Mora D’asra of Ashdod Rejects State Giyur & Postpones Chasanah

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chupaOnce again, the rav of a city in Israel, in this case Ashdod, has decided not to recognize the Jewishness of a person who was certified in giyur by the state program and the Chief Rabbinate of Israel.

Ashdod Chief Rabbi Avraham Sheinman Shlita, a dayan on the Chief Rabbinate of Israel Supreme Court has postponed a chasenah after determining the bride is not frum enough, questioning the validity of her giyur. The matter made its way to the desk of Deputy Minister of Religious Services Rabbi Eli Ben-Dahan, who ordered transferring the case to the jurisdiction of a different local religious council to permit the chasenah.

Vika explains that when she went to open a file to prepare for her wedding, Rabbi Sheinman questioned her for 40 minutes, telling her he is pushing off the chasenah for three months to provide her time to strengthen her religiosity. After three months she was instructed to return and at that time the rav is quoted as telling her he would decide if he can permit her to wed.

Vika underwent giyur in 2004 and she was already married and divorced. When she arrived with witnesses at the local religious council to testify that she is single and may marry, Rav Sheinman asked her to step into her office and began questioning her.

She tells Maariv that questions asked by the rav included (1) Are you keeping tradition? (2) Why did you divorce? (3) Is your former husband shomer Shabbos? (4) Is your daughter religious? (5) and what level of kashrus do you maintain?

Vika is quoted by Maariv adding “When the questions were done he told me as a convert I was not religious enough.” The couple then decided to turn to Rav Ben-Dahan’s office for assistance.

The deputy minister used his authority to circumvent the Ashdod Religious Council and the couple was married two weeks ago. Rav Ben-Dahan is quoted by Maariv stating “this is the reason we are implementing the marriage registration reform, to permit marriage registration on a regional level – for cases just as this one.”

Rav Sheinman is quoted by the Kippa dati leumi website adding “The reason for the giyur is not legitimate to begin with. The woman even told me that she was sorry that she told me the truth. The moment a rav believes the giyur is not genuine; he cannot permit things to move forward.”

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)


8 COMMENTS

  1. bemechilas toirosoi, this is a totally ridiculous argument. This woman was recognized for years as being jewish. There is no such thing as invalidating giyur “lemafrea”. never happeend, never should happen. Furthermore, the questions mentioned have little to do with the actual giyur. :”why did you divorce??” “Is your FORMER husband keeping shabbos?” “is your duaghter religious?” These questions have nothing to do with giyur. The rabbanut was correct in switrxhing this case away from Ashdod.

  2. Kudus to Rav Sheinman shlita for standing up for Torah values and rejecting the false, hocus-pocus, “conversions” of the State Rabbunut giyur-machinery.

  3. What benefit does the Rabbinat bring for klal yisreoel when in order to stay in charge they have to cut corners in Halacha? Had they not be in charge of Giur and Kidushin, their Rabbanim could freely state their mind without being over ruled and quoted in the Maariv, while Klal Yisroel has its own ways to keep track on who is a Jew.

  4. Rabbi shopping at the district level. It may be time for an external Torah based bais din be formed that would not be beholden to the will of the government. And as far as the government , ot be accepted at all.

  5. #1 Finding out someone’s observance level is a very basic requirement in determining if there was Kabulas Ul Mitzvos in Geirus. (Saying so, is not enough, you actually have to be observant).

  6. It seems tha the Rav who denied the marriage overstepped his authority. What does her former husband have to do with her present circumstance?
    Since when can you determine that a conversion is invalid retroactively?

  7. The article doesn’t suggest that the rabbi revoked the woman’s giyur. It alludes to something worse: replacing giyur with a status akin to lifetime probation. And some of the commenters propose something worse still: blanket rejection of people none of them have met. Which of the 13 middot are they placing in action here? Erekh Apayim? Hessed? Emet? Keep searching.

  8. “There is no such thing as invalidating giyur “lemafrea””
    Well, if it wasn’t valid, it wasn’t valid. If she was toiveles in a mikvah of 39 se’ah, would you say that since she was recognized as a giyores by mistake all these years, it’s OK? Of course not.

    ” the questions mentioned have little to do with the actual giyur. :”why did you divorce??” “Is your FORMER husband keeping shabbos?” “is your duaghter religious?” ”
    They might be relevant. Did she convert to marry a chiloni and intend to live that lifestyle when she converted? Invalid.

    “replacing giyur with a status akin to lifetime probation”
    Not lifetime, but in this case, we don’t know if maybe she converted to marry a yid, in which case we follow her to she if she’s serious about yahadus, and maybe no one checked, or she really wasn’t serious, or the rav wasn’t sure so he’s investigating.