The directors of three Batei Din in the US sent a letter on Monday to Chabad shluchim across the country regarding the alarming story of a Lebanese man who masqueraded as a frum Jew and married a Jewish woman.
The Rabbanim, Rabbi Chaim Sperlin of L.A., Rabbi Sholom Shuchat of Brooklyn, and Rabbi Moshe Liberow of Boston, wrote that they held a conference call to discuss the situation and formulate guidelines to prevent such a situation from occurring again in the future.
Read the letter below:
To the Rebbe’s Shluchim Sheyichyu,
Greetings and Blessings,
In light of today’s news, whereby a certain Rabbi officiated a wedding without properly researching the genealogy (“Birur Yahadus”), and afterwards a suspicion arose that the Groom might not be Jewish, and pictures of the wedding have been published which caused some to condemn a Chabad Shliach who relied on the officiating Rabbi thinking he did proper research – A conference call took place today to discuss the situation and decide how to prevent such occurrences from happening, and thus strengthen the holiness of the Jewish nation, in line with the Rebbe’s Sichos about the importance of correcting the terrible damage done with allowing Non-Jews to enter the fold of Am Yisroel.
Participating in this conference call were the undersigned Rabbis, who serve as directors of veteran and renowned Batei Din across the American continent (which are also recognized by the Israeli Rabbinate), who deal on a daily basis with matters of Birur Yahadus, Birur Yuchsin, Geirus and Gittin, and who are in constant contact with Rabonim across the world.
After discussing the matter at length we have decided as follows:
1. In the upcoming weeks, after consulting with Rabonei Anash, we will (with G-d’s help) publish a clear set of guidelines regarding Birur Yahadus, Birur Yuchsin, Sidur Kidushin, Gittin, accepting Geirim, and other topics related to preserving the purity of Am Yisroel.
2. Any person who officiates a wedding must be well-versed in the Halachos of Birur Yahadus, Birur Yuchsin, Sidur Kidushin, etc., and should receive approval from a renowned Rabbi to officiate at weddings. Without this prerequisite, one shall not officiate at a wedding nor certify someone’s Jewish status, so he should not be causing the masses to stumble, Կ”ח .
3. One may not rely blindly on Geirus certificates, even from Orthodox Rabbis, without first researching properly the integrity of the Rabbis who performed the conversion, about the integrity and sincerity of the converts, and about their acceptance of Mitzvos.
To assist the Shluchim, we will (with G-d’s help) set up an office to help and assist the Shluchim in the above matters, to connect the Shluchim with Batei Din, etc. And to facilitate a registry of Birur Yahadus, Birur Yuchsin, Kidushin, Gittin, etc. which are performed by Shluchim.
May it be G-d’s will, that in the merit of preserving the sanctity of Am Yisroel, and specifically in an area which is crucial to the existence of Am Yisroel, we will merit the true and complete Redemption speedily in our days.
Rabbi Chaim Sperlin
Los Angeles, California
Menahel Beis Din
Agudas Yisroel of the West Coast
Rabbi Sholom Shuchat
Brooklyn, New York
Menahel Beis Din
Union of Orthodox Rabbis-Agudas Harabonim
Rabbi Moshe M. Liberow
Boston, Massachusetts Menahel Beis Din
Rabbinical Council of New England
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)