Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Conversion Crisis Redux

Yesterday, I was interviewed on the subject by the Jerusalem Post. Part of that interview is here. I would add that R. Sherman's so-called psak is nothing of the sort. It is an evil, cruel, manipulative piece of propaganda. Halakhically, it holds little (if any) water. It ignores the well known rulings of major Poskim who differ (and with whom he was obliged to deal), such as R. Chaim Ozer Grodzenski, R. Moshe Feinstein and others זצ"ל. It is a Hillul HaShem and Hillul Kavod Ha-Torah. Period.

Last night I attended the emergency meeting of the Rabbis of Tzohar, called in order to protest the indignities heaped upon R. Haim Druckman, the viciousness of the Bet Din ha-Rabbani ha-Elyon and the baldfaced violation of the sensitivities and halakhic status of 25,000 converts!

A highlight was the impassioned address by R. Aharon Lichtenstein who inveighed heavily, and passionately, against this act of sacrilege, this desecration of the Torah's honor. He stated clearly that it is the Dayyanim who dared to disqualify R. Druckman who are, themselves, disqualified. Hatred and prejudice disqualify one from sitting in judgement. At the same time, he cautioned that those who support R. Druckman must conduct themselves as befits God-fearing, Orthodox rabbis and not to stoop to the muck-filled level occupied by Rabbis Attiah, Sherman, Izrer and Scheinfeld. (Though, in typically ethical fashion, he did not name them.)

I don't know how this will play itself out. However, I am willing to be optimistic that the nihilist forces that delegitimize Jews (by birth or halakhic conversion) aren't part of their specific community will not prevail. I saw the determination in the eyes of the Tzohar rabbis. As Ben Gurion said after the bombing of Tel Aviv, 60 years ago Shabbat: אלה יעמדו.


Ben Bayit said...

I could paraphrase many comments RAL has made and written on the authority of state organs, but the fact is that the dayanim in question are not some rogue badatz but rather duly appointed religious judges appointed by the duly elected religious judges appointments committee. whether one agrees with the p'sak or not( and I don't) the least one could expect in terms of intellectual honesty from a modern orthdox thinker and rav is some type of intellectual consistency when it comes to dealing with the government. in RAL's terms, I'm sure the rabbinical judges appointments committee was privy to information we weren't privy to, they see things from there that we can't see from here, and other such ideas we have heard RAL say over and over again on many an issue in relating to government decisions. So a little consistenyc and humbleness is all I would ask for before accusing these judges of being filled with hatred and prejudice. all of a sudden the rabbanut is treif? and misguided? and full of prejudice? and not capable of setting conversion policy in a state appointed organ?
what does that say about the next time the government goes about some misguided peace plan? what will RAL write/say then? my guess is that the tone will be closer to what he used when writing about the disengagement than how you dexcribed him acting in this instance. The sad reality is that ALL of this is politics and it's time for MO rabbis to get off their high-horse and admit that it's all politics.

Anonymous said...

there seems to be something to what bb says.

also, i wish you would explain why it is more ethical to make reference to certain scoundrels rather than call them by their names.

DafKesher said...

Ben Bayit:
1. Accusing RAL of not being humble is a lie and a big fat one at that.
2. RAL never said that the government was privy to information we don't have: he said that they are the authority on matters political. The beit din, however, is subject to scrutiny by other experts in the field (such as himself. Or do you claim otherwise?) If RAL were an MD he could have a say on pikuach nefesh and if he were a politician he would have a say in politics. But he is a Torah Scholar, so it is his professional responsibility to have a say on matters spiritual.
3. He never said it wasn't politics. There's nothing wrong with it being politics.

ADDeRabbi said...

how does one get ahold of the actual psak? i'd like to read it.

Jeffrey said...

Write to me and I'll send one.

ADDeRabbi said...

i don't have your email address. mine is adderabbi-at-gmail.

Anonymous said...

Although my sympathies are decidedly NOT with those who have hijacked the Rabbanut Courts, I still must wonder:

If it is true that Rav Druckman has admitted to having engaged in fraud through his Beis Din, why isn't it legitimate to say that the converts never appeared before a kosher Beis Din?

Why isn't it legitimate to "out" him?