Thursday, December 24, 2009

EJF's disgrace hasn't stopped the Jewish Civil War.

I have followed with interest the various discussions on the blogosphere concerning the Leib Tropper scandal and its relationship to conversions and status question regarding "who is a Jew." I posted comments in several of these discussions, of course - in one, I pointed out that now every conversion performed by EJF would be the subject of snickers (at first) and then close scrutiny, just for starters. Others pointed out that some groups have been working quietly (and some not-so-quietly) to completely invalidate the whole idea of conversions - and that Tropper's scandal would add fuel to those calls. Some wondered if this would put a stop to the Chereidi's monopoly on the conversion process and allow the RCA to step in and take back the authority that they have lost to the Chereidiban.

Well, other than being "appalled" at Tropper, the RCA has taken no such action, nor will it, I predict. Modern Orthodoxy is slated for destruction by the UO/Chereidi, and that goal remains unchanged. The RCA is too busy trying not to have themselves condemned and banned entirely to actually look out for their constituency. And so the Chief Rabbinate will continue to find ways to invalidate all non-UO/Chereidi conversions and work toward their goal of de-legitimizing all other sects of Judaism, period, whether the participants are converts or native born.

Jerusalem Post Online
Dec 24, 2009 0:45 | Updated Dec 24, 2009 14:33
'Rabbinical courts can annul conversion'
[hat tip: Failed Messiah]

Rabbinical courts have the legal authority to retroactively annul conversions to Judaism years and even decades after they were performed, even if the conversion was performed under the aegis of the Chief Rabbinate, according to a legal opinion by attorney Rabbi Shimon Ya'acobi, the legal adviser to the Rabbinical Court Administration, that was released to the press Wednesday...

That doesn't sound too bad except when you realize that they consider MO type practitioners to be "non-observant." Anyone who believes the universe is older than 6000 years old isn't even allowed to sit on a bet din, according to spokespersons at various meetings over the last year or so - much less actually be considered Jewish. Their rejection of modern science, hygiene, history and so forth makes it impossible for any intelligent, educated person to meet their requirements for being considered "Jewish."

...In the latest development in the ongoing battle, Ya'acobi took the side of the rabbis and the rabbinical courts. In his 118-page document, rife with erudite footnotes spanning both Jewish law and secular Israeli jurisprudence, Ya'acobi makes a passionate argument for the right of rabbis and rabbinic judges to rule in accordance with what their eyes see and what their consciences demand of them.

"For the reasons discussed above," writes Ya'acobi, "concern regarding the validity of a conversion arises when a convert, whose bearing reveals he is not an observant Jew, appears before the rabbi who is authorized to register him for marriage.

"The suspicion is not whether or not the conversion court was meticulous in verifying that the prospective convert was sincere in his expressed desire to lead an observant lifestyle.

"The suspicion does not arise from the conversion certificate's validity, rather from the objective situation that the rabbi confronts when the convert's situation is presented to him."

Ya'acobi, basing himself on a slew of halachic opinions, argues that when a rabbi or a rabbinical judge is confronted with a convert who is obviously not observant, there is reason to believe that the convert was never sincere about adhering to an Orthodox lifestyle...

Again, what is "obviously" not observant to the UO/Chereidi appears perfectly observant to MO authorities, but there are no MO Rabbis on the Chief Rabbinate's "approved" list of conversion Rabbis. Only UO/Chereidi Rabbis who meet the now-current "litmus test" of stringencies of practice and belief are on this list, and all other conversion in the US and Israel are considered suspect.

...And since, continues Ya'acobi "the mainstream opinion" among halachic authorities is that acceptance of an Orthodox lifestyle is an integral part of the conversion process, the rabbi or rabbinical judge has the right to question any conversion that lacks that element or is suspected of lacking it...

...[Ya'acobi says] "the Jewish people's identity is made up of both a nationalist and a religious dimension, and the religious dimension is defined in Orthodox terms."

Don't be misled, class. By "Orthodox" he means UO and only UO sects of Judaism, and this statement and the underlying belief that prompts it point clearly toward an unstated but very much present goal of not just excluding converts from the Jewish people, but also non UO observant people who were born Jewish.

As has been shown in several news stories in the past couple of years, people born Jewish who attempt to receive citizenship, marry, be buried, or obtain certain government benefits promised under the Law of Return are finding it increasingly difficult to qualify, as the Rabbis often require letters from only other Orthodox Rabbis stating that one's mother and grandmother were Orthodox observant Jews. Just about no Reform or Secular Jews and few Conservative or Reconstructionist Jews can meet this requirement. If a letter from a "known and trusted" UO Rabbi cannot be obtained, the person is presumed to be non-Jewish. There is no benefit of the doubt - their concern for Jewish racial purity doesn't allow such a lenient policy.

This policy is creeping steadily into American Jewish Communities, too. Kiruv programs like EJF now routinely tell Reform, Conservative and Secular Jews that they need an actual UO conversion to "clarify their status." Since EJF and other similar programs through Chabad, etc., are the only recognized venues for clarifications of status and conversion for those who might want to or intend to make aliyah, or who want their conversion to be accepted in Europe and elsewhere, the UO have people trapped between a rock and a hard place - and in Tropper's case, this led to people being exploited.

How many others have acted similarly to Tropper, milking people who need status certifications or conversions dry, imposing immoral and unethical demands, always dangling the carrot of status or conversion in front of their victims? We'll probably never know. If they came forward, their likely reward would be to have their status or conversion revoked, so few will. The imperialism of the UO and Chereidi Rabbis marches forward, and the Civil War continues unabated.

UPDATE: For more information on the conversion issue in regards to Chereidi and UO machinations to control them, see Failed Messiah's follow up story:

Advocate of Strict Conversions in Sexual Scandal
Rabbi Tropper In an ironic twist, the rabbi whose organization questioned the legitimacy of conversions performed by others now has his own conversions called into question.

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