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Mar 17, 2008

Quote(s) of the Day (qotd)

it should be the Interior Minister who decides who is Jewish and who is not, not a rabbi.
----MK Yossi Beilin (Meretz)

you people do everything in the ugliest way, so as to make sure that others don't join Judaism.
----MK Marina Solodkin (Kadima)

This was said during a meeting with Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar about the conversion process he is insisting on using.

About Yossi Beilin's comment, I would say the Interior Minister is able to decide who is Israeli. Not who is a Jew. Just because he was appointed to a position by a politician means he can decide who is Jewish? On what basis? he has a job in Israeli politics and that is it. A Rabbi is right for deciding who is a Jew (I say nothing about the specific criteria being debated or used). It seems to me more appropriate for a Rabbi to decide who is a Jew than for the Interior Minister.

About Marina Solodkins comment, isn't that exactly what the Gemara and Shulchan Aruch say should be our attitude toward conversion? Not doing things in the"ugliest way" part, but doing whatever possible to ensure others do not join Judaism. That is what we are supposed to do. Only after we see someone is really committed do we accept him with open arms. But at first we are supposed to dissuade them as best as we can.


  1. I'm not sure if we're supposed to do things in the ugliest way to discourage people from joining, but we're supposed to point out how hard being a Jew is, to weed out those who aren't sincere. The former protrays Judaism in a bad light, and the latter highlights the sacrifices which one must be prepared to make when joining the fold.

    Your point about Beilin's comment- spot on!

  2. beilin is as educated when it comes to judaism as any mexican who just snuck into texas from rio grande. nebach

  3. rafi,

    whether or nor solodkin's comment is justified vis-a-vis potential converts, i think that the haredi community could make an extra effort to make judaism a bit more appealing to hilonim

  4. LoZ: i think that the haredi community could make an extra effort to make judaism a bit more appealing to hilonim

    Why should they? A community that intentionally and idealogically fences itself into a ghetto isnt concerned with making Judaism more appealing to anyone.

  5. Excellent point, Jameel. This is exactly why the most isolated Jewish communities should not be the ones running the Rabbinate of Israel. Just because they have appointed themselves Guardians of Israel does not mean their views should have the formal backing of law.


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