A woman who converted a number of years ago by the Bnei Brak beis din of HaGaon HaRav Nissim Karelitz Shlita now finds herself the target of Netanya Rabbinate beis din that disqualified the validity of that giyur. The rabbinate beis din reports it determined the documents upon which the giyur was approved are forgeries.
According to a report in the daily Haaretz, the case came before the Netanya Rabbinical Court last month, a woman who was seeking state recognition of her giyur performed by Rav Karelitz’s beis din. The dayanim determined the woman in question succeeded in duping the Bnei Brak beis din.
It should be pointed out that as a rule; the Chief Rabbinate accepts the giyur of a badatz beis din.
The av beis din in this case is Rabbi Yosef Shapira. The other dayanim are Rabbi Avraham Meisels and Rabbi Rafael Ben-Shimon. Haaretz reports the dayanim ruled that giyurim converted by badatz batei din should not be recognized.
The story actually dates back to Tammuz 5769 when the woman arrived at the Netanya court seeking recognition as a Jewess. She presented the court with her birth certificate along with the birth certificate of her maternal grandmother. The document was given to the Israel Police forensics lab for analysis and the experts determined it was a forgery. The case was thrown out in Elul.
The woman remained determined and appeared at the Bnei Brak beis din. Needless to say she did not tell of her previous experience at the rabbinate beis din and presented the same documents. The decision was made that she should still undergo ‘giyur l’chumrah’.
The rabbinical court did not change its view and it would not recognize her as being Jewish, expressing criticism regarding Rav Karelitz’s beis din, explaining one may not declare one a Jew based on the documentation presented by the woman. The dayanim added that perhaps due to her lies the beis din in Bnei Brak ruled she only requires ‘giyur l’chumrah’.
The rabbinical dayanim explain that the giyur l’chumrah is fine where there is a doubt regarding one’s Jewish roots but in this case, they know she is a non-Jew with absolute certainty and therefore, they may appeal the decision of the Bnei Brak beis din since there was an error regarding the facts in the case.
The rabbinical dayanim add that regarding private batei din in Israel, some are stricter and some are too lenient – stating there is no standard. “Anyone who wishes to genuinely convert and have state recognition must do so via the Chief Rabbinate courts which carry the authority to perform conversions” the statement reads.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)