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Rabbi Ovadia Yosef Approves Seminars for Intermarried Couples Interested in Building a Jewish Home

ovadia2.jpgRabbi Ovadia Yosef yesterday issued a halachic ruling that it is a “great mitzvah to conduct seminars for intermarried couples” interested in building a Jewish home.

Rabbi Yosef was referring to seminars sponsored by the Eternal Jewish Family for intermarried couples that include a non-Jew seeking a halachic conversion and a Jew who agrees to become a baal teshuva. Rav Yosef’s ruling is consistent with many p’sakim of previous and contemporary Gedolei Hatorah who say that unlike ordinary geyrus, it is permitted to be “mekarev” such a couple, particularly where the Jew will be atoning for his/her mistake by becoming a baal teshuva.

These include the late Rabbi Moshe Feinstein and the posek hador of today, Rabbi Yosef Sholem Eliyashiv.

While the couples are still exploring the possibility of such a dramatic move, the seminars are designed to assist rabbonim and mentors that are already working with them to fully educate them about the difficult journey that lies ahead. EJF, for example, works through Batei Din and rabbonim rather than approach the couples directly, per the directives of Gedolei Yisroel. The couples are interviewed extensively to determine their sincerity before being allowed to participate in the seminars.

Batei Din and Rabbonim from around the world have applauded the EJF initiative to assure that the process is in tune with the highest standards of halacha.

(YWN Desk – NYC)

9 Responses

  1. I hope this won’t lead to FFB’s “falling off they derech” so they can marry non-Jews and then becoming Baal Teshuvahs.

  2. This is an awesome effort for the far too many Jews who are out there, in galus, who are trying to fight their way through life, and are not bad people trying to be evil. This helps to make a bad situation better and not worse, and it is worth it.

    “A bird and a fish can fall in love, but where will they build a home?” ~ Tevye

    (Some may not like the source of the quote, but it’s highly applicable in this situation)

  3. #1 you should read what shaarei tshuvah says about doing teshuvah for an aveirah that one did while thinking he’ll do teshuvah afterwards it’s pretty frightening. the reality is really heartbreaking for families with intermarried members and if this initiative is publicized it could really help and maybe change the impression that deformed and not-conservative are the only choices for the intermarried.

  4. #4 The Badatz is opposed to the kiruv of any non-religious Jew whatsoever, so their position is anyways not relevant to us yidden who DO care about non-religous Yidden.

  5. Maven,

    I believe you are mistaken.

    1. The Badatz never came out against the seminars, only against the Rabbinic conferences

    2. Two representatives of Badatz participated in 1 or more of the conferences.

    3. There is a major contradiction between the opposition of Hagoan Rav Shternbuch and the Badatz that was on a poster distributed by a friend of R’ Shternbuch and R’ Shternbuch own written responsa (last volume/later date).

    4. There are 2 very well know esteemed rabbi’s that spoke to Hagoan Rav Meir Bransdorfer, ztl (a member of the Badatz at that time) before his death, where he declared that he never signed the Badatz letter, and never agreed to the idea to the opposition of EJF. His name was rubber stamped to an existing paper.

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