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Another Barrier Lifted

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While it may be insignificant to some, and a small barrier to others, yesterday’s vote in Israel’s Supreme Court is indeed another important step toward fulfilling the biblical requirement to “welcome the stranger,” especially those who live among us. Because of a loophole in Israel’s complicated Law of Return, liberal rabbis in Israel who remain unable to perform conversions would previously provide the education in Israel then send candidates to Europe for their conversion. Then these individuals would receive automatic Israeli recognition under the Law of Return. This loophole was closed when the Israeli rabbinate added a six month residency requirement to the place in which the conversion was taking place. That is, until yesterday. Now the Israel rabbinate is being forced by the Supreme Court to recognize liberal conversions that take place outside of Israel irrespective of where the education took place and welcome them back to Israel as full citizens under the Law of Return. Read the full story here.



4 Comments

  1. Conversions that are smuggled in from other countries, whether accepted by the Israeli rabinate or not are like a child stealing chocolate cake, sooner or later his mother is going to catch him!

    Comment by Rabbi Boruch Jacobson — April 4, 2005 @ 10:39 am

  2. Right, except in this case the child’s mother had been starving him, making him jump through hoops for even a morsel, not letting him eat for years…all in the hopes that he would become a different kind of Jew than the Jew he has become–yet he’s become a Jew nonetheless, willing to raising Jewish children in the Jewish State, even willing to die for his fellow Jews (and doing so) while others try to prevent him from being buried in the same graveyard because of this shameful political nonsense. And that’s all it is: politics.

    Comment by WelcomeTheStranger — April 4, 2005 @ 2:51 pm

  3. I agree with Rabbi Hunter. A non-Jew who is willing to die for the Jewish people is a Righteous Gentile, not a Jew just because a secular government declares them one. They should be given a proper, respectful burial in a non-Jewish cemetary. Where’s the shame in that? There’s only one way to become a Jew…you can’t unilateraly change the rules and then expect to impose your new definition on the whole Jewish world. It’s not honest to act as if patrilineal descent and non-torah-observant conversions have been around forever. The latter started less than 200 years ago and the former started only about 20 years ago. This is but a blink in the eye of a 3500 year Jewish history.

    Comment by marc — May 4, 2005 @ 12:44 pm

  4. Sorry, my mistake…Rabbi Jacobson FROM Hunter

    Comment by marc — May 4, 2005 @ 1:20 pm

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