High Court Validates Rabbi Druckman’s Giyur

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The High Court of Justice today, Wednesday, ruled in favor of Rabbi Chaim Druckman, the former head of the state run giyur. The court validated the conversions signed by the rav, and overturned the ruling of the Chief Rabbinate Supreme Court headed by Rav Avraham Sherman, who created a storm by posuling the giyur of Rav Druckman.

It was back in 2008 when the Rabbinical Supreme Court ruled that giyur of thousands of converts dating back to 1999 were retroactively posul. Rav Avraham Sherman spearheaded the move to disqualify the state run giyur, and he has been fighting since to disqualify the people classified as Jews by Rav Druckman.

HaGaon HaRav Shlomo Moshe Amar Shlita was compelled to intervene, seeking to extinguish the flames of disharmony, ruling that he alone will appoint dayanim to rule on the validity of state giyur, unwilling to accept Rav Sherman’s blanket disqualification.

The high court overruled the rabbinical court, but declined to rule decisively regarding the rabbinical court’s right to overturn or disqualify state approved conversions. The court had harsh words for Rav Sherman and his colleagues, bringing an end to the controversy in the eyes of the state. The case was brought before the High Court by a number of women who were included in the rabbinical court’s ruling, disqualifying them as yidden. This had widespread ramifications for impacted many families who have been practicing shomer Shabbos Jews for many years and branded the women’s children goyim while many were in frum schools their entire lives.

The harshest opinion was heard from Justice Elyakim Rubinstein, a frum judge, who questioned the authority of the rabbinical court in this case, citing it was most likely not a qualified hearing. He blasted the Ashdod Rabbinical Court headed by Sherman, which began the national storm, and expressed his hope that the rabbinical court will in the future refrain from widespread retroactive rulings, explaining such a ruling must only be made on a case-by-case basis.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)




13 COMMENTS

  1. Regardless of the merits of the case, since when does a secular court have the power to decide matters of halacha. If the government can decide a matter of halacha you might agree with today, they can claim to decide any matter of halacha.

    The traditional way disputes between different courts would be resolved is by arguing about the matter, perhaps for several generations, until we reached an consensus. We didn’t rely on one side having control of armed men to enforce their decisions. Power in the Torah world was traditionally a matter of scholarship, not of winning over the side that has a monopoly on force.

  2. This is actually funny. A panel of judges on a secular court that includes irreligious justices thinks it can rule on a halachic matter? Do they really believe their “opinion” has even the slightest relevance halachicly?

    What’s next? Will the Israeli Supreme Court of irreligious judges rule that pork is kosher?

  3. They didn’t rule on whether the giyur is halachically valid! Of course they have no authority to do that. They ruled on whether Sherman’s court has the legal authority to declare these giyurim passul, and the answer to that was that it doesn’t. Whether they’re kosher or passul, it’s none of Sherman’s business, or that of his court — which, remember, derives its authority from the State, not from the Torah.

  4. Milhouse: The question as to whether HaRav Sherman shlit”a’s Beis Din had the halachic ability to rule as such, is itself a halachic question and issue. As such this secular courts opinion is simply a joke.

  5. The court declared the sherman BD was acting without authority or jurisdiction, not on halakha! The geirus is as it was – kosher since it was never invalidated. if you do not trust rav druckman, do not marry his geirim. just do not bother them and violate an issur de’oraysah. In point of fact, Rav Druckman’s geirim have a higher rate of mitzvah observance than most realize.

  6. Do any of the posters who are so glibly scathing about this decision even know how Rabbi Sherman’s opinion affected thousands of good jews? What would you do , if after a lifetime living as a shomer torah umiztvos, some anonymous bes din disqualifies your giyur of thirty years ago? That decision by rabbi sherman was outrageous.Never has a halachic giuyr been cancelled “after the fact”. That was a blatantly irreponsible opinion.

  7. Much ado about nothing. The person who approved these “giyurim” did so for Zionist motives and Rabbi Sherman did what any shul gabbay or shadchan would do. The families affected only need now to go through a proper giyur.

  8. derszoger, after Sherman’s chutzpah against Rav Druckman he doesn’t deserve the title “harav” let alone “shlita”. And his “beis din” derives all its authority from the state and only from the state, so it’s entirely up to the state to say what authority it has.

  9. simon01

    I truly hope you regret your words, those are honest and good jews who you are making a blanket statment on, remember that hashem protects a ger, yossom and almanah.

  10. This is very bad. It contaminates Judaism with non-Jews who think they are Jewish, and makes it more difficult for anyone frum to marry a convert. To put it another way, pretend this case was ruled on by the board of directors at McDonalds instead of Israel’s Supreme Court. It is the same thing.

    There is a process for adjudicating this matter, and that process does not include Israel’s Supreme Court.

  11. #11, Alternatively, it puts in his place an upstart who used the apparatus of the state to be mevazeh a talmid chochom borabim, and to call thousands of kosher Jews goyim. The Court has now told him that while he can say whatever he likes in his private capacity, he hasn’t got the state’s authority to say these things in its name. The Court of course has no business expressing an opinion on whether the things he said were right or wrong.