(MP3, & Documets Can Be Found Below) The shocking story which YWN broke last week, regarding an individual who was living as a religious Jew in the heart of Lakewood, NJ and currently detained by Federal Authorities, is getting bigger by the day.
Besides for the many ‘rumors’ which are being spread around, it is now being reported that Mr. Ted Riley Floyd (AKA: Natan Levi) is actually a “Ger Tzedek”. As a matter-of-fact, a Rabbi Pinchas Aloof has come forward, and attested that he did in fact perform Geirus (conversions) on both Mr. and Mrs. Floyd. Although there is no doubt that this Rabbi did perform some type of conversion on them, it seems highly questionable as to how Kosher the conversion is.
On Monday evening, Rabbi Aloof appeared on the Zev Brenner Radio Show in New York, and publicly stated that he studied with the Floyd’s for two years – at his Congregation Ahavat Achim in Wichita, Kansas – prior to doing the conversions. Excerpts of this interview can be heard by clicking HERE. The rabbi stated that Mr. Floyd – who went by the name Natan Levi told him in the year 2000, that he wanted to become Jewish, with the idea that he was going to go on “Aliya” to Israel. Rabbi Aloof claims that he told Mr. Floyd that being that he was making Aliya to Israel, it would be best to do the conversion in the Holy Land. Mr. Floyd claimed that he was in contact with Israeli Consulate in Kansas City, and for whatever reasons he needed to do the conversion in the United States; to which Rabbi Aloof agreed.
The conversion was then done “Mikva Al Pi Din, Bais Din” etc. Shortly after, (in 2002), the Floyd family disappeared, leaving the Rabbi and his congregation to believe that they were in Israel – up until hearing the recent news that Mr. Floyd was detained by the authorities.
Rabbi Aloof said that what is very confusing is that, if the Floyd’s already had legitimate Geirus performed on them, why didn’t they just show the papers upon their arrival in Lakewood?
When asked what type of congregation it was, Rabbi Aloof says that his congregation is an “Orthodox Shul dating back to 1902, with a Shul, and a Mikva, etc. The years go by, and the Mechitza is removed, men sit on one side, women sit on the other side, and mixed seating is allowed in the center – as I’ve found in many Orthodox Shuls. That’s Golus. This is where we live today”, Rabbi Aloof told Zev Brenner.
“What puzzles me, is that if he’s in trouble in his hometown, why wouldn’t he contact the Rabbi”? Zev Brenner asked. “Maybe he knows that I retired, although he might be in contact with the Shul – which I’ll inquire about”.
“Do you know where he got the name Levy from, and did you give him the name Avraham ben Ahraham”, the Rabbi was asked. “I do not have the papers with me, and it’s going back a few years, but I believe the name given to Mr Floyd was Natan ben Avraham Avinu”, he answered. When asked how about the fact that he’s been claiming to be a Levy in Shul for the past few years, the Rabbi sounded shocked. “No way. As we know, a convert comes in as a Yisroel!”
The radio host then took a phone call from a “Yosef in Brooklyn”, who asked the following questions to the Rabbi:
Yosef in Brooklyn: “Were you once the Rabbi at Congregation Anshei Shalom in Delray-Beach Florida?”
Rabbi Aloof: “Yes I was. Going back maybe 20 years ago”.
Yosef in Brooklyn: “Did Mr. Floyd have a Bris Mila?”
Rabbi Aloof: “I believe he was already circumcised, and all we did was a ‘Hatofas Dam Bris’ on him”.
Yosef in Brooklyn: “Who were these other Rabbonim involved? You said that you had a Bais Din perform the Geirus on Mr. Floyd, who were these Rabbis?”
Rabbi Aloof: “They were members of the congregation. ‘People Yodeiya Sefer’.
Yosef in Brooklyn: “Can you give us the names of the people”?
Rabbi Aloof: “These are two people – elders of the congregation, whom we rely on.”
Yosef in Brooklyn: “I’m sitting here in Brooklyn, and it’s hard to imagine that this is a real Geirus, because he didn’t seem too sincere to me. This was done with ulterior motives possibly, and that would invalidate the entire Geirus. I’ve also noticed (from doing research on-line) that you have been the Rabbi in Conservative Shuls, which makes the whole thing very suspect to me that, since they are known to try and bring in members…..”
Rabbi Aloof: “Someone once asked me, what kind of Rabbi are you? My answer to him was: I am an Orthodox Rabbi that has to serve in a Conservative Congregation with Reformed members. And this is what we are faced with today. Not in Brooklyn, but in the ‘real-world’.
In his application to the wonderful “Partners In Torah” organization. Mr Floyd/Levy wrote that he grew up at Chabad in Bakersfield”. After doing some research, YWN learned that Chabad in Bakersfield was opened in 2002 [Click HERE to see Lubavitch.com on Bakersfield, CA].
As is obvious from reading & listening to the above interview and the court documents (which can be seen by clicking HERE), it is obvious that this man does not seem to be a “Ger Tzedek” according to Orthodox standards. Regarding a possible Geirus which was done ‘Lichumra’ on Mrs. Floyd in Lakewood in the past few years, YWN has been told by credible sources that the Rov which did the conversion is not sure if it is Kosher – since this evidence is all coming out now. YWN is currently working on gathering additional photos, and other documents questioning this mans motives. What is also troubling is that Mr. Floyd still remains in custody – for crimes unknown. It is still possible, that further evidence will come along stating the contrary to what was concluded from the above information. If that does happen, you can be sure that YWN will cover the story accurately – as we have been until now.
It must be noted that the Sephardic community in Lakewood where Mr Levy/Floyd was a member, was never aware that he was possibly a Ger. All the community knew was that he was a Baal Teshuva – as was evident from the Partners In Torah documents. Never in their wildest dreams did they expect to end up with this fiasco on their hands.
[Please keep in mind that this federal investigation continues, and the point of this posting is just to give the reader an insight into the various pieces of information gathered by YWN.]