Friday, November 23, 2007

Conversion Woes

For the past two weeks, I've been following intensely the latest imbroglio over conversion, as reported by Gil over at Hirhurim. I have to say that my emotions during this time have ranged from anger (at the offensiveness of the Haredi offensive) to indignation (at the unjustified, illegitimate attempt to delegitimize the entire non-Haredi rabbinate in one fell swoop) to pain (at the absolute total lack of empathy or concern for the rest of the Jewish People) to despair (at the sight of Torah Judaism making war on itself, when the forces of radical post-modernism and assimilation are destroying over 80% of our people. The existential threat to the State of Israel, from within, is of no concern to this Rabbi Eisenstein and his supporters and minions. They'll get their money from elsewhere, I guess.).

I actually had intended to pen a long, reasoned reaction to this story. When I thought about it further, I realized that much of what I wanted to say has already been said (and kudos to AddRabbi on scooping me in that regard).

The bottom line is, and I say this as someone who is personally inclined to the strict interpretation of Kabbalat ha-Mitzvot (and convinced that it's historically more correct, as well), that the Modern Orthodox Rabbinate has to adopt the strategy of Homa u-Migdal and just act according to its convictions. Those convictions are just as valid, perhaps more valid, than those that Rabbi Eisenstein and Rabbi Tropper are trying to foist upon the body politic of the God-fearing, Orthodox community.

If this means sacrificing the Israeli Rabbinate or, better, takinging it over (or back), so be it.

Will such a development open the door wider to Reform and Conservative conversions? Probably. In any event, they are already a fact of life here (as they are in the Gola, thanks to BaGaTz). At the same time, it remains a fact that the overwhelming majority of Israelis (including Russians) prefer a valid Orthodox conversion over anything else. If we properly, respectfully, and professionally present the Torah we will have nothing to fear from the others.

Doing what is right requires heroic, sacrificial behavior. It demands facing 'the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune' (Hamlet, III,i). The Torah, and the Jewish People, deserve no less.


Barry Kornblau said...

Care to elaborate on your view that the strict interpretation of Kabbalat ha-Mitzvot is historically more correct? Your perspective on that matter would be quite interesting to many, I believe.

daat y said...

There is a serious problem of non-Jewish russian immigrants.wE must find ways within halacha to solve this problem.Is it a time of 'es laasot.'?