New York – Rabbinic Committee on Giyur: Rabbi Drukman’s Conversions Worthless

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    New York – The conversion saga continues, The International Committee on Giyur, founded by the late Rabbi Chaim Kreiswirth, Chief Rabbi of Antwerp, has issued a strong letter of support for the decision by the Rabbinical Supreme Court of the Chief Rabbinate invalidating all conversions performed since 1999 by Rabbi Chaim Drukman, the head of the Conversion Authority. The Committee, which is headed by Rabbi Nachum Eisenstein, said that only converts that “accept mitzvos at the time of giyur” may be considered halachacially converted. It noted that “even if it becomes clear that the ger did not accept mitzvos at the time of giyur and subsequently did observe mitzvos, the conversion is invalid.”

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    The Committee supported the decision of the rabbis on the court that is headed by Rabbi Avrohom Sherman, and joined by Rabbis Chaim Izerer and Rabbi Avrohom Sheinfeld. It also supported Rabbi Avraham Attaya, the dayan in Ashdod who ruled that the conversion of a woman who is not an observant Jewess and geyrus performed by “dayanim” who do not insist on “kabbolos mitzvos” is not a conversion.

    The Eternal Jewish Family (EJF) in a statement said that the large number of conversions that were recently ruled invalid by the Rabbinical Supreme Court is “further proof of the urgency of adopting universal conversion standards that are based on the opinions of major halachic authorities.” EJF is the leading international organization that has been in the forefront of promulgating universal conversion standards in intermarriage under the guidance of leading Gedolei Hatorah in the US and Israel.

    EJF strongly defended Rabbi Sherman as a “leading Torah scholar” whose opinions are greatly valued by Rabbi Yosef Sholom Eliyashiv, the posek hador. “It is unfortunate that the decision of a bais din of esteemed Torah scholars became the subject of debate in the media and by some rabbinic organizations both here and in Israel,” the EJF statement concluded.

    “The developments in Israel are a striking example of the colossal tragedy that can affect families when the conversion is not done according to the standards of the leading halachic authorities including such halachic giants as Harav Sholom Yosef Eliyashiv and Harav Shmuel Wosner,” said Rabbi Leib Tropper, Rosh Yeshiva of Kol Yaakov in Monsey NY, who serves as head of the Rabbinical Committee of EJF. He pointed out that a major conference in 2006 in Jerusalem was designed to coalesce the Torah consensus of the minimum standards of geyrus that had been outlined by the leading Torah authorities of the past and present.


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    14 Comments
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    SD
    SD
    16 years ago

    Rav Shlomo Amar, a pretty substantial Talmid Chacham and posek (also “a leading Torah Scholar’), disagrees. He holds that the ruling invalidating Rav Druckman’s geirusim is itself not valid.

    Is Rabbi Tropper saying that Rabbi Sherman’s opinion should not be subject to debate or analysis by other Torah scholars? Is he saying as well that the media should report only what Rabbi Sherman said, but not what Rav Amar, the Sephardi Chief Rabbi, said?

    Gershon Kaufman
    Gershon Kaufman
    16 years ago

    The Brisim of Rabbi Pesach Krohn are done on Goyim with the false pretense that Reb Moshe said you can do it l’shaim Geirus even though they have no intention to keep any mitzvos….e.g. she is married to a non-Jew or she herself is not Jewish only the husband (father) is Jewish

    Anonymous
    Anonymous
    16 years ago

    Rabbi Tropper and his organization have been discredited and distanced by many (if not most) of the Rabbonim who originally were involved in his organization.

    Another Anonymous
    Another Anonymous
    16 years ago

    Anonymous:

    So do you think EJFs conversions will eventually be invalidated as well?

    Renee
    Renee
    16 years ago

    At this time, Diaspora conversions are NOT being accepted in Israel for registering marriages without review.

    Rabbi Seth Farber from ITIM in Israel would be the best source for information on having a conversion accepted in Israel. I advise all US converts and their offspring to contact the Rabbi who did the conversion, the RCA’s Committee on Conversion or Rabbi Farber to find out how best to get their/mother’s/grandmother’s conversion accepted in Israel. Without acceptance in Israel, I would personally worry about acceptance in other Diaspora communities as well.

    While this seems very oppressive at first glance, it will end the problems that many converts have had in the past of acceptance/non acceptance.

    I personally went before a Beis Din last summer to have my own Jewish status clarified and while I will admit that it was tedious and frustrating, I am happy that it is done once and for all.

    The new RCA GPS guidelines can explain things better than I can. They have an excellent website.

    Yonah
    Yonah
    16 years ago

    Abraham would cry, rip his clothes, and beg us to stop hindering our people from being Jews. Why not just have loving Jews go and teach the converts how to properly live as Jews instead of just writing them off like a bad check. Treat them like wayward Jews and not like a unwanted dog. Those who outright refuse to live as a Jew then weed them out, but please do not ruin the conversion of another who just happened to have the same Rabbi for their conversion.

    Neshama
    Neshama
    16 years ago

    Yonah, you are so right.

    Halachah imposed with anger and vengence says more about those imposing it, than with the halachah itself. Men were born with the hunter and conquerer impetus in their blood.

    What happened to our Torah being a Torah of peaceful ways? While an injustice may have occurred, why don’t they treat it with justice AND rachmanus, like you suggest?

    Anonymous
    Anonymous
    16 years ago

    rabbi trouper is a fake and a phony. there is no were in the halacha to accept conversion standards.

    fact: the halacha is if a none jew dips into a river in front of two jews saying to them you are witnesses I’m doing this lshem giyur, even the jews will say you are not jewish, this fellow is a 100 percent jew and if its a male he to get a bris.

    so what does Trouper want?

    what is twisting our heads for?

    is it that he wants to charge converts to us his mikva by paying him 2000 dollar a head?

    Anonymous
    Anonymous
    16 years ago

    NO, circumcision and immersion is not sufficient; we need kabbalat hamitzvot; if we knew at the outset that the fellow does not intend to keep mitzvot the whole conversion is nuul and void.

    Renee
    Renee
    16 years ago

    “Halachah imposed with anger and vengence says more about those imposing ”

    I do not understand how anyone can judge Dayyanim of the Beis Din Gedolah in this way.

    Is there no kavod HaTorah? Is it possible that these Dayyanim just might know a little bit more than you?

    Shmuel
    Shmuel
    16 years ago

    What is the rationale of the Supreme Rabbinical Court? One woman is not keeping the Torah..yeah,and? This invalidates what she said she would do 15 years before? Ridiculous. She’s a Jew off the derech, like thousands of others. Lady, join the club. And her children? Not Jewish? And thousands of others who converted with the same rabbi? They’re all not Jewish? Why? Because one lady lapsed, thousands have their lives upended? Does this make sense to anyone?

    Anonymous
    Anonymous
    16 years ago

    This decision will have far-reaching consequences. I have recently married a girl who went through a conversion under Drukman’s program in 2000 then studied in Crown Heights for a few years. Her father is Jewish, and she had always felt Jewish even before the conversion. According to her, the conversion program was rigorous at Kvutzat Yavne with many candidates from various countries being rejected at the end for various reasons. When I told her about the news, she dismissed it as something really crazy, but I could see that it deeply unsettled her. More than that, it has profoundly shaken up my confidence in the system. What if the ruling is upheld? Will she have to immerse herself in the mikva again, forcing us to write out another Ketubah? What if she becomes pregnant and gives birth before this happens? Will my child be considered not Jewish? What if the decision is overturned but certain Poskim in Brooklyn–where we now live–decide that my wife, because she was converted under Rabbi Drukman’s leadership, is not Jewish? I am appaled and tremble for my future children who, in twenty or thirty years, may be labeled not Jewish!!! I am deeply ashamed and fervently pray for Hashem to reveal his will in a clear and unambiguous way.

    May Hashem help us all!

    David M.

    Nossen C.
    Nossen C.
    16 years ago

    That Rav Sherman had the audacity to pass judgement without even interviewing or hearing testimony from Rav Drukman is testimony to the miserable state of the Beis din Godol in Eretz Yisroel>

    This is justice? This is wisdom? This is Derech Toirah? Give me and all of am Yisroel a a break!!

    We deserve better from our Dayanim. May Hashem guide us to greater wisdom and Justice and Ahavat Yisroel!!

    Eliezer
    Eliezer
    15 years ago

    This is am example of what happens when a Conserv-odox Rabbi like Drukman gets involved with conversions, in or out of Israel. I know of several Conservitive Rabbis with smicha in Conservitive pulpits in the US. Their conversions are just as invalid as Drukmans are.