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Thread: When is a Jew not a Jew?

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  1. #1
    Senior Member Mediocrates's Avatar
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    When is a Jew not a Jew?

    When that Jew is a married convert, apparently. With friends like this?......?

    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7...400900,00.html

    From news article:

    You're not Jewish anymore

    Rabbinical judge rules that woman who converted to Judaism 15 years ago is no longer Jewish because she failed to observe mitzvot; her children also declared non-Jews

    Rivkah Lubitch


    A rabbinical judge ruled recently that a woman who converted to Judaism 15 years ago was no longer Jewish, and that her children, who were born after she had already converted, were also not Jewish.

    Moreover, the judge stated that the woman's marriage was invalid, and that there was therefore no need to grant her a divorce.

    The judge ordered that the woman, her children and even her husband, a Jew by birth, be added to the list of those not allowed to marry by an Orthodox rabbi.

    Rachel (not her real name) converted 15 years ago in a special conversion court headed by Rabbi Haim Druckman. Following the conversion she married Boaz (not his real name), and they have lived in Israel ever since. Their two children were brought up Jewish and Israeli.

    Recently, the couple decided to get a divorce. They separated on good terms, reached a dignified divorce settlement and held a respectable divorce ceremony at the rabbinical court.

    However, during the divorce process, one of the rabbinical judges decided to inquire a little further about Rachel's conversion, and asked her about her mitzvot observance. Displeased with the answer he received, the judge ruled that Rachel's conversion was null, and that subsequently her children were not Jewish too.

    All conversions invalid

    Did the judge forget the Halacha ruling that states that a convert is a Jew in the full sense of the word? Where is the "love for the foreigner" Judaism prides itself in? Where is the compassion and morality?

    The judge in fact ruled that all conversions signed by the special conversion court were invalid, because the court was headed by "heretics" and "criminals". This ruling implies that the thousands of conversions conducted by such courts were unacceptable.
    Rachel and Boaz decided to fight the ruling, for their sake and the sake of their children, but their personal battle also represents tens of thousands of people, who according to the new rules will discover that they are no longer considered Jews and are therefore unable to wed by an Orthodox rabbi or be buried in a Jewish cemetery.

    Rivkah Lubitch is head of the Center for Women's Justice Haifa office. She is a rabbinical pleader with six years experience and has an MA in the history of the Jewish people




    I wonder which mitzvoth she failed at? The one to write your own Torah? The one to not plow your farm in a Jubilee year? See this is the most fundamental problem with Judaism today. The idea that converts have essentially been excluded from Judaism. I think the Rabbinate in Israel should conclusively state whether they do or do not accept any converts under any circumstances at all. And if for the rest of us....? Maybe we need to split off and tell them to go to hell. And people ask me about aliyah? This is why the answer is no.

    And to be honest the Israeli Rabbinate can't do anything about M.O., Masorti or Reform in the Diaspora no matter how much they stamp their feet. Nor can they do anything about the conversions that fully vetted Orthodox Bet Dins perform outside of Israel no matter who's lives they feel the need to destroy. They can fight it out with Chabad over who's God is a more awesome God and who's followers are better Jews. I believe we are in the Jewish communities getting closer and closer to an Orthodox vs. Non Orthodox schism that could go as far as creating what are essentially two different faiths. And if the laws of the State of Israel could be made to jibe with it then I would have no problem at all with separating from Israeli Orthodox branch.


  2. #2
    Senior Member Mil's Avatar
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    Just a bunch of idiots. My mom's friend from childhood immigrated to Israel back in 1990 with her mother. Her mother was declared Jewish and the women was not - don't know how that happened. She is still not considered Jewish and had to get married at Cyprus. Radiculous. Those rabbis or whoever is running these "racial" establishments should be shot and Israel should definetly re-do all these idiotic policies they have in place.
    Mil - stands for the countless MILlions of reasons not to work.

  3. #3
    takeo
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    I'm not even religious and 75% Jewish, yet I can move to Israel anytime I would like to.

  4. #4
    Djinn
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    However, during the divorce process, one of the rabbinical judges decided to inquire a little further about Rachel's conversion, and asked her about her mitzvot observance. Displeased with the answer he received, the judge ruled that Rachel's conversion was null, and that subsequently her children were not Jewish too.
    I know this is common knowledge for many of you, but for the rest of us, "mitzvot observance" concerns adherence to 613 commandments regarding the responsibilities of Jews. That's no typo... that's six-hundred thirteen commandments.

    You can find all 613 listed here (with supplemental info):

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/613_Mit...onides.27_list

  5. #5
    KettleWhistle
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mediocrates View Post
    And if for the rest of us....? Maybe we need to split off and tell them to go to hell. And people ask me about aliyah?
    First, don't convert. Have some pride in your own traditions. Leave ours to us.

    Secondly, converts, or any other gentiles, do not make aliah. Only people of Jewish descent do. All the others immigrate to Israel.

    Lastly, feel free to start your own religion. Call it the Church of Converts. Call it whatever you want. Follow whatever rules you want. Just don't claim that you are Jewish because you are not. Converts are as much Jews as Michael Jackson is white.

  6. #6
    Tigranes
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    Quote Originally Posted by KettleWhistle View Post
    First, don't convert. Have some pride in your own traditions. Leave ours to us.

    Secondly, converts, or any other gentiles, do not make aliah. Only people of Jewish descent do. All the others immigrate to Israel.

    Lastly, feel free to start your own religion. Call it the Church of Converts. Call it whatever you want. Follow whatever rules you want. Just don't claim that you are Jewish because you are not. Converts are as much Jews as Michael Jackson is white.
    Ok, mixed signals! Its seems at first your trying to discourage people from converting like rabbis do but then you go on and say that converts are not real Jews and don't count. Could you explain your position further?

  7. #7
    Djinn
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    Quote Originally Posted by KettleWhistle View Post
    .... Call it whatever you want. Follow whatever rules you want. Just don't claim that you are Jewish because you are not. Converts are as much Jews as Michael Jackson is white.
    Wow... I know converts that observe mitzvot far better than me. I suspect they'd be rather insulted to be told that that I, with my treif-ridden diet, am Jewish, but they are not.

  8. #8
    Vitnir
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    Well, my father is Jewish but it appears to be I'm not Jewish because I popped out the wrong uterus.

  9. #9
    Djinn
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vitnir View Post
    Well, my father is Jewish but it appears to be I'm not Jewish because I popped out the wrong uterus.
    Fine, you're forgiven. Just don't let it happen again.

  10. #10
    Vitnir
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    Quote Originally Posted by Djinn View Post
    Fine, you're forgiven. Just don't let it happen again.
    Thanks dude, from now on I'll assimilate.

  11. #11
    Senior Member bararallu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vitnir View Post
    Well, my father is Jewish but it appears to be I'm not Jewish because I popped out the wrong uterus.
    You, ontheotherhand, should have the only right to convert (and please lets not start down that road again from the last discussion, it's a choice not a necessity). The poeple who have 0% Jewish heritage should not have that right. To us, ethnic Jews, its far far more a matter of genealogy (=common history) than genetics, racist or otherwise.

    Most converts today want to join a country club not a very difficult religious lifestyle. They want to appease their mothers in law. Everyone here knows, convenient marriage conversions are the overwhelming majority of conversions into Judaism. AKA insincere and hasty. These people are as Jewish as I am a pygmy chimpanzee (well according to the Muslims... I know...). And the fact of the matter is, in the US at least where this is widely done amongst the reformed churches, oops... shuls, it's done to bolster attendance, which never happens anyway. Amongst the orthodox it almost never happens. Are you a gentile living in a large city? go around any Jewish neighborhood, Israeli, russian, regular American and you'll see the only Orthodox group still soliciting: Habbad. Stand there in front of them and what do you hear? “Are you Jewish”. Not “ Are you Gentile”, thats because they are utterly UNINTERESTED in converting you, even when you say you are interested (I've played that game a few times.. the only time I got them in the headlights was when I said (bs-ing) I was a Karaite.

    To all other doubters... please instruct me how I can convert into an Ethnic Chinese who just happens to practice Taoism, or better still, an ethnic Druse or an ethnic Sikh or an ethnic Bantu animist or an ethnic Orthodox Russian. Come on there have to be a few L Ron Hubbards among you.

  12. #12
    Vitnir
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    Quote Originally Posted by bararallu View Post
    You, ontheotherhand, should have the only right to convert (and please lets not start down that road again from the last discussion, it's a choice not a necessity).
    That's okay, I lost the will being one about... 7 years ago?

  13. #13
    Senior Member Mediocrates's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bararallu View Post
    You, ontheotherhand, should have the only right to convert (and please lets not start down that road again from the last discussion, it's a choice not a necessity). The poeple who have 0% Jewish heritage should not have that right. To us, ethnic Jews, its far far more a matter of genealogy (=common history) than genetics, racist or otherwise.
    I know an Orthodox cantor who married a convert who is now the gabbai in a Conservative shul. You're right we should kick out her lying shiksa butt.

    Most converts today want to join a country club not a very difficult religious lifestyle. They want to appease their mothers in law. Everyone here knows, convenient marriage conversions are the overwhelming majority of conversions into Judaism.
    As opposed to what? Zealots? Better a Jewish mother and father to educate their kids than some goyishe who just wants to be on JDate.

    AKA insincere and hasty. These people are as Jewish as I am a pygmy chimpanzee (well according to the Muslims... I know...).
    How hasty do you figure? Tell me what you know?

    And the fact of the matter is, in the US at least where this is widely done amongst the reformed churches, oops... shuls, it's done to bolster attendance, which never happens anyway. Amongst the orthodox it almost never happens.
    Every Bet Din I've ever come in contact with is Orthodox.

    Are you a gentile living in a large city? go around any Jewish neighborhood, Israeli, russian, regular American and you'll see the only Orthodox group still soliciting: Habbad. Stand there in front of them and what do you hear? “Are you Jewish”. Not “ Are you Gentile”, thats because they are utterly UNINTERESTED in converting you, even when you say you are interested (I've played that game a few times.. the only time I got them in the headlights was when I said (bs-ing) I was a Karaite.
    Chabad quite clearly expresses ingathering. INgathering. That's what they're there for. But if you're interested they will happily convert you. It's a rather arduous process though. It's also completely arbitrary which is big problem. And you won't like their rules which are somewhat more strict than born Jews, much more strict and subject to change w/o notice. And importantly, they even contest one another's conversions even among the Chabad. It's a power trip thing.

    To all other doubters... please instruct me how I can convert into an Ethnic Chinese who just happens to practice Taoism, or better still, an ethnic Druse or an ethnic Sikh or an ethnic Bantu animist or an ethnic Orthodox Russian. Come on there have to be a few L Ron Hubbards among you.
    I know of lets see..1,2,3,4,,,,6 Conservative mixed families where the woman is Asian. I know of 2 Black ex Baptist Chabad families.


    But in either case, arguing about isn't going to do anything. Some Jews are elitist s and others are not. Nothing to be done. It's the same thing in shul among the machers who all think they're the greatest thing since Moishe and everybody better just thank them for being so wonderful..

    The real issue is what future do you envision for Judaism. I'm afraid that just feeling Jewish and feeling ethnically bound to it won't be enough. One two generations tops and you're just another person who used to have Jewish relatives. Hanging you hat on the empty promise of blood and race isn't really going to get your kids to speak and read Hebrew and sing the Shema is it? It's not going to inculcate any respect for the values and morals and ethics and love in Judaism. In my mind give me a 100 willing converts. I don't care who they are. Give them every opportunity to learn and then teach it to someone else. I'd rather have them then the yentas who come to shul on High Holy days in their fur coats and sit their pampered butts in their reserved seats front and center to see and be seen. That's not the future of Judaism I perceive. And if it is, if it's latkas and a once yearly reading of Herschel and the Hobgoblins and Tzadakah donations to the SPCA then I don't want it. It doesn't make better Jews it doesn't make better people. Better you come to me with nothing. Then we have something to work with.

  14. #14
    KettleWhistle
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    Quote Originally Posted by Djinn View Post
    Wow... I know converts that observe mitzvot far better than me. I suspect they'd be rather insulted to be told that that I, with my treif-ridden diet, am Jewish, but they are not.
    And I have pictures of Michael Jackson with bleached skin.

    @Vitnir
    I don't think traditional (not really religious--nowhere does God say that descent has to be along maternal lines, this is just a tradition) view that descent is matrilineal denies your paternal side. Both of my parents are Jews, so I can't really relate to people from mixed backgrounds. Maybe you could give us your input on how you see yourself. I believe you mentioned elsewhere that your mother is Russian. So how do you see yourself. Equally Jewish and Russian? One more than the other? A little bit of both? Neither? I like to try to put myself into other people's shoes, but I really can't imagine what it would've been like if I were of a mixed descent.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Mediocrates's Avatar
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    It's KW who's invented a new religion.

    I know you claim to be a closet Karaite and don't believe in any Rabbinic authority so how is it you hold to Rabbinic law on this whereas the Torah is quite clear about converts. Such as Moses' wife.....

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