Monday, January 12, 2009

Unity and Disunity

There is irony in the fact that just when (almost) the entire Jewish population of Israel is united in our effort against Hamas, a unity that is increasingly finding expression through a return to Judaism and Jewish belief, the Rabbinate has struck another blow for disunity and schism.

In the latest instance, a Jerusalem Bet Din retroactively cancelled the conversion of Yossi Fackenheim, son of the late philosopher, Emile Fackenheim. Fackenheim had been converted as a child by the Bet Din of Toronto, which is more Haredi than Modern Orthodox. I am, of course, aware that there were circumstances that might have led others not to convert Yossi. That, however, is beside the point. The issue here, as in the infamous case of R. Sherman, is the undoing of a status action of a fully constituted rabbinical court. Whereas, overwhelmingly, for three millenia rabbinical courts have adopted an attitude of respectful collegiality toward one another, the Haredi dominated rabbinate has decided that noone else in the world has the right to an opinion except itself. In this case, we are talking about a conversion that is solidly grounded in the rulings of the greatest Posek of the second half of the preceding century, R. Moshe Feinstein זצ"ל.

To use a phrase that is enjoying currency, in a different context, עד כאן!

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Gil wrote on his blog

From what I have gathered after writing this post, it seems that this conversion was performed according to Rav Soloveitchik's standards and was overseen by an extremely qualified expert. The disqualification of this conversion is very serious. In fact, I think that this is so serious that the RCA is going to marshall its forces before responding publicly. This is the kind of thing that causes you to gather your top poskim for a conference call with the chief rabbi, if not flying to Israel to meet face-to-face, and get him on your side before going public. (All speculation, by the way.)

Anonymous said...

Maybe we should have the Haredi rabbi's live in Sederot! They they would realize that we need all the Jews we can get!

Religion and State in Israel said...

Anyone have an idea why so few news sites or blogs have picked up this story? The nrg.co.il article came out 4 days ago.

If you want to read a summary translation of the nrg article:

Rabbinical Court Rules noted Jewish Philosopher Emil Fackenheim’s Son is not a Jew

ira said...

If the rather disgusting insult and chilul hashem to Rav Druckman did not motivate RZ rabbis to declare independence from the haredi rabbis who want to destroy am-Yisrael as they have destroyed thier own communities - this will certainly not motivate them.
The time has come, not for halakhic counterarguments but for the kind of break that will leave those of us who care about the Jewish people independent of the disgusting halakhic thinking that rules haredi Judaism.

Anonymous said...

One can't forget the stature of R Gedaliah Felder who I believe not coincidentally who gave the author of this obiter dicta his smicha wrote about giyurei katan in Nachalat Zvi.
Of course, if we only had leades like RYBS around no one would have dared attack conversions done by his crtiteria. Sldo probably, we have a power structure in the RCA that even if they might have gone to RYBS shiur were not closewith him. In fairness they aren't old enough to have spent years asking him sheolot as Rabbonim.

mycroft

Religion and State in Israel said...

update to my comment above:

The Jerusalem Post finally wrote an article on January 19, 2008.

Rabbinical Court casts doubt on conversion of son of famed Jewish theologian