin, you had be able to argue something both ways several hundred times. I do use that on some subjects but on this I am presenting genuine arguments - and I accept i ma have erred in some details - such as my reading of the gemara.

      5) There are some issues of facts and evidence i.e. metzius, where not enough research has been carried out. I responded to the letter of the Rav which was published, relying on his own reliance on academic research. I pointed out a logical contradiction in his stance. Again, that is not about lying, or being rasha. And i wasn't the only person to catch him out on that, another blogger noticed the same point.

      6) There seems to be a blind spot , or denial, or what Freud called a negative hallucination, which both RDE and yourself have fallen into. A negative hallucination is when something is standing in front of you, but you fail to see it. That is clearly the case, when I cited several times both the rambam's Iggeret haShmad, and the fact that Rav Nissim's BD in Bnei Brak accepted the Chuetas as Kosher converts, thanks to the Shavei efforts. I don't know what Eda politics are like, but i presume you have some broiges with R' karelitz as well.

    30. katche-ctd:


      * I stated my "uncertainty principle" - which suggested that there would logically be a matrilineal line of Jews , but we are uncertain as to which specific people are those Jews. This is not a statement of halacha, but of fact or at least probability. On this, you countered that in the gemara, there is a rule of Rov. I accepted this comment of yours, but I suggested that it is not dealing with a case of shmad. i also brought RMF to support my claim. If he held that to be the case, he could not have said it is a mitzva to save them.

      Finally - you call Freund a Villain. i have no reason to accept this badmouthing of him. If the Bnei Brak BD has considered his work with the Chuetas to be valid, then it is wrong to besmirch him.

      There may be some factual and empirical limitations to what can be done in Portugal, and i also accept this might be the case. It may never become clear who are really Jewish or descended from Jews. there may not be any communities who are as closed in as the Chuetas in order to repeat that example. I am not interested in mass conversion of useful idiots in order to increase the population in the settlements or in Israel. My only point was that those who can show chazaka to have maternal line, are themselves jewish, or can go thru Giur L'chumra, as was the case with RNK's decision. If they are totally lost, then there is nothing to bring back.
      Now, you attacked me - but you were unwilling to accept that postions of the major Gedolim i mentioned support each strand of my argument -
      The Rambam - on the difference between shmd and freewiil and thus kiruv vs proseltysation.
      RMF - who was one of the greatest poskim of the previous generations. On the mitzvah to save those who have been persecuted as Jews, even if they r not halachcially jewish - which shows that your argument on Rov does not apply to shmad.
      R' Karelitz - nephew of the Chazon Ish, and one of today's Litivish Gedolim, which shows that Freund is not a villain, and that his work with Chuetas was kosher, and may even be repeated.

    31. Eddie your citation of Rav Moshe is not relevant to the present case. What Rav Moshe said concerning the Ethiopians does not apply in the case of goyim who some suspect might be of Jewish ancestry from Marranos. The Ethiopians are people who insist that they are Jewish and always were. Freund is going after people and telling them that they are Jewish or probably descended from Jews

    32. Eddie, I can no longer continue this. I feel it is a waste of time for me. I can easily refute your points with simple logical statements which I don't see how a logical mind can deny, but I see that you continue to argue your points anyway, making comparisons between things that are distant Kerechok Mizrach Memaarav, as we Katche-labs call it Boidem Mit Klotz. I strongly suspect that you are not really open to learning, so you're stuck with what you have, and I don't see that there is much that I can do about it, so I want to focus my efforts to more promising endeavors. You maybe say the same about me. I can't do anything about that either. Adios.

    33. @DT "What Rav Moshe said concerning the Ethiopians does not apply in the case of goyim who some suspect might be of Jewish ancestry from Marranos. The Ethiopians are people who insist that they are Jewish and always were. "
      The Marranoes were Jews who - b'gadol - had to chose between death by inquisition or conversion. I have not said that any goy in Spain or Portugal can be randomly picked up and told he is Jewish. i have said there is a good likelihood that there are some who are jewish, but we are uncertain who they are.
      What you allege of Freund is a) requiring evidence that he is doing this. b) relevant to the arguments I have presented. c) Contradicts the evidence of the Chuetas, who had a hazakah of descent fromt eh original marranoes.

      It is now clear that you are engaging, sadly below your station and intellectual abilities - in obfuscation, obscurantism, and denial.
      You ask for evidence, and I bring you authorities from today, from the previous generation, and from rambam. After i have to bang on your door for you to deal with these, you simply dismiss them as irrelevant. In other words, they are irrelevant to your agenda - which is anti-Freund.
      It is ironic that you dismiss R' Karelitz, and poke fun at his Beit Din as just being long-winded drashos and nothing to do with halacha. If, however, they published a psak din whihc supported one of your causes, which on the whole are honorable and of benefit to the Kahal, then you would jump to publicize them.
      It is very clear that you are totally committed to an anti Marrano and anti-shavei ideology, which is blinding you form thinking rationally on this matter. hence any halachic evidence I provide you pervert and suggest it is just Mickey mouse discussion and nothing to do with halacha.

    34. katche, you are like a drunk who is struggling with his alcohol problem. You keep claiming that you are quitting , and then come back fro more the next time, all the time saying this is your last drink. You come up with platitudes such as " I can easily refute your points with simple logical statements which I don't see how a logical mind can deny, but I see that you continue to argue your points anyway,".

      It seems that you have the arrogance of believing that every idea that comes to you was already given to Moses, so therefore everything you say must be logical and true, and whatever refutation I make must be a lie. So I must presume that you are a Rabbi with semicha, or at least you think you could get one if only you took the test.
      So i suggest you give up your drinking habit, and don't come back for more, since this is the 10th time you have said you will have no further discussion with me.

    35. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Is there evidence that they are actually trying to convince people to convert? If not, it's not fair to call it proselytizing. Providing resources to those who want to learn more or convert is not the same thing as trying to convince people to convert.

    The letter is contradictory, because it says all the Portuguese are descended from Jews but that the ones converted by Shavei Israel are "fake marranos." Regardless, who cares if they are really descended from Jews or not? Each individual person who converts is entitled to do so if they are willing to fulfill the requirements, whether or not their beliefs about their Jewish ancestry are correct. If someone goes through with a halachic conversion, they must have had a Jewish neshamah.

  3. The conversions are done "automatically"? Don't they have to become completely observant? Many of the other converts helped by Shavei Israel, such as the Bnei Menashe, have shown themselves to be very observant and enthusiastic, as recognized by major rabbinic figures in Israel.

  4. See also the Teshuva of R' Moshe Hagiz, who stated (as was RMF to many years later) that marriages after the Inquisition of the Jews are void due to lack of witnesses, hence remarriage is not adulterous and will not cause a mamzerut problem.

  5. The Eda/Satmar may not care less about the dispersed, and the lost Israelites, but that is not the will of Hashem:

    Ez 36

    כד וְלָקַחְתִּי אֶתְכֶם מִן-הַגּוֹיִם, וְקִבַּצְתִּי אֶתְכֶם מִכָּל-הָאֲרָצוֹת; וְהֵבֵאתִי אֶתְכֶם, אֶל-אַדְמַתְכֶם. 24 For I will take you from among the nations, and gather you out of all the countries, and will bring you into your own land.
    כה וְזָרַקְתִּי עֲלֵיכֶם מַיִם טְהוֹרִים, וּטְהַרְתֶּם: מִכֹּל טֻמְאוֹתֵיכֶם וּמִכָּל-גִּלּוּלֵיכֶם, אֲטַהֵר אֶתְכֶם. 25 And I will sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean; from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you.

    1. מִכֹּל טֻמְאוֹתֵיכֶם וּמִכָּל-גִּלּוּלֵיכֶם, אֲטַהֵר אֶתְכֶם.

      Does this also refer to mamzerut, and safek Jewishness?

  6. In terms of "false marranos": that's a heck of a charge, which Rabbi Litvak commits lashon hara by making if he can't back that up.


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