Conversion To Judaism: The Need For A Uniform Standard

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11 Responses

  1. Ori Pomerantz says:

    Jonathan Rosenblum: Even the most sincere convert may face a situation ten or twenty years down the line where she or her child is rejected by a potential spouse, even though they have been fully observant for decades.

    Ori: Why is this such a big deal? Observant Jews shouldn’t have a problem telling a rabbinical court that they accept Halacha. The Mikveh is not a problem either. The drop of blood that takes the place of circumcision for already circumcised gentiles is unpleasant, but any man who’ll refuse to do that for his bride’s sake, which expecting her to undergo the pains of childbirth, is not worth marrying anyway.

    The only real problem is in the case of a Cohen groom. It is already doubtful that the previous conversion was done improperly. Can anybody here whose Halacha knowledge exceeds mine (= almost everybody) find another doubt? If we have two, wouldn’t that make the marriage permissible?

  2. S. says:

    “Uniform standard” is fatally flawed simply because by definition it requires the most chumradike position always be adopted. This is untenable.

  3. meir says:

    Jonathan: THANK YOU!

    Ori,

    If the Rabbis who performed the conversion do a lot of non kosher conversions their status as kosher dayonim may be questionable.

  4. BY says:

    ““Uniform standard” is fatally flawed simply because by definition it requires the most chumradike position always be adopted. This is untenable.”

    S. has identified a major drawback of Reb (Rabbi?) Rosenblum’s proposal. However, since there must be some system of conversion, to discredit the “universal standard” would require presenting a superior system or acceding to the present one.

    Rosenblum has proven to my satisfaction that a universal standard would be preferable to the current chaos.

    Ori:

    The analogy from the field of kashrus is particularly compelling. For most orthodox individuals there is a person entitled “rabbi” whom he or she would not trust to regulate his or her food. Ought he or she willingly give him or her the power to regulate Israeli citizenship? In my mind this is the most important issue, since in marrying off their children everyone will rely on his or her own Rabbis’ assessment.

  5. TheGer says:

    What does Mr. Rosenblum suggest be done in the case of frum gerim who were converted by supposed ‘conversion mills’? The situation today is that now some of us are being told by some rabbonim that we’re fine/it doesn’t matter while others (including the rabbanut) claim we must convert again. Even though it may not be apparent, these are people’s lives here.

    In this discussion of conversion, everyone seems to be addressing hypothetical converts while no one has addressed those already living frum lives in the midst of the Jewish people.

  6. mycroft says:

    What does Mr. Rosenblum suggest be done in the case of frum gerim who were converted by supposed ‘conversion mills’? The situation today is that now some of us are being told by some rabbonim that we’re fine/it doesn’t matter while others (including the rabbanut) claim we must convert again. Even though it may not be apparent, these are people’s lives here.

    In this discussion of conversion, everyone seems to be addressing hypothetical converts while no one has addressed those already living frum lives in the midst of the Jewish people.

    Comment by TheGer — July 23, 2007

    Very well put-exactly the problem with what the rabbanit is now doing-expecially questioning geirut of existing gerim who followed the then Rabbanuts procedures. I can’t think of a greater way of oppressing the ger.

  7. Garnel Ironheart says:

    I thin the concern from Rav Angel is this: a group of Chareidi leaders will decide what they consider to be the bare minimum standards for someone to be considered a valid convert. They will then present this standard to the leadership of the non-Chareidi Torah observantworld and state that unless the prospective converts follow it, ie. promise to live Chareidi lifestyles afte conversion, that they will not recognize those conversions. If this is the case, I can see why Rav Angel and the RCA are bristling at the Rabbanut’s perceived overlordship of the issue.

  8. Shlomo says:

    JR: would you still be in favor of regional batei din if they were dominated by rabbis from Yeshiva University/RIETS, rather than from whatever yeshiva you went to?

  9. Loberstein says:

    “Congregational rabbis who perform conversions are vulnerable to unbearable pressure from powerful congregants who want their child’s non-Jewish boyfriend or girlfriend converted – no questions asked. Savvy communal rabbis – Rabbi Emanuel Feldman when he was a rav in Atlanta comes to mind – avoid the problem by announcing a blanket rule against performing conversions.”

    If he didn’t perform them, then who did? Congrtegation Beth Jacob of Atlanta has numerous gerim among its membership. Some of its frumest and some of its most generous members are converts, some more stricly observant than others. Atlanta and many other “baalei teshuva” oriented communities have a much higher share of converts than in Boro Park. Who converted all of them and how did they become members if what you say 9is true? Something essential is missing.

  10. Larry Lennhoff says:

    I share the concerns voiced by Garnel in comment 7. There are requirements that it is reasonable for a beit din to impose on a prospective convert (live and be a part of an Orthodox Jewish community, keep kashrut, shabbat, and Taharat Hamispacha, accept in principle the binding nature of the Orthodox understanding of halacha) and others I feel it is not (give up TV, send your children to a school that does not have a secular education component, keep chalav yisrael and beit yosef shechita, follow Litvish minhagim regardless of the community one joins and ones ethnic origin).

    If the quest for universal acceptance means that effectively only one particular approach within the O spectrum is acceptable for O converts, then the price is too high.

  11. jr says:

    this is why “need for uniform standard” is code word for “charedi standard”. often simply craziness…

    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3433061,00.html

    Please, someone explain this Chiddush to me, and what about shul and other places to “mingle”. I wholeheartedly agree with Rabbi Angel.

    And Rabbi Adlerstein, WADR I am sure you cringed when you read the article, stop kidding yourself you have a lot more in common with Rabbi Angel than these folks.

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