Friday, April 01, 2005

The haredi-isation of mainstream Diaspora batei din -- whether its waffles or humans, if its Israeli Rabbanut, we don't recognise it ...

This report, from the Jewish Chronicle (since you can't access it wthout a subscription, here is a heavily- edited version of the text), is highly upsetting. See also the JC's editorial on the subject, which is right on the nail.

In the comments to another posting ('Forget the strawberries...) I mention the fact that the Toronto COR won't "automatically" accept the kashrut of Rabbanut-hechshered chocolate waffles from one of Israel's best-known food companies, which has a huge badatz-supervised product line as well.

See also this posting by Miriam, and, for what it's worth, my comment.

Do the same rules apply to any local, haredi-hassidish conversions, hechsherim etc? Did the list of wonderful hechsherim at Rubashkins ensure top-quality shechitah? Dude, Zev, disagree with me all you want -- but all of this stuff just makes me feel ill.

The JC news report (April 1):

Israeli conversion dismissed by Beth Din, denying boy JFS place
By Leon Symons
" ...... Helen Sagal converted to Judaism in 1990 under the auspices of the Sephardi Beth Din in Israel. Mrs Sagal .. spent 15 months on her conversion and married her husband Raoul in an
Orthodox ceremony in a Tel Aviv synagogue. She told the JC this week: “I am shocked and upset at what the Beth Din has decided. I and my family are accepted as Jews in Israel, my son went to a Jewish school and my husband served in the army.“Yet when we want to send our son to a Jewish school here, we are told we are not Jewish. How can we be Jewish in one country and not in another? It’s not as though I converted in some banana republic. ...” said the 41-year-old.
.... Mrs Sagal added that the Beth Din had not questioned her conversion when the couple
asked for the services of a US mohel for Guy’s brit milah — circumcision. JFS [ School] sent the Sagals a letter from Rabbi Dr Julian Schindler, the director of the Chief Rabbi’s office, stating that her conversion was not recognised. As a result, said JFS, Guy would be offered a place only if
the school was “unable to fill its standard admissions number with children who are recognised as being Jewish by the Office of the Chief Rabbi.” After receiving the letter from JFS — which is oversubscribed for September — the couple met the Beth Din’s Dayan Menachem Gel-ley in early January in the hope of clearing up the matter. They showed him the relevant certificates with
signatures authenticating her conversion, as well as a letter from the personal aide of Israel’s Sephardi Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar giving further confirmation. But after meeting the family, Dayan Gelley wrote to them declaring: “Regrettably, given the details of your conversion with particular regard to the level of commitment and observance to Orthodox Jewish practice at the time of your conversion, the Beth Din is not able to recognise your conversion effected in Israel.” ....... After another exchange of correspondence in February, Dayan Gelley e-mailed Mrs Sagal saying he had not contacted Israel’s Sephardi Chief Rabbi, whom he knew, “and I am not sure that I intend to, since I have no doubt that Israel recognises your conversion.” ...... Neither Dayan Gelley nor any other representative of the London Beth Din would comment on the

== note, by the way, the fact that a Sephardi Bet Din was involved, which is probably another factor in the London bet Din's stance. In an editorial, the JC states:

" .............. Increasingly in the past few years, leading figures in British Jewry, including Chief Rabbi Dr Jonathan Sacks, have placed identification with Israel at the very heart of their definition of Jewish identity. Moreover, they have defined delegitimisation of the Jewish state as a core feature of a “new anti-Semitism,” a virus which Rabbi Sacks has eloquently described as having survived the horrors of the Holocaust, but in a newly mutated form. It is ironic that his own Beth Din should reject the conversion standards of Israel’s Orthodox rabbinate — and understandably painful for Mrs Segal’s Israeli husband, who commented: “I have fought for my country, yet this man [the Beth Din’s Dayan Menachem Gelley] questions whether we are Jewish.”

========== oy, kinderlech, what is happening????????

  • and see my 'Commment'.


Anonymous said...

being a goy interested in chassidic mysticism I am wondering about the claim that there are only 700,000 true jews world wide, permanently being recycled by reincarnation (an idea that persists also with the Druses, I understand). In 1947 Rabbi Israel V. Marcus in "Geklibene Perl" refers to certain families which seem to be the only true jewish ones.
There seems also to exist a strait that puts ashkenasic jews on the wrong side of ha-Shem (Noah-Japhet-Gomer-Ashkenas). This is one explanation why the groiser yidisher churban was welcomed by sephardic insiders, something Houston Stewart Chamberlain would have readily understood - but illiterate Nazis never comprehended.
Anyway, I suggest to look into mystic tradition of judaism for an explanation of being excluded.
Cheer up and look at the brighter sights of a greater humanity at large.
The games the Catholic Church is playing with the world are just as doubtful. Letter adherents of Holy Scriptures (fundamentalists)are just creating very powerful realities of their own. They cannot be argued with, unfortunately.

Best regards

Hans-Werner Andreas, Berlin, Germany

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