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DRAMATIC TWIST: Eliya Haliwa Is Actually Jewish According To Yichus Expert

Eliya Haliwa, who was exposed as a Lebanese non-Jew after marrying a Syrian Jewish girl from Brooklyn last October, is actually Jewish, according to Rav Avraham Reich of the Hatzalas Yisrael community in Brooklyn.

Rav Reich, who is an expert in the investigation of the yichus of Jews from the former Soviet Union, revealed on Zev Brenner’s Talkline program on Motzei Shabbos that he thoroughly investigated Haliwa’s background and spoke with his mother, who admitted that she and her mother are Jewish. Rav Reich also spoke with Haliwa’s grandmother in Lebanon.

Despite this, Rav Reich said that Haliwa still underwent giyur l’chumra since there weren’t four consecutive generations in the family who were shomer Torah u’mitvos and therefore giyur l’chumra was required.

Rav Reich didn’t want to reveal who served on the Beis Din for various reasons but said that he himself witnessed the giyur l’chumra process and confirmed that Haliwa is a kosher Jew l’mehadrin. The Beis Din members are reportedly some of the most chashuve Rabbanim in the US.

It is unknown why Haliwa didn’t reveal that his mother and grandmother were Jewish after the whole story blew up shortly after his wedding.

Haliwa wants to return to his wife since ultimately his marriage was completely kosher since he is Jewish. However, apparently, some members of the Syrian community in Brooklyn are heavily pressuring him to grant his wife a get, but Haliwa refuses to do so.

His wife would require a get l’chumrah since Haliwa’s status as a Jew is based on the fact that his mother and grandmother say they are Jewish [which is enough evidence to confirm Jewish identity according to Rav Moshe Feinstein, zt’l and HaRav Ovadia Yosef, z’tl] but there are no others or evidence who can confirm that fact, in addition with the fact that there weren’t four consecutive generations of Jews who were shomer Torah u’mitzvos.

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)

48 Responses

  1. The only question is does the girl want a get or not. It’s not for the Syrian community to decide her fate. But if she wants a get and he is refusing then he is a get refuser, which puts her in worse situation she was before.

  2. I said this from the beginning, and I’ll say it again.

    He should stay with her, and she with him.
    Especially now that he’s been proven to be a Jew.
    The Syrian community should be blessed, but they never did anything for this girl in the past, and they should mix out of her life now.
    (And I’m not just ploppeling, I know her well and I have assisted her in the past.)
    This is her very best chance at building a nice Jewish home, and she should grab it.
    It started off rocky, but in 5 years no one will remember a thing. Or care.

    Before you excoriate me, ask yourself one question: Would you let your son marry her?

    Thanks for your honesty.

  3. This guy is extremely evil, not just mentally challenged. The fact that any person would buy this guy’s stories is mind blowing and quite unbelievable.

  4. How come his mother never revealed to him that she is Jewish? Even after the story of his deception emerged, she kept quiet. Suddenly a few months later she remembered that she is Jewish??

  5. Does she want to stay married to him after all that? If not then what’s this about not granting a get? Get on in life! Convince someone else that you’re Jewish and marry her. If she doesn’t want you then face the fact and get on.

  6. 1. He spoke to the mother and grandmother, who claimed to be Jewish, and that was sufficient for this declaration?

    2. Why would a Beis Din insist on anonymity?!

  7. “It is unknown why Haliwa didn’t reveal that his mother and grandmother were Jewish after the whole story blew up shortly after his wedding.”

    Haliwa went on the radio program after the story broke, the recording of which was widely posted online, where Haliwa openly said he wasn’t Jewish.

  8. Sorry but this sounds fishy. After the fact, the mother says she is Jewish and that’s enough to make him Jewish? I’m no expert but doesn’t the fact that they want their beloved son and grandson to be happy taint their testimony? Why wasn’t this revealed when it could have made a difference? Isn’t some proof of ancestry required?

  9. Even if it is true that he’s Jewish, he’s still a lying scumbag and shouldn’t be allowed near a Jewish girl.
    But things are beginning to make sense now. Have you noticed the barrage of campaigns collecting money for the girl he tricked? Something didn’t seem right. Why did this girl need a massive fundraising effort? Was it really for therapy? I don’t know how expensive her therapist is, but this didn’t add up for me. I also have trouble believing it was just a blatant money grab.
    I think the truth is that the money is being collecting to pay off this guy to give her a get.

  10. One wonders if these women’s word can be believed; they may have faked it in order to help their son/grandson. And even if they didn’t lie, Haliwa himself admitted that he had lied to the woman he married. Whether or not his mother is Jewish, he thought she (and therefore he) was not. He lied to all the people around him in order to be accepted as a Jew. Now that he converted (whether lechumra or not) he is Jewish, but not necessarily can such a serious breech of trust be repaired to save his marriage.

  11. Just wondering doesn’t geirus (even lechumra) need kabalas mitzvos?? How was he accepted when at the outset he is already declaring himself a get refuser in violation of halacha, am I missing something??

  12. need Rabbi Reich Phone # or E-maill . my Housekeeper
    latley claims to be Jewish-
    No Rabbonim out there anymore tp verify rhe
    Halloch, since
    Reb Chaim left us ?? is antisemit liebermann jewish or Ivanka
    Trump Giaar at authrized Beth Din ??
    Maybe Rabbi Reich should clarify or
    make Listing of Giyorim ? Sounds Rabbi reich is Last purim Ravv

  13. Assuming this is true where does that leave everything he still lied his way in to the community and worse ever to this young women’s heart.

  14. This story just gets crazier and crazier… I wonder if it’s Halakhically sufficient to rely on the word of his mother and grandmother, especially that he has a reputation of being a liar. Poor woman is now a Safek Aguna, Rahmana Litzlon

  15. Why do we need to keep hearing about this? It’s someone’s private business. There was some public interest in hearing this story when it first broke to remind people that’s its important to do your research before marrying someone or officiating a marriage, but at this point, any further reporting is just about using shock and titillation to generate clicks. This is unbecoming for a news outlet with the word “Yeshiva” in its name and for a people who supposedly value tznius.

    How far we have fallen from the time when Bilaam was forced to praise us for being careful not to have the entrances of our tents facing each other so that we wouldn’t be tempted to glance into another family’s home. השם ירחם ויוציאנו מהגלות החשוכה הזאת

  16. Everyone needs to remember, and maybe YWN should add this to the article: Aside from the fact that his Yichus was established using an established Halachic protocol, the fact that he did undergo Giyur Lechumra makes him 100% Jewish according to Halacha, and he also has the status of a Ger. Anyone who attempts to persecute him or cause a Ger distress can end up with big problems. This point was emphasized by Rabbi Reich on the show.

  17. Something is fishy here. Why would a Beis din agree to convert him if he ruined a frum girl’s life? Why would this Rabbi believe the testimony of this guy’s mother?

  18. HAHA 😂 couldn’t you have at least Wrote this joke of a story in ADAR???

    ⚠️Spoiler: Season 2 episode 3 Eliya is actually his kalla’s Long lost brother!

  19. The article quotes Rav Moshe Feinstien as saying that someone who claims to be Jewish is believed. There is no way that Rav Moshe is talking about this case, where these claims came after the scandal happened. This “expert” should not be paskening major cases, which should be addressed only by the greatest of poskim. The fact that this “expert” doesn’t realize that casts a lot of suspicion on his judgement.

  20. Let me give you a synopsis of the halachik discussion here:
    1. There is a rule (even haezer siman 2) that all families are bechezkas kashrus, believed to be jewish.
    2. Regarding someone from an unknown family, such as if he is from overseas, most poskim say we still accept them as jewish by the word of their mouth.
    3. Here comes the crunch: when the chazaka of jewishness is chalanged, such as, if there is a good reason for them to want to be jewish, a good example is the jews that left russia.
    It is in such a case that more documentation and proof is reqired, for which r moshe famously developed his 2 out of 3 point proofs for the russian jews.
    In this case, it is highly doubtful wether the notorized statment which is most likely not masiach lefi tumoi, if it is sufficient. I dont know who this rabbi is, and if he is qualified at all to rule on these matters, but he definitely gives the impression he doesn’t know what he is talking about.
    Would really love to hear more on this topic.

  21. Duvidf, yes, you are missing something — you are missing the main thing. Where did you get this bizarre idea that a man must give his wife a get just because she wants it? There is NO SUCH HALACHA therefore his “violation” of this fake made-up “halacha” is not an obstacle to his giyur.

  22. Milhouse,
    In case of a מקח טעות, she has every right to demand a get, and he is מחויב to give it.
    As usual you are an oiberchuchem.

  23. @Milhouse What you are saying is very dangerous.

    Keeping a woman an Aguna is a high form of אכזריות.

    When a Get refused comes to שמים and inquires “which איסור exactly was i עובר?”, that is very lame.

    A Get refuser is clearly עובר many of the basic מצוות בין אדם לחברו and also ביו אדם למקום every single day.

    (I am not commenting on this particular case.)

  24. As a Frum Jew who grew up in the Yeshiva’s in Brooklyn I’m embarrassed from all the hate comments against this Brother of ours. Once an investigation is done on his Yichus and he’s established according to Halacha that he is Jewish then there should be no more of this nonsense. He’s Jewish! The marriage therefore is not a mistake and both of them should try to make it work.

    I’m seeing so often that I would rather I hide that I’m Jewish because of my fellow brothers and sisters are acting rather than the Goyim might do harm to me. And that is a new level of Galus! Nebach on Klal Yisroel!

  25. What makes him and “established” Jew?
    He’s an admitted liar who probably went ahead and told his mother to lie that he’s Jewish in a antsy that I’m unaware of assimilation. And allegedly converted in an anonymous Bais Din.
    This is not how becoming a Jew works.

  26. Rif, which beis din has determined that there was a mekach to’us? If it turns out that he was really Jewish all along then there was no to’us.

    Moyshele, you are making up a halacha that does not exist. It is not “cruelty” to withhold a gift from someone that they are not entitled to. I am not required to give you $1000, or even $1, so if you demand it from me I have every right to say no.

    A wife (and among Ashkenazim also a husband) is not entitled to a get just because s/he wants one. That is basic halacha. Marriage is a permanent commitment, that you can only get out of with the other party’s consent, except in some very limited cases when a beis din can order the other party to consent.

    In this case no beis din has made such an order, and it’s not clear that one COULD make such an order. So you’re left simply saying he must give her a get just because she wants one, and that is directly against the Torah.

  27. Rif, in a case of a מקח טעות, assuming that’s the case (still an assumption), then no Get is necessary. He still has no obligation to give a Get.

  28. Even if he’s Jewish, which still requires proper proof, Chazal say:

    רבי עקיבא כי הוה מטי להאי פסוקא הוה בכי אמר ומה מי שנתכוין לאכול בשר חזיר ועלה בידו בשר טלה אמרה תורה צריכה כפרה וסליחה מי שנתכוין לאכול בשר חזיר ועלה בידו בשר חזיר על אחת כמה וכמה

    He thought the was a goy and tricked w poor girl into marrying him. Even if he’s Jewish, he intended to do an עוולה

  29. He claims that –

    1. He loved Torah, so he went to a reformed shul TO BECOME A CONVERT, and was denied.
    2. He went to a Chabad and LIED that he is Jewish in order to be accepted because he thought that if he told the truth NOBODY WOULD CONVERT HIM, SO HE HAD TO LIE THAT HE WAS JEWISH.
    3. They believed him, it was geshmak, and HE LIED, GOT MARRIED, GOT CAUGHT, AND WANTED TO CONVERT.
    4. His issue is that Syrians don’t accept converts, and doesn’t know what to do.

    Then he comes out and says he was always Jewish. However, no details can be given about this. And he underwent giyur l’chumra, but we cannot be given details about this. He would have a big incentive for this new story, and it doesn’t make sense at all. Otherwise, it all adds up.

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