A judge on the High Rabbinical Court who made headlines in recent months for casting doubt on the Jewishness of hundreds of converts called Wednesday on religious Zionist rabbis to recognize the primacy of haredi rabbinical leadership.Also:
Sherman said the major Torah sages of this generation were Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv of Jerusalem and Rabbi Shmuel Halevi Vosner of Bnei Brak, and that religious Zionist rabbis were obliged to abide by their opinions.
Sherman said that even highly respected Sephardi rabbis such as former chief rabbis Ovadia Yosef and Mordechai Eliahu should defer to Elyashiv's halachic decisions regarding conversions.
In his lecture at Mosad Harav Kook Sherman pointed out that there were two opposing views in Jewish thought to converting non-Jews to Judaism. One approach sees conversion as a very positive act that should be encouraged because it brings people closer to the true monotheistic faith.
Sherman said the Talmud expresses a contradictory opinion that views converts as a plague because they introduce foreign influences into the Jewish people.
Sherman said that in the past 100 years with the rise of intermarriage and assimilation the second opinion had taken precedence among all the great rabbinical sages.
"In the modern era the great rabbis see converts as a potential danger to the spiritual purity of the Jewish people," he said.