News and Essays In and Out of Orthodoxy – Parshas Korach 5776

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5 Responses

  1. Julie says:

    The Matzav article on Elie Wiesel should be corrected. His father died prior to liberation, so was never in a DP camp.

  2. Nachum says:

    Two of these headlines are rather inflammatory:

    -First, the one about conversion is given with no context whatsoever. Click on it and you’ll see it’s about an Indian Jew- Bene Israel to be precise, one of several distinct groups of Indian Jews. The status of the Bene Israel was somewhat controversial back in the day, but is less so now. Indeed, the article points out that no less than R’ Ovadia Yosef ruled them to be Jews. I certainly hope he’s authoritative enough for Cross-Currents. This woman happened to convert l’chumra in a charedi beit din.

    Furthermore, the headline is very misleading, as this woman actually married a kohen long ago. (Indeed, almost all the Indian Jews made aliyah back in the 1950’s, so it doesn’t really make sense that there’d be someone of questionable status in today’s day and age.) The issue now is, now that they’re divorcing, do they need a get or were they never supposed to be married in the first place. (It’s a bizarre question now that I think about it, as the marriage between a kohen and someone he can’t marry is still valid.) The ruling was that they needed the get, i.e., she was always Jewish. Maybe they ruled this way l’chumra, who knows. Like I said, it’s very, very odd.

    I’d say the Bene Israel are even more accepted than Ethiopian Jews, who, of course, were also ruled 100% Jewish by R’ Ovadia (following the Radbaz).

    I certainly hope R’ Gordimer is not extending his attacks to the Israeli Chief Rabbinate and R’ Ovadia, of all people.
    -Second, one note about the Yemenite children: There has never been a shred of evidence they were kidnapped. At the very most, one may argue that there was an insensitive bureaucracy and a chaotic situation that led to kids being adopted by others- but there is no evidence even of that! That is, not a single person has ever come forward as one who was separated from their parents back then. (Hanoch Teller notwithstanding.) That’s a pretty powerful proof.

    As a side issue, one possibility is that Yemenite parents were not told of their kids’ deaths and not allowed to know where they were buried. Interestingly, anonymous burial of fetuses is still a horrifying practice of the Rabbinate today. People have to work hard to find where their children are buried. It’s kind of appropriate that the only way to avoid this is to insist on the Yemenite Chevra Kadisha, but that shouldn’t be necessary.

    • Avrohom Gordimer says:

      “I certainly hope R’ Gordimer is not extending his attacks to the Israeli Chief Rabbinate and R’ Ovadia, of all people.”

      No, I am not attacking anyone. I merely copied and pasted the title of the article, which may be sensationalist. I made no comment, critique, or attack.

      • Nachum says:

        Sorry. This column certainly seems to have the reputation of “who’s outside of Orthodoxy” unless explicitly otherwise, and this headline (misleadingly) certainly fits into that category.

  3. YbhM says:

    The Israeli summer camps article is actually talking about day camps, which in many cases is the same thing as gan except with an extra charge.

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