Giyoress or Not?

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  • #607283

    Health
    Participant

    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?

  • #913554

    akuperma
    Participant

    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).

  • #913555

    Geordie613
    Participant

    MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS!!

  • #913556

    morahmom
    Participant

    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”.

  • #913557

    iced
    Member

    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.

  • #913558

    shmoolik 1
    Participant

    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

  • #913559

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

  • #913560

    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.

  • #913561

    interjection
    Participant

    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.

  • #913562

    yytz
    Participant

    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.

  • #913563

    takahmamash
    Participant

    It truly is none of your business.

  • #913564

    DaMoshe
    Participant

    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?

  • #913565

    Syag Lchochma
    Participant

    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!

  • #913566

    yaakov doe
    Participant

    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.

  • #913567

    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.

  • #913568

    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    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.

  • #913569

    Health
    Participant

    “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.

  • #913570

    Health
    Participant

    “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.

  • #913571

    Health
    Participant

    “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?

  • #913572

    Health
    Participant

    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.

  • #913573

    Health
    Participant

    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!”

  • #913574

    Health
    Participant

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

  • #913575

    rebdoniel
    Member

    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.

  • #913576

    Health
    Participant

    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.

  • #913577

    rebdoniel
    Member

    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.

  • #913578

    morahmom
    Participant

    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.

  • #913579

    yehudayona
    Participant

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

  • #913580

    Health
    Participant

    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?

  • #913581

    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    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.

  • #913582

    Health
    Participant

    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!

  • #913583

    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    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

  • #913584

    midwesterner
    Participant

    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!!

  • #913585

    Health
    Participant

    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?

  • #913586

    yytz
    Participant

    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.

  • #913587

    Health
    Participant

    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”.

  • #913588

    iced
    Member

    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.

  • #913589

    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.

  • #913590

    ZeesKite
    Participant

    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)

  • #913591

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    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

  • #913592

    yaakov doe
    Participant

    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.

  • #913593

    yytz
    Participant

    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.

  • #913594

    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    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.

  • #913595

    I’ve wondered about this question too.

  • #913596

    yytz
    Participant

    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.

  • #913597

    oomis
    Participant

    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.

  • #913598

    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    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.

  • #913599

    yytz
    Participant

    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.

  • #913600

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    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

  • #913601

    aurora77
    Participant

    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.

  • #913602

    rebdoniel
    Member

    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.

  • #913603

    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    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).<e/m>

    First I thought you were saying we are supposed to accept as a ger anyone who “says” they will accept everything. That is obviously not correct.

    But then you qualify by saying “and who have a sponsoring rabbi to vouch for their observance”, by which I suppose you are adding that we are supposed to also determine that they probably are going to actually accept everything.

    So then we agree. And we should also agree that if a certain rabbi has been vouching for candidates and is obviously terrible at it based on his track record, we should stop accepting his vouchers.

  • #913604

    HaLeiVi
    Participant

    Midwesterner, Rabbeinu Tam says that a karkafta Delo Manach Tefillin is only if that was done rebeliously.

  • #913605

    yytz
    Participant

    Popa, well, theoretically if there was a mentor and every one of his gerim was filmed eating a cheeseburger at McDonalds the day after the conversion, then a beis din would stop taking gerim mentored by that mentor seriously. But of course nobody’s that bad. I think every beis din should consider each ger on a case by case basis. I suppose they could keep in mind the history of the mentor if in the unlikely event they have reliable information (not just rumors) about the gerim he’s mentored. Retroactive invalidation of all a mentor’s gerim should never occur. Individual gerim should never be “invalidated” unless it’s 100% clear they were flagrantly and publicly violating mitzvos (as generally practiced in their Orthodox community) immediately after conversion.

    Aurora’s right. This kind of thread doesn’t belong in the CR. Who gave anonymous internet commenters the right to be armchair poskim trying making the world more difficult for gerim (who already have it hard enough as it is)? We should be very careful about the mitzvah not to oppress a ger, because gerim are more sensitive and often have difficult experiences in offline life as well.

  • #913606

    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    So we agree that the beis din must make a case by case determination of whether the candidate intends to keep the entire torah.

    So at what point would you say a beis din should invalidate itself, and realize that they are not doing a good job of it?

    For example, if I was trying to build washing machines, and many of my washing machines didn’t work, at some point I would determine that either the method I am using is bad, or that I am simply not good at making washing machines.

    So, what rate of “wrong results” do you think a beis din should accept before they determine that they are doing a bad job and should get out of the business?

    Suppose that 10% of their geirim do not stay frum? Is that too much?

    How about 20% (1 in 5)?

    How about 30% (1 in 3)?

    What is your tolerance level for that? Tell us.

  • #913607

    gefen
    Participant

    Health – To quote one of your posts, “You should learn that there is a Chiyuv of Danning s/o L’caf Zecus.” So maybe be dan l’caf zechus this lady in the restaurant. Just sayin’…..

    morahmom – “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.” I agree totally. Sometimes it is very hard to tell.

    Another thing. Maybe this woman is just not comfortable covering her hair yet – IF she even plans to at all. But that’s really none of our business.

  • #913608

    ready now
    Participant

    Health- maybe the “husband” was converting too.

    The discussion by the OP was about the hair covering -it was not trying to insult anyone at all.

  • #913610

    nem621
    Member

    the practicality of this is very little so i do not know why even waste time with this but anyway

    i think that we should try to look at it in a favorable manner

    there is a story i heard that a MO couple was walking in a very charedi town in E”Y and a man threw bleach at her “for not wearing a wig” in a anger the husband took the very natural looking wig filled with bleach from his wife and threw it on the ground promising that she will never wear a wig again.

    why do i mention this story? because it shows how natural wigs can be and maybe you are very sure but in the sake of favorable judgement i think you can say that maybe you saw wrong

  • #913611

    Health
    Participant

    aurora77 -I was talking unlikely in terms of it being something to consider as far as Halacha.

  • #913612

    Health
    Participant

    Mr. Doniel- No Geirus should Not be something to be Meikel on. And that’s why we Passel Conservative and Reform Geirus because we don’t trust them that they are doing things K’halacha. If certain “Orthodox” Rabbis act the same way -we should treat their Geirus the same way.

  • #913613

    Health
    Participant

    yytz -“Individual gerim should never be “invalidated” unless it’s 100% clear they were flagrantly and publicly violating mitzvos (as generally practiced in their Orthodox community) immediately after conversion.”

    So what do you consider s/o Not covering her hair -A Mitzva?

    I’d hesitate to Passel s/o eating a cheeseburger more than s/o who doesn’t cover their hair. Why? Because e/o who is Megayer K’halacha knows that you can’t eat Treif, and probably just Chapped a Taivah, but in certain communities they think you don’t have to cover their hair. So this person who didn’t cover her hair probably never thought she had to -so she never had Kabbolas of all the Mitzvos!

  • #913614

    midwesterner
    Participant

    That wasn’t even remotely all my point. (Ayein b”Rush Limbaugh, demonstrating absurdity by being absurd.)

    My point was that surely Rabbeinu Tam would also recognize that Rashi Tefillin are fine and kosher. Yes, using the expression Karkafta etc was over the top, but saying that Rabbeinu Tam held that his zaida Rashi was not yotzei tefillin his entire life b’shogeg is almost equally absurd!!

    I have confidence that our dear friend Popa, whose own absurdity I was responding to, understood the point I was trying to make.

  • #913615

    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    I have confidence that our dear friend Popa, whose own absurdity I was responding to, understood the point I was trying to make.

    I didn’t realize you were being absurd. I thought you were being serious, and I agreed.

    🙂

  • #913616

    rebdoniel
    Member

    It is not up to a beis din to be able to foretell the future or read minds. A person can in no way read minds, and if they purport to, they are not espousing Judaism.

    It is up to beis din to witness the conversion and sign the teudah. Not to ensure that a person is observant. That is the ger’s responsibility. Once the ger leaves the mikvah, they’re Jewish.

    And, we do not allow Reform and Conservative Jews to dictate halakha. According to your reasoning, that we don’t do something only because they do it, is silly and dangerous at once.

    The Reform use ta’amei hamikra. We shouldn’t because they do? Come on now.

  • #913617

    HaLeiVi
    Participant

    They use Taama Dikra, and we shouldn’t.

  • #913618

    Health
    Participant

    gefen -“Health – To quote one of your posts, “You should learn that there is a Chiyuv of Danning s/o L’caf Zecus.” So maybe be dan l’caf zechus this lady in the restaurant. Just sayin’…..”

    Yes, I would have to do this if she was Jewish. The more I read all the posts here in her defense – the more I think she isn’t! Just sayin’….

    “morahmom – “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.” I agree totally. Sometimes it is very hard to tell.”

    Yes, sometimes. But in this case it was quite clear to me she wasn’t.

    “Another thing. Maybe this woman is just not comfortable covering her hair yet – IF she even plans to at all. But that’s really none of our business.”

    Of course it is. People pretending to be Orthodox Jews when they are Goyim is more our business than Reform or Conservative conversions. The former are going to mix with us in many ways including marriage. The latter will have very little to do with us.

  • #913619

    Health
    Participant

    ready now -“Health- maybe the “husband” was converting too.”

    Naw! Sorry! He looked and talked Jewish. (Not the language.)

  • #913620

    Health
    Participant

    nem621 -“why do i mention this story? because it shows how natural wigs can be and maybe you are very sure but in the sake of favorable judgement i think you can say that maybe you saw wrong”

    I answered your post to others already. Look Up!

  • #913621

    Health
    Participant

    Mr. doniel -“It is up to beis din to witness the conversion and sign the teudah. Not to ensure that a person is observant. That is the ger’s responsibility. Once the ger leaves the mikvah, they’re Jewish.”

    Who says they are Jewish – You?

    “And, we do not allow Reform and Conservative Jews to dictate halakha.”

    With your train of thought I see absolutely nothing wrong with Conservative or Reform conversions.

    They definitely can do what you just mentioned above.

    “According to your reasoning, that we don’t do something only because they do it, is silly and dangerous at once.”

    Stop putting words in my mouth. I never said anything even close.

  • #913622

    WIY
    Member

    Health

    “ready now -“Health- maybe the “husband” was converting too.”

    Naw! Sorry! He looked and talked Jewish. (Not the language.)”

    Maybe he is a BT or OTD on the way back who married her at some point and she is in the process of giyur? There are plenty of possible scenarios. Im not sure why you so strongly want to condemn people you don’t even know and have nothing to do with!

  • #913623

    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    It is up to beis din to witness the conversion and sign the teudah.

    Well, I assume that is why we call them ????!

    .

    .

    .

    .

    .

    .

    .

    .

    .

    .

    .

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    .

    Oh, right.

  • #913624

    yytz
    Participant

    Popa, I don’t agree with the question. We’re never going to have reliable information on a beis din’s success rate in converting gerim who remain frum, and even if we did, we wouldn’t know if it’s due to their low standards, versus some other factor (like luck, or how the local community treats gerim). I do think, though, that gerim should stick with the major batei din (those on the RCA or rabbanut lists for example). Even so, gerim shouldn’t be punished for going to the “wrong” beis din — each ger should be considered on a case by case basis (discretely by rabbis — not on public forums by anonymous commenters.)

    Health, review the Shulchan Aruch. The acceptance of mitzvah does not require, and never has, that the ger have 100% accurate knowledge about what all the mitzvos are and how exactly you follow them. If that were the case then we might as well give male gerim semicha at the same time we convert them! Ignorance about the current interpretations of one or more mitzvos does not indicate a lack of kabalas mitzvos.

    Furthermore, headcoverings are a special case, because many generations of pious Ashkenazim didn’t cover there hair, and this has continued to this day in some MO communities. So if a woman converts in one of those communities and right afterward marries and doesn’t cover her hair, it probably shouldn’t indicate she didn’t accept the mitzvos (unless, perhaps, the beis din discussed the issue with her and specifically told her it’s a mitzvah).

    Now if she’s not covering her hair immediately after conversion in a community where all the women do cover their hair, that’s different, but because of the special history and status of this mitzvah, I’m hesitant to say it would necessarily indicate a lack of kabalas mitzvos. I’m also hesitant because I think it’s inappropriate for anonymous commenters to give halachic opinions on actual cases (such as the case discussed in this thread)! Determining whether a conversion was valid (and thus whether a gerus l’chumra is necessary for her or her children) is a very sensitive issue that should be handled discretely and privately (like the issue of mamzerim).

    For example, Health, if one day your daughter wants to marry this woman’s son, then you can ask your Rov to discretely do some research and figure out whether the son is going to need to do a gerus l’chumra. Or if you’re approached about the possibility of a shidduch with him, then you can have the research done and say no if your Rov concludes the gerus wasn’t valid. There’s no reason to discuss this publicly.

  • #913625

    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    Ok. So our disagreement boils down to whether we have good information about what percentage of geirim are staying frum.

    Gotcha.

  • #913626

    gefen
    Participant

    Health: “Yes, I would have to do this if she was Jewish. The more I read all the posts here in her defense – the more I think she isn’t! Just sayin’….”

    Could you explain what you mean by the more you read posts in her defense, the more you think she isn’t? I don’t understand. (I’m asking in all seriousness, I’m not trying to instigate anything or be provocative. I really don’t understand why the posts would make you think that)

  • #913627

    Health
    Participant

    yytz -“Health, review the Shulchan Aruch. The acceptance of mitzvah does not require, and never has, that the ger have 100% accurate knowledge about what all the mitzvos are and how exactly you follow them. If that were the case then we might as well give male gerim semicha at the same time we convert them! Ignorance about the current interpretations of one or more mitzvos does not indicate a lack of kabalas mitzvos.”

    I know the S’A and all I have to say to you is practice what you preach -“Who gave anonymous internet commenters the right to be armchair poskim trying making the world more difficult for gerim?”

    Because if there isn’t Kabbolas Hamitzvos -they aren’t Jewish.

    “Furthermore, headcoverings are a special case, because many generations of pious Ashkenazim didn’t cover there hair, and this has continued to this day in some MO communities. So if a woman converts in one of those communities and right afterward marries and doesn’t cover her hair, it probably shouldn’t indicate she didn’t accept the mitzvos (unless, perhaps, the beis din discussed the issue with her and specifically told her it’s a mitzvah).

    Now if she’s not covering her hair immediately after conversion in a community where all the women do cover their hair, that’s different, but because of the special history and status of this mitzvah, I’m hesitant to say it would necessarily indicate a lack of kabalas mitzvos. I’m also hesitant because I think it’s inappropriate for anonymous commenters to give halachic opinions on actual cases (such as the case discussed in this thread)!”

    I really hope you don’t grow up to be a Poisek. You wrote a long-winded post without convincing anybody but yourself.

    My point was – She Doesn’t Know Better! There can’t possibly be Kabbolas Hamitzvos if she thinks that it isn’t wrong. It’s much worse than eating Treif which she knows is Wrong.

    Almost e/o holds there is a Chiyuv to cover your hair.

    Acc. to you she doesn’t ever need to cover her hair and she is a Jew nonetheless. Naarish!

    You need to have Kabbolas Hamitzvos even if noone informed her that there is a Chiyuv to cover her hair. Just because she isn’t covering her hair B’shoggeg doesn’t mean she ever had Kabbolas of all the Mitzvos.

  • #913628

    Health
    Participant

    Gefen – Read my posts to others. The more they defend her with Illogic – the more I think that my hunch is right.

  • #913629

    dolphina
    Member

    This is such a silly conversation. How do you know she’s not Jewish? Maybe her mother is Jewish and her father isn’t. Maybe her mother converted. Maybe her grandmother converted. Maybe both her parents are Jewish from birth and she just looks Asian. Maybe anything.

    So someone saw somebody who he guesses is a convert based on her facial features, and is SURE she wasn’t covering her hair (because he got a really good look at her head, and knows this for a fact) and is discussing her status as a Jewess. Shame on everyone here. You have no idea, and to cast aspersions egregious.

    For shame.

  • #913630

    gefen
    Participant

    Health- I did read your posts. Maybe I have to read them again. But could you just give me one example from any of the posts of what you mean by “Illogic”? Then maybe I can understand when I re-read the posts. Thanks.

  • #913631

    Health
    Participant

    dolphina -“This is such a silly conversation. How do you know she’s not Jewish? Maybe her mother is Jewish and her father isn’t. Maybe her mother converted. Maybe her grandmother converted. Maybe both her parents are Jewish from birth and she just looks Asian. Maybe anything.”

    Anything is possible, but we Jews live acc. to Halacha and it has to be probable. There are actually very few Chinese Geirim and to say she is a child of one of them is even more improbable.

    “Shame on everyone here. You have no idea, and to cast aspersions egregious.

    For shame.”

    The shame would be if I didn’t question. People who claim to be Jews aren’t given a Carte D’blanche that they are. If there are reasons to assume not, like in this case, were she doesn’t cover her hair and it’s most likely she doesn’t even think she has to, then the burden of proof is on her, not the other way around.

    People like me who come from generations of Jews, even though noone knows if e/o from the Frum community is really Jewish, but we have something called a Chazaka. This is a Torah term that is difficult to explain. That means if something was a certain way for a period of time, like by land ownership – a period of 3 years, then it was always this way.

  • #913632

    Health
    Participant

    gefen -“Health- I did read your posts. Maybe I have to read them again. But could you just give me one example from any of the posts of what you mean by “Illogic”? Then maybe I can understand when I re-read the posts. Thanks.”

    I don’t know what you’re getting at. If you disagree with my posts then post a logical argument against them. Until then my posts are the ending logic.

    Here is one example that I posted to yytz -“Acc. to you she doesn’t ever need to cover her hair and she is a Jew nonetheless.”

    This was a simple conclusion from his post and it is very illogical.

  • #913633

    yytz
    Participant

    Not exactly, Popa. As I suggested, even if we had such statistics, I don’t think they’d be very useful. Anyone reading our respective posts should be able to tell we disagree on a lot more than the feasibility of measuring gerim frumness.

    Health, you don’t explain why your view is correct, despite the fact that knowing what all the mitzvos are is not a prerequisite for accepting the mitzvos. Both Rambam and S’A say that we teach them a few mitzvos and convert them. Ideally, gerim would know everything, and I’m sure most know everything they need to know, but if they have some misunderstanding or lack of knowledge about a particular mitzvah that doesn’t mean they didn’t accept the mitzvos.

    Dolphina, I agree! If it were up to me, this thread would be deleted. This thread isn’t any less problematic than others that have been deleted.

  • #913634

    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    Not exactly, Popa. As I suggested, even if we had such statistics, I don’t think they’d be very useful. Anyone reading our respective posts should be able to tell we disagree on a lot more than the feasibility of measuring gerim frumness.

    Well, now you’re just confusing me. I think anyone reading our posts would have concluded that we do agree but for a system of measuring–up to this post where you are taking it all back. [

    I guess we’ll just have to wonder.

  • #913635

    Health
    Participant

    yytz -“Health, you don’t explain why your view is correct, despite the fact that knowing what all the mitzvos are is not a prerequisite for accepting the mitzvos. Both Rambam and S’A say that we teach them a few mitzvos and convert them. Ideally, gerim would know everything, and I’m sure most know everything they need to know, but if they have some misunderstanding or lack of knowledge about a particular mitzvah that doesn’t mean they didn’t accept the mitzvos.”

    I did explain it, but you weren’t listening. Not knowing all the Mitzvos at the time of Geirus is Not the same as never planning on keeping a certain Mitzva because she thinks it’s Mutter. Not planning on keeping something even by Mistake is a lack of Kabbolas Hamitzvos!

  • #913636

    Syag Lchochma
    Participant

    dolphina – one person here makes an overly inappropriate and judgemental comment and most people are responding that he is out of line. And your response, “shame on everyone” If you’ll notice I was one of the first posts and I was also asking for it’s closure. Why do you insist on hatefully sweeping everyone into the same boat?

  • #913637

    yytz
    Participant

    Popa, I guess we agree on a lot, but earlier you suggested that maybe only one in a thousand gerus candidates should be accepted. I wouldn’t agree to that even if the success rate of batei din was much worse than you think it is. Maybe some mentors or batei din need to adjust their approaches, but I see no reason to make things harder for gerim across the board.

    Health, I don’t think that’s correct. Do you have sources?

  • #913638

    ready now
    Participant

    Maybe she is one of the lost tribes who is not consciously aware that she is a Jewish, and is undergoing conversion

  • #913639

    DyafMaven
    Member

    please just learn Daf 68a in Shabbos with Tosfos and learn about the case about a convert who converted in a city of non-jews and somehow never learned about shabbos and it is still a kosher conversion.

    Besides that fact I know many modern orthodox jews hat never covered their hair in the first place and that is the way these people were raised in their communities. Leave Brooklyn and go to modern orthodox communities in south or west and even some communities in New jersey and Queens a majority of the Jewish women do not cover their and they may even wear pants. I’m not saying I agree with what they do but this is a fact and these people in all other respects are orthdox jews and they believe that they are orthdox jews.

    So please stop this idea of assuming if a women doesn’t cover her hair it makes her a questionable convert because it doesn’t. Also it is not one of the 613 mitzvos to cover her hair and it is only a das yehudis and has a lot more to do with then just tziyus. Because if a girl covered her hair only for tziyus reasons unmarried women would have cover their hair and shetels would be a problem.

  • #913640

    iced
    Member

    Because some Jews who are Orthodox violate certain mitzvos and yet remain full Jews, does not in any way shape or form detract from the fact that a prospective convert who from the outset intends to not keep some of the same mitzvos that some Orthodox Jews fail to keep is and always remains a gentile as his conversion was never effective.

  • #913641

    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    Because some Jews who are Orthodox violate certain mitzvos and yet remain full Jews, does not in any way shape or form detract from the fact that a prospective convert who from the outset intends to not keep some of the same mitzvos that some Orthodox Jews fail to keep is and always remains a gentile as his conversion was never effective.

    That may or may not be true. But in the specific case under discussion there is:

    a. no evidence that, at the time of conversion that she intended to not keep any of the mitzvos

    b. no evidence that she is even a convert to begin with.

    The Wolf

  • #913642

    DyafMaven
    Member

    It is not mitzvah to cover your hair its part of being orthdox jewish women. According to any of the great lists of mitzvos of the rishnoim does it list covering your hair as one of them. I’m not questioning if it a mitzvah or not I just do not think it is a prerequisite to convert in order for a wman to cover their hair

  • #913643

    rebdoniel
    Member

    There’s a difference between a ger who states ab initio, they are converting al tenai that they’re not going to keep a particular mitzvah, and one who falls into nonobservance of mitzvot over time, according to the Achiezer I cited above.

    But who says kissui harosh for a woman fulfills any mitzvah? Ii think the case for non-covering has been thoroughly explained, as there are those who rightfully believe that a married woman’s uncovered hair is not erva.

  • #913644

    Health
    Participant

    DyafMaven -“please just learn Daf 68a in Shabbos with Tosfos and learn about the case about a convert who converted in a city of non-jews and somehow never learned about shabbos and it is still a kosher conversion.”

    Didn’t learn about it, but this wasn’t her fault. This lady not wearing a Shaitel is not even similar.

    “So please stop this idea of assuming if a women doesn’t cover her hair it makes her a questionable convert because it doesn’t. Also it is not one of the 613 mitzvos to cover her hair and it is only a das yehudis and has a lot more to do with then just tziyus.”

    You are confusing the reason with you don’t have to do it. The S’A paskens a woman must cover her hair and if she never accepted this when she was Megyer it’s Not a good Geyrus.

    “Because if a girl covered her hair only for tziyus reasons unmarried women would have cover their hair and shetels would be a problem.”

    The S’A explains why a girl doesn’t have to cover her hair.

    And btw, many Poskim hold you aren’t allowed to wear Shaitels -it’s not so clear cut as you’re making it.

    “It is not mitzvah to cover your hair its part of being orthdox jewish women. According to any of the great lists of mitzvos of the rishnoim does it list covering your hair as one of them. I’m not questioning if it a mitzvah or not I just do not think it is a prerequisite to convert in order for a wman to cover their hair”

    You’re right it’s Not a Mitzva, it’s a Chiyuv. All the Shittos (which are actually very few, nowhere near a Rov) that I heard or learned about that were saying that going without hair being covered being Ok was only as a Limud Zecus, not that they held Mutter.

  • #913645

    Health
    Participant

    Wolf -“a. no evidence that, at the time of conversion that she intended to not keep any of the mitzvos

    b. no evidence that she is even a convert to begin with.”

    While there might be No evidence -it doesn’t matter.

    The burden of proof is on her to prove she is a Jew.

    Once it’s possible that she’s not -she is the one that has to prove she is.

    Being the fact that she isn’t covering her hair and she is Chinese is enough to question whether she is a real Ger or not.

    We don’t have to prove she isn’t – she has to prove she is!

  • #913646

    Health
    Participant

    Mr. Doniel -“There’s a difference between a ger who states ab initio, they are converting al tenai that they’re not going to keep a particular mitzvah, and one who falls into nonobservance of mitzvot over time, according to the Achiezer I cited above.”

    Falling into Nonobservance over time is Not the same thing as never planning to keep some Chiyuv like covering your hair, even if she thinks that it’s Not a Chiyuv.

    “But who says kissui harosh for a woman fulfills any mitzvah? Ii think the case for non-covering has been thoroughly explained, as there are those who rightfully believe that a married woman’s uncovered hair is not erva.”

    I just posted this and I’ll repeat it for you -“You’re right it’s Not a Mitzva, it’s a Chiyuv. All the Shittos (which are actually very few, nowhere near a Rov) that I heard or learned about that were saying that going without hair being covered being Ok was only as a Limud Zecus, not that they held Mutter.”

  • #913647

    DaasYochid
    Participant

    Okay, I’m going to defend Health here. He didn’t come here to bash a particular person, or insult a ger. He came to pose a halachic shaila, based on an observation he made.

    Sure, it’s possible for a shaitel to look real; it’s also possible on occassion to know for sure that it’s not a shaitel.

    Of course, it’s possible that someone, over time, became lax in her observance; but since there are many shomrei Shabbos who don’t cover their hair, it’s very possible that she never intended to, and it’s certainly reasonable for his experience to arouse the shaila.

    However (and I may surprise some with this opinion), I think that even if she never intended to cover her hair, her geirus is still valid. We don’t need to find a legitimate heter to leave the hair uncovered, all we need to do is be able to assume that she doesn’t think it’s a violation of halacha. That’s reasonable to assume, since so many shomrei Shabbos ladies don’t wear a head covering.

    Tosofos in Shabbos (68A bd”h Ger – http://hebrewbooks.org/shas.aspx?mesechta=2&daf=68&format=pdf) say that even if someone doesn’t know about Shabbos, it doesn’t passul the geirus.

    I was present when this very shaila was presented to an adam gadol; there was a lady who was m’gayer with no intention to cover her hair (she converted with her husband). The godol affirmed the geirus.

  • #913648

    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    DY: I think it is far more likely that Health simply wanted to start a debate about accepting geirim who may or may not end up keeping halacha.

    And he succeeded admirably.

    And I kind of also wanted to see that debate, because I will never skip an opportunity to make fun of the geirus clowns like Weiss and his ilk.

  • #913649

    DaasYochid
    Participant

    PBA: The OP was talking about someone who “keeps everything” but hair covering. Aren’t you being a bit generous with Avi Weiss to assume that his geirim are so observant?

  • #913650

    EY Yid
    Member

    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?

    Do you ask these same questions of EVERY Jew? When will you stop making gairim stop PROVING their yiddishkeit?

  • #913651

    DaasYochid
    Participant

    EY Yid,

    He said “let’s assume”, and asked a question based on that. He didn’t say he knows for a fact that she never intended to cover her hair, nor did he say that every ger needs to prove the validity of the geirus.

  • #913652

    gefen
    Participant

    Health “I don’t know what you’re getting at. If you disagree with my posts then post a logical argument against them. Until then my posts are the ending logic.”

    I didn’t say I either agree or disagree with you. I was just trying to understand what you meant.

    Now that this thread has gotten so long, I must be honest and say I haven’t had a chance to read most of it. So I really cannot comment on anything until (and if) I go through all the posts.

  • #913653

    longarekel
    Member

    It is better to have the hair uncovered and kept in a modest fashion than to wear a glamorous and thus immodest wig. Ideally a woman’s head should be covered with a modest head-covering that does not look like hair. In a society where for whatever reason that will not be done, there is halachik basis for permitting the head to be uncovered with the hair kept in a modest fashion. There is no halachik basis for wearing a fancy wig. As many of my friends here know, I do not hold of the modern-orthodox religion at all. But those who consider themselves ‘frum’ and wear a fancy wig are transgressing ‘das moshe’ and ‘das yehudis’ and they can be divorced without a kesuba if their husband is makpid.

    As for the giyoress issue, since as stated, there is halachik basis for having the head uncovered, it is a good gairus if she is not intending to violate halacha. BTW the reason why balei tshuva and geirim may have a problem with head-covering is because they see a contradiction in the fact that she can wear a fancy wig but cannot leave hair uncovered. That’s exactly right. It is a contradiction. Either cover the hair in a modest fashion with something that does not resemble hair (this is ideal), or leave the hair uncovered in a modest fashion. The objective is tzenius, not the wig.

  • #913654

    Health
    Participant

    DaasYochid -“However (and I may surprise some with this opinion), I think that even if she never intended to cover her hair, her geirus is still valid. We don’t need to find a legitimate heter to leave the hair uncovered, all we need to do is be able to assume that she doesn’t think it’s a violation of halacha. That’s reasonable to assume, since so many shomrei Shabbos ladies don’t wear a head covering.

    Tosofos in Shabbos (68A bd”h Ger – http://hebrewbooks.org/shas.aspx?mesechta=2&daf=68&format=pdf) say that even if someone doesn’t know about Shabbos, it doesn’t passul the geirus.

    I was present when this very shaila was presented to an adam gadol; there was a lady who was m’gayer with no intention to cover her hair (she converted with her husband). The godol affirmed the geirus.”

    DyafMaven brought up this point already. I quickly said that there is a difference between the two cases. But now I’ll elaborate. In the case of Shabbos there was no way for him/her to know about Shabbos because she/he lived amongst Goyim. Here in this case she lives amongst Jews, but the Jews don’t follow Halacha. So is this called being Mekabel all the Mitzvos or not? It could be that the case with the Odom Godol was where she didn’t have knowledge about covering her hair due to where she lived. In this case the lack of knowledge is based on s/o telling or informing her or her observation of MO Jews that there is no Chiyuv to cover her hair. Maybe wrong knowledge is worse than No knowledge at all and her Geyrus isn’t good? Ask the Shaila to this Godol, if you won’t post his name so that I could ask him.

  • #913655

    DaasYochid
    Participant

    Health, he is no longer alive. This was in an out of town kollel community and the kollel was involved in the geirus, so she certainly saw the kollel wives’ hair covered.

  • #913656

    Health
    Participant

    DaasYochid -“Health, he is no longer alive. This was in an out of town kollel community and the kollel was involved in the geirus, so she certainly saw the kollel wives’ hair covered.”

    But I’m sure she saw many more Jewish women who didn’t cover their hair. Maybe she thought it was a Chumra? I’m not saying that in my case -it’s definitely an invalid Geyrus, but it could be a different case than the one you witnessed. Over here they hold it’s ridiculous to cover their hair -it’s not even a Chumra. So anybody want to ask this Shaila to s/o who deals with Geyrus?

  • #913657

    DaasYochid
    Participant

    Health, I see no chilluk between thinking it is or is not a chumra.

  • #913658

    gefen
    Participant

    Health “Until then my posts are the ending logic.” You sound pretty sure of yourself. Why are you the one to decide? You mean nobody else’s logic can be right? I don’t know if you saw my previous post, but I did say that I neither agree or disagree with you. (you had said that if I disagree with your posts, I should post a logical argument against them.)

    So I am just wondering – If you saw a married woman who was born Jewish, and she was not wearing a sheitel (or any head covering), would you not consider her to be frum? Would you not consider her to be Jewish? I am talking about someone who does keep Shabbos, kashrus, etc. I don’t mean a frei person.

    IMHO – if someone converts via a recognized orthodox conversion, that person is Jewish. Of course assuming he/she had the right intentions at conversion – ie: keeping the mitzvos. I know you will say that the woman you saw is not keeping the mitzvos because she isn’t covering her hair. There have been and are so many frum people who did not and don’t cover their hair. I don’t think it takes away from the fact that they are Jewish and frum.

    Can you honestly say you keep every single mitzvah that you are supposed to? I don’t know if any of us can. That’s why there’s teshuvah. That’s why there’s the davening we have on Rosh Hashana and Yom Kipuur.

  • #913659

    DaasYochid
    Participant

    Gefen,

    This is a halachic shaila, which has nothing to do with our perception of who’s “frum” and who’s not.

  • #913660

    gefen
    Participant

    DaasYochid: Yes I hear you. But what I’m saying is I’m sure we don’t hold every halacha we are supposed to. Should we? Of course. But does it make one not frum or in the case of a giyores – not Jewish? I’m just trying to understand why she would not be considered Jewish. A Jewish (born Jewish) person who doesn’t hold all halachos is still considered Jewish.

    And I learned that if someone is converted according to halacha, they are Jewish forever, even if they “convert back” to their original religion. See what I’m saying? That’s what’s confusing me.

    Maybe you or someone can clarify this for me.

  • #913661

    DaasYochid
    Participant

    Gefen,

    Halachic geirus requires kabolas mitzvos. If someone wishes to convert without accepting even one halacha, even one whose non-observance would not make his wine assur, his geirus is invalid. By definition, the geirus was not according to halacha.

  • #913662

    gefen
    Participant

    DaasYochid: Ok. I get the part that if someone wishes to convert w/o even accepting one halacha, the geirus is invalid. But we really don’t know the whole story with this particular woman. Maybe it’s hard to take upon herself everything at once, but she does have intention to cover her hair eventually (if indeed it wasn’t really covered to begin with- as people mentioned- some sheitels are really hard to tell). If this is the case, then what would be the status of her geirus? Kosher or not?

    BTW – this is quite an interesting topic.

  • #913663

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    What if someone says Ill convert but I wont give up Haagan Daas Ice cream (Not Chalov Yisroel) or Ill convert but I wont give up Football

    Or Ill convert but I wont give up the internet or my smart phone(Gedolim have ruled smart phones and internet are assur)

    Of course other communites dont hold by these

  • #913664

    gefen
    Participant

    Zdad: I guess that might be different. I don’t think cholov yisroel is halacha. Nor is watching football, smart phones, and internet (which is what we are on right now ;))

    However, covering hair is apparently halacha.

  • #913665

    DaasYochid
    Participant

    Gefen, as I’ve said, I believe the geirus is valid, but the shaila Health brought up is a legitimate shaila.

    I don’t know how we pasken if a ger intended to eventually keep everything, just not immediately.

  • #913666

    DaasYochid
    Participant

    ZD,

    On all of the issues. you raised, I think there are poskim who are meikil, so the geirus would be ok.

  • #913667

    Bustercrown
    Participant

    I know a giyoress who did not separate from her Jewish husband while she was supposedly going thru the conversion process, which was required of her, and the Rov doing the giyur believed they were indeed separated when they were supposed to be. . Is her conversion valid?

  • #913668

    Health
    Participant

    Bustercrown – A person doing an Aveira and knows it’s an Aveira doesn’t mean they didn’t accept upon themselves not to do Aveiros. A Shaila should be asked nonetheless.

    My starting this topic was to bring out these type of Shailos that occur with Geirus -it by no means was to come out with what to do Halacha Lemasseh. This you should ask to your Rabbi to know what to do in real life.

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