Rosh Yeshivat Ateret Kohanim and prominent dati leumi community posek Rabbi Shlomo Aviner Shlita has come out against the giyur bill sponsored by MK Elazar Stern. The bill passed its preliminary reading in Knesset this week. The rav feels the bill is “problematic from both a halachic and national perspective.”
While Stern and Bayit Yehudi are hailing the bill as a breakthrough towards removing many stumbling blocks faced by a giyur candidate, many/most leading dati leumi rabbonim are opposed, fearing the ramifications. Needless to say chareidi poskim are opposed as well.
Rav Aviner asks “What is meant by facilitating giyur? Should a candidate not be required to wait on a long line or perhaps they should address him in a nicer way, with more love and patients? ‘ואהבתם את הגר’ and if that is what is behind efforts to go easier then it is positive”.
However Rabbi Aviner fears under the new law there will be batei din that will provide an expedited giyur which will result “in regular converts who are Yirei Shomayim and there will be those who are Yirei Shomayim light. What is their intention when they speak of easier giyur? If they are thinking of 300,000 immigrants from Russia that are not converting today, then a new reality of two nations will emerge. This will lead to giyur that is not in line with halacha and a division of the nation into two”.
Rav Aviner feels that giyur is one of those things where one must satisfy all halachic opinions for this is at the heart of the ‘Who is a Jew’ controversy. The rav acknowledges there should not be “Foot-dragging’ as exists today in the judicial system but this is not the way to eliminate the lag, by compromising halacha and the giyur process.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)