Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Edah HaCharedit against false Converts


This week's headline of the Edah HaCharedit newspaper "HaEdah": Haredi Judaism will continue the fight against false conversions (to Judaism). Sephardi Rabbis such as former Chief Rabbi Ovadiah Yosef had agreed to accept converts converting to Judaism during their Israeli army service. Rabbi Yosef here put political reasons before the Jewish religion, as he also is the head of the Sephardi SHASS party and wants to remain part of the Netanyahu coalition. 

Ashkenazi Haredim, however, don't regard Gentiles (mostly Russian immigrants) converting during their army service as Jewish because almost none of them are keeping Mitzvot after the conversion. Young Russians want to be Jewish and the army is providing them with a quick conversion without any Mitzvot or demands. 

The Edah HaCharedit and further leading Rabbis such as Rabbi Eliyashiv were planning a demonstartion against Rabbi Ovadiah Yosef but delayed the actual date of the event. The reason is that Rabbi Yosef made an agreement with Ashkenazi haredi Judaism that those army converts who didn't intend keeping Mitzvot at the time of their conversion, are not Jewish despite their certificate. 

It says in the Talmud that a convert to Judaism must go into his final conversion process with the true and honest intention to keep the Mitzvot. If he passes a Beit Din (Rabbinical Court) with a false intention and lies, he is not regarded as Jewish.

Besides the controversy about Israel's army conversions: There are plenty of other converts lying at Batei Din and throughout their conversion course. Many of them still stick to their old belief in the false Meshiach J. and others just want to live in Israel.

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