Gerim needs a place to learn

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  • #606680

    abc12345
    Participant

    I am going through the conversion process and would like a more intense learning for maybe 3 or 6 months preferably in Eretz Yisroel. I have applied to the Ohr’S, however I have little money and would like more options if I am not accepted on a scholarship.

    There are nice programs where one can work 3 days and study 3 days but they are currently not accepting students right now.

    Any help will be greatly appreciated.

    #911020

    kollel_wife
    Participant

    I don’t have any information for you but felt bad that no one answered your post.

    There is also Aish HaTorah in Israel and Ohr Sameyach in Monsey. Have you tried both of these? It could be also one of the programs you’ve already contacted would have some other ideas for you.

    Much Hatzlocha to you.

    #911022

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    I dont know exactly either, but Israel is likely a better place to look than the US

    #911023

    Hello abc12345, I was once a prospective ger, I studied intensely for about 5 years and continued to be rejected by Orthodox rabbis. Now I understand that conversion may be appropriate for some people, but it was not appropriate for me. Its good that you recognize that other religions which proselytize are false and wrong; but this recognition does imply that you are required to convert to Judaism.

    Before you will be accepted into a charitable Yeshiva, I think you basically have to have converted already. If you can pay tuition, the options are better for you.

    Are you male or female?

    Why do you want to convert?

    Where do you live now?

    What sort of skills do you have to earn a living?

    #911024

    WIY
    Member

    Your age will also be a factor in which yeshiva you can attend.

    #911025

    Mr. Short. Why were you rejected?

    #911026

    rebdoniel
    Member

    He probably went to rabbis not known for being the most welcoming towards gerim.

    Also, as a ger, you should learn on your own, convert, and then sit a year in yeshiva. It makes no sense for a person to do something as a goy that they can get so much more schar for as a Jew.

    Ii would suggest going to R’ Manny Vinas for assistance. He has a beis din along with his rebbi, R’ Aharon Ziegler, a dayan in Boro Park.

    #911027

    shlishi
    Member

    He probably went to rabbis not known for being the most welcoming towards gerim.

    Jewish law insists that we not be too welcoming of gentiles asking to convert.

    #911028

    shlishi
    Member

    Rabbi Vinas is controversial as he proselytizes Christians to become Jews.

    #911029

    rebdoniel
    Member

    Controversial isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Plus, you obviously don’t know what his halakhic ideas are. Don’t go by what you read on Eidensohn’s blog without investigating for yourself.

    And from where do you get that we are supposed to brush off gerim? The brush off 3 times minhag is not decided k’halakha in any sefer I’ve seen. Yevamos 47 says that we warn them about the hardships of being Jewish due to anti-semitism and if they’re still interested after this, than we bring them close; the Rambam (Issure Biah 13-14) and the Shulchan Aruch, YD 268, both pasken like this.

    And in cases where a person has previous Jewish identity, either as a member of a non-halakhic movement, or someone with a Jewish father, we are duty-bound to bring them close, as it is obvious that such persons already see themselves as Jewish.

    #911031

    Ðash®
    Participant

    Rabbi Vinas is controversial as he proselytizes Christians to become Jews.

    Just because he was associated with Dr. Tobin doesn’t mean he agrees with all of Dr. Tobin’s views.

    #911032

    amichai
    Participant

    machon meir in jerusalem, kiryat moshe. very warm staff.

    #911033

    mommamia22
    Participant

    Do you know of Rabbi Fund in Brooklyn?

    I think he might be able to help guide you. He’s accustomed to dealing with people from different backgrounds.

    #911035

    yytz
    Participant

    Isn’t lashon hara to publicly state that a rabbi prostlytizes? Mods, what could justify your decision to let that comment through? Do you really want to cast doubt on the validity of the gerus of all the people who have been converted with him as a mentor? Please delete it.

    Charles, why were you rejected? Some people are rejected for valid reasons — not living in a Jewish community, married to a non-Jew who won’t convert, not willing to become completely observant, etc. But normally someone who studies intensely for five years and lives in an observant community should normally be able to convert. It’s possible that some rabbis or batei din are just too stringent or unwelcoming. The Torah commands us repeatedly to love gerim and not to oppress gerim, probably because a certain number of people have a tendency to do otherwise!

    RebDoniel, where is it written that we are obligated to bring close those with Jewish roots or a non-Orthodox Jewish identity? I know some people believe this (maybe Tiferes Bas Yisroel) but what is the source? Anyway, though, you’re right that the obligation to dissuade a convert is pretty minimal — just explain anti-Semitism, the punishments for aveiras, etc.

    #911036

    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    Some google searching leads to the conclusion (based on a website that Vinas is affiliated with) that he has a center which provides religious services to latin american jews, including the descendants of anusim who are interested in their jewish background. It doesn’t say whether he specifically reaches out to them or that they come.

    In any event, it also affiliates him with Avi Weiss, so here we go again…

    #911037

    farrocks
    Member

    The whole anusim business is highly questionable. After over 500 years since the Spanish Inquisition, for someone to claim they are a decendent of the marranos is almost meaningless, as they have no way to prove that and anyone can claim it based on flimsy or even no basis whatsoever.

    #911038

    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    After over 500 years since the Spanish Inquisition

    It has been much less than 500 years since the end of it.

    ???? ????? ???? ???? ????

    #911039

    farrocks
    Member

    It has been much less than 500 years since the end of it.

    The crypto-Jews or marranos or anusim or whatever you want to call them, started in 1492. From 1492 onwards it has been illegal to be a Jew in Spain or in Spanish territories. So all the anusim began they’re conversion to Christianity in 1492, which is over 500 years ago.

    #911040

    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    So all the anusim began they’re conversion to Christianity in 1492, which is over 500 years ago.

    You know very little about the inquisition. It was enacted in different parts of latin america at later times.

    #911041

    Mammele
    Participant

    On the contrary, because so many years have passed (with all the intermarriage in the interim) most Spanish and hispanic probably have some jewish blood. The question is, is it really our job to “fix it”?

    #911042

    farrocks
    Member

    You know very little about the inquisition. It was enacted in different parts of latin america at later times.

    The vast majority of Sephardic Jewry lived in Spain proper, where it has been illegal to be a Jew from 1492. The vast majority of the anusim living in Spanish territory outside Spain left Spain after 1492 and were already anusim since 1492.

    #911043

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    It is not currently illegal to be a jew in Spain, inmformally the inquisition was over in the 1800’s and was formally repealled in 1968.

    But I had heard that people with more verifiable jewish connections like a jewish father or grandfather or someone already married to a jew (with kids too) the convertion process is made much easier and they are not diswaded too much

    #911044

    yytz
    Participant

    Mamale: Well it’s not our job to go out and proactively fix it by prostyletizing, but the fact is, a lot of Hispanic people who believe they had Jewish roots are interested in conversion. So I don’t see anything wrong with providing tutoring or other resources to them when they want it, as long as it doesn’t involve persuading them to convert. Interestingly, a small number of them are probably already halachically Jewish and don’t know it, because one of their Jewish ancestors was their mother’s mother’s mother, etc.

    #911045

    rebdoniel
    Member

    Bringing close those of Jewish ancestry is considered a meritorious act according to all of the poskim who hold by the inyan of zers yisrael- R’ Benzion Uziel is probably the most famous of these, but also R’ Tzvi Hirsch Kalischer (the Drishas Tzion), Rav Hayyim Druckman, Rav Hayyim Amsalem, and even the Radbaz all believed that zera yisrael should be brought close.

    And, what is wrong with Rabbi Avi Weiss? He has more ahavat yisrael in his pinky finger than any of us will ever have, and he has brought thousands to frumkeit.

    #911046

    rebdoniel
    Member

    Also, while I very much like Machon Meir, they do not allow people converting to stay in the dorms.

    Which I find utterly reprehensible. The Mahari Perlow in his perush on R’ Saadia Gaon’s Sefer haMitzvot says that the mitzvah to love the ger is part of the mitzvah to love G-d and adds that the mitzvah to love the ger begins when a gentile first comes to us to learn about Judaism and Mitzvot, and does not just begin once the ger emerges from the mikvah.

    #911048

    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    And, what is wrong with…Avi Weiss? He has more ahavat yisrael in his pinky finger than any of us will ever have, and he has brought thousands to frumkeit.

    yeah yeah yeah…

    #911049

    rebdoniel
    Member

    Popa,

    The punishment for defaming talmidei hakhamim isn’t a pleasant one, my friend. Identifying with one stream of Orthodoxy doesn’t give you carte blanche to defame those who disagree with you. Remember: Moshe Rabenu was willing to sit down and dialogue with those he disagreed with, whereas Korach was the one unwilling to sit down and have a discussion.

    #911050

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    I am about as far from Charedi as possible, but Avi Weiss is not a Talmud Chacham. Maybe he has other postive traits that are needed in the community, Certainly he draws people who would not go to any other stream of Orhtodoxy. The people he draws certainly are not becoming Satmar anytime soon or moving to Lakewood.

    However that still doesnt make him a Talmid Chacham or a Halachic Authority.

    #911051

    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    Remember: Moshe Rabenu was willing to sit down and dialogue with those he disagreed with

    I’m plenty willing to speak to them. Just like moshe.

    ???? ??: ??? ??? ???? ??????? ?? ?

    I speak with them all the time. I know them on a personal level. And they are conservative.

    The punishment for defaming talmidei hakhamim isn’t a pleasant one, my friend.

    I wouldn’t sell the schar I’m going to get for my war on this faction for anything.

    Identifying with one stream of Orthodoxy doesn’t give you carte blanche to defame those who disagree with you.

    Defame? I don’t say anything about them that they don’t state themselves publicly. They are the ones who separated themselves from Orthodoxy. They even made up a new name to call their movement. I would presume they would be happy to see what I say, and would agree with it.

    I don’t feel defamed when someone calls me Orthodox.

    #911052

    rebdoniel
    Member

    In any case, I don’t see what R’ Vinas has to do with R’ Weiss.

    #911053

    If abcd12345 still wants to be megayer (convert) after reading through all of this, he’s definitely kosher.

    abcd12345: Yep, this is how we Jews usually behave. We can never agree on ANYTHING. 2 Jews, 3 opinions, you know?

    Anyway, regarding the topic: it really depends on who you are, what type of frum person you want to become, how much you know…. a lot of factors.

    I personally know several people who were megayer and I know one chareidi (Litvishe) rav in Yerushalayim who is involved in these issues a lot. If the mods agree, they could put you in touch with me if you ask them and I could give you his details if relevant.

    #911054

    yytz
    Participant

    We’ve gotten so far off topic. Anyone have any other suggestions for places to learn for the prospective ger? My advice is to email Rav Lazer Brody, who is an American oleh and knows English-speaking people from all Orthodox walks of life in Israel. I think he’s mentioned gerim and places for them to learn in some of his blog posts. Hatzlacha!

    RebDoniel, persuading the commenters on this site to speak respectfully of left-wing Modern Orthodox rabbis like Rabbi Avi Weiss is not going to be an easy task, and alas, it may be a lost cause. To give you an example, Popa has created an entire thread meant to make fun of Rav Weiss’ Yeshivah, and while people protested, I believe the thread stayed up. I too wish that different streams of Orthodoxy would avoid bashing one another and calling one another names, and I don’t mean to dissuade you from working toward achdus and mutual respect, but as far as this site is concerned, at least under its current moderators, I’d advise against getting your hopes up.

    This is just an idea, but what might be useful is to write an article going through each of the charedi criticisms of YCT rabbis (Yated Ne’eman, for example, has a few articles against them), and evaluating each one using traditional halachic and hashkafic sources to see if they are correct. Really, such an exhaustive treatment is what people need to accomplish and consider before they draw any personal conclusions about a competing Orthodox group. Unfortunately, people are accustomed to judging people based on knee-jerk reactions and the bandwagon effect, much as in politics.

    #911055

    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    left-wing Modern Orthodox rabbis like Rabbi Avi Weiss

    Why do you call him that? He certainly would not appreciate being called “modern orthodox” and doesn’t consider himself that. He calls himself “open orthodox” to distinguish his apikorsus from the modern orthodox.

    I and the modern orthodox are very close. And we are very far from these clowns.

    #911056

    shlishi
    Member

    I and the modern orthodox are very close. And we are very far from these clowns.

    Why do the MO tolerate Weiss and welcome him into their rabbinic council, the RCA?

    #911057

    yytz
    Participant

    Popa, you say you know they’re “Conservative.” But “Conservative” Judaism denies Oral Torah from Mount Sinai, and freely overrules the basic halacha, from saying that women don’t have to count 7 days before the mikvah, to ruling Kohanim can marry divorcees, and believes no distinctions between men and women (semicha, laining, mechitza, etc.) can be maintained. YCT rabbis do none of that (even the “rabba” episode didn’t go that far). So you’re using the term “Conservative” in a highly unusual way. Even if a few LWMO people describe themselves as Conservadox or something, that doesn’t pull the whole movement out of Orthodoxy. Maybe they’re somewhat more flexible about certain issues of halacha and hashkafa than the Centrist Orthodox or charedim, but how can you demonstrate that they’ve crossed a line? I don’t think you can.

    #911058

    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    Why do the MO tolerate Weiss and welcome him into their rabbinic council, the RCA?

    Eizeh shtuyot. The MO are the ones leading the charge against Weiss. They are the ones which don’t let his graduates into the RCA.

    And I’m not talking about the right wing MO either. The left wing MO are all up in his grill.

    #911059

    rebdoniel
    Member

    I suppose I am rare in that I respect those I disagree with, whether they be Satmar, Habad, Haredi, Aish, Ohr Somayach, etc.

    I believe that wise people learn from everyone, and this is why I, the Liberal Modern Orthodox gvir from Brooklyn, feels at home with yidden of all bents. I daven at Shomrei Shabos, Landau’s, Young Israel’s, HIR, all kinds of MO shuls, community kollels, wherever. I support Oorah and YCT, Chabad Houses and any Jew who does acts of kindness and advances the Torah, regardless of what places they’re from.

    Too bad others aren’t the same way.

    #911060

    rebdoniel
    Member

    I’m guessing that was an example of “respect for others you disagree with”?

    -95

    #911061

    rebdoniel
    Member

    And, I feel for these gerim, since the Orthodox community is largely indifferent to their plight.

    #911062

    shlishi
    Member

    Weiss’ current and active membership in the RCA requires explaining.

    And there is no good explanation.

    #911063

    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    yytz; they are the ones who pulled themselves out of orthodoxy. They are the ones who self identify as “not orthodox”.

    And just because they are still keeping some halacha, does not matter. They have crossed the line of being bound by the halacha and mesorah, and are being bound by their own minds only. Read some of their stuff; it’s available freely on the internet.

    I read an article just a bit ago where one of their proteges argued that we should suspect that every minhag yisroel that pertains to women is based on bigotry, and abolish all of them unless we now decide for our own reasons to keep it.

    ????? ??? ????? ???

    #911064

    Torah613Torah
    Participant

    Thank you PBA for standing up for what is right.

    #911066

    yytz
    Participant

    Popa, it’s not true that YCT (the Yeshivah R’ Weiss heads) has disavowed the term Modern Orthodox. The term is all over their website. And they are widely accepted as Modern Orthodox by the Modern Orthodox, evidenced by the fact that lots of their alumni are rabbis at longstanding Modern Orthodox shuls (and also Orthodox day schools) throughout the country. One is even the Chief Rabbi of Finland. I don’t think it’s the case, as you imply, that simply looking at their writings will make clear they’ve abandoned the mesorah. Just because one graduate talks about gender bias and leaving out shelo asani ishah doesn’t mean the whole yeshivah is “Conservative.”

    #911067

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    I find it interesting that many here are willing to critize a Left wing rabbi, but unwilling to critize a right wing Rabbi including some who harbor abusers, go to secular court for yerusha cases (Definatly ASSUR according to all!!) cheat on taxes and more.

    #911068

    rebdoniel
    Member

    That is your opinion of what is “right.”

    #911069

    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    yytz: I’m sorry, you are pretty incorrect about this. The MO leadership are very strongly disavowing him and his movement, across the spectrum of MO.

    And I’m not even referring to that article you reference.

    #911070

    yytz
    Participant

    Popa, I don’t know about the leadership — my point was that their graduates are being accepted in MO shul and school posts throughout the country, so at least they have a wide level of acceptance from the out-of-town rank and file. I know the RCA isn’t allowing YCT grads to join, but are there certain MO leaders taking the lead in criticizing them? Rav Broyde has criticized them but disagrees with claims that they aren’t really Orthodox.

    #911071

    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    It is far broader than Rabbi Broyde. It is most prominent MO rabbis, and the RCA.

    The chareidim could hardly care less. Sure, Yated likes to write about it, but it isn’t really relevant to us. We aren’t going to daven in their shuls or go to their schools. It is the MO who are leading the charge here, to their credit.

    And is your proof that they are being hired by congregations? The hiring is done be the shul’s board–that’s whose “daas” you are relying on.

    And besides, so are conservative rabbis being hired by congregations. If a congregation hires one of their clowns, it ceases to be an orthodox shul.

    #911072

    squeak
    Participant

    rebdoniel you are missing the point. Here, the geirimsims were baked in the exact same oven as all the others so even you need to agree they need a proper hechsher. Your feelings for their plight nonwithstanding

    #911073

    yytz
    Participant

    Popa, Orthodox shuls are hiring Conservative rabbis? Are you sure about that? I can imagine that happening a few decades ago, but now?

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