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.
Kerry Olitzky | April 1, 2005 |