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Giyoress or Not?

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  1. Health
    !

    I was in NYC in a restaurant and I saw a Guy with a Yarmulka with his wife. He looked like a regular American clean shaven Frum Jew, but his wife (he told the waiter it was his wife) was Chinese. Let's assume she was Megiyer acc. to Halacha and she keeps everything, but she didn't have her head covered.
    Is not covering your hair enough to say that it wasn't a good Geyrus or not?

    Posted 1 year ago #
  2. akuperma
    Member

    1. Modern Orthodox often don't cover their hair . Do you hold the Modern Orthodox to be frum?

    2. How did you determine that she was a giores (as opposed to being the descendant of someone from East Asia who converted).

    Posted 1 year ago #
  3. geordie613
    Member

    MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS!!

    Posted 1 year ago #
  4. morahmom
    Member

    How do you know that she wasn't covering her hair? Sheitles can really fool you these days. I'm pretty savvy about these things and there are some women that I just haven't figured out yet, but they surely "cover their hair".

    Posted 1 year ago #
  5. iced
    Joseph

    Rav Eliashev paskened that if someone underwent the geirus process all the while believing that the world is over 6,000 years old, that the conversion was never valid and he remains a gentile.

    If someone undergoes conversion intending to fully keep 612 mitzvos with all the chumros but there is one mitzvah he intends to not maintain, his so-called coversion was never valid and he remains a gentile.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  6. shmoolik 1
    Member

    next time you are in the big apple and eat out keep your eyes on the menu and not on the women less your yetzer gets the better of you
    covering heads is important but covering your yetzer is more

    Posted 1 year ago #
  7. Derech HaMelech
    King's Highway

    That seems like it could be a common occurrence among giyoros.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  8. mosheemes2
    Member

    If your question is whether or not your observation of the skin color and hair covering habits of an ostensibly Jewish stranger you see in a restaurant entitles you to question whether or not she is in fact Jewish, the answer is no.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  9. interjection
    in·ter·jec·tion noun 1. an abrupt remark, made esp. as an aside or interruption

    There is a certain time period when the person needs to be makpid on all halacha for the conversion to be kosher. Just because she doesn't cover her hair now doesn't mean that she didn't 'fulfill the quota'. And maybe it was a really natural wig.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  10. yytz
    Member

    1) Frankly, it's not your business to go around deciding whose gerus is valid or not.

    2) The Shulchan Aruch does not actually require a ger to become completely observant before converting. The practice of requiring that is very recent. It makes sense, given current circumstances. But we should keep the basic halacha in mind.

    3) It's not the halacha that if a ger ever commits an aveira the gerus was never valid. What matters is whether he/she accepted the mitzvos at the time of conversion. Eating a cheeseburger the day after the conversion, for example, is a pretty good indication that the ger didn't accept the mitzvos. Regarding headcovering, what if she wore a scarf or something for the first few months after converting but then the yetzer hara convinced her to stop doing it, since some of her MO friends don't cover their hair anyway? If one is observant after conversion but then becomes less observant later, that doesn't indicate that the convert didn't accept the mitzvos.

    4) The idea that conversions can be declared invalid afterward after a convert is seen transgressing is extremely recent and extremely controversial. There is also a lot of misinformation about it. There's a story of a rabbi who "annulled" a conversion of a giyores after seeing her wearing pants. It turns out that was a rumor and it never happened.

    5) Although the requirement to cover hair after marriage is widely accepted by rabbinical authorities, its practice by frum women has varied widely through space and time. One to two hundred years ago in Eastern Europe, my understanding is that no women, even rebbetzins of famous rabbis, covered their hair. So could there have been no valid gerim during that time. because no women would cover their hair afterward? That wouldn't make any sense. In some MO communities today, many women don't cover their hair outside of shul. If one is just as observant as a normal orthodox Jew, but not perfectly observant on a particular mitzvah only out of ignorance (because it is neglected that community), I don't see how that would invalidate a gerus, because it doesn't indicate that the person failed to accept the mitzvos. Gerim aren't required to memorize the Shulchan Aruch, its commentaries and the teshuvos of all major poskim before converting.

    6) How do you know it wasn't a sheitel? I know an Asian woman (not a ger) who wears a black wig at work (to hide her unconventional hair style), and no one suspects it's not her natural hair.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  11. takahmamash
    Member

    It truly is none of your business.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  12. DaMoshe
    Member

    Health,
    If a beis din decides that a conversion is good, it's good, end of story. Perhaps she wasn't married yet when she converted, and hadn't thought about covering her hair?

    There are many places where it's brought down that once a geirus is completed, we don't invalidate it, even if we see the person sinning the next day.

    Now here's a question for you. A person is converting. They keep kosher, Shabbos, taharas hamishpacha, everything. The guy will learn 14 hours per day. He also happens to be a Zionist, who supports the Israeli government. Would you say the geirus is good?

    Posted 1 year ago #
  13. Syag Lchochma
    working on shesika

    Oh MODS - when I said we should NOT do this thread, I didn't just mean my post!! Please, this is going to get nastier!

    Posted 1 year ago #
  14. yaakov doe
    Member

    Health, I assume you're a woman because a man shouldn't be looking at women anytime anywhere (except his wife). There are granchildren and great grandchildren of gayrim, and shaitels that look like real hair. Don't be so quick to assume anything.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  15. PBT
    Member

    I can't tell just by looking at a person whether they cover their hair or not. Sheitels look so like real hair to me that I'd never know if a woman was wearing one or not, unless my wife were to tell me.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  16. popa_bar_abba
    Incorrigible; eccentric; somewhere between mean and average; sometimes only a bit over the top; arbitrarily engaged in cynicism.

    1. Modern Orthodox often don't cover their hair . Do you hold the Modern Orthodox to be frum?

    They are frum. And are also violating halacha.

    1) Frankly, it's not your business to go around deciding whose gerus is valid or not.

    Of course it is. I need to know whether I can marry into their family.

    2) The Shulchan Aruch does not actually require a ger to become completely observant before converting. The practice of requiring that is very recent. It makes sense, given current circumstances. But we should keep the basic halacha in mind.

    He does require that they intend to become completely observant. Which is no longer the norm. And some rabbis don't care about this, hence they are not orthodox rabbis.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  17. Health
    !

    "akuperma -1. Modern Orthodox often don't cover their hair . Do you hold the Modern Orthodox to be frum?"

    I really don't know. I guess some are and some aren't.
    To all - Does not covering your hair make s/o Frei?

    "2. How did you determine that she was a giores (as opposed to being the descendant of someone from East Asia who converted)."

    She spoke Chinese. The woman from the "Bamboo Cradle" does Not speak this language.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  18. Health
    !

    "morahmom -How do you know that she wasn't covering her hair? Sheitles can really fool you these days. I'm pretty savvy about these things and there are some women that I just haven't figured out yet, but they surely "cover their hair"."

    I know what a Shaitel is. I come from a Frum home and my wife when I was married wore one. You can easily tell what hair is and what a Shaitel is.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  19. Health
    !

    "iced - Rav Eliashev paskened that if someone underwent the geirus process all the while believing that the world is over 6,000 years old, that the conversion was never valid and he remains a gentile.
    If someone undergoes conversion intending to fully keep 612 mitzvos with all the chumros but there is one mitzvah he intends to not maintain, his so-called coversion was never valid and he remains a gentile."

    So is covering the hair a D'oraysa or a D'rabbonon or a Minhag?
    If not a D'oraysa, can this issue Passul the Geiros?

    Posted 1 year ago #
  20. Health
    !

    shmoolik 1 -"next time you are in the big apple and eat out keep your eyes on the menu and not on the women less your yetzer gets the better of you
    covering heads is important but covering your yetzer is more"

    I don't usually respond to these posts, but in this case I'll explain it. They were the only other customers in there and I noticed it right away. My first thought that this was a Nanny with his child and he was taking them out to eat. Until he stated it was his wife.
    You should learn that there is a Chiyuv of Danning s/o L'caf Zecus. Noticing something doesn't mean I was staring at women.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  21. Health
    !

    mosheemes2 -"If your question is whether or not your observation of the skin color and hair covering habits of an ostensibly Jewish stranger you see in a restaurant entitles you to question whether or not she is in fact Jewish, the answer is no."

    I'm questioning the Halacha/Din of Geirus. I wouldn't have thought of the Shaila if I wouldn't have noticed this woman. "Torah Hee V'lilmode Ani Tzorech!"

    Posted 1 year ago #
  22. Health
    !

    interjection -I doubt it's past a year or even a few months. They had a kid.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  23. rebdoniel
    Modern/Open Orthodox

    Are you serious?

    Doesn't lo tanu et ha ger mean anything to you?

    If the S"A says that a ger who worships avodah zarah the next day is still Jewish, than certainly a woman who doesn't cover her hair is still Jewish.

    The wives of scores of Litvishe roshei yesiva didn't cover their hair, including Rebbetzin Tonya Soloveitchik, a"h.

    And, R' Yosef Messas, Teshuvot Mayyim Hayyim, says that b'zman hazeh, a married woman's hair is not considered ervah.

    The Aruch HaShulchan paskens the same, regarding kriat shema.

    And, Rav Elyashiv's statement is attributed to him, but there's no way of proving that eh really said such a thing. Don't insult the man by claiming he'd say such a thing, which falls under the category of elu devarim she'ein lahem makor, a pun I came up with based on the Mishna in Peah.

    Yytz, kol ha kavod for being a voice of reason, gadlus, and sanity.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  24. Health
    !

    yytz -"1) Frankly, it's not your business to go around deciding whose gerus is valid or not."

    I answered this point to "mosheemes2" already.

    "2) The Shulchan Aruch does not actually require a ger to become completely observant before converting. The practice of requiring that is very recent. It makes sense, given current circumstances. But we should keep the basic halacha in mind."

    And how long do you have?

    "3) It's not the halacha that if a ger ever commits an aveira the gerus was never valid. What matters is whether he/she accepted the mitzvos at the time of conversion. Eating a cheeseburger the day after the conversion, for example, is a pretty good indication that the ger didn't accept the mitzvos. Regarding headcovering, what if she wore a scarf or something for the first few months after converting but then the yetzer hara convinced her to stop doing it, since some of her MO friends don't cover their hair anyway? If one is observant after conversion but then becomes less observant later, that doesn't indicate that the convert didn't accept the mitzvos."

    It's possible and it's just as possible that she never covered her hair in the first place.

    "4) The idea that conversions can be declared invalid afterward after a convert is seen transgressing is extremely recent and extremely controversial. There is also a lot of misinformation about it. There's a story of a rabbi who "annulled" a conversion of a giyores after seeing her wearing pants. It turns out that was a rumor and it never happened."

    Well this I "saw", not heard! And I think Not covering hair is worse than wearing pants.

    "5) Although the requirement to cover hair after marriage is widely accepted by rabbinical authorities, its practice by frum women has varied widely through space and time. One to two hundred years ago in Eastern Europe, my understanding is that no women, even rebbetzins of famous rabbis, covered their hair. So could there have been no valid gerim during that time. because no women would cover their hair afterward? That wouldn't make any sense. In some MO communities today, many women don't cover their hair outside of shul. If one is just as observant as a normal orthodox Jew, but not perfectly observant on a particular mitzvah only out of ignorance (because it is neglected that community), I don't see how that would invalidate a gerus, because it doesn't indicate that the person failed to accept the mitzvos. Gerim aren't required to memorize the Shulchan Aruch, its commentaries and the teshuvos of all major poskim before converting."

    But nowadays almost e/o does cover their hair, so what would the Din be in our day & age?

    "6) How do you know it wasn't a sheitel? I know an Asian woman (not a ger) who wears a black wig at work (to hide her unconventional hair style), and no one suspects it's not her natural hair."

    I answered this point to "morahmom" already.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  25. rebdoniel
    Modern/Open Orthodox

    Kabbalas hamitzvos, according to R' Ovadia Yosef and many others, doesn't mean that nonobservance invalidates the giyur.

    What it means is that the ger understands that they'll be punished if they don't keep the mitzvot, not that nonobservance makes them non-Jewish.

    Once they pass through the mikva, they're Jews.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  26. morahmom
    Member

    Health:
    Sorry, but you're wrong. Not that I myself hold that this is ok, but many women show some hair while covering the rest and it blends in. Trust me - you would never know.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  27. yehudayona
    Member

    Health, you wrote "You should learn that there is a Chiyuv of Danning s/o L'caf Zecus." I think that's pretty ironic.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  28. Health
    !

    PBA -"He does require that they intend to become completely observant. Which is no longer the norm."

    So would Not covering your hair be considered part of this?

    Posted 1 year ago #
  29. popa_bar_abba
    Incorrigible; eccentric; somewhere between mean and average; sometimes only a bit over the top; arbitrarily engaged in cynicism.

    So would Not covering your hair be considered part of this?

    I would think so. Since it is well accepted by everyone that it is an issur. Even that article by Rabbi Professor Broyde was written as a limud zchus, and in not intended to mean that he thinks that is the halacha (as is clear in the article; I read it).

    A funnier question would be something which is a machlokes. If a ger says he will only wear Rashi teffilin, would Rabeinu Taam consider the geirus bad? That sounds weird. But I don't really see why not.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  30. Health
    !

    Mr. Doniel -"Are you serious?"

    Yes!

    "Doesn't lo tanu et ha ger mean anything to you?"

    If they have a Din Ger. I'm not sure about this woman.

    "If the S"A says that a ger who worships avodah zarah the next day is still Jewish, than certainly a woman who doesn't cover her hair is still Jewish."

    That's only if she was Mekabel to cover her hair. (On the Tzad that Not covering the hair is a Chiyuv.) Who says she ever planned to cover it?

    "The wives of scores of Litvishe roshei yesiva didn't cover their hair, including Rebbetzin Tonya Soloveitchik, a"h."

    They didn't do it, but it didn't make it right.

    "And, R' Yosef Messas, Teshuvot Mayyim Hayyim, says that b'zman hazeh, a married woman's hair is not considered ervah.
    The Aruch HaShulchan paskens the same, regarding kriat shema."

    Most Poskim don't agree -so stop making uncovered hair as it's Mutter!
    And btw, why do the MO General Public always say the same thing about hair covering? I bet most MO Rabbonim hold that it's Assur to Not cover your hair!

    "Kabbalas hamitzvos, according to R' Ovadia Yosef and many others, doesn't mean that nonobservance invalidates the giyur.
    What it means is that the ger understands that they'll be punished if they don't keep the mitzvot, not that nonobservance makes them non-Jewish.
    Once they pass through the mikva, they're Jews."

    So if you're a Sefardi, then she might be a Jew acc. to them.
    As far as I know, many Poiskim hold that Nonobservance does invalidate the Geirus!

    Posted 1 year ago #
  31. WolfishMusings
    The Wolf

    Oh boy, so many assumptions and no facts.

    Is it possible that she's the daughter of a ger/giyores and therefore there should be no question about her Jewish identity?

    Is it possible that, if she converted, she did so well before marriage and that she chose to simply not cover her hair afterwards (which, while wrong, would certainly not invalidate the conversion)?

    Is it possible that it was, in fact, a sheitel, as others in this thread have pointed out?

    Is it possible that the waiter was mistaken and that she was not, in fact, his wife, but a relative or business associate?

    Is it possible that it was a date (and, again, the waiter was wrong) and therefore there is no obligation for her to cover her hair at all?

    The Wolf

    Posted 1 year ago #
  32. midwesterner
    Member

    Did Rabbeinu Tam think that his maternal grandfather, the Gadol Hador, was a karkafta d'lo manach tefillin, what Chazal call a Poshei Yisroel Bgufo? And what Tefillin did Rabbeinu Tam wear at his Bar Mitzvah? Surely at that age he didn't dare argue on his Zaida!!

    Posted 1 year ago #
  33. Health
    !

    morahmom -"Health: Sorry, but you're wrong. Not that I myself hold that this is ok, but many women show some hair while covering the rest and it blends in. Trust me - you would never know."

    How do you know that I'm wrong because you say so? You weren't there. Maybe I can't tell in every single case, but I could in this one. I know what scalp looks like and what the rubber of the Shaitel base looks like. It's amazing how some people won't even believe first-hand accounts anymore, but they'll believe LH heard from S/o who told s/o, who told s/o else.
    I don't try to figure out people in this generation anymore.

    Tell me M-MOM - do you believe that some MO women don't cover their hair?

    Posted 1 year ago #
  34. yytz
    Member

    The practice of invalidating someone's conversion because the ger was not observant enough afterward is extremely new. Yet nowadays even anonymous online commentators feel entitled to passul someone's gerus! Heaven help us.

    Can anyone provide an example of a rabbi or beis din invalidating someone's conversion because of a lack of complete observance, that occurred before the late 20th century? I believe that's when this innovation began.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  35. Health
    !

    The Wolf -"Is it possible that she's the daughter of a ger/giyores and therefore there should be no question about her Jewish identity?"

    Possible, but not very likely.

    "Is it possible that, if she converted, she did so well before marriage and that she chose to simply not cover her hair afterwards (which, while wrong, would certainly not invalidate the conversion)?"

    Another possibility, but what was her intention at the time of Geirus?

    "Is it possible that it was, in fact, a sheitel, as others in this thread have pointed out?"

    Nope, I was there.

    "Is it possible that the waiter was mistaken and that she was not, in fact, his wife, but a relative or business associate?
    Is it possible that it was a date (and, again, the waiter was wrong) and therefore there is no obligation for her to cover her hair at all?"

    Nope. The guy told the waiter -"for my wife".

    Posted 1 year ago #
  36. iced
    Joseph

    The conversion is never "invalidated". Not now and not ever. What can be, and sometimes is, done is a determination is made that the geirus was never valid in the first place (despite the mikva and the entire process) since the prospective convert was never sincere despite his assurances or statements or he held heretical beliefs all along through the purported conversion. Thus he was never a Jew in the first place.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  37. MeemaYehudis
    Member

    "The wives of scores of Litvishe roshei yesiva didn't cover their hair, including Rebbetzin Tonya Soloveitchik, a"h."
    Rebdoniel, Rebbtzen Tonya Soloveitchik did cover her hair. This is one of those untruths that has been circulating for many, many years. What you are referring to is the fact that she did not cover her hair in the house, which was a common practice among the Yekkes, but absolutely did when she left the house.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  38. ZeesKite
    Aquilone Dolce

    yytz, before the 20th centure, a Jew was observant. There was no 'ism and factions. If one wasn't orthodox, he was shunned and left the fold. So naturally if one was a Ger, he made sure to do it the way a "Jew" does. The right way. Makes sense, no? It is the other movements who have made their "innovations". Modern... (and all their other names)

    Posted 1 year ago #
  39. zahavasdad
    zahavasoneluckygirl

    ZK

    Modern day Charedism is not the way judaism was practiced 300 years ago

    Yeshivish Judaism as practiced today comes from the Vilna Gaon and the Chatam Sofer

    Chassdic Judaism comes from the Baal Shem tov and his disciples

    Posted 1 year ago #
  40. yaakov doe
    Member

    I'm told that any frum woman can always recognize a shaitel. As a man I'm not always able to. I can think of 2 women I know who may be wearing shaitels or it may be their real hair. After seeing them dozens of time, I don't know if it's their hair or a shaitel.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  41. yytz
    Member

    ZeesKite, that's not exactly accurate. Only a small minority of German Jews were Orthodox in the 19th century, because Reform was so successful there. The Haskalah movement started convincing many Eastern European Jews to drop observance in the 19th century too.

    Anyway, as I mentioned above, covering one's hair was not widely observed in Eastern Europe even among the Orthodox (See R' Broyde's article). So were all the gerim during that time invalid, because they didn't cover their hair afterward? I hope not, because many of today's yidden are descended from them!

    We don't know how many people converted in Eastern Europe during those many generations in which women didn't cover, but some did, and we can be sure some were female and had descendants who survived and had children. There are even some accounts of entire villages converting in the 19th century (in Lithuania and the Ukraine, for example).

    Iced, I agree, but are there any examples before the late 20th century of people making the determination that a conversion had never been valid because someone noticed the ger not observing a particular mitzvah afterward? Even before the early 20th century? You'd be hard-pressed to find any examples. It's a recent innovation. As is the concept of gerus l'chumra, as far as I can tell.

    This is one of those areas where people pile chumras upon chumras and forget what the original halacha is. If I understand correctly, there are even people now who will claim that if one ger converted by a rabbi goes off the derech, then all the gerim ever converted by the rabbi are considered invalid converts! Madness.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  42. popa_bar_abba
    Incorrigible; eccentric; somewhere between mean and average; sometimes only a bit over the top; arbitrarily engaged in cynicism.

    If I understand correctly, there are even people now who will claim that if one ger converted by a rabbi goes off the derech, then all the gerim ever converted by the rabbi are considered invalid converts! Madness.

    Actually, I think that is the least mad way of doing it.

    Because, I imagine the determination goes by what was in everybody's minds at the geirus. So that devarim sh'believ einum devarim, and if the dayanim made a proper determination, then anything that happens subsequently is not relevant. So we must be deciding that this dayan doesn't make proper determinations. So then the dayan is the one who is passul, and of course you can't rely on any of their geirus.

    I really think this whole issue is overblown anyway. In 20-30 years, there will have been a decisive split, with Avi Weiss and co. going one way, and orthodox judaism going the other way.

    That's the way Orthodoxy works in the past couple hundred years. Every other generation, you need to clean up the ship.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  43. Torah613Torah
    (613)Torah²

    I've wondered about this question too.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  44. yytz
    Member

    Popa, Dayanim don't have ruach hakodesh. That's like saying that any judge who gives someone probation instead of prison, and the person goes on to commit another crime, should have all their previous sentencing decisions reversed, so that whoever was sentenced to probation, now has to go to prison. The dayanim have to go on what they know, based on what the convert does, and what the convert and his/her mentor says at the time of conversion. One ger who either isn't observant or goes off the derech later can't retroactively passul the previous converts. Anyway, I wasn't talking about the beis din that converts the ger, but rather the mentor or sponsoring rabbi.

    R' Avis Weiss has nothing to do with this. They might have their own more lenient conversion courts now, but that's a very recent development. Most conversions are now done by regional batei din or other well-known batei din, such as those approved by the rabbanut and the RCA, and it's been that way for a while (even before the lists existed.)

    The reason it's a non-issue is because if the giores or any of her descendants switch from MO to Charedi, and their conversion is in doubt for whatever reason, legitimate or not, they can do a gerus l'chumra.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  45. oomis
    Best Bubby EVER

    There is no tzaddik who has not committed an aveira. Likewise a ger who is sincere in the desire to be a frum Jew, may err, as do we all, but that does not take away from the geirus. BTW, one of the things that is said to a potential ger (my understanding, that is)is "Why do you want to be a Jew? You can be a wonderful non-Jew by following the 7 mitzvos of Bnei Noach and not be responsible if you don't keep the mitzvos of the Torah. But the moment you are misgayeir, then you will be punished if you transgress."

    Logic dictates that if the above is said to a Ger-wannabe, that it means that once he or she is a Yid, it is for all time (again assuming the geirus was sincere l'chatchilah). FFB Jews commit aveiros and go OTD all the time, unfortunately. So might Geirim.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  46. popa_bar_abba
    Incorrigible; eccentric; somewhere between mean and average; sometimes only a bit over the top; arbitrarily engaged in cynicism.

    Popa, Dayanim don't have ruach hakodesh.

    Of course not. But they do need to be reasonable. I once asked a certain clown who is involved in geirus what rate of recidivism he would accept before concluding that his standards were obviously off. As a baseline, I asked if a 10% rate was too high.

    He responded that he agreed that if 1 in 10 were going off, there was obviously something wrong with his system and that geirus should be curtailed sharply. But then he said, that if so, there would be no more geirus because even the B"Datz doesn't have a 90% success rate.

    Well, I agree with him on the first part, and agree with him on the second part. And therefore think geirus should be sharply curtailed. Maybe 1 in a thousand should be accepted.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  47. yytz
    Member

    Popa, I'm glad you don't run the Torah world! (I'm glad I don't either). There's no halachic basis for refusing to convert the vast majority of sincere gerim simply because some of them might go off the derech or not be 100% observant to start out. Sure, if the ger says I don't intend to observe X or Y, or I accept the yoke of 612 of the mitzvos only, he can't be converted. But there's no halachic basis for rejecting converts who say they accept everything (and who have a sponsoring rabbi to vouch for their observance). Remember that the basic halacha does not actually require full observance before conversion.

    It's a mitzvah to accept sincere converts. No one but the ger really knows what his or her intentions are. When the ger says the right things to the beit din, they have to convert him. You can't refuse to fulfill a mitzvah because things might not turn out well. That's like saying Jews shouldn't get married because then one day if he won't give her a get she'll remarry anyway, with no get or with a forced get, and produce mamzerim.

    It appears that some people have the mistaken impression that it's easy to convert, and that all kinds of inappropriate candidates are accepted. Not true -- nowadays, most gerim spend at least a year, often several years, learning and becoming observant. Mistakes may be made, but that doesn't mean we should make standards 100 times more stringent than the actual halacha requires.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  48. zahavasdad
    zahavasoneluckygirl

    In the real world denying conversions is a problem

    Its easy to say no, and think thats the best solution, but what happens is In Israel you have the Russians whom about 1/3 arent Jewish. They will meet jewish people, fall in love and get married and you will have a problem there. Unless you keep them out.

    You also have the issue of saying no and then the people go to a reform or conservative and they will convert them and then the people (and their offspring) think they are jewish and then create many non-jewish , jewish children.

    In a small Shtlel, Saying no does work, but in a larger context there must be a way to solve the problem

    Posted 1 year ago #
  49. aurora77
    loves cats

    Hello Health,

    I read a reply of yours to WolfishMusings in which you opined that one of his proposed possibilities was unlikely. And, perhaps a demographic statistician by profession would hypothetically be able to provide studies and numbers that support your opinion.

    Nonetheless, such "unlikely"s do exist in this diverse world. I myself am coming to Orthodox Judaism after discovering maternal family roots from two generations ago -- unlikely, but...here I am. Some posters here in my threads on that subject have even suggested the possibility that, if my maternal family roots can be validated sufficiently to establish that I am Halachically Jewish, no conversion would be required.

    Perhaps the wife of this man has a similar situation as my own -- i.e., maternal Jewish roots, perhaps even enough so that no conversion is required. In fact, one could not tell solely by looking if this woman just happens to have one maternal grandparent of, say, Ashkenazic Jewish ancestry, while her other three grandparents are not of any known Jewish background. This situation is, again, my own, and I am very familiar with people (Gentile and Jewish) explicitly or implicitly telling me that I don't "look Jewish." Perhaps this woman in the restaurant is mistaken for a woman of full Chinese, non-Jewish ancestry, whereas I am taken for some kind of Anglo-Saxon Protestant.

    Any given individual that any of us comes across may seem more or less "unlikely" based on statistics, or perhaps based sheerly on the internal, conditioned, unspoken categories of "types" of people that all of us carry around to a greater or lesser extent as a framework for the world -- i.e., who we think or guess that people are, what various groups of people are like, etc.

    However, when anyone observes the woman whom you described and then asks if the Geyrus was good, what we really end up with are a lot of assumptions, which can not be corroborated on such scant information, placed upon a complete and total stranger. In essence, we learn nothing definitive about the stranger -- ironically, what we learn definitively concerns the individual making the assumptions. For no apparently redeeming value or purpose, and with no discernible provocation other than surface appearances and assumptions being out-of-sync in the eye of the viewer/writer, these assumptions became the fodder of negative speculation against a human being by way of the original post.

    I and others here have suggested alternative possibilities to your assumptions. You reply that at least some of these possibilities are "unlikely." As an "unlikely" myself, I am not overly fond of assumptions about who I am based on appearances, especially when those assumptions are then used to imply some negative characteristic on my part (in this woman's case, the negative implication is that her conversion is/was not valid, because how likely is it that a Chinese woman would be born a Jewish woman, especially to a maternal line of born Jews). To be further dismissed as a unique person by being pegged "unlikely" when the assumptions are challenged adds insult to the initial injury done to this woman by the original post.

    I have read enough here in the CR for upwards of a year to know that I am in the company of a couple other "unlikely"s, including one African American convert to Orthodox Judaism from a Christian background. The kinds of assumptions contained in the original post are unkind and unfair to the woman in question, and, from at least the perspective of this "unlikely," these assumptions hurt others as well.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  50. rebdoniel
    Modern/Open Orthodox

    R' Goren, R' Unterman, R' Uziel, R' Kalischer, and so many others saw a clear inyan of zera yisrael requiring a lenient giyur standard. This is one reason why I support Rav Amsalem and his party.

    Conversion can and should be a tool by which Jewish unit can be cemented. The above felt this way because they were in touch with the needs of Israeli society.

    Turning away little Marc Friedman because his mother isn't Jewish won't do klal yisrael any favors.

    Posted 1 year ago #

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