Ha’aretz: Those Converted In US By Non-Rabbinut-Approved Orthodox Rabbis Will Have To RECONVERT; Women Will Need NEW GETS. RCA: Rabbi Amar Wants To Be Pope

Ha’aretz reports:

… The Rabbinate confirmed that rabbinic courts in Israel have been instructed not to recognize conversions and gets authorized by overseas rabbis until those rabbis pass Rabbinate exams in Israel.

This means that Jews who underwent an Orthodox conversion abroad will have to convert again in Israel in order to be recognized as Jews by rabbinic courts. Jewish women who received a get overseas and wish to remarry in Israel will have to ask their ex-husbands for another get if the first one was approved by Orthodox rabbis not recognized by the Rabbinate.

Under the new policy, Diaspora rabbis must be examined by a special rabbinic court panel appointed by the Chief Rabbinate Council for their conversions and gets to be recognized. Rabbis seeking recognition for their gets are required, in addition to the exam, to attend a brief training program in which they join the deliberations at rabbinic courts and learn how to register gets.

The Rabbinate will still continue to recognize conversions and gets by a group of some 50 senior Orthodox rabbis around the world. These rabbis, whose names appear on a list prepared several years ago by previous chief rabbis, will not be required to take the exams. [Some of these rabbis are long-dead; others are no longer in public life.]

Until now, rabbinic courts approved conversions and gets by most Orthodox rabbis abroad, largely based on personal acquaintance. Conversions and gets by non-Orthodox rabbis were not recognized.

The new policy, which was approved by Sephardic Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar, is already generating tension with the Rabbinical Council of America. An official of the RCA, which has a membership of 1,200 Orthodox rabbis, told Haaretz, “The impression created is that Rabbi Amar is trying to become a sort of Jewish pope.” 

The Jewish Week, published in New York, reported earlier this month that the Rabbinate is refusing to recognize conversions authorized by Gedaliah Dov Schwartz, chairman of the Beth Din of America, the largest Orthodox rabbinic court in the United States. Rabbi Schwartz appears on the exemptions list, but the Rabbinate announced that only conversions personally performed by him would be recognized in Israel. The rabbinate “can’t just bypass the rabbis who are its biggest supporters,” Rabbi Schwartz told The Jewish Week. Rabbi Tzvi Hersh Weinreb, executive director of the RCA’s parent organization, the Orthodox Union, expressed surprise at the Rabbinate’s policy.

Rabbi Seth Farber of ITIM, an Israeli group that helps navigate Rabbinate procedures, says that non-recognition of past conversions could cause great suffering to legally converted Jews. He added that lack of cooperation between the Rabbinate and the rabbinic establishment in the U.S. is causing unnecessary tension between them.

Rabbi Amar’s bureau chief, Rabbi Yigal Krispel, defended the new policy, and told Haaretz it is designed to protect Israeli citizens and prevent them from turning to unqualified rabbis.

”There is a hierarchy, and not every rabbi can perform a conversion or register a get,” he said.

Krispel said the Rabbinate will still recognize marriages and verifications of Jewishness by rabbis overseas.

Why is this happening? Because the leaders of the RCA and YU showed weakness. Rabbis Hershal Schachter and Mordechai Willig have been silent in the face of haredi attacks against Modern Orthodoxy, as has the RCA’s weak executive director, Rabbi Basil Herring. It may be too late to stop the tremendous amount of pain Rabbi Amar’s theocracy will cause women and converts, but it is not too late to remove the MO leaders who did not stand up when it counted. Bottom line: Rabbis Schachter, Willig and Herring still have their jobs on July 1, you’ll know the RCA has sold out MO. You’ll also know which rabbis and institutions should not receive your donations. Don’t give another penny until these leaders stand up or are fired.



Filed under Haredim, Israel, Jewish Leadership, Modern Orthodoxy

34 responses to “Ha’aretz: Those Converted In US By Non-Rabbinut-Approved Orthodox Rabbis Will Have To RECONVERT; Women Will Need NEW GETS. RCA: Rabbi Amar Wants To Be Pope

  1. Are all the rabbis on the list American?

  2. Yochanan Lavie

    The MO rabbinate seems willing to stand up for Gafni. Talk about misplaced priorities. (I am ideologically close to MO, but no one is above criticism).

  3. der kugelager

    calling the rca mo is a grave injustice.
    rca, by it’s own definition of it’s orientation is orthodox. rabbi schwartz, is certainly not mo. that mo’s uses rca services, is no different than israeli atheists, using the services of well, rabbi ammar. it does not make well, rabbi ammar an atheist.
    rabbi ammar, will do well to set his priorities right, by observing the mitzvot of loving the ger rather than becoming chum with the idolaters who want to hijack judaism.
    one is left to wonder, where does rabbi yosef stand on this issue.

  4. Anonymous

    “the idolaters who want to hijack judaism”
    whos that?

  5. Nigritude Ultramarine

    could cause great suffering to legally converted Jews

    No kidding, especially to women who have had children since their conversions.

    If the Rabbinate doesn’t want to recognize RCA conversions past May 2006, that’s one thing. But to reach into the past and invalidate conversions before May 2006 is unconscionable.

  6. Non MO

    This issue, isn’t even a Modern Orthodox issue, it may represent the greatest Halachic power grab in the last few centuries. One may honestly debate if conversion needs a higher standard of “rabbinical authority”, but gittin, rabbis have bent over backwards in responsa to allow a lady with a reputable get to be divorced, there was no testing of the rabbis required or any of the such. This is just to centralize a certain rabbi or rabbis halachik views and authority on everything.

    This is almost similiar to when Napolean crowned himself.

    Since when does one bes din have the right to say, we arent accepting any other bes dins ruling on anything, unless they are admitted to our bes din.

  7. Chaya Tova

    I have an interesting point to make about the difference between getting married by an orthodox rabbi in America and in Israel.

    I have spoken to many baaltshuvas who have gotten married in America and these rabbis who wed them usually do not ask them for very much proof that they are Jewish. Most of these people’s parents had no ketubah by an orthodox rabbi as they were baaltshuvas. When I asked friends of mine what proof their local orthodox rabbi needed that they were jewish, they said that the rabbi just asked them from a letter from a rabbi who knew them.

    However, if you get married by the Beit Din in Israel, you really get drilled to make sure you are Jewish. I am a baaltshuva and let me tell you, I needed tons and tons of documents, names of my matrilinial family birth certificates showing they had Jewish names and etc. Some baaltshuvas, who have no proof of their jewisness are asked to do a ger lchumrah.

    Could this be a possible reason that Israel wants to be stricter on issues like these? If so, I do see some benefit. Not that I know enough to voice a true opinion. I am just looking on the bright side.

  8. Could this be a possible reason that Israel wants to be stricter on issues like these? If so, I do see some benefit.
    And what benefit would that be? Seriously, I don’t understand what benefit Klal Yisrael gets from making people jump through hoops to prove their Jewishness. I have my parents’ ketubah, but my dad’s parents’ ketubah was left behind in the churban.

    I read about people who tried to immigrate to America from Germany who were told they needed a certificate of good behavior from their local (Nazi!) police department before they could be permitted. 50 years down the line is Israel going to make similar demands? This is insane – the law has always been that when someone claims to be Jewish the burden of proof is on the person seeking to disprove their claim. Is my parent’s ketubah from 1955 going to be disallowed because the rabbi who performed the wedding was Conservative?

  9. Neo-Conservaguy

    I think this is wonderful news – seriously. The RCA needs a taste of its own bitter medicine. Perhaps they will begin to understand the pain they cause when they take exactly the same strict position with conversions performed according to the halachoth by shomer-mitsvoth rabbis that aren’t in the RCA.

    Only a harsh slap in the face will wake these people up. Perhaps we should thank Rabbi Amar for delivering it?

  10. Neo-Conservaguy

    “Is my parent’s ketubah from 1955 going to be disallowed because the rabbi who performed the wedding was Conservative?”

    At some point, if these people aren’t stopped: yes! But make no mistake about it – “these people” most certainly include the RCA.

  11. aryeh calvin

    I actualy think this has less to do with a failure of the RCA Than with the ongoing marginaliization of Religious Zionism and the failure to get Rabbi Ariel Elected Chief Rabbi. Since Rabbi Metzer is essentialy a stand in for Rabbi Elyashiv and Rabbi Amar is a shas man,Rabbi Ovadia Yosef and Rabbi Elyashiv are cementing a haradie dominated rabbinate where nobody will take the RCA or Mizrachi Rabbanim seriously.

  12. der kugelager

    it was not too long ago that the london beit din pulled out a similarly vicious scheme against the israeli rabbinate .
    i can’t really say it serves us right. it’s worse than the worse anti semitic accusation.
    trouble with karaism, is nobody knows if it is any better.
    we know though that christianity just like other messianic movements is not for us & islam is not really better than what we have!

  13. PishPosh

    I had close friends who weree gerim and gave alot of themselves of their hearts and souls to come members of our family and via the Orthodox standards, and to think how bad it is for your born jew, think how these sincere people are going to have to deal with if they ever try to make aliyah.
    People need to stop fearing these pompous jokers and call them for what they are. Maybe somebody should start digging into their lineage and bring their yichus up to scrutiny.

  14. sarah

    I think they should worry more about removing “rabbis” who are not behaving properly.
    At least we would then be able to believe the rabbis that remain.
    Too many corrupt rabbis these days.
    It causes us to doubt even the honest rabbis.
    We just don’t know who is who anymore.

  15. Dovid Lerner

    I am convinced that the Chief Rabbinate is definitly making money off of this, who the hell do they think they are?! The Sanhedrin?!

    A appointed (not elected) Rabbi, has the right to declare martial law on the entire world?! Outrageous!!#@#

    What I believe must be done is a revoloution, to disregard the Chief Rabbinate alltogether, they have no right to say that Rabbis from all over the world, -many of whom are selfless and entirely devoted to their communitys-, are not good enough.

    Anyone see a similarity to cults? Scientology (Kabbalah Centre or any cult de jour) says the only way you can rid yourself of negativity is by going to them, and going through their programs (and in the process giving them lots of cash). The Chief Rabbinate says you’re not a Rabbi until you take OUR test and work on OUR beis din all for a “nominal” fee! (Plus the ticket to Israel, lodging for the weeks they make you stay there….)

    Hashem Yishmor!

  16. der kugelager

    Reb Dovid,
    while some will definitely make money on this or other aspects. this problem is more sinister than that.
    maybe it’s time for mass walkout on these animals. those here, those there in israel, those in the uk. who wants to be part of this inconsiderate racist groupings?

  17. Paul Freedman

    Chaya tova–I only knew one girl who tried to be accepted as Jewish through the Israeli “system” and she was either sexually propositioned or hit up for money–she was very unhappy and didn’t wish to get into details. This is one person’s story–but we are after all comparing not marriage here to marriage over there but conversions here to conversions over there–and in the conversion process all those documents about zeida are not the issue–the ger doesn’t have them. Still you raise an interesting issue: maybe the Chief Rabbinate in Israel will decide it doesn’t recognize the marriages either.

  18. Devorah

    How can one find out who is on this “list”?

    This is going to cause so much heartache for gerim, especially those already married and with children. People who literally gave up everything to become frum, home, housewares, clothing, family, sometimes jobs. What a slap in the face from people who probably haven’t a clue about what real mesiras nefesh is.

  19. Devorah

    How can one find out who is on this “list”?

    This is going to cause so much heartache for gerim, especially those already married and with children. People who literally gave up everything to become frum, home, housewares, clothing, family, sometimes jobs. What a slap in the face from people who probably haven’t a clue about what real mesiras nefesh is.

  20. der kugelager

    this is a death blow to judaism.
    it no longer make sense and leaves no reason for any observance betzibbur.
    what would a decent person want to do with those animals?
    if this is the torah, who wants it?
    where is the outcry of tzohar, mohar, berman et al….
    edah? it’s nothing but beushim, a useless ghost…..
    adat hachattaeem hazot ; says the posuk.
    kemamar hanovi:
    vaykav lemishpat vehinne mispach
    vaykav litzdoko vehinne tzaako .

  21. Yochanan Lavie

    My maternal grandparents literally hid from pogromists in Czarist Russia. I have only a brit milah certificate to “prove” I am Jewish (if I even still have it.) How can one justify one’s existence to a heartless bureaucrat? If I lived in Israel, and the rabbinate asked me to convert “lechumrah,” I would ask that they first recircumcise themselves- and this time make it close, just to be sure. (I won’t get into metzizah bepeh).

  22. Neo-Conservaguy

    Q: What’s the worst part of being a mohel?

    A: Metsitsah b’Peh for male converts…

  23. Yochanan Lavie

    For some that might be the best part…

  24. Jerome Soller

    I believe these are disgraceful, self-serving actions by the rabbis involved, playing with the lives of people who have given up much for their Geirut. They essentially view the Geirs as pawns in a power struggle. What is more important:
    a)their stamp of approval, or
    b)the actions, faith, and merit of the Geirs?
    These rabbis and their associated bureaucrats should answer to the people (e.g., Geirs, married couples, children), whose lives these actions will damage.

  25. Dovid Lerner

    Der Kugelager, I said exactly that! In my own words:

    What I believe must be done is a revoloution, to disregard the Chief Rabbinate alltogether, they have no right to say that Rabbis from all over the world, -many of whom are selfless and entirely devoted to their communitys-, are not good enough.

    In all honesty though, some sort of system has to be in place for Rabbis anywhere to keep track of such things. But for them to say “only through us” will damage the entire process.

  26. Dovid Lerner

    You know, if the Israeli goverment had added the word k’halakha during the mihu Yehudi debate, we might not have them making it so difficult to make sure conversions are authentic!!

    I still disagree with the Chief Rabbinate’s actions, but maybe this is what made them do it… Who knows…

  27. Paul Freedman

    At least for American Jews, I wonder how many Jews don’t have records indicating they came from Jewish immigrants (assuming the Israeli Vatican uses common sense in saying, yeah, that was a Yidden). Without particularly going out of my way I have the birth certificate of my mother, I think my father, their marriage certificate, and the citizen papers of my paternal grandfather–30 years ago I have no doubt this would have been enough to prove bureaucratically I was Jewish since I got such approval from the NRP-run Interior Ministry with less. It’s probably enough now. I wonder how many Jews know they are Jewish only “b’al peh”.

  28. Franji

    Sorry but I do not agree with you on the role of the Israeli government in this fiasco.
    The government of Israel -or any government for that matter- has nothing to do, in defining the parameters of Judaism or Halakha, -or any other religion for that matter.
    Halakha? Which Halakha?
    That which lies in the hands of the inventor of the kosher ox? Or that representing the messianic minim?

  29. PishPosh

    So this is the kind of leadership that caused the 10 shvatim to up and found thier own kingdom.

  30. Schneur

    As far as I know there are no official RCA conversions.
    Individual RCA members may do conversions , but I am unaware of a RCA official conversions.
    My suggestion is that in cooperation with the Israeli rabbinate the RCA establish 6-7 regional Bet Din courts to centralize conversions in the US and eliminate conversiond done by individual rabbis.
    Lets be serious many RCA members may use standards that are not up to snuff for the Israeli rabbinate.
    I fail to see what rabbis Schachter, Willig and others ahve to do with this issue.
    The Conservative movement does have standardized conversions , which are not accepted by the chief rabbinate , nevertheles they are uniform.
    Perhaps someone could also enlighten me as to the Beth Din of America, do they do conversions ?

  31. sarah

    Here’s an interesting way of looking at this.
    I am a divorcee, my get came from a Beth Din in the US. (orthodox rabbis)
    My exhusband is very rich, and lives in Israel (he has not re-married).
    If I go to Israel, will I have a claim on his assets…. after all, according to the latest news, my US get is not recognised.

  32. Dovid Lerner

    Intresting thought…

  33. David

    Shelomó Amar and the Tides of Orthodoxy

    By David Ramírez

    You ought to know that no one has the right to speak in public before he has rehearsed what he wants to say two, three, and four times, and learned it; then he may speak. This is what the rabbis taught, and took their proof text from the verse: ‘Then he saw it and gauged it; he measured it and probed it.’ And afterward: ‘He said to man’ [Job 28:27]

    — Maimónides, Iggeret haShemad

    Success is predicated on the victim’s collaboration. At the psychological level the victim’s self is invaded by the enemy’s, losing the sense of self, and identifying with the enemy. The victim totally assimilates the aggressor’s perspective, acquiescing to its role. Thus the widespread phenomenon of mimetic collaboration between victim and aggressor.

    — José Faur, In the Shadow of History

    In a recent breaking news, Moroccan rabbi Shelomo Amar, holding the political chair of “Chief Rabbi” that represents the Sefaradim, Mizrahim and Maghrebim within the State of Israel, declared that he is putting forward a motion for not accepting conversions performed in the Diaspora, save for 50 approved rabbis.

    My immediate response, as many Jews around the world, was that he could not simply do that; he is not the Sanhedrin, his chair does not have support from all non-Ashkenazi Jews and simply his behavior is not according to the halakháh and Jewish ethics; there have been some bloggers that have gone as far as calling him the “Jewish Pope.”

    The consequences of his public stand are far, wide and deep; not necessarily from a real effect and possible consequences, but at least from an ideological perspective this move has rippling effects.

    After carefully considering the wider panorama, both historical and political, and my initial indignation, there are some interesting points I wanted to make regarding Amar’s move. Although this will not be of any interest for current Sefaradim, Mizrahim and Maghrebim, I hope it will be for future historians looking back at the period of our history. If not for objective analysis, at least for the emotional content from a Jew who sees Sefaradim – as an intellectual and rabbinic cultural perspective – as a specie to near extinction.

    In a ground breaking study of Sefaradim and their descendants who converted to Catholicism between the 14th and 15th c., José Faur’s In the Shadow of History brings an interesting point of the historical process between conquering and conquered peoples, and one that has been the point of analysis by many revisionists.

    Basically what Faur is saying is that eventually the conquered people absorb, mimic, imitate, emulate, duplicate and replicate, become in possession of the views and behavior of the conquering party. When the conquering party overwhelms the conquered, who disembowels all past cultural and historical reference of the conquered, and assembles them into a new entity, the conquered become cultural and socio-political the same or similar to the conquering people.

    This is particularly noticeable in the history of the Christians nations, where sheer faith feuds have ended up in an equal match of rhetorical competition, wars and of burning humans.

    There is both a process of gradual loss of identity from the conquered, and the acquirement of a new identity through available fractured choices made by the conquering people. In the Germanic traditions of conquest, this loss is usually absolute.

    Jewish “Orthodoxy,” a purely phenomena of Ashkenazi Jews begun in late 19th century, brought to the wider spectrum of Judaism a modality that disrupted the culture developed in rabbinic tradition, one of autonomy and mutual – although reserved – respect.

    Responding to their own schisms, now known as “Reform” and “Conservative,” Ashkenazi Jews forming the “Orthodoxy” enclosed themselves in their effort to avoid the tides of assimilation and heresy rampant through the 19th and 20th century. Within this process, an exclusivist corporative mentality developed, where every “Orthodox” community shared the idea of an inferior “other,” and exerted their power in their own niches without any possibility of permeability from the outside.

    This corporativeness process brought the institutions of 20th century “Orthodox” Judaism, where a drive of particular ideologies – based on personal and ascetic considerations of contemporary rabbis – were far more important than seeking solutions within the wider frame of choices available in rabbinic and post-rabbinic tradition.

    In other words, issues of Kashrut, Conversion, Divorce, Intellectual and Ideological property and domination, Zionism, etc., became more and more an issue of corporate alliances and submission and less and less a matter and control of each and every community. Hence, the formation of the Sidereal stars of “Orthodox” institutions, each one competing for the soul of the mighty Jew – and also their dollar.

    This competition is most evident with Kashrut institutions, whereby each “kosher” seal is either portrayed or marketed as more “kosher” than the other, and “Orthodox” rabbis of every stripe preach and measure the level of “frumness” – Yiddish for “religious piousness” – on the use and consumptions of products of their own liking and approval: A sort of tyranny by proxy. The fight to this kashrut competition and domination reached its peak last year when the Orthodox Union (OU) flatly rejected local kashrut commissions in Europe, thus literally portraying those local rabbis as incompetent in matters of kashrut.

    For last three decades a more silent war has been waged in the issue of conversion. Basically what has been happening is that gradually newer generations of rabbis have become stricter and stricter when dealing with standards of conversion, which today it literally means driving the would-be-convert to a pulp and near slave-like-submission. But the buck does not stops right there. If the convert moves to another community, when rabbi Fulano does not like rabbi Sutano – for whatever reason – rabbi Fulano gives himself the right to reject the conversion sponsored by rabbi Sutano, thus living the convert in the cold, and when it involves a marriage and children of converts, the situation is even more emotionally charged, as it affects not only worship but also school attendance and relationships with the wider “Orthodox” community. Mind you, this behavior is against the halakháh. But who cares, right?

    This ever-evolving dark phenomenon is evident through organizations such as the RCA [Rabbincal Council of America], and among Ashkenazi communities through Israel where they have their own exclusive lists of “approved” rabbis to do conversions.

    Since the 19th c., the Sefaradim, and to some extent the Mizrahim and the Maghrebim went through their own process of assimilation, but instead of experiencing schism, the lay leadership opted for a process of modernization that pushed rabbinic tradition to the back of the bus. The francophone organization Alliance Israélite Universelle, founded mainly by French Sefaradim, sought to bring “modernity” – in their time it meant everything French – to Jews of the Mediterranean, at the expense of rabbinic tradition.

    Although fiercely fought or criticized by standing rabbis of their time, from the Ottoman Chief Rabbi to the Spanish-Portuguese lay and rabbinic leadership, Alliance Israélite Universelle gained widespread acceptance through most communities in the Mediterranean. This brought a slow but sure deterioration of the culture and Jewish education of Sefaradim all over the Diaspora.

    As moths to the light, the secular-Zionist philosophies of Herzl and the eventual establishment of the State of Israel brought the second deteriorating effect to Sefaradim. Once having disengaged their own native rabbinic traditions as a guiding light, the Sefaradí lay leadership folded all its energies towards integration with the more successful and acculturated Ashkenazim who they saw as superior. They did this by abandoning their own historical and cultural process, and adapting to the new realities presented by the metaphysical rhetoric of the emerging state.

    Although initially nearly all Ashkenazi and Sefaradi rabbis hated the guts of the Zionists (and vice versa), for the very reason they were anti-rabbinic thus anti-Jewish. However, the adaptation of secular-Zionism ideologies into the rabbinic realm [spearheaded by the Kook family] brought a new modality that initiated a truce of sorts between both parties, and permitted the rabbinates become not only allies but also bureaucrats, functionaries and Zionist marketeers under the government’s payroll – even though to this day they still hate each other guts.

    These moves either forced the rabbis in the middle of this firing range to go and make alliances with the more powerful and better organized, or be left out in the cold and at their own luck. The casualties are still being counted: from a ban on Faur and Abadi by their own Syrian community, to the extinction of the rabbinic schools of the Spanish-Portuguese who never folded to the new emerging modalities. Those who have been “successful,” have been so because they followed the crowd, where entire generations of culturally-illiterate Sefaradim nearly adopted and adapted to the prevailing philosophies.

    In other words, Ashkenazim have not been the main culprit to the Sefaradi debacle; the Sefaradim allow it to happen. Ashkenazim were basically behaving according to their own ancient Germanic modus operandi: Divide and Conquer; take no prisioners.

    Through the last 50 years, Ashkenazim of every stripe has been trying to undermine Sefaradim, but Sefaradim too have been very unsuccessful to create a native common model due to our disunity and lack real vision; and what about Shas and the larger charisma of Ovadia Yosef? Well, if you call adopting Haredi strategies a Sephardic model, you are way off the radar calling this a proper Sefaradi option.

    And it is within this frame where I would like to recalibrate my initial indignation to Amar’s move.

    In 2005, the conversion of a lady was deemed invalid by a local London organization of “ultra-Orthodox”, thus preventing her child to attend a Jewish school – nothing new here, it happens literally daily all over the Diaspora. What is of particular interest in this case is that Shelomó Amar performed the conversion ten years ago, now the Current Chief Rabbi of Sefaradim in Israel.

    Until the latest Amar’s announcement, his office had remained silent about the London scandal. So what does his latest move mean?

    Can this be seen as a retaliation, vengeance, scorn to what Ashkenazi “Orthodoxy” has done to Judaism in general, and Sefaradim in particular? Or is this the last step in the thorough assimilation to the “Orthodox” model by the Sefaradim?

    No one really knows what goes in the mind rabbi in our current times, as they all have to play a complex game of cryptography, shadows and Machiavellian masks. In their world of hierarchical alliances, a wrong move could cost them their reputation, and even their careers.

    So having said this, it will be interesting what effects will have. Nonetheless, the human emotional cost from those converts who want to move to Israel will be humongous and far exceed that within the rabbanim, as well of their own trust to the rabbinic tradition they had learned to respect and follow.

    Maybe this will be a wakeup call to stop all the nonsense, beginning at the bottom.


    Sent: Viernes, 26 de Mayo de 2006 03:52 a.m.
    To: David
    Subject: Can we get any lower? Shavei and its wicked ways


    Although I like not to be too public about it, but as the days go by, I cannot help to mention how irrational and how Jewishly unethical Israel’s leadership is getting, from every possible angle one can imagine. The attached linked article, apprearing in the Washington Times nonetheless, is another instance of such irrationality and such unethical behavior.

    The story portrays India’s goverment in a bad light, whereas the real story is that the extreme-right-Zionist religious organization — “Shavei Israel” –, the Chief Rabbinate, together with the Settlement program of the secular goverment, all are in an incestous love-fest relationship, where the real victims are the ignorant, uneducated, poor, yet sincere Indians who have been led to believe they are Jews, and sadly, being taken advantaged of.

    The real story, which appeared in the Associated Press at the end of last year, shows that the Indian goverment, in a move to protect its citizens, demanded Israel to stop the conversions for security reasons. The Indian goverment found out that the majority of these so-called tribe of Ben Menashe have been used as cannon meat to be put as settlers in the disputed territories, enlisted in the Israeli army, and a friend of mine visiting Michael Freund’s house [Shavei’s director and evil master mind] found these Indians as his personal servants. Basically, Shavei is working as a churning concentrarion camp to invent religious-Zionist-shikari-zealots, using “Third-World” people as putty.

    The other distorted aspect of this story is the issue of conversion. The outright idiocy — coming from the “Chief Rabbi,” a political chair under the goverment’s payroll, no less — is that any person recognized as a Jew, under Jewish Law, does not need to go through conversion, or in Hebrew “giur.” The two main elements that are against Jewish Law is: one, taking God’s name in vain at the moment of teviláh [ritual bath obliged on converts], as it is a blessing in vain for a person who is publically recognized as Jew; and two, misleading the public [when “Ben Benashe” are told they are Jews, yet treated as gentiles] is an infraction heavily penalized in rabbinic tradition. In other words, a Big Fat Lie. The hair-raising aspect is that this behavior is being sanctioned by the Chief Rabbi himself.

    Well, if the Chief Rabbi is behaving in such manner, what can be expected of the other two protagonist [Shavei and the secular goverment]?

    Anyway, there are simply no words to describe this.

    Shabbat Shalom,


  34. Bracha

    Would you be able to provide me with the names on the list of Orthodox Rabbis/Beit Dins in the U.S. whose conversions are approved by the Rabbinut in Israel?

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