Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Here Comes The Split

This will certainly be interesting: (via Baruch)
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.

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.


  1. Yes, I'm a month and half behind. Sue me. :)

  2. yeah, me too. I didn't see it until Garnel pointed it out to me.

    As I said over there, this is the craziest thing I've ever seen.

  3. We surely don't have to worry about anyone outside of Klal doing us in or splitting us apart--we're going to manage that all on our own.

  4. Just a comment- why would we think we actually know what's going on there? Are any of us masters of halacha or privy to the inner workings of the above-mentioned Rabbinical courts? I'm not saying anything either way- I'm not old enough or knowledgeable enough to have a real opinion on this matter, but I just see how our liberal Western educated minds react so harshly to anything that smacks of divisiveness and controversy. I'm not saying anything about this case in particular, but in general, we always get so heated uo when anything that has to do with standing up for your opinion and lambasting others for that comes up. Do *we* ever give proper sensitivity and thought to "the other side", or do we automatically discredit them as extremists and fanatics just because they day something that goes against our own world-view?

  5. Mazuz is asking the High Court to recognize Rav Drukman's conversions: (Hebrew)

  6. No, you're right Mindy.

    We obviously don't know what's going on.
    We surely can't keep up with the issues involved.

    Just sit back and let others make all the decisions for you and just do what you're told.


  7. "In the modern era the great rabbis see converts as a potential danger to the spiritual purity of the Jewish people," he said.


  8. notice also how R' Sherman says that Hhakham ‘Ovadya Yosef(!!!!!!), one of the greatest posqim alive today, needs to follow the psaq of R' Elyashiv. that just makes it all that much more absurd. i've never even heard of a single sefer by R' Elyashiv (although that could just be me), much less anything that could compare to the volumes and volumes of teshuvot authored by R' Yosef!

  9. G- I wasn't condoning acceptance as a policy in general. I'm just seriousy asking- how much do we know about conversions? I don't know- maybe you've studied this matter halachically in depth and maybe you're privy to the inner workings of the Batei Dinin, which I am not, but I do think that this issue is kind of over our heads. Maybe we should learn to keep ourselves in our place sometimes.

    And point about us being brainwashed by the libral Western culture still stands.

  10. and where exactly would "our place" be?

  11. In this case- QUIET.
    Tell me, G, what makes you qualified for judgement in this particular case???