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Dec 14, 2021

the non-Jewish yeshiva bachur

Remember the story of the Lebanese avreich? How could anyone forget? The news was a splash when it broke. A young man from Lebanon spent years posing as a Jew, and eventually even married a frum young woman, only to be discovered a week later as being a fraud.

I didn't like how sanctimonious some people were at the time, saying that this shows how Israel's more centralized system is necessary and in the USA without a centralized system, anything goes and someone can get away with this type of a thing. This was used to show how the coming reforms in Israel to decentralize the systems and change the way the Rabbanut functions will be dangerous to the Jewish community and open it up to similar situations as to what happened with thee Lebanese avreich, Eli Hawila.

Well, it happened in Israel too. Not exactly the same. not intentional fraud by the young man, but pretty similar. A form of fraud by the young man's mother.

According to Kikar and other Haredi news media sites, a young man, a top student in an excellent yeshiva, in shidduchim discovered that his mother isn't Jewish (though the father is), ergo neither is he. His parents had made aliya from the Ukraine some years ago and she never underwent a conversion and never told anyone until now that she is not Jewish, and only told him now because of the shidduch situation.

The young man was devastated to discover this information and went to tell his rav in yeshiva about this. the rebbi from the yeshiva went to the Chief Rabbi, Rav Yitzchak Yosef, to relate the situation and to request that a solution be found quickly so things will calm down and people can move on.

Rav Yitzchak Yosef decided, obviously, that the young man needs a conversion if he wants to be Jewish, but he told the relevant people in the conversion system to make it a speedy one - I guess he already knows the material and lifestyle so he doesnt need to spend a year or two studying for it and absorbing the culture. 

The young man has started the conversion process now and will return to yeshiva and shidduchim when it has been completed.

What a devastating thing to discover. Flips your entire world around. For him it was obvious immediately to go through a conversion, though I am not sure everyone would be so quick to make the same decision upon a similar discovery. Honestly, I sometimes wonder what I would do in that situation.

Why speed it up for him but make it so difficult for others, including the Lebanese Hawila in the USA? Because this young man was not defrauding anyone. he claimed to be Jewish because he thought he was. He wasnt knowingly passing himself off as someone else, and he is not a newbie coming to learn a new religion. he knows it all already and wants the lifestyle, so there is no reason to drag it out.

All that being said, the mother fooled the centralized system and the entire community and yeshiva and raised this young man to be the best boy in the yeshiva despite not even being Jewish. It can happen even in a centralized system with the Rabbanut controlling the books, not just in the free for all of America.

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  1. How did the mother fool the Centralized System?
    Did the Yeshiva ask for proof that he was Jewish before accepting him (I don't think Yeshivot do this)

    The young man would only have encountered the "Centralized System" when he went to register his upcoming marriage with the Rabbinate, who would have required him to provide proof that he is Jewish.

    Fortunately the mother had enough sense to tell him that there would be a problem before he started the shidduch process, as bad as this situation sounds, can you imagine how much worse it would be if he found out that he is not Jewish after he announced his engagement and went to register the wedding.

    (BTW - surprised that you didn't make a joke about him not trusting the Eiruv or something)

    1. that's an old joke, but in this case this guy is the victim, so I thought the joke is inappropriate.

      he didnt meet the system yet, but his mother did. and yes, yeshivas dont generally ask but that was also one of the criticisms lobbied about in the Hawila story. I dont know if he was born here or brought on aliya as a child with his parents, but if he was born here, he had a bris locally. he wa sregistered with misrad hapnim no matter when he became israeli (either at birth or upon aliya). He went to frum schools (I guess, considering he is a top yeshiva bachur) the system doesnt start at marriage.

  2. another comment I thought to include but withheld until now is that a goy was one of the top guys in yeshiva. Kind of throws our claims about Jewish kop to the wind, or maybe even as a goy he got his jewish kop from his father. He seemingly puts the other boys in yeshiva to greater shame now

    1. No Yetzer Hara against learning is a pretty strong advantage....

  3. I also wonder if he has affected siblings....

  4. This problem in the 'Jewish' state all begins when knowingly the infamous Jewish Agency brought in about a million Russians, of whom it is said that 3/4 are not Jewish. As stated, the 'Jewish' Agency knew this! Israel is a unique nation and the Land is a unique Land given to only the Jews to live a life different than the other nations, but, woefully, the 'State' was founded by those whose goal from the beginning was to make us 'like the other nations'. That's it in a nutshell! Now, we are reaping what we have sowed! Moshiach will have a very big job of sorting who is who.

    1. V'sa nes l'kabetz galuyoseinu is no longer a transportation nes, it is a genetics and sinas chinam nes.

    2. You can blame the Zionists all you want. In the Soviet Union about 2 million jews were murdered in the holocaust. Many went to Siberia. Stalin fought religion, eliminated shuls, kosher food and Jewish culture. You could not circumcise (mostly) after the war. You could not live as a Jew. So, yes there was assimilation. There were no sifrei kodesh and emigration was very restricted.

    3. Far, far less than 3/4s. A third, tops, probably less.

      The rest of your rant isn't worth responding to.


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