Jun 23, 2009

change the original or the post-facto process

Rabbi Sherman of the Rabbinical Court has invalidated another conversion.

I don't want to relate to the specific case, as I am not familiar with the details, nor am I an expert on the laws of conversion.

on the one hand I think he is very bold. To do this again after the firestorm he created the last time he invalidated a conversion takes a lot of inner strength, conviction, and belief that you are doing the right thing. That he was now influenced by concern of the fallout, but did what he felt was right, draws a certain sense of admiration from me.

On the other hand, it is incomprehensible that people should go through a[n already super strict] process, crossing all the t's and dotting all the i's demanded by the authorities, and will proceed to live their lives as Jews, and years later some other rabbi will be able to come forward and invalidate all that and make your whole life into a scam.

Obviously in extreme cases where they find fraud or problems with the process, if that is what is needed to be done, so be it. But to just be able to do so, I would not say "on a whim" but perhaps I would say "so easily", seems to me to be very problematic and morally wrong.

Again, I am not relating to the specific case of the woman whose conversion Rabbi Sherman canceled. I don't know her situation. But this whole process should be different.

Either the original conversion process should be different, yet it is already controlled by the Orthodox Rabbinate, so how much different can it be? Or the post-facto relationship with the authorities has to be defined better to avoid such situations. But I don't see how this can continue that people go through an official process and then years later they are told that it was all worthless.


  1. The ones that get invalidated are because they didn't go through the process! They did a Druckman job, no sincerity.
    The 'ultra-orthodox' do not have full control of the system, as can be seen from the whole Druckman fiasco.
    Someone who went through it properly, with full acdceptance of all the mitzvot can never have their conversion invalidated.

  2. the "druckman job" is the process, and is part of the Orthodox control of the system. If you think that Rav Druckman did a job with no sincerity (and I do not know that that statement is true, but for arguments sake let us say it is), then change the process. Rav Druckman did not do anythign outside of the official process.

    I don't want to comment on any specific case, because we have nothign to go on. He says she was sincere and met the requirements originally and the other says she wasn't.
    How do we decide whose side to take? So I dont want to talk about any specific ger or giyores.

    But Rav Druckman is part of the process. If it is no good, change the process. But if that is the process, you cannot come back later and say the process is still valid but the results are invalid.

  3. Rafi,

    I blogged a lot about this the first time around.

    One of the things that I learned is that you cannot rely on the media about this issue at all!

    Conversion is a very tricky business. How does the Beit Din know if the convert is sincere or not?

    I have heard that the Hareidi courts do not have a better record than the Rabbinut as far as converts keeping mitzvot after time. I do not have any statistics to say which courts are more successful in this manner.

    I agree with you 100% in that the current situation is in dire need of improvement.

  4. Rav Druckman works with the Conversion Autority, not under the control of the Chief Rabinate. Therefore, he produces 'converts', who the Rabanut themselves would never have passed, because they never went through what you call 'the super strict process'.
    There are two (at least) conflicting processes.
    I didn't mean that Rav Druckman himself is insecere. His converts apparently have little sincerity when it comes to shmirat mitzvot.
    BTW, this 'super strict process' is simply a term created by those wish to push through as many converts as possible. Others recognize it as the age old process of genuine kabbalat mitzvot.


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