Sunday, January 11, 2009

More on the war against modern orthodoxy.

From Failed

BREAKING! Israel Rabbinic Court Voids Conversion Of Emil Fackenheim's Adopted Son –
All Adopted Babies May Have Conversions Voided Unless Child Always Lived Haredi Lifestyle

This is Emil Fackenheim's son whose conversion was voided.This means, in effect, that Israel's haredi rabbinate is now prepared to void or rescind all conversions done on adopted babies – unless it can be proven those adopted children led a haredi (or, perhaps, a haredi dati leumi) lifestyle...

This is an English translation from an article in Ma'ariv:

Fakenheim had an Orthodox conversion in Canada 29 years ago, when he was a baby. All his life he lived like a Jew in every respect. When he wanted to marry according to Orthodox law, the Rabbinate married him after checking his background.

However, after that Fakenheim and his wife began to argue and recently they decided, by mutual consent, to be divorced. The couple turned to the Jerusalem rabbinical court in order to process the divorce.

After the Av Beit Din [head of the court] found out Fackenheim was converted as an infant, he began to ask Fakenheim about his Shabbat observance, kashrut observance and mitzva observance...

"I felt humiliated, I felt that my father's Torah crudely trampled underfoot. My case indicates arbitrary, unprecedented strictness, and lack of justice cries out from it." Fackenheim is considering steps in order to fight the court decision.

As the article goes on to say, out here in real life a less-than-chereidi level of observance cannot invalidate a person's conversion, as we saw in another recent post about conversion.

...A former Av Beit Din [head of the court] said this week what he has always said: "A convert is a Jew in every way. His Jewishness cannot be undone even if he wants to undo it. The only way to reject a convert is only if the 'convert' deceived the religious court by promising to observe the mitvot when he never had the intention of doing so. The fact is, this is not relevant when dealing with a person converted as an infant. Therefore no religious court can retroactively cancel that conversion to Judaism."

In response to Fakenheim's situation, Rabbi Attorney Gilad Kariv, the head of the Reform Movement [in Israel] said: "To cancel the conversion of the son of one of this generation's leading Jewish philosophers is a shameful stain on Israel's rabbinic court system and its rabbinic judges. This is an outrage that borders on chillul Hashem. The proper response to this outrage is to revoke the monopoly the state rabbinic courts have [over marriage, divorce and conversion]. Millions of Jews in the world, constituting the majority of Jews both inside and outside Israel, see Yossi Fackenheim as a Jew for all purposes. They view this ruling as laughable and do not give it any weight. "

The chereidi minority that has control over all issues of marriage, divorce, and conversion intends to impose its view on the majority at any and all costs - because it is their GOAL to invalidate all other sects of Judaism. They cannot and will not accept any standard for observance other than their own medieval uber-stringent one. It is a waste of time to expect otherwise - they teach children from their earliest years that other sects of Judaism are all invalid and apostate and those Jews are all going to hell. An entire generation has been raised on this lie - and they're not going to retract it, no matter how much halachic evidence is paraded before them. They know all the evidence already, and have chosen to ignore it. Their agenda overrides all other considerations, and that agenda is to eliminate and invalidate all sects except ultra-orthodoxy.

So in reality, our only option, as the one person in the article suggested, is to completely cut them off from the rest of Judaism - don't give money to their charities, their shuls, their kollels, their yeshivas or their dayschools. And the second thing we have to do is to lobby loudly for impartial civil control over divorces, marriages, and a conversion court that is made up of Rabbis from all sects, not just ultra-orthodox ones. Until this happens, we are sitting back and allowing them to STEAL the heritage of millions of people away from them, from their kids, and from their grandkids. It is an EVIL thing they are doing, and it needs to be stopped.


The Leader, Garnel Ironheart said...

1) So he's Emil Fackenheim's son. If the halacha says he's forfeited his Jewish status, why should that make a difference? The law is the law regardless of who your father is.

2) Fackenheim was leading a non-religious life. This particular case is therefore not a threat from the Chareidi court system that unless you live a Chareidi lifestyle your conversion is invalid. (Other cases maybe, but not this one)

3) Instead of sentimental, emotional outbursts about how wrong this is, why nto show where the court erred in halacha? "It's not fair!" and $1.75 gets you a large cup of coffee where I live.

As for your map in the other post, Canada exerting influence over the northern US? Are you mad? We don't even exert influence over ourselves!

Ahavah Gayle said...

I didn't make that map, some Russian guy did.

Since women are forbidden from studying talmud seriously other than niddah, kashrut and shabbat, as you are well aware, it is beyond my capabilities to quote where this violates halacha, other than the general sentiments that Schmarya went over perfectly well in his blog, so there's no reason for me to repeat them.

My point, obviously, is that it is...not fair. If you don't like the point, write your own blog.

Religion and State in Israel said...

For those interested, the Jerusalem Post has an article on Yossi Fackenheim's case.

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