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May 24, 2009

A Simple Solution to the Reform Conversion Funding Problem

Everyone is all nervous about the fact that seemingly the courts are granting tacit recognition of Reform conversion. Last week the courts ordered the State to fund the Reform and Conservative conversion organizations equally as they fund the Orthodox.

People are taking that to mean they are granting the Reform equal status to convert as the Orthodox.

if that is correct or not, I do not know. It seems to me the issue is simply funding and discrimination. If the country is funding private organizations to perform conversions, as a democratic country I don't see how they can legally avoid treating all such organizations equally.

My solution is to stop funding all of them. The Orthodox as well. These are private organizations, and why should the conversions of Israel be run and administered by private organizations?

Instead, have everything run through the Rabbanut. No private organizations - Orthodox, Conservative or Reform - should be allowed to deal with conversions, or at least they should not be funded by the State. Then nobody can complain. The Rabbanut will run everything, and no private organization is getting more than the other.

I know it is simplistic, and I am probably missing something in my understanding of the fight, but it seems reasonable to me.

29 comments:

  1. Ah, yes, you are missing something - the fact that the Rabbanut is Orthodox, and if you say all conversion funding must go to the Rabbanut, then it's just a matter of time before the Shmagatz starts appointing their own Conservative/Reform/Sadducee folks to the Rabbanut...

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  2. the issue here is really equal funding. If they fund private organizations that are ortho, they have to fund all private orgs. So stop funding the private orgs. Only fund the rabbanut.

    As far as acceptance and recognition, I don't think anything changed. This was just an issue of funding.

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  3. Rafi, the I-SUC ("Israeli Supreme Court" - but feel free to prounouce the acronym whichever way you like) took the current simple route to get the reforms and conservatives in through the side door.

    If needed they will eventually resport to taking a battering ram to the front door. Just give them enough time.

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  4. As far as I am aware, the Rabbanut is not a private institution, but funded by the state, which is the whole issue here.

    The Rabbanut is acting on behalf of the state, and therefore, in the eyes of the Supreme Court, has been responsible for seemingly state sanctioned discrimination against non-Orthodox Judaism.

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  5. From the linked article:

    "Minister of Religious Affairs Yaakov Margi also slammed the ruling, and said that the High Court is pushing anyone who observes the Jewish religious law and who is concerned with keeping his Jewish identity to keep a genealogy book."

    I was married in israel and Jewish by birth and I had to prove such information before the Rabbanut would allow me to marry. partly because reform and conservative conversions already occur. So the orthodox community has a way to deal with allowing or barring ortho marriage.
    This is about a state funding issue. And the state is discriminating against the majority of the people. The orthodox community has maintained their ability to deal with marriages through the ages, even in Galut. Their pleas of incompetence are no excuse for discriminatory funding.

    ReplyDelete
  6. The Way said...
    From the linked article:

    This is about a state funding issue.

    ===============================
    No. This is about Mamzerim, non-Jewish offspring and the breakup of the Jewish people and the character of the Jewish nation.

    ReplyDelete
  7. If Judaism's descent rule was patrilineal, none of this would be an issue. There are those who want - like the Reform to get around the Halachic ruling that a Jew's status is determined by the mother. That's what this is really all about, not the money and RafiG for once isn't addressing what the fight is all about.

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  8. How'dya get here, Norman?

    :)

    ReplyDelete
  9. because this decision gives them an "in" and a more even hand in the "fight". Now they get funded, so they have more resources, and the next step is more recognition.
    If they can cut off this stage, by cutting off the funding, even if it means cutting off everyone's funding, it puts them back to square one.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Shy

    I addressed that issue. All you did was ignore my answer and repeat the claim, as if repeating makes it stronger.
    The fact is if the Rabbanut sees a conversion paper from the reform today they have a system in place to deal. So what difference does it make if that percentage goes up, they already have a system to deal with the issue.

    Please give me an answer that does not the problem. Tell me the problem with my answer to your problem.

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  11. The Way, add into the equation that I do not worship the modern idol known as "democracy" and you will understand my view of your answer being part of the problem.

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  12. Ahhh, you want a torah true society. Awesome. Do you have any daughters? Im sure I can raise $12,000 and all I have to do is force her and pay you the fine and I get to keep her.

    Or did you forget that is one of the rules in the torah?

    A democracy may not need worship but if your anti rape it can come in handy.

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  13. "The Way": You are free to post whatever willful distortions you want, but you have just given the game away... it is clear now that you're not actually interested in open debate; you're just coming for an argument, to score points against Orthodoxy.

    Other commenters, please don't rise to "The Way"s bait and start going on the defensive. There is nothing to defend or explain; he didn't ask any questions, he just stuck out a barb, like the Rasha son on Pesach, "What does this service mean to you?"

    If he seriously wants to know Judaism's attitude towards rape, let him ask a question instead of shooting first...

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  14. You're an ignorant boor, Wrong-Way.

    Go learn some basic Halacha from somewhere other than the lamebrain anti-Talmud nonsense which you can find on Stormfront and any other Jew hating sites you desire to subscribe to.

    Once you have correctly learned that halachic laws of rape, come back here and correct yourself.

    Or perhaps you are a Ka'arite and that is what you truly believe is taught by the Torah.

    Lo Am Ha'aretz Hassid.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Shaul and Shy, you are both way off base.

    I submit an answer as to why funding reform conversions will not impact orthodox marrage and the response is: We can discriminate because we dont believe in democracy.

    I point out that you do believe in democracy when it suits you and you attack me personally.

    The fact is that I am right on the halacha and don't know what stormfront is. I know I am right on the halacha because I have studied the law extensivlly and consulted with the Rabbi who married me. I do not want to use his name here but Rafi G can verify his bona fides.

    The fact is that untill judaism became even more mixed with christianity the law regarding rape is exactly how I described it. The fact that a few hundred years ago the rabbis changed it because they realized that it needed to be changed does not make it torah true. Much like there is no prohibition against raping your wife. The most you have is a snippet in niddah about men who force their wives or have drunk sex etc...for which their children will be "cut off.." which is all based on a tract in ezekial regarding avodah zarah.
    If you want a torah true society than perhaps you should understand that the torah is diffrent than what it has become today.

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  16. The Way said...
    Shaul and Shy, you are both way off base.

    I submit an answer as to why funding reform conversions will not impact orthodox marrage and the response is: We can discriminate because we dont believe in democracy.

    ===============================
    We simple distinguish between right and wrong, between mutar and assur, something you are unable to do because you discriminate against Hashem's Torah laws.

    You did not catch. Funding, promoting and attributing any form of public legitimacy to the fake Jewish sects calling themselves reform and conservative will lead to a major increase of cases of Mamzerim and to a tearing apart of the people of Israel the likes of which has not been seen.
    -------------------------------
    The fact is that I am right on the halacha and don't know what stormfront is. I know I am right on the halacha because I have studied the law extensivlly and consulted with the Rabbi who married me. I do not want to use his name here but Rafi G can verify his bona fides.
    ===============================
    The FACT is that you are 100% wrong when you stated:
    "Im sure I can raise $12,000 and all I have to do is force her and pay you the fine and I get to keep her."
    Only if she's interested in keeping you. And then you can never divorce her for life.

    Just open a Mishnah Torah or even a Sefer Hachinuch (Parshat Ki Tetzei), if the Rambam's Ivrit is too difficult for you.

    And then there was a method which batei Din employed to deal with constant offenders that snuffed them out for good. You are aware of that, too, aren't you?

    Maybe you go back to the Rabbi and ask him.

    BTW, do you rape your wife constantly, occassionally or rarely?
    -------------------------------
    The fact is that untill judaism became even more mixed with christianity the law regarding rape is exactly how I described it. The fact that a few hundred years ago the rabbis changed it because they realized that it needed to be changed does not make it torah true. Much like there is no prohibition against raping your wife. The most you have is a snippet in niddah about men who force their wives or have drunk sex etc...for which their children will be "cut off.." which is all based on a tract in ezekial regarding avodah zarah.
    If you want a torah true society than perhaps you should understand that the torah is diffrent than what it has become today.
    ===============================
    This is classic conservative sect revisionist history, trying to pretend that Torah She'baal Peh was invented at the time of the Tana'im.
    מִי חָכָם וְיָבֵן אֵלֶּה, נָבוֹן וְיֵדָעֵם: כִּי-יְשָׁרִים דַּרְכֵי יְהוָה, וְצַדִּקִים יֵלְכוּ בָם, וּפֹשְׁעִים, יִכָּשְׁלוּ בָם.

    Whoso is wise, let him understand these things, whoso is prudent, let him know them. For the ways of the LORD are right, and the just do walk in them; but transgressors do stumble therein.
    - Hoshea 14:10

    ReplyDelete
  17. The Way said...

    The fact is that untill judaism became even more mixed with christianity

    ===============================
    I just need to point out the irony that it's mainly the Christians and the conservative Jewish movement which need to self justify themselves by claiming the historically fictitious invention called "Rabbinic Judaism".

    Your knowledge of anything Jewish is pathetic.

    Did I already quote Hosheah 14? It's as if the Prophet knew you personally.

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  18. Shy,

    methinks you protest too much.

    Unfortunatly you seem so wrapped up in dogma that you lack the basic ability to hold a conversation and exchange ideas with someone who believes and understands diffrently. And that's ok. I understand how pointing out a chink in the armor of your belief could be threatning. After all, you have mortgaged this life in the belief of another life to come. Hopefully for your sake you are right because you don't get a second bite of this apple.

    But even the most religious Rav recognizes the evolution of judaism. All sorts of laws have developed that people think are torah true which were not part of torah she bal peh, yet people believe otherwise.

    And isn't it interesting that most people believe what they are told. Most people are not converts. If you are raised jewish you believe that is true. If you were from saudi arabia you would believe that is true. We are only having a conversation about jewish laws because of the random chance that we both were born jewish. (I assume you are not in the minor percentage of people who have converted.) How true could it be if your belief is entirely structured on the random event of your birth?

    and I like how pro-women you're response to the 12k fine is..."only if she decides to keep you."

    ok, so then she gets raped and decides not to marry her attacker, so she wouldn't roll up her cloth and go sleep in his women's tent and would stay dmaged peoperty in her dad's tent.

    Do you understand the nature of a polygamous tribal agricultural society? or do you beleive that the boro park charedi movement is the way we lived in the desert three thousand years ago?

    You are right though, I do not see the world through the prism of Muttar and assur. I use my senses and guiding philosophies to understand what is healthy or unhealthy. If all you use is muttar and assur than you end up blindly following dogma. If you blindly follow dogma than anything you do, even genocide, is perfectly fine as god said so. And yes, it is your god that commands and commanded you to kill "even children" That is an aspect that I get to regect as a man made concept yet you must adhere to.

    So you can imagine that you are the smartest guy in the room, but all you seem to be able to grasp is that your version of god and existence must be right because you intensly believe it to be right. You dismiss every other god and philosophy without a basic understanding, yet attack me even though I understand ortho Judaism a heck of alot better than you understand non-ortho judaism. I guess all those libraries filled with books, all the smart people for thousands of years, they all were just idiots and only you with your version of the truth is correct.

    It must be nice to live in a world of black and white.

    ReplyDelete
  19. BTW,

    The rambam did not write in Ivrit. So if that is all you know of the rambam it would be like someone quoting from the english version of the torah.

    And wasn't the rambam universally disregarded by orthojews at the time? Wasn't the disregard because what he was trying to do was present an organic form of judaism that could integrate roman, greek, eygptian philosophy. Oh yeah, forgot about that didn't you?

    As for rabbinic judaism, all you have to do is look at a few laws, like pruzabel, mizbeach, monogamy and right there you have rabbinic judaism that is not torah shel balpeh and directly contradicts the torah and the way jews actually lived. But these were codified because the rabbis in charge said that they were in charge and therefore it is law and therfore it is torah. nice little closed loop you got there.

    ReplyDelete
  20. -------------------------------
    www.thewaytonothing.blogspot.com said...
    Shy,

    methinks you protest too much.

    Unfortunatly you seem so wrapped up in dogma that you lack the basic ability to hold a conversation and exchange ideas with someone who believes and understands diffrently.

    ===============================
    My heart bleeds for you.
    -------------------------------
    I understand how pointing out a chink in the armor of your belief could be threatning.
    ===============================
    Me thinks you're full of yourself.
    -------------------------------
    After all, you have mortgaged this life in the belief of another life to come. Hopefully for your sake you are right because you don't get a second bite of this apple.
    ===============================
    And vice versa: some of us remember what happened at Sinai. Others chose to forget or have lost the connection.
    -------------------------------
    But even the most religious Rav recognizes the evolution of judaism. All sorts of laws have developed that people think are torah true which were not part of torah she bal peh, yet people believe otherwise.
    ===============================
    Since there are "all sorts" of such laws, surely you could site a few examples? I have no idea what you're talking about.
    -------------------------------
    .....yet attack me even though I understand ortho Judaism a heck of alot better than you understand non-ortho judaism.
    ===============================
    You have proven neither.

    Has anyone told you that you are full of yourself?
    -------------------------------
    I guess all those libraries filled with books, all the smart people for thousands of years, they all were just idiots and only you with your version of the truth is correct.
    ===============================
    Too bad, ain't it? Sometimes truth is absolute. Bummer!
    -------------------------------
    It must be nice to live in a world of black and white.
    ===============================
    My world is very lively and colorful. So, too, that of our relatives, friends and neighbors.

    It looks like someone else here only knows how to look at Judaism as black and white.
    -------------------------------
    The rambam did not write in Ivrit.
    ===============================
    Ivrit, Hebrew, Lashon HaKodesh - yes he did! Your epidermis is showing once again.
    -------------------------------
    And wasn't the rambam universally disregarded by orthojews at the time?===============================
    Universal? Not at all. It was mostly limited to parts of France and Germany and even then the hotheads faded into history. And it is even said that Rabbeinu Yonah of Gerundi wrote his book on repentance, Sha'arei Teshuva, as part of his personal process of regret for what he had said and done against the Rambam's philosophical writings.

    You're a sloppy painter of history.
    -------------------------------
    As for rabbinic judaism, all you have to do is look at a few laws, like pruzabel, mizbeach, monogamy and right there you have rabbinic judaism that is not torah shel balpeh and directly contradicts the torah and the way jews actually lived.
    ===============================
    I don't want to play semantics. Go hunt for the original defintion of the use of the terminology "Rabbinic Judaism" and see what its intent is.

    All you've listed are Rabbinic laws. They do not contradict the Torah. They strengthen its observance.

    You are very predictable. Do you think you've invented the Apikorus wheel? It's been spinning round and round in place for ages.

    ReplyDelete
  21. "Maimonides composed works of Jewish scholarship, rabbinic law, philosophy, and medical texts. Most of Maimonides's works were written in Judeo-Arabic. However, the Mishneh Torah was written in Hebrew"

    from wikipedia.

    Only one book of all the books he wrote was in hebrew. The rest were arabic in hebrew letters, like ladino or yiddish.

    Im not even bothering to reply to the rest. you want to argue like a kid, no you did, no you did, no I know more, no I know more, you go right ahead.

    ReplyDelete
  22. -------------------------------
    The Way said...
    Only one book

    ===============================
    It is 14 volumes. It is the Rambam's most famous lifetime achievement.

    Your epidermus is showing again.
    -------------------------------
    of all the books he wrote was in hebrew. The rest were arabic in hebrew letters, like ladino or yiddish.
    ===============================
    You just don't know. Like so many other mistakes of yours in every one of your posts here.

    It was you who claimed, quote, "The rambam did not write in Ivrit." Don't blame others for your own ignorance.
    -------------------------------
    Im not even bothering to reply to the rest. you want to argue like a kid, no you did, no you did, no I know more, no I know more, you go right ahead.
    ===============================
    You can dish it out but you can't take it. How childish. Run away.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Now, now children, play nicely! ;)

    Gentlemen, as an observer to this debate (having long since withdrawn from the ring carrying a "Do Not Feed The Trolls" sign), I wish to point out that this is the very reason why I chose not to be drawn in and advised others to do the same. This is not an intellectual exchange; this is Shy Guy in the blue corner and Way-2-0 in the red corner, trading blow for blow, each taking turns to restate his point louder and more forcefully, without even attempting to understand what the other person is saying. There are no winners here.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Sorta like Rock'em Sock'em Robots.

    ReplyDelete
  25. :-) nice.


    Ok, back to the main issue though, I have a question. I get why the orthodox will not marry a reform converted jew. Why is it assur to convert a jew in the reform system according to the orthodox? Wouldn't the mamzer only be created if a reform convert slipped through the ortho marrying system which has always been designed to handle this issue?
    Further, I could understand it being assur for a private individual to donate funds to a reform conversion group, but why would that halacha (if it even is halacha) apply to a declared secular democracy that includes non-jewish mks?

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  26. -------------------------------
    The Way said...

    Why is it assur to convert a jew in the reform system according to the orthodox?

    ===============================
    A non-Jew who does not commit to adhering to Torah U'mitzvot at the time of his/her conversion and such a conversion is not witnessed by kosher witnesses/bet din, is not Jewish. Might as well don Mickey Mouse ears and call yourself Jewish.
    -------------------------------
    Wouldn't the mamzer only be created if a reform convert slipped through the ortho marrying system which has always been designed to handle this issue?
    ===============================
    Let's define "mamzer". Unlike the generic non-Jewish definition, usually associated with the word "bastard", the din of "mamzer" only refers to a child conceived in an adulterous affair with a married women. Example: Jesus and his momma. :)

    When I mentioned the problem of Mamzerim, I was not referring to any as a result of non-Halachic conversions. I was referring the the reforms complete abrogation of the Torah issur of Mamzer altogether.

    I am advocating a zero foothold in Israel for non-Torah sects of Jews and gentiles in all matters relevant to conversion, marriage and divorce.
    -------------------------------
    Further, I could understand it being assur for a private individual to donate funds to a reform conversion group, but why would that halacha (if it even is halacha) apply to a declared secular democracy that includes non-jewish mks?
    ===============================
    Back to Parshat Hatochacha you go!

    ReplyDelete
  27. Way:
    IMHO the whole thing boils down to politics. The Orthodox, like every other interest group, are trying to freeze out the non-Orthodox groups. That kind of stuff happens in every democracy: think "pro-life" vs "pro-choice" - they don't live and let live; they are diametrically opposed to each other, and will lobby like mad to make sure that government policy reflects their own beliefs and they will do anything they can to undermine the position of their opponents.

    As you correctly point out, there's nothing halachically threatening about allowing the non-Orthodox to do conversions. The Orthodox never trusted the state definition of "who is a Jew" in the first place, so it really makes no difference. But as Shy pointed out, when you give Reform a foothold by way of state funding, you are giving them a position of recognition from which to consolidate and build a power base.

    Since we Orthdodox view non-Orthodox Judaism not just as an alternative viewpoint, but as something inherently Evil, being that it encourages people to weaken their observance of the Torah, in principle we should fight tooth and nail against any moves that would strengthen their position.

    But all this has to be done intelligently, so that the loss does not outweigh the gain. For example, I have no problem with allowing the public sale of chametz on Pesach, nor of allowing civil marriages. I think the amount that you alienate traditional/secular Jews by having coercive laws like these is much much worse than just letting people make their own choices. I'm not sure about this Reform funding thing, whether the gain in fighting it outweighs the bad press, but it can certainly be argued either way...

    ReplyDelete
  28. Shaul, you and I overall agree.

    ReplyDelete

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