An Orthodox convert from Canada makes so much sense, it’s painful. Barbara Crook puts Sefardic Chief Rabbi and haredi stooge Shlomo Amar in a corner and beats the stuffing out of him:
I’m a Jew by choice. It’s the most important choice I ever made in my life, and perhaps the most important choice I will ever make.
Almost eight years after my husband and I completed Orthodox conversions in Canada, every action in my life is defined by my Jewish identity and my desire to be on the front lines for Israel.
I’ve been on numerous Jewish boards, including that of an Orthodox outreach organization, was named woman of the year by my local chapter of Emunah and have lectured about Jewish leadership across Canada. And whom do my Jewish-born friends call when they have questions about Jewish laws or tradition? The convert, of course.
I’ve been to Israel 18 times since my first trip in May 2003, have led missions to Israel and taught Canadian and American university students how to defend Israel. I spend most of my vacations studying Hebrew in Jerusalem, and work for an Israeli organization that has defended Israel in parliaments and conferences around the world.
According to Jewish law, I have all the obligations and privileges of any Jew born of a Jewish mother. But if Sephardi Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar gets his way, when the time comes to make aliya I will be denied the basic right of equality to other Jews under the Law of Return. Rabbi Amar wants to change Israeli law so that only Jews born to a Jewish mother would be entitled to automatic citizenship.
"[Converts] are able to come as citizens through other laws, and that is fine… of course they will be considered," he told Israel Radio.
In other words, all Jews are equal, but some Jews are less equal than others.…
[Ms. Crook then lists the copious instances where the Torah demands respect for and protection of the convert, including the then (and, aparently now) novel concept that converts and born Jews are equal under the law.]
The Torah codifies and champions something that Rabbi Amar has failed to grasp: my fundamental right as part of our nation to join my people under equal terms and settle in the Land of Israel.
The future of Israel and the Jewish people depends on Jews who embrace Judaism and are proud to be Jews – whether by birth or by conscious decision. I have made my choice and God has recognized my choice. My right to the land is no less than Rabbi Amar’s. God gave me that right. Rabbi Amar cannot take it away.
At this point, I hope our next chief rabbis come from the Reform Movement. Even if they don’t, Shlomo Amar and his ethically, legally and morally challenged Ashkenazic counterpart need to be removed ASAP.