Jul 19, 2016

conversion redone when convert discovered uncircumcised

A very strange story has come to light in which a convert was discovered to never having actually been circumcised during his conversion.

And no, we are not talking about a conversion performed by some renegade or maverick beis din, not some open orthodox or other type of defamed-by-the-rabbanut beis din (e.g. such as Rav Haskel Lookstein's). This happened in the prestigious beis din in Bnei Braq led by Rav Nissim Karelitz.

The story, as reported by Radio Kol Hai, is seemingly not one of fraud or deceit, but of a mistake. This fellow went to the beis din to convert, and at the end of the process when it was time to get the circumcision, a student mohel was appointed to perform the rite of passage. This student mohel did not do what he was supposed to do, but the convert was registered as a convert.

This was discovered when he went to the Rabbanut to register for marriage, and they wanted to confirm his conversion. During the investigation they somehow discovered that he was not circumcised.

The Rabbanut mohel says that this fellow refused to be physically examined when requested. However, he said, and I heard him say this on the radio, the refusal was not because he was hiding anything but because his conversion had been confirmed in the past by multiple rabbis and he thought another examination was improper and wrong, and it was probably confusing and upsetting for him to be put through this and to have his conversion suddenly called into question.

Eventually he was persuaded to participate, by realizing that he would not be allowed to marry if he did not participate, and the mohel realized that there was a problem, as he was not circumcised. A new circumcision was performed, his conversion was confirmed and he was allowed to marry.

Supposedly, there are many stories like this in which people are given geirus certificates without having actually completed the circumcision requirements.

This is a very strange story:
1. Rav Karelitz's beis din has a reputation of being very thorough, and thusly very well respected. I don't understand how this can happen.
2. How does a mohel perform the bris but not actually perform the bris, without realizing, and give the approval?
3. how does a student mohel perform circumcisions without supervisions and oversight? especially in a beis din like that of Rav Karelitz...
4. when a convert applies for marriage do they really ask him to drop his pants? why did they suspect this convert and not just accept Rav Karelitz's confirmation paper?
5. Will incidents like this affect the standing and acceptance of the private batei din in the Rabbanut?

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1 comment:

  1. This is very weird student mohels should not be doing adult circumcisions, and it should be done with real medical attention.


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