Friday, March 07, 2008

MO de-legitimization, part 2.

Hat Tip: Failed Messiah, who wrote:

The New Conversion Agreement – Will Past Conversions Be Deemed Invalid?

Has the new conversion agreement between the Israeli chief rabbinate and the Rabbinical Council of America (RCA) created a situation where past conversions done by Orthodox rabbis who are not currently 'approved' by the RCA will be deemed invalid?

A former president of the RCA says the answer to that question is…


Rabbi Marc Angel, a past president of the RCA, and Rabbi Avi Weiss write:

This agreement is deeply disturbing on many levels. What is most troubling is that conversions done years ago with the informal backing of the RCA are now being scrutinized. This strikes at the very ethical fabric of halachah. Over the years, thousands of people have been halachically converted and now they and their children, and for that matter, their marriages, will all be questioned. The pain that this will cause the convert will be unbearable.

Indeed, the RCA’s capitulation to the demand of the Chief Rabbinate to scrutinize past conversions done by its members raises the strong possibility that down the line the bar may be raised even higher. Years from now a new, more extreme Chief Rabbinate may pressure the RCA to question “sanctioned” conversions being done now.

Now, class, what do you think the criteria will be for "re-examining" everyone's past conversions? If you guessed whether or not they became Cheredi instead of MO or some other sect, then give yourself a cookie (but make sure it has a Cheredi heksher).

Anyone who converted and became MO or some other sect will have their conversion yanked out from under them - and their children and even grandchildren, however many generations are alive will be under the gun. Either be Cheredi or be cut off from your people - those are the options now.

What can we do? Nothing, really. They don't care about our protests. They don't care at all. To them, we're poison in the ranks and need to be excised. All we can do, really, is vote with our pocketbooks and make them as irrelevant as possible by starting our own communities with strict covenants that prohibit imposing stringencies on others and failing to respect our neighbors who choose lenient historical halachic lifestyles. If we fail to do this, if we continue to give them money for their charities, yeshivas and institutions, and continue to let them decide what Judaism is and isn't, then we have no one but ourselves to blame for the outcome.

They want civil war - fine, let's give it to them. We outman them and have more collective wealth. Let the battle begin.

1 comment:

Garnel Ironheart said...

There are two problems:
1) No one speaks for Modern Orthodoxy. You might think it's the RCA but they don't , mostly because they're afraid of Chareidi delegitimization and that none of their flock will follow them in the event of a real fight. Hence the capitulation.
2) Even if someone wanted to speak for Modern Orthodoxy, what would he say? Ravs Weiss and Shachter are poles apart in philosophy and approach to Torah U'Madda. Who represents the klal of the community?